The Weekly Peanut, Issue 77
The Peanut had a jam-packed week of fun and adventures, and [thank goodness] my new phone was up to the challenge of getting plenty of pictures and video to document the journey. Hoo-rah. I'm going to integrate the Hits and Misses into a recap so I won't miss anything.
Last Thursday was Grandma Kadi's Birthday, and she came over with a special new friend for Daphne: cousin Kennedy from Indiana! HIT D is getting better and better at meeting and warming to new people. There was zero warming up period with Grandma, and before I knew it D was climbing all over Kennedy to brush her hair.
D also got to watch Frozen and eat pizza, so you know it was a good time as far as she was concerned. PLUS, any opportunity to dress up as Elsa...
Speaking of dress up, HIT one of my former students got D an Anna tiara, which was super sweet. D has insisted on wearing it at bed time every night since.
Saturday was a big day full of things that could have ended very very poorly. In other words I had a schedule/agenda I wanted to stick to... with a toddler... a recipe for disaster. Ian and I had been planning to go to Tampa Bay Comic Con to meet Pedro Pascal for months. When I read his photo ops weren't until late afternoon, I figured rather than trying to push D through a very long day at a con, we'd just head over mid day, giving her a chance to get her nap in the car.
The day plan began well enough. We let D take her first forward facing car trip (Ian's back seat is more cramped than mine, so far a long trip we figured she'd appreciate the leg room). D introduced us to yet more songs we had no idea she knew. HIT D sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to us in the car. More or less. Apparently it got too "hot" midway through...
Downtown Tampa is a terrible terrible place for a convention center. There's almost nowhere to park (the main garage was full, we ended up paying another admission for some private lot nearby, OY). The con was horrifically disorganized, we had to walk all around the building and get redirected several times before we just about stumbled into a poorly labelled table that let us buy our wristbands. There were very few volunteers, most of the staff were the paid security who couldn't answer any questions. We found the room to buy our photo op, only to be told Pedro Pascal had sold out 5 minutes earlier. Ian and I were both ready to squish somebody's head like a grape. We bought a Jonathan Rhys Davies photo op instead and headed upstairs to the main hall, determined to at least shake Pedro's hand at his autograph booth if we couldn't get a photo. I won't tell you the fiasco it was just to find the elevator to accomplish this.
We found Pedro. There was (I kid you not) a maze of strange and senseless aisles and lines between us and him. I parked my stroller (in a "backstage" looking area that just screamed "don't be here" but screw that) and pretty much made my own path toward the lineless Pedro (wtf, a sold out photo op but no line to meet him and get an autograph?!). I held D and met the glorious Prince Oberyn while Ian snapped a few photos. D, predictably, turned on the charm. Pedro was quite taken with her sparkly shoes. Good job, Peanut. Time to go meet Gimli.
The extensive line system for photo ops? Flimsy roped off aisles that were crooked and WAY TOO NARROW to attempt to navigate with a stroller (sensing a theme here?). Also everything was running several minutes behind. All this adds up to a very impatient toddler. We had to beg and bargain with her, at some point I might have offered her my firstborn child if she'd get it together (oops), I was especially terrified when Ian mentioned Mr. Davies bore a resemblance to Santa Claus (we all remember how well THAT photo op went). I held my breath and entered the room that held Gimli...
It must be said, Sallah was super nice. He (like everyone who encountered D that day) was 100% charmed from the first look. D turned it on, too, with smiles and giggles. He read her shirt, "Resistance... is... futile... why, YES, it certainly is!" Mr. Davies even rearranged the typical pose so he could stand next to her. She's such a scene stealer...
Exiting the photo op, we got recognized by a volunteer, the one who told us Pedro photo ops were sold out. "Oh... hey... you guys wanted a Pedro photo op, right?" Uh... yeah... "Turns out it's not sold out after all, we miscounted, you can go buy one now if you want." Oh... uhm... alright then. Photo op purchased, time for an outfit change.
Then we met up with Shelley and family for some cousin love. Also because we ALL NEEDED TO MEET PEDRO (obviously). The photo op line was even crazier, so we had Ian and Kelly hold the line while Shelley and I wrangled the kids from the sidelines. Just as well since it took 2 episodes of Gabba and one Bubble Guppies for them to finally get the ops going. OY.
D was understandably twitchy as we got close to the photo op, but I promised her she could watch Frozen if she behaved for the photo op. That did the trick. She also seemed to remember Pedro, giving him smiles right away. He smelled amazing. *Sigh* My cousin said it looked like my husband was photobombing the Pascal family portrait. HAH.
We still hadn't had a chance to really see the vendor room, so we headed up (with D plastered to Frozen on the IPad). Aria really wanted to watch, too, so we had to do some shuffling around...
That adorableness lasted all of 15 minutes before D dumped half a bottle of water over both of them, necessitating outfit changes all around. Fortunately, Aria forgave her the slight pretty quickly.
It was actually close to closing time (and bed time for that matter) by then, and D's mood was rather fragile. It was at the beginning of a meltdown that we stumbled on some former students, one of whom was dressed as Belle. Done and done.
With that mood assist from Belle, we decided to call it a day. Just in time for it to POUR on us all the way back to the car (I will note the Super stroller kept D dry). D even managed to stay awake all the way home and scarfed down some pizza from Ella's. Was she high maintenance? Yes. Did we survive and accomplish all we'd set out to do? Yes. Exhausting, but overall I'm going to call it a HIT.
Sunday D wanted to be FANCY. And drool smoothie all over her FANCY dress. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and call a MISS for this week: drinking. D has drooled, spilled, spit, and thrown all liquids in every direction this week.
We decided to kill some time before Costco opened by checking out the Maitland Farmer's market. D wasn't particularly patient with our shopping, but she was pretty stoked when she got to witness a BABY DUCK PARADE. Honestly, so were we. It's like there was a convention in town for baby ducks and they were ALL THERE. I will give D credit for not CHASING them. She did follow some of them around, grasping her little hands in the air, trying to beckon them into her embrace, but she never went so far as to grab at them. That'll do, Peanut.
Of course the best part of the Maitland Farmer's Market is that there is a PLAYGROUND (D seeing this might have had a lot to do with why she was impatient with our shopping). Predictably she enjoyed the swings and the slide, but she really blew us away when she tackled this ladder like a champ.
This wasn't even the most impressive trip up the ladder, one time she did it 100% unassisted with just a spot from Daddy. HIT D has some serious physical prowess. However, I'm also going to attach a MISS to the playground trip, not that it directly had anything to do with the kid. See the boy at the end of the video hot on D's heels? How old would you say he is, 8? He was there the whole time we were, mostly sending toy cars down the slide. The first time D tackled the ladder with me, he was sitting at the top playing with his cars. She got to the top and I cheered, "Way to go, Peanut!" and that little boy scoffed (and not quietly) "Peanut? Ughhh... what a stupid name." He also didn't direct that attitude at me, he threw all that negativity directly at my kid, as if her nickname was somehow her fault. I'm going to go ahead and congratulate myself on NOT lecturing the kid (although someone should). What kind of 8-year-old has already learned that kind of disdain? Toward a stranger? I immediately looked around for a parent, to see if anybody had witnessed the behavior (if D pulled something like this I'd be all over it as an opportunity to teach her something about empathy and compassion), but got nothing. The whole experience left me with a sour taste in my mouth and dirty looks to be thrown at all the other parents on the playground that day.
Speaking of compassion, HIT D is starting to show signs of empathy for other's feelings. For example our dog, Ludo, is TERRIFIED of thunderstorms. He and D were sitting on my lap while he shook violently through a thunderstorm. At first D was scolding him, trying to shove him off my lap, but I explained to her, "Ludo is very scared of the Thunder, Daphne. It might help him to know everything is going to be ok, and that we are going to take care of him." D looked at Ludo for a second, "Okay Ludo... sokay... no scared, okayyyy." Then she leaned over and gave him a big hug. Awwww, kid...
Have you ever witnessed a really bad behavior from a kid that wasn't yours in public? Did you say anything to the kid or their parent? How did you handle it?