Put a Fork in Me--I'm Done

There's a very good reason we don't do all day shopping sprees. I remembered it about three stores into our day, right around the time that I was running through the aisles trying to catch-up with a certain independent one-year old. Not only is Miss Independent a constant flight risk, she seriously could care less if there are any parental figures anywhere within sight. She won't talk to strangers, but she will fly by them as she tries to touch every single object on planet Earth. Go ahead, chase her. She'll just run faster.

Our strategy for dealing with this constant battle is to play parent tag. We take turns being the parent assigned to making sure Alexis neither kills herself nor disappears into thin air. When one parent can't take it anymore, he or she calls "you're it" and it's the other one's turn. It's a great strategy for a one or two hour walk around the mall, but stretch it to more than four hours and suddenly no one is willing to be "it". Thank goodness Grandma was willing to take a turn or two. Otherwise, I would have slid Alexis in the basket underneath some unsuspecting stranger's stroller and ran for dear life.


Suck on That

We made another trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo today. Shockingly, we didn't leave any valuables there. Certainly a step in the right direction. While Grandma, Alexis, and the rest of the crew were busy watching the animals, I was busy with my favorite past-time, people watching. There are some sights to be seen at the Zoo, let me tell you. Even though there weren't a lot of people there today, those that were there were FASCINATING. There was a dude rockin' the full-blown mullet, the likes of which haven't been seen since Joe Dirt. Then there was the little boy who had the greatest rat tail since Jordan Knight. While it may qualify as child abuse, it was still an amazing sight. There was the usual blend of large children walking around with pacifiers in their mouths. I always enjoy seeing a four or five-year old kid that can't walk two feet without one. My favorite part is how the parents always say the not-so-little one NEEDS the pacifier. Um, yeah. Whatever. Alexis thinks she needs one too, but she ain't getting it.

My most startling moment came in the ladies room while Alexis and I waited to use the changing table. There was a little boy getting the full-blown diaper cream slather routine. I wasn't paying much attention to anything other than the fact that it was taking like 15 minutes for these people to move on when the kid said, and I quote, "Can we go look at the baboons in the monkey house next?" DUDE! Complete sentence! Complicated complete sentence! And when he went strolling out of the bathroom past us, it became clear that he either started kindergarten last week, or is really, really big and very, very smart for his age. On one hand, you've got the parents that want their infants potty trained, but then you've got the ones that want their kids to stay babies so badly that they don't potty train them for years and years and years.

Speaking of kids sucking on pacifiers well past necessity, Alexis found one the other night. It was probably under the bed, hidden amongst the discarded dog toys, tennis ball remnants, and dust bunnies. It must have had some extra special flavoring going on because Alexis wasn't giving it up. Easily, that is. After World War III broke out, I burned the thing in effigy. Try sucking on melted plastic, Alexis. Go ahead.


When Indecisive One-Year Olds Pick Out Their Own Clothes

Pajamas? A Dora shirt with pants? Shorts and a tank top? All of the above? I'm so glad Daddy lent an assist when Alexis couldn't make up her mind.