Daddy’s Little Opihi (because Mommy wasn’t there)

I went to dinner with 2016 graduates last night and we made beach plans during the meal. Some of them were eager to help watch Cole and Avery, so I thought that it would at least even the odds of adults vs. toddlers. I don’t know why I ever make plans.

2Cole Boy was fine. He played with Madison, he played alone, and he didn’t mind hanging around with my former students. He also didn’t do that thing where he decides he’s over it and walks in the opposite direction of the water. In fact, Cole provided the highlight of the day. I was sitting with Avery in the shallow water and talking with my students. Cole was on the sand. He filled a funnel with sand using both fists; he just looked like a happy kid. Then, when the cup was full, he lifted it up, tilted his head back, opened his mouth and poured the sand in there. “No!!!” I shouted from the water. He looked at me and unleashed a huge smile, his mouth framed by sand. This guy over here!

3It should come as no surprise that my PITA Girl was the snag in my best laid plan. She didn’t nap in the morning so she was a little tired but she was also super-clingy. She didn’t want any part of anyone who wasn’t me for longer than a minute or two. She wouldn’t even let me put her down during lunch. I had to sit her in my lap – until she saw a bird that got her on her feet. Then it’s like she forgot that she was in my lap because she plopped down next to me and picked up her cup of milk and drank away. Now, had Lynnette been there, Avery would have affixed herself to her, leaving me free to scrape sand out of my son’s mouth and get into water a little more than a foot deep.

1All of this meant Madison was free. She was on a boogie board or swimming in the lagoon. She had to chase Cole back toward us a few times, but other than that, she was on her own and she loved it. When I carried both Cole and Avery up to the grass for lunch Mad never bothered to ask for a drink or a snack. She just stayed in water. It was hard to blame her. And then of course when I started the car and cued up the air conditioning, Cole and Avery instantaneously fell asleep. “Are you getting Sushi Bay for lunch?” Madison asked as we drove through Ko’olina. “No, not today,” I said. “Wow, every time we’re on this side you get Sushi Bay,” she said. “Not today. I have leftovers,” I said. I did have leftovers. But I really wanted sushi. It’s just that I didn’t have the energy to call in the order, get out of the car, wait in line to pay, walk back to the car, get out of that congested lot, get back on the freeway, then finish the drive home. Yes, I envisioned all of this on the way through Kapolei. It is a rare event when sushi doesn’t win.

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