Lunch with my boy

  Right as we were getting ready to head to school yesterday, Mario asked me to take him to lunch. He’s been asking me to do that here and there over the last month. I saw that I had a break on my calendar from 11:30-1:30 so I told him I could do it. A huge smile swept his face. 

I picked him up at 11:40. He was sitting in the office reading a book and waiting for me. The principal asked him where he was going for lunch and he responded “Marshall’s.” I am thankful for a restaurant across the street from his school since I biked to meet him. 

We took a look at the fish as we entered Marshall’s. They have some big ol’ goldfish swimming in a pool of water. Mario loves to watch them. Mario chose a table and we skimmed the menu. He had already decided that he wanted chocolate chip pancakes. 

I asked him about his day and told him about mine. I told him I had asked a question to my colleagues to start my morning meeting and the question was “what would you do for a living if you weren’t a lawyer.” He was intrigued. He asked what people answered. I started to tell him and after about the third answer I gave him, he said “what was the most dangerous job that someone wanted to do?”

Of course. I had to be more exciting! So I told him about the guy that wanted to work on a safari and be around lions and elephants. That intrigued him a bit. Then we talked about Perkins pancakes and how much I loved waitressing there throughout my late teens and twenties. 

I enjoyed having time with just him. Typically, when Jon or I have alone time with a kid it is paired as dad/Mario and Mom/Ri so it was all the sweeter to have some quality time with just Mario. He’s such a good kid with a sense of humor and a desire to learn and ask questions. He also loves to hear about his past. We spent a good chunk of time talking about his growth development from the time he was an infant until now. We went to the doctor’s office this week and learned that he was in the 50th percentile for height and 83rd persontile for weight. I told him he used to be in the 20th percentile for weight and height. He was charged to learn that he shot up so high in height and weight. It also was used as an argument by him that he did not need to eat any more of his eggs.   

His friends were right outside the restaurant window as we were eating. I asked if he wanted to go play with them at recess but he chose to hang with me. Yes, that is one for the memory banks. I will bring that back to light when he is older and begging to go hang with friends at the park. 

We headed back to his school with five minutes to spare. He asked me to go to his classroom. I gladly obliged. He showed me a game they play with a globe. All the kids rushed in shortly thereafter and it was time for me to head out. I knew better to hug Mario so I just whispered bye and he waved bye to me. As I walked out, Mario’s teacher stopped me and quietly told me “Mario was so excited to go to lunch with you.” Little did he know that the feeling was mutual.

Lockets, hash browns and pigs

I managed to get in a lunch with my girl and a zoo trip with my boy last week. I canceled another lunch with a girlfriend in order to surprise Ri because I felt so bad about how we started our day. I had come home from running in the early morning and Ri was standing in the kitchen bawling. I asked her what was the matter and she told me she lost her locket that she had gotten for her birthday a week earlier. At first, I was calm and told her to search her backpack. We talked about where it could have been lost. I thought she’d find it in her backpack so that soothed my emotions. When she didn’t, I proceeded to get a bit angry in my tone telling her she had to be more careful with things. Ok, maybe telling isn’t the correct verb. More like yelling. She bawled harder and ran upstairs. Ugh.

While she was crying to Jon, I found the locket in the pocket of her backpack. I called her downstairs and gave it to her. Then I hugged her. Then I told her I was sorry for raising my voice. Then I told her that I have to work on not getting so upset. Then I took a deep breath. She finally stopped crying and gained some composure before heading off to school, and I gained a big guilty chip on my shoulder the rest of the morning.

So I biked over to her school and surprised her for lunch. We walked to Stauf’s and got a bagel and hash browns. And we had a most enjoyable talk about what she wanted to do this Summer and what she’s liked most about fourth grade. As we walked back to school, I apologized again for getting upset with her. I explained there was a better way for me to teach her about taking greater care of things and that I didn’t want to raise my voice like I did. She did her Ri thing – flicked me in the arm and laughed and said it was ok – wanting to move onto a new topic. But I hope she got where I was coming from and values the open communication between us. We held hands on the way in to school (not long before that ends) and i gave her a gentle flick as she walked to class. The guilty chip fell off my shoulder as I biked back into work. 


The next day, I headed to the zoo with Mario. Jon took the first shift and I took the second. Mario was so excited to have Jon go with him; he was mildly happy to have me. Dad is the prized possession for sure. When I arrived, they were walking towards the cheetahs. Mario gave Jon a huge hug goodbye and told him he loved him – I can never get enough of that action. Then we raced towards the cheetahs. But we’d get about 500 feet and then have to stop to play (5 first grade boys – what else did I expect). 

We finally arrived at the African zone only to have ten kids walk by us yelling “you just missed the cheetah run!”  Ok, great, thanks. I wanted to pelt them in the head. Luckily, our boys were unphased. We still got to see the giraffes and hang out in a safari tent.


But best of all, Mario tracked down some pigs for me to see in the farm area. Big ol’ heifers laying around and snorting. Mario was so excited to find them for me.

Such a doll when he wants to be. We walked back to the front of the zoo to meet up with his class. Mario was charged up because they got to ride in a Coach bus since the yellow buses never came to pick them up. “It even has a bathroom in it” he exclaimed as I gave him a hug goodbye. Good reminder to me – appreciate the simple things in life.

Girls lunch out

Ri wanted to take some girls out to lunch for her birthday this week and the only day we could do it was today. I thought rather than spending $100 on Panera (which is seriously what it would have cost between smoothies and meals and desserts), I’d buy a pizza and take them back to the house.
What a hoot it was to watch them. They are a more calm goofy than Mario and his buddies. One thing that both cracked me up and scared me too death was this scene:

These are Jon’s old beer cans he has collected since he was in his 20’s, and they found it hilarious to act like they were drinking out of them. I have a feeling I may get a photo just like this one when they are home from college and having a summer reunion.
I loved that they devoured the entire large pizza and them devoured the candy and cookie jars while we sang happy birthday to Ri. They have no issues with taking down some grub and I hope it stays that way.


They still enjoy playing with barbies, and we’re laughing about how messy Ri’s room was – I told Ri it’s pretty telling when her friends say her room is messy! Still didn’t faze her a bit though. We topped off the lunch with candy and leis, modeling, and lots of laughter and singing in the car on the way back to school.

Got ’em back to school a few minutes late but I have a feeling that they will be able to schmooze their teacher and avoid trouble….>

Errands – check

Oh, what a beautiful day! I love the days when I can get long overdue tasks completed. I have been needing to deposit two checks for two weeks but I never find the time to walk six blocks north to do it (even though I find time to walk ten blocks east and west). I registered Mario for basketball, which I have been putting off for a month. Something about biking a mile down the road first thing in the morning to write a check to the community center pains me (but biking 20 along the trail is beautiful).
I even took time off to take Ri Grace to lunch. Two of her girlfriends were heading out to a restaurant across the street so we hitched on to a table with them. I got treated to a lovely adult conversation with the mom of one of the girls’ – a delicious treat in the middle of the day (along with pita and hummus).

And then I even went so far as to complete one more nagging task after lunch – picking up football tickets at the Schott for Jon to use with his friends (one of these days I will hit a football game again). I biked towards work after carefully tucking away the tickets and just happened to pass by a UDF. If there was any day I deserved a peanut butter n chip ice cream cone it was today. And so it was.