I made a point of not scheduling a post for today because I knew that today would be the first day in several weeks that I had a car in my possession. Having a car means being able to leave, which means it was the first real opportunity Joshua and I have had to get out of the house on a weekday in a long time. This in turn means that the likelihood of experiencing a moment worth writing about increased exponentially.
And sure enough, that moment happened.
I knew today was going to be a good day when I woke up this morning to cuddles, when I usually find myself stirring to the feeling of Joshua trampling the dog under the blanket. I mean, who wouldn’t love this??
Once I was fully awake, I asked Joshua what he felt like doing today; the day was full of promise and possibility, and I was open to whatever he wanted to do or wherever he wanted to go. His answer? “Mall!”
He’s definitely my kid!
So we got dressed, packed up our things, and headed out. I wanted to stop at the bookstore first to look for a book, so I drove out Barnes and Noble with the knowledge that there was a train table in the children’s section of the store. I spent roughly 15 seconds looking for my book before Joshua ran for his own personal nirvana.
Nearly 45 minutes later, I admittedly had to drag Joshua from the store. There’s only so much “Thomas is happy too!” and “Choo-choos up the hill” and “Uh-oh, choo-choos fall down!” I can take, and I’d reached my limit. He gave me a bit of a tough time getting out of the store — we were about 10 feet from the front doors when he went screaming, crying, boneless mass on the floor on me — but once we were outside and strapped safely into the car with the promise of lunch on the way, all was well.
After we ate, I decided to try something new. There’s a very popular play area in our mall’s food court, and I’ve never allowed Joshua to play in it. The reason for this is the same reason why the mall remains the only place where Joshua is confined to his stroller: he’s a runner and, in such a large place, it would be very easy for him to run and hide somewhere and for me to lose him. I obviously don’t want that to happen, so I don’t let him run free. The play area, therefore, would be a huge step forward for both of us. I felt ready to give it a try, so I walked the stroller to the area and parked, removing Joshua’s shoes and taking him out. At first Joshua clung to me; he stood behind me, arms wrapped around my leg, and then he asked me to pick him up for a hug. As he observed the other children in the area, I watched that initial apprehension slowly melt away and replace itself with a smile. I set him down on his feet and walked him over to the slide, where he stood and watched the other children for a moment before glancing at me, as though he were asking permission, and then mounting the steps. By the time his butt slid to the floor, the grin was catlike, ear-to-ear, and I knew I’d done the right thing.
Thirty minutes and about 361 slides later, Joshua had burned down a considerable amount of energy and was ready to move on…and then came the moment I’d been hoping for. There was one child in particular that Joshua kept going down the slide with and, before walking back to his stroller (and without prompting from me!), he found the little girl and gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
What a heartbreaker!
His overall great behavior earned him a little something special, so we stopped at Mrs. Fields for a cookie before heading home. Naturally, Joshua chose a cookie cup with frosted Elmo face on it. I knew he’d make a mess but I was so euphoric over how the day went that I just didn’t care.
So here’s the before:
And the after:
And a quick note about the “after”: He’d eaten all the frosting on the cookie (of course), and then I broke the cookie itself in half to make it easier for him to eat. He set one half into the cup holder of his car seat, ate the other half, and almost immediately passed out. No sugar rush for this little guy!
What a fabulous day! I’m hoping to have another day just like it very soon. The paperwork for my Six Flags season pass arrived today, so now I have the reminder that the park opening — and, therefore, spring — are not far away. I can’t wait for a fun and eventful summer. If today was any indication, it’ll be one to remember…and full of memories to blog about!