At about noon all my guilt (and energy) was gone, but overall I'd say it was a good day and I only
On the days when John-John stays home, it's a rule that he must go outside to "march and breathe deeply about the grounds" a la the Von Trapp family. So the first thing we did was set out on an adventure (he bikes; I walk).
Getting out the door for any activity is always a huge production in our house that involves several attempts at finding enough coats, hats, coffee, keys, chapstick, confidence, etc. This is complicated by the fact that I wear Sam strapped to my chest in a five foot long fabric baby wrap and always realize that I have neither socks nor shoes on after strapping him in. I usually realize that John doesn't have socks and shoes on after we've walked half a mile.
Today the getting-ready process was further complicated by the need to bring Sam the Penguin. It was Exercise # 8,736,999 in the game of Testing Mama's Patience, but finally I gave in and helped him make his dreams come true by strapping Sam into our Mei Tai wrap.
I was thinking it'd never last, but would you believe that the child wore that Penguin on his back (while riding a bike) for two miles?
One of the more exciting points of interest along our walk was a fire hydrant test zone. To John's dismay, the "Worker Guy" turned off the hydrant just as we were approaching. Apparently John had it in mind to "ride through the spray." Come to find out, that would've been an extremely bad idea as a hydrant throws out 75 pounds of water pressure and would've knocked him clear into the next county.
After he stopped crying about "never ever getting to have any fun with fire hydrants," I struck up a conversation with the Worker Guy, an employee of Metro Water Services:
Me: Are you gonna check all the hydrants on this street?
Him: No ma'am. They've got me doing random stops. After this one here, I'm going way across town. I used to do it all in one area each day and I liked that, but now they've got this computer program that randomly chooses a hydrant for me to check. Don't make sense to me cuz it doesn't really mean that all the hydrants in a neighborhood are working good just because one is doing fine. Plus, it's a lot more driving.
Me: Oh, that's too bad. Not only does it seem less safe, it also uses more gasoline.
Him: Well, Metro pays for the gas.
Him: Hey little man, you got holes in your jeans!
As we walked away, I had to wonder whether he really thought that my concern was about his having to pay for the gasoline in the clearly marked METRO WATER SERVICES truck (rather than the environmental consequences), or--more importantly--did he only notice the holey jeans and not the large Emperor penguin strapped to the child's back in an ancient-Chinese-style baby carrier?
Later, just before John crashed into Bob and Betty's faux Golden Gate Bridge, I overheard him having the following pretend conversation. Though I'm not positive, I'm guessing that he was playing the roles of a school-age Sam (the brother, not the penguin) and another kid:
Sam: You better not mess with me or I'll tell my big brother.
Kid: Oh yeah, who's your brother?
Sam: You know, he's the one with the big penguin strapped to his back.
I think this could really catch on as a strategy to be taught in the anti-bullying programs in public schools these days: Forget weapons, all you really need is a Penguin in a Mei Tai.