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The dance

It was just a father-son day at the zoo on Thursday as Kelly was working from home and could watch the still-not-a-bother Leda. Yesterday, however, was another matter. My first outing with multiple children as a SAHD. Like all things parenting, it actually went quite well once you got the hang of it.

The trick, it turned out, was to get Leda strapped onto me in the baby carrier first. Then deal with big brother. The toughest part was getting them out to the car, but I've perfected a kind of one-armed side carry with Cole so that he's out of the way of the little one on my front. (Which is all well and good until he throws a tantrum.)

We were on our way to the Tot Lot a few blocks away. These 50 degree January days are great! He headed straight for the baby swings so it was a lowkey start. There were several bigger children there--which I have railed against here on the blog before--they seemed to be attached to a very pregnant English lady and her European-looking partner/dad type. They admired my tiny little 11 pound lump in that new-parent way which made me think this is their first and the girl she was watching may be a niece or something.

Then there was the boy exactly Cole's age who is French-American so that the mom had stories of paying $27 uninsured at a doctor's office in France when they took the boy for a checkup there. Must be nice--ah, socialized medicine! Something about growth rates and American doctors saying he wasn't growing fast enough. He seemed fine to me...certainly had physical skills on par with Cole and superior language skills since he could point to my daughter and say "baby."

We were there nearly an hour with him doing all his usual activities. He's showing less interest though--I think for having been there so often. He wanted me to take him on the real swings--something which is daring, a bit dangerous, and a fun "dad" activity to sit on my lap normally. But it was hard to make him understand that since his sister was along that changed the level of dad participation slightly.

I managed to distract him, however, with construction equipment. It's very useful that trains, bulldozers, and trucks make him go crazy. There was a big cement mixer pouring into a hole being filled by workman. Then a garbage truck turned, literally, within arm's reach down the alley and Cole got a wave from the sanitation worker which made his day.

Only my son...really his favorite thing at the park now is standing on a park bench and walking back and forth like a balance beam. Occasionally he sits and admires the action on the playground. But I love that he's to the age where he'll sit and let me explain things to him now. He actually listened to me go on about what the men were doing trying to make the concrete smooth with rakes and shovels and how it will set and harden.

Yeah, whatever dad. There's a truck.