Memory #902: That Time We Were Almost Crushed By A Flying Tent

 

Dear Blue and Wheels,

Blue, I saved your life yesterday.

I think I saved your life. We’ll never know entirely for sure because I was busy saving your life instead of figuring out the alternative, but I’m pretty sure I saved your life.

It went like this.

I took you to a “Touch a Truck” event at the horse track. This is exactly what it sounds like. You buy a ticket, and then you get to walk around and touch trucks. A lot of them. Dump trucks. Trash trucks. Fire trucks. SWAT trucks. Pretty much any and every sort of utility vehicle, and you can touch all of them You can touch ALL the buttons.

For a 2 year old obsessed with cars and trucks, this was your North Pole.

They even had Star Wars cosplayers and Batman roaming around.

We spent about two hours there. We got to touch everything but the trash truck, which was surprisingly the most popular truck by far. You weren’t able to wait in lines, not when there were UPS cargo trucks to explore.

As we were leaving, I had you on my shoulders. There was a gust of wind, and I heard shrieks. I look up and there’s a portable booth tent flying in the air like a kite. It floated there for a second like a nylon jellyfish, and then started coming down.

Right.

Toward.

Us.

I quickly ducked under a horse starting gate, and the tent came right down on the spot where we were just standing.

Somebody said, “Is everyone okay?” I said, “Yeah.” You said, “Choo choo truck.”

And that was that.

Our lives were almost changed forever in the blink of an eye and then the blink passed and they weren’t.

Another crazy thing. The tent that almost smashed us? It had your sister’s name printed on it.

I do not believe in omens. You two are going to get along great.

-Dad

Memory #854: Hi Mommy

Dear Blue and Wheels,

The other day at the playground, you wanted to ride the tire swing, Blue. The tire swing is a popular apparatus, and normally it’s off limits because the older kids like to hang around on it.

But on this day, it was free, and you rushed over to it, converging on the swing at the same time as another kid. You both climbed in, and as per tire swing etiquette, I was offered the pushing duties since you were smaller.

I don’t know if you like the tire swing, Blue. My suspicion is you get on it just to prove to yourself that you can, but it’s clear every time you go on you are not enjoying yourself as much as you are when you’re climbing up the slide backwards.

You grabbed the chain with both hands, white knuckles just above the links. You didn’t smile. Didn’t laugh. All that you did was mumble “Hi mommy” over and over again.

“Hi mommy” has become your most recent self soothing mantra. It’s something you do when you get really nervous. For a while, it was spinning in a circle. Before that, it was making raspberries. These sorts of things come and go, so I try to get them on video in case they disappear and are never seen again.

So you kept saying “Hi mommy”, even though it was daddy that was pushing you and mommy was across the playground. The kid across the tire swing from you, whose knees you were touching, looked at you, confused.

“I’m not your mommy,” he told you.

There wasn’t much more to say, as you two strangers shared the inside of a tire, swinging dizzily in a slow circle while touching knees.

Wheels, you can now kick mommy so hard we can see your footprint now. Impressive.

 

-Dad

 

 

 

 

Moment #813: Yellow fry

Dear Blue and Wheels,

Blue, you have discovered salt. Not just that it exists, but what it can do to magically transform foods into categories that include ‘want to eat forever’ and ‘meh, I’ll eat it because you say I should but I will let you know this is not my preference.’

You have tasted salt before, but tonight was a first. After we gave you a french fry, you demanded more french fries. Natch. Then, when we ran out of french fries, your mother quickly improvised and pulled out a bag of freshly cut bell peppers from the backpack. The fries were immediately dubbed ‘green fries.’ You took a few bites; crisply snapping a pepper in two, chewing it for a moment and then spitting it back out with a look equal parts betrayal and disgust.

The message was clear but we’re working on communicating with words, and it’s amazing how much information toddlers can convey with just a few words at their disposal. This is our conversation, word for word.

Me: You don’t like it?

Blue: No green fry.

Me: If you’re hungry, you have to eat green fries. It’s all we have.

Blue: Yellow fry.

Me: We don’t have anymore.

Blue: Hi mommy.

Mom: (laughter)

This guy…

-Dad