On Friday morning one of the other moms in Alex's class invited me over for coffee. She lives right across the street from the school and she and I have always had a good rapport, so I was looking forward to it. After spending the morning with her, I realized why I like her so much: she reminds me of my California friend Jamie, who I miss dearly. Of course this realization was totally bitter sweet. On the one hand, woot! new friend!, but on the other hand, boo-hoo! I miss my old friend!
We did have a great time chatting, but even more than me, GENOA enjoyed herself. This friend has only one child: a daughter. The big kids were at school, but Genoa was in seventh heaven the entire time as she played with baby doll after baby doll and shopping carts and baby puppies and dress up clothes and GIRL GIRL GIRL stuff. I never really realized how macho all of our toys were until I saw how happy she was playing in this little girl paradise. I called Dave on the way home and we agreed that we've been spoiling her a lot less than we do Alex. Buying her new toys doesn't seem necessary when we have a house full, but after seeing how thrilled she was with a more feminine toy offering, I think I'll start slowing (and inexpensively) adding to her chick toy collection.
After coffee, we had a couple hours to kill before I needed to pick up the boy and I didn't want to trek all the way back home, so Genoa and I ran errands together. It's been a long time since I didn't feel like I was in a rush to get some place or do something and I forgot how much fun it is to just hang out with my baby and kill time. We ended up having "chick-in" at Burgerville together and I can't tell you how much I enjoyed that hour with Genoa.
This is absolutely my favorite age (18-24 months). She's talking and expressive, but the baby hasn't completely rubbed off of her yet. She's happy-go-lucky and as long as you listen carefully and give her your attention, she's absolutely delightful. It reminded me how important it is to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. I always feel like I'm telling my children, "in a minute" when really, nothing I'm doing is more important than they are.
Enjoying that time with Genoa made me realize that I spend almost zero time alone with Alex anymore. He's always got to play second fiddle to Genoa, who totally pwns my lap these days. The second she sees him going in for a snuggle, World War III begins and it's a match to the death for strategic mommy real estate. So I made a point of it and instead of going out as a family last night, I took my boy to the movies so we'd have some alone time and I could give him my undivided attention.
We saw Alvin and the Chipmunks, which while lame was actually the first movie I've seen in well over six months. It was certainly the first movie I've been to in Washington. Alex was such a good boy. He mostly remembered to whisper and while he didn't get most of the humor, he'd turn to me and laugh along with the rest of the audience at the appropriate times. The highlight of the movie was actually the part where we played the motorcycle video game in the lobby.
We sat next to another mom who was there with her two boys, one on either side of her, and she was exactly the mom I never want to be. She didn't have a kind word to say to either of her children the entire movie. Instead she slept through the whole thing and every time either of her (totally well-behaved) boys laughed out loud or whispered a question to her, she harshly told them to be quiet. There was no love in her voice and it broke my heart. Because I couldn't hug hers, it just made me squeeze my own boy that much tighter. Some people just really aren't cut out for this job.