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Saturday, February 10, 2007  

Small Child in the City

The original plan was to not go outside until the cold snap ended. Obviously we didn't stick to that plan, because otherwise we would have been fired from our jobs, the trash would be piling up, and we'd be very hungry. Unless we figured out some way to make those last two problems solve each other.

Although it was cold enough this morning for us to decide that M. Small was skipping his movement class again (we may have actually dropped out at this point), we attempted something semi-ambitious this evening, in terms of actual outings. We took M. Small to dinner at a fancy restaurant downtown.

But before you gasp in wonderment at our sheer audacity, I should point out that we had a few things in our favor:

1) Because I have a monthly parking lease in a ramp downtown, we didn't have to search or pay for parking. Well, not any more than I already paid for this month, at least. (Note to self: remember to pay parking lease on Monday before they shut off my access card again)
2) We went at 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday, at which time there may have been as many as two other parties in a restaurant that's roughly half the size of a city block.
3) We went to the restaurant where our friend Bitter works, so we had a fair amount of goodwill pre-established with our server, which isn't usually the case.
4) As for the rest of the staff present, they've heard dozens of stories about M. Small from Bitter, so it was like they knew him already. Except that they only thought they were prepared for how charming he is in person. They were wrong.

It was a completely successful trip. Bitter understands M. Small's needs better than most waitresses do, and there was plenty of stuff on the menu he liked. Normally fifteen minutes in a booster seat is all he can take, but at that point today he was still facedown in his plate, announcing, "I'm so busy eating!"

He got done not too long before Trash did and about the same time I did, which meant he got to hold my hand for a little stroll around the cavernous dining room. We had the place to ourselves by this point, so it didn't bother anyone that pretty much all he wanted to do was blow out all the tabletop candles. I only let him blow out one. Bitter let him blow out the rest.

Even better was leaving the restaurant to explore the huge outer lobby of the office building that houses the place while Trash took care of the check. M. Small immediately began burning off his dinner by running around me in wide circles. Not something you can do in the middle of an office building lobby during the week, generally, but since nobody was there except for us and the guys at the security desk fifty yards away, there was nobody to object. After a minute he walked up to something, pointed, and asked, "What's that?"

"That's a revolving door," I told him.

I still can't believe I got him away from that thing.

We'd brought the folding stroller, since the restaurant is five blocks from our parking ramp through the Skyway, but we didn't need it on the way back. M. Small walked the whole way. He stared out of the Skyway over Sixth Street for several minutes, watching the traffic below and announcing, "It's going under me! They're going under me!" He made his mom ride every escalator we saw, to the ground floor and then back. Trash bought him some treats at a convenience store, and he couldn't stop talking about "the nice man" behind the counter for the rest of the evening. Although he may have also been referring to "the nice man" busking with an accordion in the Skyway over Eighth Street. It's hard to say, although I know where my vote would be. This isn't the first time he's ever been downtown; far from it. But I think this is the visit he enjoyed the most.

One of the fun things about M. Small is that he never answers a yes or no question with a simple yes or no; he always restates the question as a declarative, in a full sentence, as if he's being interviewed on a reality show. Trash and I asked him if he liked downtown. "I like downtown!" he said happily.

He's going to feel kind of robbed when he finds out that Trash and I used to live there years before he was born and will never do so again.

posted by M. Giant 8:30 PM 2 comments

2 Comments:

One of the great things about kids is their utter enjoyment of things that adults completely take for granted. And what is it with revolving doors? I'm still not over being dragged round one eighteen times in a row by my nephew, who thought it was the most exciting thing in the world ever. I had to sit down afterrwards for fifteen minutes until my face was no longer green.

By Blogger Miss Hacksaw, at February 11, 2007 at 5:55 AM  

One of my favorite memories of my grandmother is when she drove me 30 miles to the nearest revolving door in downtown Houston so I could run run run. She knew I loved it, so she would take me there. Pretty awesome.

By Blogger timbrat, at February 11, 2007 at 11:47 AM  

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