It was a dad-and-son day with just Eldest and me today. He did really well, with the usual annoyances of a 3-year-old, and we had a lot of fun. But he wasn't perfect ...
Incident No. 1 happened at church. Now, a 3-year-old sitting through a whole Mass is perhaps impossible, preschoolers are simply not biologically wired to be solemn for an hour (especially after an hour of CCD). However, Eldest made a friend, a girl in the pew in front who was maybe 4 or 5. They quiely compared missalettes and quietly kept each other occupied for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Communion came, and he wanted to walk up toward the altar with her, never mind any sort of waiting our turn to get into the aisle. Eldest tried to get by a woman ahead of us and accidentally kicked her, drawing a huffy tsk. I angrily picked him up, apologized to the woman twice, and carried him up to communion. We got back to the pew where he hugged me and felt sad. I hugged him back and told him everything we were going to do during thte day. They called the kids up for a blessing, and Eldest and his new friend walked uo holding hands, it was so cute, I joked to her mom that I hope they were coming back. She said her daughter was good about returning, I almost replied I hoped they weren't running off to Vegas. Eldest was fine the rest of Mass and for donuts after.
Incident No. 2: We went to a sports grill that also had an arcade for lunch at the Gateway shopping center downtown. As it was an NFL Sunday, there was a wait to sit down. We played some videogames and air hockey, then got seated, which he didn't like. But he eventually settled down, ate a little, cheered for the Colts, and then we went back to the arcade. He didn't even put up too much of a fight when we left, but he didn't want to go back to the car. I suggested some ice cream, then we walked to look at the Olympic fountain. He saw some kids running around and joined them, but it was time to go. But Eldest didn't want to and kept running around, and I actually had to chase him down, pick him up and walk him toward the car. I put him back down to walk, and he almost wandered into the street before I grabbed him again. He may have been overtired at that point -- it was a long week and a long day-- but he whined all the way home.
Can two infuriating moments spoil an otherwise great day? No, it shouldn't, but sometimes I find it's tough to remember the 98 percent good in light of the 2 percent that wasn't. Both boys are going to drive us crazy sometimes over the coming decades, and that's what we signed up for. But we also signed up with the hopes of decades of joy, too. Yes, Eldest pissed me off supremely twice today, which I'll probably forget about soon. And he brought joy, which I won't soon forget. I shouldn't forget that the next time the infuriation comes around.