Sunday was one of those days that makes it all worth it. You know what I’m talking about, right? The days where everything goes just right, and everyone is happy, and you get to experience your child’s true joy. Those are the days I live for–experiencing true joy through my children.
We got up Sunday morning with no plans, as usual. Saturday was a kind of lazy day, so we really wanted to get out of the house and do something. We’re so fortunate to live where we do. We decided the Aquarium was just too far away and that Squeaker only has one real interest there anyway (the stingrays). Once Squeaker experiences the stingrays, he’s ready to go home. Sidenote: Squeaker used to hate the stingrays. Didn’t want to touch them or even look at them. Now he giggles as his little fingers caress their slick skin and will stay at that tank the entire time we’re at the Aquarium if we let him.
Anyway, we decided instead that it was a perfect day to head to the New Bern waterfront. I suggested we feed the birds, and The Manager grabbed the leftover hamburger and hot dog buns we weren’t going to use. I commented that last time we went to the waterfront, Squeaker did not enjoy feeding the birds. In fact, he was against it altogether. However, I refuse to give up on fun activities. I often try things with him more than one time in hopes that he’ll get accustomed to new things. As it happened, this particular day Squeaker was loving the birds! Perfect! He mingled with them. He laughed. He especially loved the geese because they make that funny honking noise. Oh, it was an absolute blast! And I had the baby strapped to me, so I had freedom of movement. I could feed the birds with him and even had some birds eating from my hands.
Minor issue at the waterfront: Potties. The Manager took Squeaker to the potty with him, but he refused to even enter a stall. I had to go too, so I took him with me for another try. He took one look at it and insisted that he wanted to go to another potty. I assumed it was because of the auto flush, because those freak him out, but somehow The Manager convinced him to go into a stall. He would only use the potty if I left the freakishly thick green door open. He was slightly disturbed that the potty didn’t flush before I used it after him, telling me I had to flush it first, but I told him it was okay and he got over it. It was nice to have such a minor issue and resolve it so quickly!
After that, we went to the Cow Cafe for lunch and ice cream. Another win for Squeaker. We had some minor issues. For instance, there was a tractor in the kids’ play area put up on a block so he couldn’t actually drive it. He figured that out though. Squeaker’s a smart boy. They don’t want the tractor to move? Too bad! He scooted it along the floor ON the block. So then our lunch comes out, and he doesn’t want to eat. Why would he? There are toys! A tractor! If he leaves the area, one of those other kids will take his sweet ride!
“Squeaker. We have a problem,” The Manager exclaims dramatically. “We want to get ice cream, but you still haven’t eaten your sandwich!” This statement had virtually no effect. At least, until a woman and her daughter walk in with ice cream cones. Oh boy, did he eat then! We rewarded him with a scoop of Cookie Moonster (double o’s intentional).
At this time, we had the good fortune of coming across two women with children, who The Manager (in typical The Manager fashion) befriends immediately. He assists in keeping the children trapped in one space, insisting that he has a vested interest because Squeaker was wanting to run away as well. So, we find out through these wonderful ladies that Tryon Palace has the grounds open for free the first Sunday of the month until October. Normally it costs quite a bit of money to go there, and we’d never been. We weren’t sure that Squeaker would appreciate it, but decided to give it a try. At the very least, I was sure he’d enjoy smelling the flowers since he’s very into smelling things lately.
Well, he tolerated the gardens at Tryon Palace. The highlight of the trip was the moment we were exiting and he heard the sound of drums and fifes playing and bolted toward the noise. The Manager ran after him (and then with him) toward the sound of a small band playing old-timey music. I was literally overcome with emotion watching Squeaker become completely enthralled with the music. I felt my heart swell and The Manager looks at me and says, “As if we ever had any choice in him joining a band.” (Or he said something close to that) Squeaker did not want to leave and the baby was getting too hot. We told him it was time to go and he says, “But I wanted to watch the music!”
I went to the bathroom with the baby to cool him off with some damp towels and give them a moment to listen to the band some more. When I came back out, I came up at just the right moment. One of the girls in the band brought the drum over to Squeaker, handed him the sticks, and let him play. It was such a special moment, listening to the beat of the drum, and after that, he was willing to leave.
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Not many days come together like Sunday. When they happen, you have to take the time to appreciate them. Harder days are sure to come, but you try to hold on to these days. These perfect days. I call days like Sunday “good Squeaker days.” Everything came together so nicely and because the activities were so Squeaker-centered, he really enjoyed himself.
And one day, our son will have his own drum to play. This will be the way he makes his mark on the world. Through music. The beat of a drum. I’m sure of it.