The other night, feeling rather at a loss for something to do as well as nostalgic, I let Gavie decide our destination. We'd taken care of our errands and had about an hour to "kill" before his bedtime ritual kicked in.
"Where do you want to go?" I asked as we drove, knowing very well that the reply would be one of his still-unintelligible grunts.
Ahhhh, but my boy does know sign language! He knows that a pointing finger can tell mommy exactly what he wants. In the rear view mirror, I saw the little hand go up and the index finger direct my attention to the big red Dairy Queen sign. "That's my boy," I laughed, turning around at the next light.
We pulled in to the crowded lot and disembarked -- though first we had to avert a row about the handful of coins he was clutching. I told him to leave them in the car; his fist, clenched tightly around the quarters and pennies, told me to forget it. We compromised. I said I'd keep them in my pocket so he wouldn't lose them while we ate our cones.
Being that he almost lost a coin earlier, he agreed. You see, Gavie is still a little fuzzy on the concept of pockets. Combining that iffy knowledge with the five-point harness of his car seat (which effectively prevents you from even finding your pockets) nets you a toddler who puts things up the leg of his shorts. It's efficient, until he has to stand up.
Coins safely in pocket, he took my hand and we went in to the DQ.
I'm not sure that there's much to rival a toddler's first ice cream cone. Eternally serious, Gavie watched how I started, then considered the kid-size cone before him. After a moment's contemplation, he decided that starting at the top of the ice cream -- like mommy -- was his best approach, and his little tongue cautiously licked at this new delicacy. Determining it to be "good," he morphed from careful to... well, he started to bite it. Apparently just licking it wasn't fast enough.
Now, I know, some of you are cringing at the mere thought of biting ice cream. Gavie was non-plussed, however. He takes after his mom on this one. Ask the girls I had lunch with in grade school how I used to peel the sides off of my ice cream sandwich and then bite the frozen treat. Don't ask me why I did it, I just did. Who knows what makes a third grader tick?
Anyway, Gavie made it to the cone part and watched me for a moment, wanting to see how I was handling this not-as-cold, not-as-soft, crunchy thing. I took advantage of the moment and did one of those exaggerated "watch how you eat the cone" lessons.
Being that I was reveling in the thrill of mommy-hood, of introducing my boy to a new treat, and of seeing him enjoy it so much, I actually had the audacity to think how neat it was that he could mimic me so well. Gavie watched and learned, of course. Then took a bite of the cone.
From the bottom.
There are two lessons to be learned from this, readers.
1) Always carry baby wipes, even if you no longer carry a diaper bag.
2) Ice cream's melting point changes in the hands of an almost-three-year-old.