Who knew that trying to live life to the fullest with a 4 year old could be so much fun? If you saw my FB status Friday morning, you know we had a heckuva day planned. But as always, the unplanned moments are so much better.
First order of business was breakfast. In spite of my attempts to lure him to an actual restaurant, Nick wanted Starbucks for breakfast. I guess yogurt and a scone are every bit as good as pancakes with whipped cream, right? What should have been a simple breakfast turned into an event when we walked in to see two of Park Ridge's Finest having their morning coffee. (No cop jokes please - I know these two guys and they are great police officers, and PR is lucky to have them... ) but back on topic now -
Nick wanted to say hello, and because they are such good people, they indulged him. They invited him to sit and eat breakfast with them. He ate, speaking only when asked questions (this is NOT like my Nick at all), and simply stared at those shiny badges. When we all left, and they waved enthusiastically after our car, he was beside himself. 4 or 5 blocks later, looking practically love-struck he reported: "Mom, that was so amazing I can't even stop smiling." Now that this story has been saved for all posterity, I will pull it out the first time he runs away from the police, and point out that he used to LOVE the police.
All very exciting for the first hour and a half of the day!
Next, it was off to the library to return Magic Tree House books 15, 16, and 17. Nick very deliberately lined them up in a row for the librarians on the return counter, then RAN to the stacks. He knows exactly where those books are, and which ones he wants to find. Because the CPL has a kid's summer reading club, I started asking the children's librarian questions. Skeptically he eyed Nick and referred me to the "Picture Book" section of the reading club. Until Nick started reading "Buffalo before Breakfast" right then and there. Only then did the librarian point out that on July 30 the parent/child book club will be discussing #21 "Civil War on Sunday." - All things Abraham Lincoln in honor of the 200th bday this year -
So I explained to Nick what a book club discussion was, and the librarians told him "You will probably be the littlest one there." Nick promptly told him "I'm the littlest one lots of times, that's ok." So we took FOUR - (wow, that was a big deal) books home with us, and got through chapters one and two before it was time for.... OUR FIRST PIANO LESSON.
We walked down the alley towards Mr. Shack's house, and I talked to Nick about listening, not talking so much, following instructions, being polite... Mr. Shack is close to, if not already 80. He taught me piano more than 30 years ago. Kind of a neighborhood icon. As we rounded the corner we spotted him riding up on his bike(yep). Nick left my side instantly and bolted to see him. They went in, and I sat on the attached porch - just in case Mr. Shack needed to call the lesson a bit early (one never can tell with a 4 year old). There was no need to worry. Nick impressed us both by playing the opening two measures of Beethoven's Fifth. (Silly mom, I told grandpa later that it was his ninth - - Nick called me out.)
The only moment I nearly laughed out loud is when Mr. Shack made the error of asking Nick if he could do the letters backwards. Of course - in music that only means g-f-e-d-c-b-a. But if you've ever met Nick, you know the ABC's backwards is one of his first, and still the finest parlor trick. He now sings the whole thing to the ABC tune - been doing it since he was two. Mr. Shack listened to the whole thing, then - without so much as a giggle said, "That's impressive, but in music you only need to start at g." I know he was astonished because he mentioned it to my parents on the way to church a couple of days later.
Because Nick is Nick, Mr. Shack gave him a rather unusual first song to learn: Ode to Joy by Beethoven. Turns out Beethoven used all white keys for that one, which in retrospect maybe we shouldn't have told Nick. We came home with a book that had the first measure written down for Nick to practice. As of this writing on Monday night, Nick has figured out the next three measures himself.
So - on Friday - after breakfast with the police (not The Police), a trip to the library and a piano lesson... it was only 11:30 am and we still had a lot to do. The Planetarium was next. Been there with Nick before. I know his favorites - - I thought this would be easy. Who knew Elmo would be there?
More to follow...