Sunday, November 19, 2006

Highly Flexible Priorities

I'm usually all about the importance of education and encouraging children to learn. However, parenting has taught me that you pretty much have to wing it for lots of things. The other day, Q was munching raisins, and much to my delight, he was counting them.

Q: One!
Stuffs raisin into his mouth.
Q: Two!
Another raisin.
Q: Free!
We know what he means here, and he puts another raisin in his mouth.
Q: Fowah!
Q: Fi!
Mommy is torn between celebrating her child's math skills and the need to tell him that he needs to chew now and not keep counting.

This morning, I had another conflict of priorities. Q and I went to watch SwingDaddy's bike race. It was an ideal race to watch, since the cyclists were doing 30 miles of laps and we'd have many opportunities to see them, unlike a road race where the bikes zip by once, and then you go home.

Q was wearing his new fuzzy hat and being friendly, since he was surrounded by bikes, which are the most fascinating of objects, after guitars and brooms. (Does the boy know how to choose 'em or what?) I was playing with the rapid-fire action setting of our camera, and getting a few shots here and there.

There was another mom watching, sitting in a comfy field chair, nursing her six-week-old firstborn under a warm pink blanket. She kinda looked like Kristen Chase, tall and elegant. We exchanged greetings, and she observed me intently as I chased Q up and down the sidewalk, off the street, out of the flowerbeds, and back across the parking lot.

"Wow," she said. "I thought that it was a lot of work to nurse and change mine. It gets really aerobic later, huh!"

Q chose that moment to make a break for the street, so I only had a moment to nod before I hauled him out of a pile of leaves and back to the sidewalk. The cyclists flew by a few moments later, SwingDaddy leading a sprint at the front of the peloton. Sadly, I didn't have the camera ready, but I figure my first responsibility is still to keep the little dude from getting smooshed by a car. Photography duties come a distant second.

We waved at the cyclists, and Q learned to yell, "Go!" at them. As soon as they were past, he'd start calling sadly for his daddy. "Don’t worry, he's coming back! In three and a half minutes exactly, in fact."

The new mom laughed with me after each lap, as I tried to console him. It was nice to have a moment of companionship with a stranger, each holding a little one.


Jenny said...

Cute AND smart?

He's going to be quite a heartbreaker soon.

Her Bad Mother said...

I love those moments, of unexpected companionship. (And? If she looked like kristen? Even better, no?)

Matt said...

Mommy is torn between celebrating her child's math skills and the need to tell him that he needs to chew now and not keep counting.


Mamacita Tina said...

Love that hat! Wow, great math skills Q. Ian is having a hard time counting objects past three.

Lady M said...

Now if we could manage to stop running into the street . . .