This morning I brought AwesomeCloud to one of the little libraries around here for storytime. I like their storytime. It's held in a big space, so I'm not getting constantly tripped on by toddlers. Cloud is one of the oldest kids there, but that seems to be good for him - he does not yet seem to be "too old" for anything. Even "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes" is still a challenge for him. That's not always a good thing, but it's a thing, and so it goes.
Before storytime, the kids all gather around the train table. Cloud was playing nicely with the only other preschool-aged boy there. But when the track became misaligned, he started to call out to Mama: "Hewwwp!"
"Don't slam it," I called across the room. I was kind of stuck in a rocking chair just outside the children's area, with mounds of coats and purses walling me out. "Just push it gently into the hole with your fingers."
"Hewwwp!" he screamed, banging on the train track harder.
"Ask your friend to fix it for you," I suggested. "Just say, 'Excuse me, can you fix this?'"
"NOOO!!" cried Cloud. He was really wailing and red-faced now.
"Come here," I invited. "Do you want to rock?" Whenever he hurts himself or otherwise gets overcome with emotion, if there's a rocking chair handy, I offer to rock him to comfort him. He knows what that is now and will occasionally ask to rock without me having to mention it first. Fortunately, I was already in a rocking chair, so he came right over, climbed in my lap, and let me rock him.
"Now that boy is fixing the track," I observed.
"I can't... I can't talk," Cloud wailed. I guess he was trying to explain that he was too flustered, or shy, or whatever, to take my suggestion and ask the boy for help. Cloud then begged to go home, but I assured him that storytime would start soon and then he'd have something completely different to do and he'd forget all about this. And it did, and he did.
When we got home, I cooked us some mac'n'cheese with broccoli, and afterwards I decided I wanted to drown my sorrows in ice cream. So I told Cloud we were going to the store to get some ice cream. You'd think I said Santa Claus was coming back. We had one of the most festive trips to the supermarket ever, and now I'll probably pay for it in begging because this is the kind of thing Cloud doesn't forget for a long, long time.
After ice cream, I put on my Fatboy Slim CD and we had a techno dance parade featuring maracas, a tambourine, and some jingly cat toys, because I am a bit of a masochist but also because it seemed like a good activity to do on a rainy day, and because I was anticipating my husband calling for me to come get him so he could leave me at home alone for the rest of the afternoon to rest in peace. Which I am doing. Except that I'm also trying to mend his steampunk vest, which is proving difficult because it's very thick and the needle doesn't go through the material very well. And now my back hurts from the effort of pushing it through.