My lessons, before I have kids
Calloway. I love that name don't you? I love it because it's original and I love it because it belongs to a little boy I love as much as if he was my own. About once a week, I get to spend a few (or 8) hours with my little Calloway. You may hear him scream "Aunt Kristen, I need to go potty!!!!!" as loud as tornado sirens. You may hear him say (with the biggest cheesy smile ever) "Play with me Uncle Chris! Play with me!" And my heart just melts.
I could never tell you how much I love this child. I could never have predicted this when my cousin called and told me she was pregnant, and although our "technical" family tree doesn't support him calling me Aunt Kristen, or my husband Uncle Chris, and it may annoy some people, this is up to me and his mother. And his mother and I, are the only ones who know how much we mean to each other.
Today would have been just like any other day with Cal, except my husband is home on vacation this week, so he joined us for the day. Now this is like Christmas for Cal. Every week when he comes over, he asks me about 20 times, if Uncle Chris is coming home. And Chris never does before Cal leaves to go home. So we had a BIG day planned.
Calloway joined us today at 7:30am. Yes, AM. And if anyone knows me, I do not do 7:30AM well. I try, but it is always an epic fail. I learned my lesson last week, when he proceeded to put his cheerios up to my nostrils every time I fell asleep after another 7:30am arrival, and yelled out "hey Aunt Kristen! Don't fall asleep!". My lesson #1 this week: I knew I didn't have a chance to try and get a quick cat nap in with all the excitement of my husband being home, so we put on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, ate breakfast, and got on the move.
First, we went to the Nature Center in our hometown. They had pens of animals, trails, an outdoor playscape that included a waterfall that we climbed all the way down, and managed to throw in every single water toy they had in the bucket next to the pond. I am so excited that this is something our hometown has to offer, and for only a small donation, it is hours of fun! I suggest you do an internet search for something in your area like this. During this little adventure, even though we asked him not to lay down in the water, he tripped over a rock and SPLAT! Fell right in. Lesson #2 this week: Always have extra everything. T-shirt, pants, underwear, socks. Everything. Now this is something I had figured out months prior, but my husband, got his lesson in today.
After the nature center, we made it 10 minutes down the road, when I turned around to check my very quiet little man out (don't worry, hubby was driving), and I saw the little man's eyes fluttering, so I knew we better pull over and get some food in him before getting to the dentist which was 40 minutes away. After getting our seats, and orders in, Chris wanted to go wash his hands. I decided to send Cal with him, and after both of us asked him twice if he needed to go potty, they came back to the table and sat down, in time for him to say "I have to go potty!" So lesson #3 this week, just make the kid TRY to go to the bathroom when you know it's just about that time.
And.... Lesson #4: Getting the child out of the car seat and into the house (or the dentist), is doable, but not easy! We both looked at each other and hubby said, "I think I will watch how you get this done". Once inside, we were thanking the good Lord that he guided us in the direction of our small SUV rather than the VERY VERY small compact car we had considered. Whew!
Once I got out of the dentist chair, Cal and Chris were playing on the floor of the dentist waiting area with some toys. Chris' appointment was going to be close to 2 hours, so we needed to find something to do other than sit on the lobby floor. I knew the area pretty well, so we hopped back in the car, and drove about half a mile over to a small grassy area in the middle of this cute little downtown. We threw some pennies in the fountain and grabbed some frozen yogurt. We played in some trees, and chased some birdies. Even though he would have probably liked to be at a REAL park, one with slides and swings, we made do, and I am sure the ice cream helped that! At this time, "we" had asked "WHY?", about 4,672,073 times. Approximately. I know that most of those "whys?", are not to be annoying, but because his little brain is trying to take so much in all at once! So Lesson#5 - have the patience my husband has to answer him, and teach him with every single WHY. I cannot tell you how often I get choked up at the thought of my husband being a dad one day. He has no idea what an amazing father he will be.