On Saturday, we had a big day planned: swimming with Grandpa at the YMCA and then Grandpa was taking the big boys to the zoo. I planned to dance in an Aqua Zumba fitness class in the lap pool while Grandpa played with the boys in the kiddie pool. As I was shaking my stuff in the water, grooving to the zumba and yelling, “Wooo-hooo!” (That’s about as Latin as I can manage right now), my dad and the boys emerged from the locker room.
Stephen and Grandpa splashed happily into the water while Adrian lagged behind, his poor little face tragically sad. When he saw me in the water, he began to cry. Grandpa tried to distract him, but he just sat in the shallow end crying and occasionally making a run for it to get out of the pool and come jump on me in my class. I even tried joining him in the kiddie pool and getting him to dance, but with no avail. I returned to zumba-ing, dancing and yipping along as best I could while I watched the determinedly-tragic Adrian. Despite my dad’s best efforts, poor little Adrian could not find his “happy tace.”
After class when the boys were headed to the lockers with my dad, I said, “I don’t think Adrian should go to the zoo today. He’s too fussy and tired. I’ll just take him home for a nap.”
Adrian looked at me in horror. “No Mom! Happy tace, happy tace! See? Me no cry!” He put on his biggest smile…which rapidly dissolved again.
“Sorry, buddy. We’ll go to the zoo another time. Let’s go home for a nap.”
He was asleep as soon as we left the parking lot and stayed asleep for his nap.
Yesterday we went for a family walk to the park. Adrian threw a few fits, but shaped up when I told him Daddy would take him home if he was fussy. When we were walking home, he said, “Me go zoo grampa. Me no cry! Me happy tace, ok Mommy? Look, see?” He looked up at me beaming. “Me have happy tace, grampa take me zoo.”
“That’s right,” I agreed. “Grampa doesn’t take fussy boys to the zoo. Only happy boys.”
Maybe they’ll try again next weekend, and Adrian can keep on his happy tace!