It was a fun weekend with an old and dear friend from childhood, but also memorable for the picture it paints of the boys as they approach their second birthday.
On Saturday we went to visit another old friend, who was looking forward to seeing the boys as well as us. An experienced Mom, she greeted them at their level with invitations to play. Unfortunately she did too good a job at relating - they instantly became suspicious that she was a NURSE. (The same thing happened when we went to visit the staff at my school.) The boys have had a lot of encounters with people in the medical profession specifically trained to deal with children, really good, sincere, caring people, but far too many encounters, and now they have a bit of a phobia. The best thing to do when meeting them for the first time is to ignore them. Once they decide you are a NURSE,well, there is going to be a lot of screaming and crying, that's for sure. Trying to distract them doesn't work either; remember, they have been exposed to professionals. Luckily they just happened to have two sets of the boys' most favouite toy in the world.
On Sunday my parents were taking them for the afternoon, and we heard about a little parade with marching bands right down the street in the morning. We thought we could sit on a patio to wait for the parade. Things looked positive, but on the way in Max's finger got caught between the wagon and the entrance post, and he howled bloody murder. Things would have been okay - he wasn't actually hurt - but a lady who saw what happened (I was blithely pulling the wagon) leaned in to comfort him - "Don't touch him!" I screamed, but it was too late, he was already into his "A kind stranger is touching me she must be a NURSE!!!!" panic attack. Which set Vanh off too of course; he knows if there is a NURSE for Max, there will be one for Vanh not far behind. Sigh. Does anyone else find themselves warning people not to touch their children, even (especially) if they're upset and need comforting?
I managed to settle them down by taking the lids off of their sippy cups and letting them drink "like big boys" - until of course they spilled them, so then they were crying, wet, AND thirsty... A hot dog bought us some more time, and they were fascinated by the parade.
By the time we dragged them back up the hill (Vanh decided he didn't want to ride in the wagon, so we all had to walk at his speed) my parents were waiting, and I stuffed them into the car, wet, cranky, and sobbing again (Just a note: They were laughing 2 minutes away from my house and had a lovely afternoon).
Free! Fianlly free! No more deep-frier screams at nothing! No more interruptions! Yeah!
So why did I miss them like crazy for the rest of the day?!!
2 hours ago