My son Alexander was born just a short period of time before the world shut down due to the pandemic. In fact, he was sadly born during the few days that I was in southern New Brunswick for a job interview. Not only did I miss his birth, I also didn’t get the job. Life, eh? My point is, the majority of Alexander’s existence has been contained within the confines of our house and back yard. We’ve brought him to a couple of parks and to my place of work on a couple of occasions, but he hasn’t been out to experience the outside world, despite pandemic conditions being recently lifted.
We recently started picking out one activity every weekend to do with our two sons. Last weekend, we brought them to an indoor play structure in a local mall. It was good times; we were able to get coffees and sit while the boys played and socialized with other children. They were quite happy and made a bunch of friends. The best part is Alexander passes right out for an excellent nap that mommy and daddy end up partaking in… But I digress… This weekend, we thought we would shake things up by bringing the boys to a restaurant. Not a fast-food restaurant, mind you; an actual, sit-down and eat restaurant with a menu that didn’t includes toys or a play structure.
Besides getting the boys out of the house and being out in the world, they had the option of choosing their own meal, including drink, main, side and a free sundae. Nathan absolutely loved the option of choosing his own meal. Much to our surprise, both boys were extremely well behaved and ate their meals with gusto. I enjoyed a deli sandwich with fries and my wife had a chicken burger with bacon and dill sauce. It looked amazing.
There were some mild leftovers to be brought with us but that’s okay! They both enjoyed their mutual mini-sundaes and we left the restaurant with a calm feeling of success as we introduced our toddler to a restaurant without any behaviour issues or having to raise our voices. It went so well, that we decided to reward them by bringing them to a local outdoor park. Despite the wind, they were pretty game to play and there were some kids there for them to socialize with.
Despite all the other kids to play with, Nathan and Alexander couldn’t help but cling to each other and stick to each other’s hip as they played. Nathan filled his role as big brother with aplomb and helped Alexander make his way up the obstacles and joined him down the slides. It was fun to just sit and watch them play. My wife and I stayed off our smart phones (except to take these photos, of course) and just soaked in the fresh air and watch the kids have fun. It was incredibly soothing.
After about half an hour, the looming clouds chose that moment to join in unison against humanity and start drizzling their unnecessary dampness on everyone’s head. We loaded the kids back into the family vehicle, which Alexander chose to voice his displeasure by pouring a torrent of verbal diarrhea and screaming combined with hot tears. By the time we got home, it became quite clear that we were overdue for a nap time. Alexander was put in his crib and passed out within minutes. My wife and I joined and found some enjoyment in a small, two-hour nap. Unexpected sleep is the best.
Despite my current torso injury, I napped quite nicely and awoke with renewed energy. Once our naps were over, Nathan was allowed to go outside and join one of his neighbourhood friends at the park contained in his school yard, which is only five minutes around the corner. Last night involved mommy and daddy time of watching “Bad Boys For Life,” so I could relive some of the glory days (policing is NOTHING like what’s seen in those movies, but it’s fun nonetheless). We also binged a few Grey’s Anatomy episodes. Looking forward to what today may bring. Weekends with family are best. ☯️