Normally I steer well clear of things like this. Things like what? Things where you go there carefree and unfettered, and you come home bent over double with bags of color-changing pencils, "Junior Firefighter" stickers, plastic tooth-shaped vitamin holders, foldable frisbees, and "Benny the Blood Cell Goes to Dialysis" coloring books.
We did get these bunny ears, which was some small comfort. I really just…don't know why Seb is standing in that pose. (Note, in background, human in grape costume. No amount of bunny ears can make up for that.)
But there we were, and of course the children wanted to go visit every booth and spin every wheel, and the baby was home with Sam, sleeping, so…okay. Against my better judgement, we stayed.
It was all right at first. The kids got to sit in the driver's seat of a Trax train and honk the horn. That was fun.
We walked past the inflatable colon. Stopped at the "see the germs on your hand under a black light" booth. Declined to enter a drawing for a free Mammogram. Picked up "Drink to your health" water bottles. Tossed rings at the "Timmy the Tissue can blow his Nose!" display. Spun the wheel for "the ABC's of Melanoma." I could see our car in the parking lot. We were getting so close!
And then disaster struck.
"Kids! Do you like basketball! Come play basketball with A Jazz Player!" trilled a lady, collaring us. The children looked at me in mute appeal. So did The Jazz Player, a sad-looking fellow standing in the empty parking lot by the basketball hoop, probably resenting the clause in his contract that required him to appear at events where the generic title A Jazz Player brought more attention, such as it was, than his own unknown name.
We all looked at each other, caught in a web not of our making, but all of us powerless to escape. The children trooped over and were handed balls. "Foul shots?" sighed The Jazz Player, dribbling.
None of the children made a foul shot. They tried again. Nothing. And a third time, amid strained encouragement from The Jazz Player. We made moves toward leaving, smiling weakly. "Ask them a trivia question!" came the lady's voice, fluting over the parking lot. The Jazz Player murmured something about BYU and the boys mumbled something about Jimmer Fredette, and then we all turned away from each other in mutual relief.
But—"Jazz Dancers!" chirped the lady, appearing at Malachi's elbow. He followed her meekly.
They taught him some sort of routine. He snapped his fingers and shuffled from side to side obediently, while they bounced their hair and chanted "A-five-and-six-and-seven-and-eight! Snap, snap, back-left-back! A-right-and-back-and-over-and-kick! Snap! Arms! Side and turn! Over and up and arms and again!" I could just see the "which-one-is-left-again?" wheels spinning, vainly, in Malachi's little brain.
Finally, we saw some other kids approaching, and we hustled out of there, smiling and nodding and trying to make appreciative noises that conveyed a sense that we not only knew The Jazz Players' names, but also their stats and from which teams they'd been traded.
At least we managed to avoid talking to the people in Grapes and Banana costumes.
When we were at the Air Force Museum, I assigned each boy to a younger girl. It was brilliant. Each boy had a captive audience to impress with his vast stores of airplane knowledge (real or imagined), and the girls followed like little ducklings, appropriately agog. And I sat and nursed Theo in comfort beneath the B-17 Bomber. Very nice, all around.
Speaking of little Theo, he is very small. He is shaped somewhat like an otter pop or popsicle, but he can fold his legs up like a frog.
I really do like babies best in soft snuggly things, little rompers and onesies. But he does look very nice in Sunday clothes. This was back in July.
Here he is last Sunday, prior to being beamed up to heaven on a ray of light.
Here he is having decided to forego the light-beam and stay on earth to show off his dimples.
Eeek! We love him so much!