Dinner Time, Circus Time

I’ve had to laugh at myself quite a few times over the past couple of weeks when it comes to feeding Davey solids.

My son loves to eat.   When I finally get the food into his mouth, he gladly swallows it down.   It’s just getting the food in the mouth that’s the obstacle course.

When we sit down to eat, there are constant distractions whether it’s the dog, or the ceiling fan, or the birds flying outside, Davey can’t seem to focus on the task at hand…eating.

Nursing him was so much easier.   It didn’t require a lot of effort for either of us.  All Davey has to do is just latch on and then it’s non-stop eating at least until he is full.   Unfortunately, now that he has graduated to solids, it’s a lot more difficult to feed him and I can only assume it’s due in no small part to all the distractions he encounters.

First there’s our dog, who I now must put outside or in another room when it’s time for Davey to eat.   Even if she happily sits by and watches him, he’s much too intent on keeping her gaze on him as opposed to eating.   I’ve even caught him watching me and then when he thought I wasn’t looking, he would slide down in his high chair and reach his arm under the arm of the chair to let our dog lick his hand.   Once, he caught me watching him and smiled devilishly, but didn’t bother to move his hand.

Second, there’s the strap for the high chair.   For some reason, this one little thing is so enticing to Davey, that he’s willing to completely forgo eating just to flip this strap over and over in his hand and inspect it’s every little groove and every little fiber.   It doesn’t change, but it seems to be a new toy for him each day.   I’m not sure if he’s expecting something to happen with the strap or if he sees something new in the mundane piece of brown fabric.   I guess I’m much too narrow-minded, because I can’t possibly imagine wasting away my breakfast, lunch, and dinner time just to inspect a strap!

Of course, we’ve learned that the sound of the television is also a distraction.   It used to be that we could have it on while feeding Davey, but if he hears something then all of his attention immediately turns to it.

Other days, he can be watching me the entire time, with a sort of eat crap grin on his face, but will not once open his mouth.   My husband and I find ourselves performing circus acts just to get him to open his mouth.   It’s like a safe, locked tight.   I’ve pretended to be an airplane.  I’ve sung a Muppet song.  I’ve created my own songs for each feeding time.   I’ve made bubbling, gurgling noises and even have pleaded with him to open his mouth.  I’m concerned that some days I’ve even whistled to him just to get him to look at me and then maybe he will open his mouth.

It’s not that he doesn’t like the food, because he will and has kept his mouth open like a little bird waiting on the spoon.  Not liking the food is NOT the problem.  

I’d love to say I’m so flustered that I’m angry, but I can’t.   Normally, in my previous life, I would have lost all patience with antics such as these.  I would have huffed and puffed, did my best Tom Hanks impersonation via “A League of Their Own”, and even screamed in frustration.  I just can’t do it because when I see my son laughing at me as I try in vain to feed him, I can’t help but laugh as well. 

I’m beginning to wonder; however, if I’ll need to start doing a comic routine or possibly dress in carnie gear just to entice him into eating.   For all of you out there who haven’t experienced the crazy ride of feeding your child solids…just you wait.   I can’t wait to hear what sort of hoops you’ll have to jump through.

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Guilt as a Mother…Neverending

Guilt is a horrible feeling.   It’s ongoing even when you get forgiveness.   It’s overwhelming, debilitating, and even destructive.   Guilt as a mother can be even worse.

I’m being a bit more dramatic than most mothers or more than most any adult.   I wish I could change that, but I can’t help but wonder…is there any way to NEVER experience guilt as a mother?  

I’m almost three months into my SAHM role.   When I originally decided to go down this road, I had grand plans.   My son was going to be crawling at 5 months, walking at 6 months, drinking from a sippy cup by 6  months, even talking by 7 months.   Well, Davey will be 7 months on Saturday and so far he’s come close to a few of these goals, but hasn’t exactly attained them.   And I feel guilty that I haven’t gotten him to that point.  I feel like I’m not doing enough for my son.

I look at a lot of moms who homeschool their kids and can’t help but wonder how they do it.   Do you feel guilty that you’re not achieving enough with your children?   I’m not a teacher.  I have 3 degrees…an associate in English, a Bachelors in Communications and Political Science and a Masters in Business Administration, but I’m not a teacher.   I don’t know how to teach my son and I feel horrible that he may be behind because of my ineptness.

I’ve asked a few other mothers and they all tell me that guilt is never-ending, but that I shouldn’t feel guilty that my son isn’t on the same level as everyone else.   I should let him be a baby, let him learn and grow on his own, and just love him.   Well, I do love him with all my heart and then some, and I am letting him be a baby, but growing and learning on his own?  I could use some help in that department.

Guilt is a necessity.   Guilt can also be a good emotion as it pushes a person harder, or at least it does for me.  My husband and I are both overachievers.   We see something we want and we work hard to attain it.  I want my son to have the same work ethic instilled in him, but at almost 7 months am I pushing too hard or am I just beating myself up for the fact that I want him to be at a different level already?  

I find myself questioning my SAHM status especially when I look at other babies who are in daycare.   Some daycares are more than just that, they’re actually schools that teach children.   I’m not a teacher, so how can I be sure that my child is learning as well as others and does it really matter?  

Davey gets his own level of social interaction thanks to free programs at our local library and a strong support network of other SAHM’s with whom we have a standing playgroup with every week.   I’m not worried about him being socially awkward or repressed.  I’m worried that he may start school behind others his age.   Is that fair for me to guilt myself and is it fair for me to push him?  

I’ve said this before, being a mom is the HARDEST job ever in the world.   When I worked in corporate America, never once did I feel guilty or inadequate with my job.   Never once did I feel defeated or unaccomplished.   In the end, I did my job and was proud of myself at the end of the day.   As a mother, I can’t say the same thing.  

I suppose all I can do is continue each day, pushing myself forward, taking advantage of the time I have with my son.   My son may not be learning his colors, letters, words, shapes, or alphabet as quickly as those who are in a daycare/preschool, but he is getting my undivided attention as a SAHM.   Each day is a new adventure and a new discovery.   So, perhaps I should just shelf the guilt for a while and just be thankful that I’m here when he wakes each time, that I’m here for each feeding, that I’m the one responsible for teaching him everything (no matter how slow I may be), and that I’m the one now experiencing his “firsts”.

The Right Formula

I’ve tried every variation.   I introduced variable A, while keeping Control C constant.   When that didn’t work, I tried to introduce variable B, again Control C stayed constant.  Once again that didn’t work.   I was at my wit’s end.   Chemistry, or any science for that matter, was never my best subject, but I’ve found that I’ve had to treat my son’s naps like a chemistry experiment with my house being the lab.   Finally, after months and months of experimenting and changing, I’ve finally found the right formula and yesterday marked the 4th day in a row that my son has taken a substantial nap (again substantial is anything over an hour).

Wanna know the key?  It’s my bed!

Davey likes to be cuddled before his naps.   He likes to be surrounded by comfort and cushions.   It’s a feeling of safety and security for him, or at least that’s my assumption on it.   Some days I have to nurse him first.   Other days he just seems to fall asleep on his own.   The only other place that ever happens is in his car seat or stroller. 

Some days I have to lie on the bed with him; otherwise my movement to get up and be productive wakes him and then I’m back to square one.   I don’t know what other moms may do, but I think I’ve finally found the trick to getting my son to take a nap. 

What about the rest of you out there?   Drop me a comment with some of your tricks of the trade.   I have a lot of future mommies out there reading this blog and I know they would appreciate the advice.

In the meantime, my son is sleeping AGAIN and I’m going to take advantage of my mommy time.   Happy Wednesday to you all!

My Worker’s Comp Case Manager

In May of last year (2011), the Forbes staff wrote an article on the salary of a stay at home mom.   At that point, it was argued that based upon all of the work that goes into raising a child(ren), an average stay at home mom should be making $115,000 per year.  Holy cow!  I’ve never made that much money at a job, but wait…I’m not making that money now, either.

Stay at home moms have been labelled everything from CEO, Psychologist, Daycare Center Operator, Housekeeper, Facilities Manager, etc.   Based upon the level of work stay at home moms do during a normal 8-5 business day, aka 40 hour work week for the rest of you, then her salary would be $36,968.   Now, that’s more like it, at least that’s more like it with some of my past salaries, but here’s the kicker.  Stay at home moms do not work 40 hour weeks.  In a lot of cases, they’re on 24/7 which means that overtime pay would compute to $78,464 bringing the grand total to $115,432.   Wow!  That’s amazing.

Now, of course, we’re not going to see that.   Being a SAHM is the most underrated, unappreciated, underpaid job a mother will ever have and we do it because we love our children and are willing to sacrifice of ourselves in order to be home with our children.  

Me?  Well, I’m perfectly content with not getting paid.   I can accept the fact that in the business world, my hard work would be compensated monetarily.  However, if I could request one thing, just one thing in my SAHM role it would be that I could somehow get worker’s compensation.  Why is that you ask?

In the time period that I’ve been a stay at home mom, which began on February 20th, I’ve managed to incur more injuries than I have in all my years being a runner.  

Unfortunately, I’ve managed to not only cut and bruise myself, but also incur more extensive injuries.  Most recently, two weeks ago my pinky toe got into a fight with the leg of my son’s high chair.   The leg of the high chair won.   My toe swelled and the entire top of my foot turned black before eventually turning blue, then green, then yellow and finally going back to normal.  Unfortunately, I still feel the pain from this which leads me to believe that I actually broke my toe.

Shortly after that, while holding my son, I suffered a nose bleed.   What caused this you ask?  My son head butting me.   Once again I had a worry that something was broken.   The last thing I needed was to walk around with a piece of white bandage across my nose while under my eyes developed darker more colorful circles than they were already used to.  Fortunately, it wasn’t broken and there was no bruising, at least not externally.  

Since then, I’ve managed to close my finger into the handle latch of my son’s car seat, fall over his jumperoo thus getting a bruise the size of a watermelon on my shin, and yet more cuts on my hand, not to mention the claw marks of my son’s finger nails on my arm (yes I’ve cut his nails now).

So, I appreciate the fact that a dollar value is put on SAHMs, and while I’m perfectly content with not getting paid, is there anyway I could possibly claim worker’s comp?  No?   Well, it was worth asking.  

And by the way, blame it on the economic recession, but the salary of a SAHM decreased by $2400 from 2010.   And for any of you out there who think it’s a crock to put a value on a SAHM or you feel that we DON’T work or that it’s easy being at home, I challenge you to spend one full day in my shoes.  Not an 8-5 day, but a 24 hour day.   I guarantee you’ll be singing a different tune.

Eewww…breastmilk?!?!?!

I thought about biting my tongue, just keeping it quiet especially since I knew what the reaction would be.  But that was the problem…knowing what the reaction would be.   I couldn’t let it go.  It was like finding that one thing that really bothers someone and continuing to poke at it.

We are and have been feeding Davey solids.   I’ve been pretty adamant about NOT buying processed baby food.  I want to make Davey’s food because at least this way I know for a fact what’s going into it.

Last week we introduced bananas into the mix.   At first we started with just half of a banana mixed with his rice cereal.  Now Davey is up to a whole banana.

****side note**** for those of you mommies out there who are a bit ignorant as to how to make homemade banana cereal for your child, all you need to do is mash-up the banana or put it into a food processor.  We cut our’s up into slices, mix in a little breast milk and put it into the Magic Bullet until it’s pretty much a thick liquid.   Then at that point, stir it into the rice cereal.

At his first feeding of banana cereal, my husband decided to take the opportunity to taste test the cereal.   I suppose his curiosity got the better of him, and instead of curiosity killing the cat as the age-old saying goes, curiosity grossed out the daddy.

I couldn’t help myself as I turned around from the kitchen sink and watched my husband sitting at the end of the island, propped up on the bar stool.  My son was slouched down just a bit in his high chair, playing his typical game of “try to feed me”.
After a couple of spoons into Davey’s mouth, I watched as my husband took another spoonful, inspected it a little and then quickly slid it into his mouth.  His face made an “I’m surprised this actually tastes good” look.   He had a couple of “hmms” before looking over at me.

“This isn’t bad,” he said.

“You know my breast milk was mixed in with that?” I asked while drying my hands with the towel.  I had a little smirk on my face, a sense of satisfaction knowing that I’d found something to really gross out my husband.

He looked at me, color fading from his face, and almost as a reflex started to gag.   He stuck his tongue out and furrowed his brows, reminding me of those stickers we used to get as kids to put on bottles of poison and chemicals in the house.   I had to laugh.   And I have to admit that what surprised me the most is that it took this long for my husband to actually try my son’s food.

 

A Napper After All?

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you didn’t think you could live without it?   You would spend your days trying to imagine your life with that special something.   The things you would do, how you would react.   It always seemed intangible and so out of reach, a pipe dream.  

Well, let’s consider that you DID get what you wanted.   Did you behave in the way that you had envisioned?   Did you do the things you said you would do?   It’s very rare for me to want something so desperately that I feel like I could lose my mind and it’s even more rare for me to actually ATTAIN that something, but it did happen and on Friday the 13th no less.

I’ve explained before how excruciating it is to get Davey to take a nap.   This kid will go down at bedtime, but he fights daytime naps all the way.   It’s like he’s afraid he’s going to miss out on something by taking a nap, and the problem is I can completely understand his thought.  I’m not a big fan of naps myself.  They seem so counterproductive, but I do realize the need for my 6 month old to have regular naps during the day.  Unfortunately, it’s like pulling teeth to get him to realize that, but still I try super hard everyday and I’ve WANTED him to take naps more than you could possibly imagine.

I’ve thought about what I would accomplish if Davey took substantial naps (and by substantial, I mean at least an hour per nap, preferably one in the morning and one in the afternoon).  I could finish writing that book I’ve been working on for the last few years.   I could get at least half of the house cleaned, including mopping the hardwood floors.   I could weed the flower gardens out back.  I could do my little home improvement projects.   The list of possibilities is endless.  Needless to say, I don’t actually get to accomplish too much of this since my son won’t nap.

Friday morning; however, there was a change of the tide.   Usually Friday the 13th is bad luck, at least for those of us who are superstitious, but it seems to have the reverse effect in my household.  

Davey fell asleep in my arms as I was feeding him, so I brought him upstairs and put him in his crib.   I turned the baby monitor on and took the opportunity to hop in the shower.   Well, hop in the shower was about all I was able to do.   I didn’t even get the chance to shave my legs (meaning: I couldn’t wear shorts).   Davey started screaming, which is par for the course with him where naps are concerned.  

I went into his room, took him from his crib, made sure he had his pacifier and brought him into my room.   I placed him in my unmade bed and went into the bathroom to finish getting ready (I at least wanted to blow dry my hair).  

My bathroom has a double door that opens from the bedroom into the bathroom.  From my vanity, I have a clear and unobstructed view of our bed.   I turned the blow dryer on and watched as Davey rolled onto his side, resting his head on his daddy’s pillow.   He watched me wide-eyed for a few moments, but then his eyes started to slowly close and within minutes he was fast asleep.  I almost wanted to scream with excitement!

An hour passed and I was able to finish getting ready, fold 2 loads of laundry sitting in my bedroom, write a blog, read a few blogs, and drink my coffee in peace.   Occasionally, Davey would move and I’d hold my breath wondering if my little reprieve from mommyhood duties would be coming to an end, but after each movement he stayed soundly asleep.  

Another hour passed and I’d caught up on Facebook, started reading a new book, read an article in Vanity Fair, and packed up Davey’s clothes that had gotten too small.   I’d been pretty productive, but what I really wanted to do was go downstairs to clean the kitchen and iron some clothes, but I was afraid to leave a sleeping 6 month old on my bed.   What if he rolled over and fell off?  

I started pacing the room, feeling like a caged animal, wishing and hoping that Davey would wake up so that we could go downstairs.   And then at that moment, I really wanted to beat myself.   I’d spent months complaining and whining about my son who wouldn’t nap and that I couldn’t catch a break or accomplish anything.  I’d prayed for him to nap so much.  I’d wanted it so badly, I could scream and here it was…my wish come true and yet it wasn’t good enough or perhaps it was too good.

After about another half an hour ( 2 &  1/2 hours total), Davey began to stir!  And as I watched him slowly wake, I couldn’t help but wonder…what did I do right this time and how can I make this happen again just in his own bed?   Maybe it was just that it was Friday the 13th, or maybe it was a fluke, but it left me wondering…

Could my son be a napper after all?

Little Fingers, Little Creepers

They sneak up on you, sometimes a little unsure of themselves (not so much about what they’re going to explore) and shaky at times.   Some days they’re cold, other days, just right.   They find your face, your mouth, nose, eyes, and ears.   With the gentle softness of a cloud and the graze of a butterfly, they caress your face, placing their open palms on either side of your face.  They are a gift, something small and sometimes taken for granted.   They are your child’s fingers and hands.

Davey is in the exploratory stage of his development.   Every little thing that catches his eye, he reaches for, sometimes creeping up on me and my husband.  

Nothing is off-limits, although there are many things I wish were.   At times, it’s exhausting to constantly keep pulling things from Davey’s reach or taking questionable items from his grasp.  I wish there were a way to turn that activity into a sport that could possibly burn calories.   A version of “Keep Away from Baby”.  But in the end, I loathe to really move too much from his reach as that’s the way he learns.  

Hair has become a favorite item and I cringed as yesterday, during his playdate, he instinctively reached for another child’s hair and started to pull it.   My son, the explorer.   Thankfully, the other mother encouraged it from Davey which at least put me at ease. 

I love to watch his hands some days, his long fingers (some people think he may be able to play the piano really well) are soft and comforting.   When he first finds an object to touch, he stiffens his fingers and extends out his arm.   He tucks his thumb into the palm of his hand, forming the universally accepted symbol for the number 4, and gently strokes the item that has caught his attention.   This is usually his plan of attack with our dog.   Then only after he’s given it a good touch, does he untuck the thumb, widen and bend the fingers and start to grasp.  

Some days he holds tightly to the item and tries to bang it on whatever is closest to him.   Most of the time it’s his own legs or my hands or my head and occasionally my chest.   After a few minutes, he drops the item and his little creepers are on to the next object. 

I love this stage with my son.   It’s something new everyday.   And the greatest thing is the expression on his face as his fingers rhythmically move over the little nooks and crannies.   Sometimes it’s an “aha” moment, other times he can spend minutes that seem like hours studying what’s in his grasp.   It’s entertaining, endearing, and one of my favorite times with my son.

Stage Five Clinger

I’ve wanted this day.  I’ve prayed for this day.  Now I can’t help but wonder what I was thinking, but really I’m grateful.

I’ve wondered for months when Davey would start clinging to me.   When would he reach for me?  When would he latch on to me and when would he pick me over his daddy?   Well, three out of four ain’t bad.   Davey isn’t actually picking me over his daddy.

I can’t exactly pinpoint when it happened, but today Davey has definitely reached the stage five status.

He now reaches for me, which at first made me so happy (well it still makes me happy), but it’s a bit too much.  If I don’t pick him up, then we get screaming and kicking followed quickly by a strained face that turns red and looks like at any moment blood vessels may pop at any point.

Today as I got closer to him, Davey actually reached out to my left leg and held tightly to it.  For a moment, I was nervous that I was going to have to try to walk with him still hooked onto my leg.

While I have looked towards this day for quite some time, more so for selfish reasons than anything else, I’m a little worried about what it means in the long run.   Right now I can’t seem to get anything accomplished without carrying Davey around with me.  I suppose I could just let him scream and cry it out, but I don’t have that ability to just “turn off” my sense of hearing where Davey is concerned.   Today I actually managed to cook dinner (venison tenderloin, roasted brussel sprouts, and brown rice – a small feat in itself) while holding Davey the entire time.   I even unloaded the dishwasher and reloaded it, but this can’t go on forever.  It’s going to be hard to do laundry with Davey in my arms.

I also started thinking about the fact that I shouldn’t be complaining about Davey clinging to me.   He’s only going  to be small for a short amount of time and there are going to be days when I could only WISH he would cling to me so desperately.

 

When He Hurts

So do I.

I can remember when I was a little girl, the safest most secure place I felt was in the arms of my mother.   When I was sick, she made me feel better.  When I was down, she cheered me up.  My mother was and still is the greatest mom in the world.   She’s a Super Mom and I aspire to be like her one day.   I just wish that one day would start right now.

The comfort of my mother’s arms was always the most soothing thing in the world.  It’s like she was my fairy godmother and had this innate ability to wrap her magical arms around me and suck out any sickness I had.  She would wrap me in her love and never once would I see her flinch, cry, or shudder at the thought that her child was suffering, nor did she ever doubt her abilities as a mother to heal me.   Unfortunately, I don’t fall into that same category.

Davey came down with a fever on Monday night.  I attributed it to the fact that he’s teething, although there are mixed notions about fevers and teething going hand in hand.  

Tuesday we went to the doctor, where he had his 6 month shots.  Each time gets a little bit better for me, but I still hurt for him so much.   And to make matters worse, I’m contributing to his suffering because the nurse usually has me hold his wrists so that he won’t smack her away as she tries to give him his shots.   I can only imagine the vile and horrible things he thinks about me as this is happening.  Or the fact that he’s looking into my eyes the entire time, screaming, and wondering why his own mother would participate in causing him such agony.  Yes, this goes through my head.

Anyways, after the shots, it’s normal for a child to run a fever.  Davey never has, but by Tuesday afternoon, he had a fever of 101.9.   I gave him Tylenol and did my best to soothe him and calm him down.   Eventually he fell asleep in my arms.

Flash forward a few hours, and he’s running a fever again albeit not as high…100.7.   I give him Tylenol and watch as his little heads lies into the crook of my arm at the elbow and falls asleep.   My husband gets a cold wash cloth and I put it to my son’s head as his lower lip quivers a bit and my heart aches a little more.  

By bed time, his fever was gone but he was cranky and irritable and was shedding tears of pain, pain from his teething.   As my husband got his bottle ready, I tried to summon up my memories of my mother.  I wrapped Davey tightly into my arms and rocked him, humming a lullaby, whispering “i love you” into his ear, and tried with all my heart to have my mother’s magical abilities.   I closed my eyes and I did my best to will the pain from my son, but it didn’t work.  And as he looked up at me, tears streaming down his face, I felt the salty drops of my own tears hit my lips.  

When a mother says she feels the pain of her child, don’t ever doubt it.  I agonized last night over Davey only because I felt helpless and unable to do the one thing that he needed most from me…the healing arms of a mommy.   Oh, I have arms, but I wonder if the healing abilities skipped me.  I certainly hope not, because it’s going to be a long, long life if so.

Car rides, shopping, and Museums of Play

After a grueling and overly exhausting 12 hour drive from NC to Rochester, NY, we finally made it.  

The first few hours on the road, Davey actually slept.   Well, it was more like an hour and a half, but still we’ll take it and we did!   After he woke, he was content to watch the scenery that travelled past his window and even managed to strike up a conversation or two with the few toys we brought along.  My husband and I sang to Davey, talked to him, talked to each other and for the most part enjoyed the first few hours.  

We stopped after about two hours to grab a quick bite to eat while Davey slept and then after he woke, we topped off with gas and took a break to allow me to feed him.   At this point, it was still daylight outside and everything was flowing smoothly.  It wasn’t until we got to the outskirts of Washington, D.C. that Davey started to become frustrated as he was forced to deal with being bound to his car seat.  Of course, couple that with the rush hour traffic, on a Friday no less, and our nerves were nearly frayed with the screaming child as well.

After making it through to Pennsylvania and stopping for dinner at 8, Davey managed to sleep the entire remainder of the trip all the way up until our arrival at 1 am.   And at that point, the movement from the car to the house woke him, but we quickly got him back to sleep.  

Saturday was peaceful and relaxing.  Sunday we visited the great grandparents.  Monday we shopped at the outlets, but it was actually Tuesday that proved to be the most exciting so far.

My sister-in-law has a membership to the Strong Museum in Rochester, NY.   She’s eagerly awaited the opportunity to have a niece or nephew who she can take to the museum of play.   With Davey being 6 months old and already a wide-eyed precocious little baby, now is a good time take him.  

The Strong Museum is dubbed a museum of play with exhibits such as Sesame Street, Wegman’s grocery store, The Wizard of Oz, The Butterfly Exhibit with live butterflies, and even storylands with Dr. Seuss, Jack and the Beanstalk, and a Pirate ship with a plank to walk, a treasure chest to find, and pirate hats to make.   It’s an interactive, hands on learning experience for children and adults of all ages. 

Davey seemed to enjoy himself.  He grasped tightly to his first crayon, stroked the fur of a fake cow and chicken, built a house with blocks, road a train, talked with Elmo, made a pirate hat, and even danced with the butterflies that flew around.   His eyes darted from one scene to the next as he took in the vibrant displays and the sounds of trains, carousels, and giggling puppets.   I laughed as he took the opportunity to become a superhero with mommy and scale tall building.   He stretched hard and grunted loudly as he grasped for a hand hold to elevate him to the next level of the building.  

And as we rode the train, I watched Davey his eyes moving from one scene to the next and his hand held tightly around the rope keeping him in place, I smiled with happiness.   I get the opportunity that so many others don’t have to experience these once in a lifetime events with my son.  I enjoyed his first train ride with him and couldn’t help but wonder what he really thought of the whole thing.   Either way, my heart was at peace and my soul smiled with happiness.