Manny and I were on our own for the duration today because Sam is at the New Horizons board meeting. It amazes me how desperate I felt this morning wondering how we were going to fill all our time and who we would interact with so that we wouldn't get sick of each other and Aslan by 7:00 bedtime. I don't know why this is a concern for me. I doubt Manny really notices or cares if a day goes by where he doesn't hang with anybody except me, but it makes me feel like we are living in a bubble and I need something to distract him from eating my hair. It's a good thing pregnancy makes your locks fuller or I would need to wear a swimming cap to protect myself from bald spots.
We went to the Northgate library to return a book and then headed out to the playground that is designed for 5-12 year olds. There isn't very much Manny can do there except wander around and touch stuff. But I thought we could easily do that for an hour. The playground was completely empty. And as I got closer, I realized why. Everything had puddles on it and after five minutes, I was freezing cold. Thankfully, Manny didn't protest when I picked him up and walked through the parking lot and across the street to the Macy's lingerie department. I think he is fascinated by all the bras.
We kept on going and rode the escalators for a little while. One of our new activities. The woman in towels asked me if I needed any help and when I told her what I was doing, she looked puzzled, but then it was like a flash of her younger self took over and she said, "I remember those days. Yes, I remember those days." The highlights were how long Manny paused at the Benefits make-up counter to listen to Boy George's "Karma Chameleon" and when Manny walked up to an elderly man who was waiting aimlessly in women's hosiery and gave him the kind of smile he used to reserve for all strangers, but most of the time now is replaced with a blank look, or worse, a baby scowl. I think the man was thoroughly delighted.
He ate a lot of shredded mozarella (the only kind of cheese he will eat with his hands) from his high chair and again I laughed to myself at the absurdity of saying to someone, "There's a lot of cheese in your crotch. Don't you want to eat that?"
After nap, we dropped off our taxes at the accountant and scarfed down a cinnamon roll at Honeybear because Manny wanted to check out the wood bears carved into the condiment table. "The First Noel" was playing overhead (go figure) and Manny spent a good amount of time dragging a very dirty frog toy around the children's book section. When he started picking up all the garbage from the floor, which was plentiful - don't they vacuum?- I decided it was time to leave.
The most profound moment of the day came when I was trying to balance a crying Manny on my hip and stir-fry our dinner and I realized that there is a huge tree outside of our kitchen sink window that is covered in bright yellow blossoms. And I thought, I've never noticed those blossoms before. I do dishes five times a day and it's never registered that something so beautiful is unfolding right before my eyes. It was a good metaphor for the ordinary days with Manny. It is easy to go through the motions and not take in the wonder of his shrieks and splashing and even all his tricky maneuvers to pull my hair. But he is just like that tree. Only he never hits winter. With Manny, it is always springtime and something new and surprising is always blooming if I just look up from the dishes long enough to notice.