I ran into a bit of a traffic jam on my way back to New Haven from Middletown for this evening’s outing with Arman, and learned in no uncertain terms (on the 2nd phone call) that he was anxiously awaiting my arrival.
“Where are you?” asked Tahera with a sing-song tone that at once conveys both the in-ear-shotness of Manu and the just-shy-of-hospitalization-grade homicidal ideations toward me that will rapidly be developing if I’m not home immediately. “It’s Manu’s ‘Special Day.’”
“SPECIAL DAY, DADDY,” added Arman in the background in a jubilant holler.
“Five minutes. I’m really close by now.” I replied in a tone that strove for patriarchical impassiveness and achieved little better than squeaky near-panic. “Not more than five.”
“Well. Why don’t you talk to him on speaker until then,” concluded T.
“Well, no.. I. It’ll just be– ”
“SPEAKER! DADDY-SPEAKER!” Screamed the little guy in the background; Grinning, no doubt, like a madman.
“HIIII DADDY! SPECIAL DAY! WHAT’REYOOODOOOOO’IN HUUUH?”
“heyyy buddy! How’zit goin little man? Ready to head out?”
“Well okay then. I’m almost home and then we can– ”
“SPECIAL! DAYDADDY! SPECIALDAY! C O M E O N N N N!”
Well needless to say, 40+ minute commutes home are bad enough with no traffic, but throw in a traffic-jam and they become a much more excrutiating ordeal. I did eventually make it home (4 minutes later as a matta-fact, Tahera) and Arman and I went for our weekly outing.
The Boy was a feeling a bit under the weather for the last couple of days, so rather than go for another tricycle ride through one of the local parks; I decided we should head over to our local 80’s-ice-cream-poster-clad roadside dessert-o-ramas and tailgate it with a couple cups of soft-serve. Manu got his customary “Babytwistinadish” covered in rainbow sprinkles, while I went for a dish of the much tamer ‘Maple-nut.”
It’s fascinating to me to see what sorts of things Arman comments on when no one’s really directing his attention any which way, and today there was no shortage of fun little exclamations as we sat in the tailgate of Tahera’s car and watched the traffic on Whalley Avenue. On this occasion we saw (between melty rainbow colored spoonfuls) a delivery truck, three backhoes (including a “baby” one), a steamroller and three bulldozers. He recounted these things easily 10 times while we sat there in the parking lot, always enthusiastically pointing as if he’d discovered each for the first time.
While that may sound kind of boring, I’ve found that if you’re just a little curious about what it’s like to experience life through his almost two-and-a-half year old eyes, it’s easy to get caught up in his enthusiasm. Lately I’ve even been tossing in little oh’s and oh my’s to see where he goes when he’s on a roll. Turns out it typically just turns into a gasoline-soaked word salad of heavy machinery, motorcycles, and combustion noises… but hey, this is my kid we’re talking about here; None of that should come as much surprise.
We also took a few minutes to call my Mother back in Horseheads and say “Salamaikum Gramma” (I’m not sure who was more thrilled by that, him or her), and wish her a Happy Birthday before heading back home.
All-in-all, not a bad little Wednesday evening.
Truth be told, I’m surprised at how much I’ve had to say about what seemed at the time like a pretty tame outing, but I guess that’s what I like most about recounting it here. I find myself really thinking actively about the little moments that make up a whole experience, and that allows me to enjoy them all the more.