Me: "OK, Kaden, let's get you dressed. We're going to go to the park, and then we're going to the store, and then we get to have lunch with Daddy!"
Me: "That's right! Do you want to have lunch with Daddy?"
Me: "OK. Say, First Park."
Kaden: "Firs Pawk."
Me: "Second Store."
Me: "Third Daddy!"
We had similar conversations all morning. It's how we avoided a meltdown when leaving the park (Me: "Remember? We're going to the store, and then we get to see Daddy!"), it's how I consoled him when I buckled him into his car seat an extra time, when the first store didn't have what we needed, and it's why he was waiting at the door after we got home from Target, anxiously watching the door knob, waiting for Chad to walk inside for leftover roast and mashed potatoes. Then Chad called, and it turns out he couldn't come home after all. Devastation. Kaden handled the news surprisingly well, but when he went down for his nap, he kept saying, "Daaa-ee, Daaa-ee," in the saddest voice imaginable. So I told him, "It's OK. Daddy, wanted to come home, but he couldn't. But when he comes home from work we can go to the BEACH! Won't that be fun?!" Kaden thinks the swimming pool in our apartment complex is the beach, which I don't really get, since there is no sand, nor are there waves, and he has experienced both. Anyway, my promise of the beach appeased him, and he lay down and cuddled his stuffed elephant, with a whisper of "Beach, wan go beach!"
When Chad came home, Kaden screamed, "BEACH!" as soon as he saw him. So, we put him in his shark swim trunks and polka dot water wings, and headed to the pool. And the gate was locked. Devastation number two. We felt so bad. It was clear Kaden had no idea what was going on. All he knew was he could see the pool, and we weren't opening the gate so he could go jump in. It was heart wrenching.
We quickly promised we would do something else fun instead, and so we drove to Lake Johnson to let him feed the ducks. We let him stay in his swimming suit, since it wasn't worth the battle to change his clothes.
This turned out to be very creepy. Usually we go feed the ducks at a park in Cary. It turns out the ducks and geese of Lake Johnson are a bit more aggressive . . . and terrifying. I think so at least. Have you seen Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds? Well, I have. One piece of bread was tossed to a single bird and then next thing you knew, we were being swarmed.
Here's a video of our encounter:
Look at the proximity of that goose to my son. And it's bigger than he is!
Kaden wasn't sure what to think.
This is after I moved Kaden and myself from the "bread circle." That goose was just getting too close for comfort. I was picturing us as a feature on the nightly news. I could literally read tomorrow's headlines in my mind: "Idiotic Parents Risk Toddler's Safety in Local Park. Parental Rights Now in Question."
Chad, taking it all in stride, while I freak out.
Kaden, explaining what he is seeing. I agree, Kaden, totally and completely creepy!
Well, maybe a little bit funny, too.
Anyway, today, we took him to Qdoba for the early bird special. He got to eat an entire side of black beans. Success.
Also, here's a video of Kaden on the way home from Lake Johnson, saying one of our favorite lines. We say this all the time lately, whenever we're getting ready to go somewhere or do something. It's stolen from this moment in Ratatouille, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite Pixar movies.
I think Kaden's rendition is, in a word, awesome.