A Mad & Dad Date and Personal Triumph for the Goob

With my wallet in possession allowing Madison and I access to the outside world, we headed west. She’s still got a nose that runs off and on, as well as a hacking cough so we haven’t been able to hit the beach yet. Too bad. I’ve worked all spring to perfect my beach body and now it’s gone. The best laid plans and all that…

I'd been dreaming of the day when she fed herself for so long that when it started happening, it kind of sneaked past me.

I’d been dreaming of the day when she could feed herself for so long that when it started happening, it kind of sneaked past me.

Photo Credit: Madison Higa

Photo Credit: Madison Higa

We set off towards Kapolei; I wanted to pick up a few things from Target. First, though, I told Madison that we’d drive around looking for a playground. The one we found was east of the new Walmart, but it apparently a private park. There is a gate and a few staunch-looking signs designed to keep people who don’t live in the area out of the park. As I live in an elitist community like Mililani, I could really do nothing other than tip my cap. “It’s okay, dad, I only wanted to look at it,” Madison said. That made me want to break Kapolei Town Association (or whatever they call themselves) law.

I drove around for a while before Madison piped up from the back seat. “We could just go to Target first, then go to a playground close to home,” she said. I agreed. We had a little lunch date at Genki Sushi in the Kapolei commons. “Miso soup and rice with the belt tofu and no green onions!” she said. I won’t be so bold as to reprint what I ate in this space. “What is a date?” she asked. “It’s when someone takes somebody else out for a meal and other fun things,” I said. “How come you and mom like to go on dates? I don’t like it when you guys go on dates.” “It’s nice to just go on a date with your mom and do fun things,” I said. “What fun things?” she asked. One day, Mad, when you’re 25.

Honestly, I don't even know what this face is, and I can't claim this one as mine. Yikes.

Honestly, I don’t even know what this face is, and I can’t claim this one as mine. Yikes.

We finished Wreck-It Ralph two nights ago and as the main characters moved throughout the landscape that’s a cross between Candyland and Candy Crush, Madison said – more than a couple of times – “I wish I was in that movie so I could eat the _____________.” She was referring to, of course, the candy that she recognized. One of these sweets was Dots.

Madison’s first introduction to Dots came a couple of Halloweens ago as her father hoarded all the little boxes of Dots while she and her mother took all the chocolate and hard candy. “Do you like Dots, dad?” she asked long ago. “Yes, Mad, it’s one of my favorite,” I said. Since that time, Madison has seen fit to alert me to the presence of Dots whenever they are in our vicinity. So yesterday when we hit up Price Busters for a treat, I asked her if she wanted to split a box. She didn’t even do her patented “Yeah, yeah!” She just screamed “Dots!” and searched the shelves frantically before spotting them and pointing to them like one of those hunting dogs.

Triumph!

Extra points for kicking off the slipper mid-descent.

We finally did make it out to a playground, but only after a rather large accomplishment on my part. I’ve probably written about this before, but Madison HATES taking naps. She usually throws out her two defensive statements whenever a nap is suggested: “I’m not tired” or “I never nap.” Well, yesterday,  I told her we would find a playground only after a nap. She agreed. To my surprise, she actually took a nap for a couple of hours. She awoke to find me sitting in bed playing KOTOR. “What are we going to do now, dad?” she asked. “Are you still up for going to the playground?” I asked. She nodded.

We ended up at the Mililani Mauka Elementary School, where Madison will attend Kindergarten in the fall. She had been there before, so it’s not like it was a whole new experience, but we do visit there seldom enough that it appeared to be novel. Anyway, the highlight of Madison’s day was probably conquering her own fear and being able to slide down the fireman’s pole by herself. A few weeks ago when we were at Aikahi Elementary, she refused to do it by herself. Even yesterday, she required a bit of coaxing. I helped her the first time, but when she returned, she tried it herself. She reached out for the pole with both hands, then leaned into it, but her feet didn’t get the memo. So she hung there, face pressed up against her hands which were clinging to the pole while her toes and edges of her slippers held on to the ledge of the platform. “Help!” she said. “No,” I said. “Let go with your feet.” She shook her head (as much as she could given the positioning of her body). “You have to,” I said. She hung there for a few seconds. “Okay,” she said. She slid down the pole uneventfully, except for the thigh rubbing against the pole. When she landed, she was all smiles. We high-fived. “I did it, dad!” she said. She went on to add a few flourishes before it was time to go home.

I don’t know what we’ll do today. Part of me wants to go out in search of good playgrounds. I think I had this idea last year, and I can’t really remember what stopped me. I think we ran into a few days of uncooperative weather, and then I just got lazy. Well, the sun’s already out, and I guess I’ll pay a few bills, then try to find the next playground for Mad and I to explore. See you there.

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