I am back from my self-imposed internet ban, in which I mostly banned myself but sometimes found myself connecting to the Panera wi-fi when my brain could not handle one more inquiry into the concept of mental health service use. This is my secret: I do my best dissertation work in a Panera. Why? I do not know. Maybe the heady smell of bread and sweets and the sounds of young ladies complaining about the new troll in the I.T. department center my mind and allow the dissertating to flow. They must, as I accomplished a fair bit. No, I’m not done. Yes, I’ve been saying that for two years now.

Yesterday, in celebration, I took Penguin and Owl to the science museum. Penguin was very excited to visit his train friends again, and Owl was appropriately uninterested in most everything. We usually do the same circuit every time we visit, and yesterday was no exception.

Penguin’s museum agenda: 1 – visit trains. 2 – visit various balls floating around in water. 3 – have a spot of lunch and enjoy the pinnacle of the day: a treat from the cafeteria. 4 – visit the large airplane. 5 – visit the gift shop and forget that we are not with Nana and therefore get no presents. Have fit. 6 – wait in line for parking voucher stamp, intermittently crying about cruel mother’s unwillingness to buy lollipop in gift shop and cruel mother’s unwillingness to leave the line until voucher is stamped.

And then the post-museum agenda: 1 – Tell Daddy that when I asked Mama for a lollipop in the gift shop she “said no, no no. No wait, Mama SCREAMED no, no, no at me and I said yes, YES, YES to Mama.”

For the record, I did not scream. I calmly said, “I’m sorry honey, Mama has on money. Let’s go.” Which, to a young child must sound like a screamed NO, NO, NO in your ear. I can understand that. When Papa Bird tells me that we can’t order take-out and I have to eat his crummy dinner that he lovely made from scratch even though I. WANT. TO. GO. OUT, I hear a loud “no, no,no” screamed in my ear too.

For the first time during any of our visits to the museum, Penguin opted to walk around by himself. It was the first time I felt like I was taking a little boy to the museum and not a little tyke. He saw things he was interested in and then he ran to them. This was sweet and terrifying at once because it caught me off guard. I was not prepared to chase after him or keep an eagle-eye on him because he has always been such a velcro-child. In my arms or nowhere else, thank you. I’ve seen more and more signs of this as late – a burgeoning independence. I’ll reflect more on this at another date – this dichotomy between the little boy behaviors and the big little boy behaviors that he exhibits on a daily basis.

As for that little Owl, he is 31 weeks old. Wow. Need to reflect on that, too. But not today. Today I am burned out from all the typing in the past week.

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