Last Wednesday, I planned on taking the day off of work, so I could catch up doing some things around the house. Unfortunately, our nanny called and couldn't make it and my wife had to go into work that day. So, trying to be the good dad that I am, I planned a full day of activities and boy was it jam packed!
The day started around 7am. We all woke up and we had breakfast with my wife before she went to work. Now that I look back on it, the day actually started around 1am in the morning. Max had been having some sleeping issues lately and he woke up in the middle of the night and wouldn't go back to sleep unless he was in our bed with us. My wife got sofa city (because he usually kicks one of us in the head or deals us a nice Roger Federer one handed backhand in his sleep) and Max and I slept on our king sized bed.
Back to breakfast. So, after I packed the backpack full of provisions for the day, we headed off to the local car wash down the street. Timing is everything and we didn't have it that morning. We went around 9:30am and there were four lanes of cars each 10 cars deep, so we had to wait a while. Max loves the car wash, so there was no turning back. When it was finally our turn, we watched our Ford Escape Hybrid go through the gauntlet car wash of soap cycle, power rinse, and spot free rinse. While we waited, we had a nice snack of raisins and ducky crackers. (Note to self: never give the boy an entire box of raisins because if you try to take it away, he will scream bloody murder in front of all the car wash patrons).
After the car wash, we went to Vromans bookstore to get some Thomas the Train books. Max really loves books and I got a little book happy and purchased a Curious George Makes Pancakes book, Super Duck by Jez Alborough, and Duck and Cover by Jackie Urbanovic. We sat on the floor and read all the books before we purchased them, and yes, he was still eating raisins.
Next stop, The Container Store. Our objective there was to purchase a new backpack to carry his items and get a small cooler to put his snacks in. We had a bonus activity, in that the store we went to, had an elevator and Max loves elevators. For about 45 minutes we walked around the store pushing an empty grocery cart and rode the elevator. We finally made our purchases and we were on our way. By the way, The Container Store has a great return policy. We had a couple items that didn't have receipts and they gave us store credit.
So, it probably sounds like we've done a lot so far, but this was all before lunch time. We proceeded to make our way to Le Grande Orange in Pasadena by the train station. Just about every 2 year old boy loves trains and flashing lights. We parked in the parking garage and rode the elevator up (remember, the boy loves elevators) to the ground floor. We walked around and watched some trains and flashing lights and crossing arms go up and down. We then went inside the restaurant and sat in our usual booth overlooking the trains and had some lunch. The great thing about this restaurant is that kids eat free! Max had two orders of swordfish taco's and a cookie to top it off. The entertainment of the trains and flashing lights kept his attention so I could feed him. Good times.
Now, it's about 1:30pm and it's time to go home for a nap. He didn't sleep well at night, and neither did I, so we both took a snooze on the bed for about an hour. I didn't want him sleeping too late, so I had to wake him up.
To keep on track, I gave him some grapes (be careful, they are chokables) and duck crackers for the ride in the car on the way to the Hastings Ranch Library. There is a handicapped automatic door entrance that Max loves to push the button, so we waited and let a few people in. We then did another favorite past time of returning the library books in the book slot inside the library. I read that they were having a Mother's Day activity that day, so our timing was impeccable. They had a nice arts and crafts activity where they took our picture and we were able to decorate a frame and make a book marker for Mother's Day. The picture of the two of us was less than desirable because he had a mini tantrum before we went in because he wanted to sit in the car and eat his snack. It was also funny because he didn't like the sandals I put on him, so I'm sitting on couch holding him with one shoe off, his eyes are red, and he's not looking at the camera. It's the thought that counts, right? We spent about 3o minutes decorating with glue sticks and stickers. I think I had more fun than Max. Gymboree started at 5:30pm, so we had to be on our way.
We barely made it in time for Gymboree class, but we made it under the wire. Since I made him do the activity at the library, he didn't get a chance to eat his snack, so the entire time during class, I was feeding him duck crackers out of my pocket. I felt like a dog owner giving my dog treats every time he did something well.
On the way home, we picked up Max's favorite Mediterranean food that consisted of a chicken kabobs, rice pilaf, hummus, pita, and greek salad. The boy has an appetite and ate really well. After dinner I gave him a bath and then we did our usualy book reading for about 45 minutes. He finally fell asleep and I put him in the crib and yes, he slept through the night.
I look back on that unexpected day and I was planning on doing some things for myself, but I am so glad I was able to spend it with my son and that we were able to share some fun experiences and laughs. It really made me take a step back to enjoy spending time with my son. One of the perks of being a dad.