Mondays With My Boy #8

It’s Friday and I’m just now getting to post the joyous day that was Monday with Bryce.  I’ve been behind blogging these last weeks.  Nonetheless, Monday came as it does.

We went through the usual elements.  And some time after breakfast but a long way before his one nap, the boy took a walk with me.  My mind was to tire him out, to make sure he’d have decent rest.  Plus I figured I’d be sleepy if I didn’t move my feet.  I didn’t want to fall asleep.  So I grabbed him, tied his shoes, and we left the building.  No stroller would go with us.  We would walk, both of us, using the feet and legs and shoes God gave us.

It wasn’t remarkable but it was different.  I can’t say that the thirty-something minutes walk affected his nap.  He hasn’t given us much more than 1.5 hours since he began the one nap thing.  While he slept, I debated what our afternoon would look like.  I wanted to go to a museum or to the Arboretum.  I went back and forth about what would be fun for us both—what we could do in a threeish-hour time frame.  And I got the best idea.  We would walk over to the Green Line, take the el downtown, and visit Dawn.

After lunch, things progressed toward that goal.  I took the stroller because I wasn’t insane.  Bryce loved the el.  It was his first time on it with me.  We waved to people we didn’t know.  He flirted with a couple girls coming from school, trying more than anything to eat some flaming hot cheetos.  I shook a few quick no’s to the girl and explained we had just eaten when she asked, “Can he eat this?”  She pulled three or four bags of processed chips and junk food from a plastic bag.  He’s not hungry, I told her, trying to be convincing but not worried if I hadn’t been.

We got off the train at Randolph and Wabash, where, incidentally, there are no escalators or elevators.  I picked up the boy and counted the steps, trying not to drop the stroller.  Bryce was weeing or giggling or something in my face.  A few people hurried up the stairs out of the way, and one guy coming up the stairs turned back when he got to the third step and looked up at us.  I thanked him, noticing my shallow breath.  Was I out of shape again?  We walked over to Michigan Avenue just in time to see our bus driving through the intersection on the opposite side of the street.  “We’re walking,” I told the boy.

I explained that his mom used to work in “that building over there,” as he rolled by what once was Fox.  We crossed the bridge.  He was taking in the scene, looking at people, smiling that preacher’s smile.  I pointed down the Chicago River to three boats, taxis of some sort.  He looked at them, up to me, and back down.  He pointed and I nodded, explaining that they were boats, ferries, tourist taxis.  He stared until we got beyond the bridge.  When we walked by the Tribune building, I told him about my dates with his mother at Bandera.  Then I pointed to NBC and told him a story about bringing his mom lunch at some strange hour when she was a production assistant.  Bryce was struck by the Marilyn Monroe statue.  It was my first time seeing it.  All I could say to him was that I needed a few more years before I could explain that one.

When we arrived at Dawn’s job, she lit up like a bulb.  We opened the door and she was already going around the desk to capture the kid.  “He’s locked in there,” I said, as she pulled him up without success.  We unclipped his seat belt.  Up he went, kissing and hugging and laughing.  This was always the scene with his mother.  He enjoys their reunions, and I do too.  But at some point, I said something like I’m here too.  And Dawn, kind woman she is, greeted me like we knew each other.  I heard women’s voices telling Dawn to bring him back here.  Here was the rest of the office.  I knew that they meant the boy.  They didn’t want to see me.  They wanted my replacement, and off he and Dawn went.

I parked the stroller in a corner and went to the restroom.  I came back and they were still in the office with the coworkers.  Then the boy and Dawn went out to another office.  He returned with the okay-this-is-getting-old look.  He started saying goodbye, which is his way of confirming the aforementioned.  Another coworker entered the office and Bryce went to her like they were friends.  He hugged her and I was surprised.  He was flirting in front of me and his mother.  The others joined us again the front.  They talked about bring your baby to work days, and I said that they should be able to do something about that since they were the human resources people.  I don’t know that they liked my humor.  It didn’t matter.

Not long after that, we made way to leave.  Bryce didn’t want his mother to put him down at that point, so we left the office and finished our visit in the hallway.  Instead of the train, we rode the express bus home.  Bryce met another girl who pulled her earplugs every time he gestured for her attention.  It was sweet of her, especially since she couldn’t understand anything he was saying.  It made the ride home that much more fun.

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