The tale of two boys, a dog, a park, and macaroni

On Thursday night, Christine and her group of girlfriends got together for their “Third Thursday Thenorita’s” night.

As Christine was getting ready, Cyndi called and wanted to tell Christine that she was running late too, and that she was probably taking Rowan with her, and that she’d only be staying for a few minutes, but that she was definitely going to “drop by”…

I couldn’t let that stand, so instead of handing the phone to Christine, I told her to just bring Rowan over, and that I’d watch him…

Ummm. As soon as that slipped out of my mouth I thought to myself “oh shit… what did I just volunteer for?”

Cyndi said “are you sure?”

I said “of course I’m sure… bring him over, we’ll see you in a bit.” And I hung up.

So, around 5:30, Cyndi showed up, and brought Rowan in the house. He was acting shy, but Christine was almost ready, and so, we all walked outside, with the Wesley dog, and got the little red wago out of the garage.

I put Jack into it, and then asked Rowan if he wanted to walk or ride to the park. He just sort of whined and clutched himself closer to his mommy… so we explained that she was leaving and he had to stay with me.

Cyndi handed him to me, and I held him, and he seemed okay… though he didn’t want to stand up, or to sit in the wagon… and he was heavy (man that kid’s getting big … he’s 2 years and 2 months old), so I slung him up on my shoulders, and we all set off for the park.

I had Rowan on my shoulders, was pulling Jack in the wagon and holding onto Wesley’s leash, somehow, while carrying a camera in one shorts pocket and a cell phone, keys, and garage door opener in the other… I’m sure I looked sort of funny…

Jack and RowanAbout 1/4 of the way to the park, Rowan pointed at the wagon and sort of grunted at it… with a little “down” word coming out of his mouth, so I asked him if he wanted into the wagon, and he said “uh, huh”

I put him into the red wagon with Jack and he buckled himself in, which impressed me, and we all three strolled on to the park… having a merry old time.

When we arrived at Patterson Park, I slowly pulled Jack and Rowan up the hill from the street to the playground. As we four-wheeled it across all of the bumps and rocks, Rowan started giggling at every bump… so I looked for more of them… and he giggled more, contagiously getting Jack to giggle along with him. It was cute.

As we arrived at the playground, I got Rowan out of the wagon first and put him on the ground. He took off running after the black birds that were playing under some trees, as I took Jack out of the wagon, then my cellphone rang. It was Brad Patak, and he was around the corner at my house, dropping by for a visit. I asked him to meet us at the park, and then talked him into his parking spot, and we all said hi to Mr. Brad.

Rowan was having fun dragging Wesley all over the park, up onto the gymnasium pieces, and down the slides with him, while Brad and I tried to keep an eye on him while keeping Jack from eating rocks that he found on the ground.

After 10 minutes or so of running around, Rowan spotted the swings, and asked to get on them, so Brad and I put Jack and Rowan in the swings and we pushed them higher and higher, then less and less, then higher and higher, ad nausem… for a good 20 minutes or so, while we chatted about things like fishing, and bosses, and jobs… manly stuff… so the little boys knew what they had to look forward to.

After swinging, it was time to crawl up and down some of the playthings for Jack. Jack crawled up the steps all on his own on the smaller gymnasium thingy all by himself (with Dad close behind) while Brad kept an eye on Rowan, who was “borrowing” a trike that one of the other kids at the park had brought with them. Meanwhile, some mom came up to me with a whiny kid in her arms and asked if they could ‘take a quick ride’ in the red wagon. I said “sure” and thanked the little boy for asking.

Jack and I played on the gym set, and Rowan brought Wesley over to join us. The two boys then posed for a quick picture for me. After that photo, it was time to go.

We loaded up the red wagon, and walked Brad back to his truck, said our goodbyes, and headed home. We were all sort of exhausted after an hour at the park (ok, I was, but the boys seemed just fine … and Wesley was a little winded after running around so much with Rowan but he loved every minute of it).

When we got home, it was dinner time.

I put Jack in his high-chair first, and then got him a cracker to keep him busy. I then put Rowan in his chair, and got him a cracker too. Then I started Rowan’s EasyMac, while the two boys devoured a can of diced fruit (peaches, pears, and pineapple). I put all of the fruit in a little bowl, and asked Rowan if Jack could have some. He gave Jack a few pieces all by himself, and then proceeded to eat the rest of the fruit (Jack had plenty, and I had to tell Rowan that… he was more than happy to share more).

I finished up the EasyMac for Rowan, and returned to the dining room to see that Jack had stolen the last few pieces of fruit from Rowan, and the fruit bowl … heh… Rowan was looking at me like “I don’t know how he got that bowl.” Too fun!

So I put the EasyMac in front of Rowan with his fork and spoon, told him it was hot, and went back to the kitchen to get Jack’s Gerber Macaroni and Beef heated up.

I fed Jack his Mac and Beef a few pieces at a time, while Rowan worked on eating his EasyMac … blowing on each spoonful until it was cool, before eating it (smart kid). Jack got messier than hell with that dark sauce that was in the Mac and Beef, and didn’t like the beef at all (probably because Mom didn’t make it) and after a while, Rowan slipped Jack a spoonful of EasyMac, because he could tell Jack would like it better. He did.

When Rowan was done, we let him get down to chase the “Meow-Meow” (Patton), which he did very well in fact… eventually getting Patton riled up enough that Patton swatted at him. So we told the kitty good-night and locked him in the bedroom. Jack finished off the EasyMac while I wasn’t looking, and he was done with dinner too.

I took Jack into the kitchen, and asked Rowan to watch him, while I cleaned up the dishes a little, and then we retired to Jack’s room to play, after we all washed our hands and our faces.

Rowan and Jack took turns bringing me books to read to them, which I dutifully did. We had a grand old time playing until Wesley got a little riled up (Rowan loves chasing him) while I was changing Jack’s diaper. Wesley got a little crazy and scared Rowan, and Rowan started crying pretty inconsolably, so I picked him up, and then picked Jack up. And Jack starts to cry because Rowan is.

So there I am, holding them both in my arms, one on each hip, and they’re both crying so despairably that I can’t figure out how to get them to stop. They’re feeding off of each other, and I’m about to lose it. It was close to 8:00, which is when the girls were supposed to be home, so I grabbed the phone and dialed, putting it on speaker phone while holding it between Jack and Rowan.

Both boys stopped crying. Like just stopped… at exactly the same time…

They were both entranced by the phone in my hands, ringing.

Christine answered, and I asked if they were heading home. They were around the corner.

When they arrived, I handed each kid to their respective mothers, and I grabbed a beer out of the fridge. Out of the 12-pack that’s been sitting in there for a month… I generally don’t drink beer at home, but I felt I deserved one after making it through those past 2 and a half hours.

Moms have my utmost respect, and my mom has even more of my respect now than ever. It was a tough five minutes that did me in, though… just that 5 minutes where they were both crying… other than that, the evening was wonderful and lots of fun. I really enjoyed it.

Later that night, Christine and I bathed Jack and put him to bed in his brand new Superman PJs:

Man those are some cool pajamas.

See all the photos from the evening here.

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