Bring it on, life

You know how when life/karma/God/whatever decides that you need to learn something, it never does it one at a time, nicely spacing lessons out so that they can be mulled over and absorbed in due time? Instead, you are thrown into a whirlwind of “Think you got that? OK, now take this!”

Yesterday was another big one. And it’s going to sound so small to you.

Auggie played in the McDonald’s Playland. For those of you who are my age and fondly remember the big hamburger in the front of the store that you could climb up into, those days are gone. Now, they have some kinda crazy kid Habitrail suspended 12 feet off of the floor. Auggie had been bugging me for weeks since they remodeled the McDonald’s by our house, and I kept saying, “Tuesdays, Auggie. We go to McDonald’s on Tuesdays!” Yesterday, I said something about it being Tuesday, and Auggie finally put the pieces together. We had to go. After all, we were still celebrating the fact that he wasn’t kidnapped, right?

Anyway, somehow I get him to eat a bit of his Happy Meal (one of the dumbest phrases I’ve ever uttered: “Eat your cheeseburger, honey. Then you can have some more french fries.” I mean, like one is better for you than the other?!). Soon, he could wait no longer and so it was into the fifth circle of Hell. There was a whole YMCA camp-load of eight-year-olds there (why were these kids not in school?), so I was totally freaked out that he was going to be trampled. But Auggie headed right up that spiral staircase into the Habitrail with no trepidation.

The worst part was that, once he was up there, I had no idea where he was. I couldn’t see him at all. Why, oh why, do they not put clear plexiglass in the bottoms of these things? (Mental note: Email suggestion to McDonald’s post-haste.) So I’m walking around this thing, trying to get a glimpse of him through one of the tiny portholes into this thing. It was horrible, but I was trying to play it cool around the other mommies (like they were paying attention, anyway. The lone daddy was reading the dang Wall Street Journal while his two-year-old terrorized other kids. Guess McDonald’s isn’t exactly the number one place to visit for examples of good child-rearing skills, eh?).

Auggie had the best time. He kept climbing back down the stairs periodically to check in. Eventually, he even went down the twisty slide. Sigh.

I realize that he’s not moving off to college or learning how to drive, but I guess you have to learn to let go in stages. Baby steps for parents, or something.