Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What Now?

As I strapped Addison back into her car seat after dropping off Ella for her new first day of school we looked at each other as if to say, "what now?"
"Well, kid, it's just me and you," I told her. "What do you want to do?" She sat up in her car seat and looked over at the unoccupied car seat next to hers. There was no one there to make her laugh as she got her seatbelt fastened. So instead she fussed.

I thought we should do something fun to mark the first day of just the two of us. After all, we never get to do what Addison wants to do.... She has always been the tag-a-long to whatever Ella and I are doing. The idea of Addison as an autonomous being was new to both of us. I decided on the play area at the mall. Addison is just old enough to finally enjoy it and, since we'd be sneaking into the still-closed mall through the open door of Panera, there shouldn't be a lot of big kids in there zipping around and bowling over the wee ones.

Addison fussed the whole way to our special date. There wasn't anyone back there to play peek-a-boo with over the side of her car seat.

When I tried to put her in the stroller after we got to the mall, Addison almost broke her neck twisting around from side to side trying to find the older sister who usually walks beside her.

I set her free in the play area, and she just sat there and looked at me. There wasn't anyone to chase around. We went over to the little slide that she usually likes to crawl up, but without an older kid to get to at the other end, what was the point? I tried hiding behind things because I know how much she likes finding Ella, but after 45 minutes of crouching behind an enormous soccer ball I realized she wasn't coming to find me. I found her in line for coffee at Chick-fil-a instead.

I tried giving her something to eat, but we only had age appropriate snacks such as cheerios. She wanted the string cheese and pieces of apple that she could choke on that Ella usually slipped her.

We went to Sam's Club, but with no one sitting beside her in the enormous shopping cart she had to play with a five pound bag of apples. And they don't laugh when you do. She cried her way through the aisles of bulk cereal and 500 count packages of toilet paper.

"Okay, let's go get sister," I said at quarter to twelve. Her eyes got big as she looked around. Then her lip started to quiver. I said the "s" word without the physical presence of a sister to back it up. "Soon, baby, soon," I assured her.

You should have seen the look on my baby's face when we got to school and Ella came tearing out of that classroom. It was like she no longer had a head--there was just a giant smile sitting on a pair of shoulders.

"Did you miss me, sweetie pie?" Ella asked, cupping her sister's face in her hands. And Addison just laughed.

All of our problems would be solved if only Ella could take her sister to school with her. I wonder what the parameters are for show-and-tell.

Just Barely trying to fill the void,

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Just Barely the Oldest's Book of the Week: Ten in the Bed (Big Books)

Just Barely the Youngest's Chewable of the Week: little rubber ducks that she likes to crawl around with in her mouth... kind of like a puppy wearing a diaper.