On Monday nights, the JMan takes a photography class at the local community college. So I have the evening alone with SchmoopyBoy. Usually I scramble to make a quick and easy dinner and just play at home with him. Last night, the moment I came home he wanted to just sit and watch fishies on the computer. (Thanks, YouTube). Given that he skipped his afternoon nap, I was pretty sure he had plenty of screen time already during the day. So, thinking quickly, I suggested we go to see real live fishies. He found that idea agreeable so I took SchmoopyBoy out for a date night with Mommy.
Destination, PetSmart. Just a few miles away and free admission. Perfect. We started in the fish section. Rows upon rows of real live fishies. Then he spotted one of the employees working with a bin and had to find out what she was doing. In the bin were crickets. Hundreds, if not thousands of crickets. OMG! Bugs! More bugs in one place than he had ever seen before! We ventured around the store and saw some birds and mice. Then he wanted to see more bugs. So, we returned to our kindly bug lady and asked if she had any more bugs to see. Sadly, she did not. She did, however, have worms. OMG! Worms! Live worms! She took one out and placed it in her hand so SchmoopyBoy could watch its squirm around.
We walked around a little more. SchmoopyBoy enjoyed the lizards and snakes. He to to see some cats up for adoption that were sleeping in their crates. Then back around the birds and mice before returning for more worms.
Oh, how I wish I had a camera with me. I had no idea the smile a slithering worm could bring to his face.
We then thanked the kind bug lady and departed for dinner. Good heavens, where to go for dinner with no plan, little time, and a 2.75 year old who had skipped his nap. Across the parking lot was some fast food Chinese. Not great, but it would do. We loaded up our tray with noodles and veggies, and as we paid the cashier placed a couple of fortune cookies on the tray. Oh dear. Oh course SchmoopyBoy fastened his eyes on those cookies and wanted nothing else.
I must say, I've never seen him gobble up broccoli so quickly as when I told him he could have a cookie if he first ate 4 pieces of vegetable. In nothing flat, 2 pieces of broccoli and 2 slices of carrot were gone, as were a few noodles. Having his cookie craving satisfied, he then settled down to slowly consume the rest of his noodles as he watched the other people come and go.
We got home a few minutes later than I had hoped. So I just gave him a few minutes to play before heading upstairs for his bath. At bedtime, he uncharacteristically wanted to go straight to bed and turn the lights off, without any bedtime stories or lullabies. Of course, as soon as the lights were off and he was tucked in, he then asked for a story. So, I made a story up. I told him a story about a little boy that made friends with a frog at the park. It was quite a success, which amazed me since I had absolutely no idea where the story was going from start to finish. Nonetheless, he liked it so much he request it again. So, I tried to remember what I had just pulled from the air and repeated the story. After a few minutes of rolling around, he settled down to sleep.
I think he had a great time last night. Honestly, despite the creepy crawlies and greasy food, I had a great time with him too. I have to highly recommend an occasional date night with your toddler. It might surprise you.