Monday, August 30, 2010

Prince Charming

This past weekend Ryan did a good deal of getting out and about, and as usual he charmed everyone everywhere he went. He began on Friday afternoon, with a visit from his grandparents, aunts and uncles, and all the girl cousins plus a friend of theirs. The girls ranged in age from 11 to 15, so of course as soon as they saw Ryan they all squealed, “Oh, he’s soooooo cuuuuuuute!!” And he naturally basked in all the attention, bestowing them with grins and laughs. Shortly after they arrived, we all went in the pool and the squeals resumed when Ryan made his appearance in his slick “Aussie suit”, and again as he splashed and kicked in the pool, and yet again as he giggled at the girls’ antics. He was, in a word, charming.

As the evening wore on and dinner approached, Ryan had his own dinner and was then relegated to his playpen at the side of the pool. Even his protests were charming, and Uncle Jim soon “pulled a Mommy” and jumped in the pen with him. Ryan was delighted for the company and was soon chortling along with Uncle Jim. He found it particularly hilarious if Uncle Jim burped, so Uncle Jim obligingly kept him amused for quite some time. (Boys!)

The nieces stayed overnight, so in the morning when Ryan made his appearance there was yet more squealing. Herb took Ryan and the girls into Boston for the day, and as they walked to the train station down the street from our house, their charming little parade no doubt turned heads all along the way. It was Ryan’s first ride on the subway, and he was suitably impressed. He also made friends with several other small passengers (note the pink-trimmed stroller in the foreground). One of them even shared her cookies with him. Charming! 

They passed a firehouse on the way to lunch and Ryan checked out the big shiny red fire truck out front. And charmed a fireman or two in the process, I suspect.  

The crew had lunch at Dick’s Last Resort at Fanueil Hall and got their obligatory paper hats.
Ryan also charmed the waiter into giving him his first balloon. He was fascinated by it!

Since it was such a warm day, after lunch they found a public playground with a fountain, and the girls and Ryan all ran through the cool spray, making lots of new buddies as they played. They strolled through town and passed a wedding party taking photos on the waterfront. Ryan and his balloon evoked a few smiles and waves. He may have even ended up in a few wedding photos himself.

A little later, I joined them as they headed to Ben & Jerry’s for dessert. There was another family there with a little girl, and she and Ryan charmed each other’s socks off. Daddy freed him from his stroller to stretch his legs a bit and he happily crawled all over the joint, cracking up the customers and the staff alike. He didn’t have any ice cream, though – he brought his own dessert. (He did sample a bit of Daddy’s coffee frappe and Mom’s raspberry smoothie, however.)

Then on Sunday morning, as we were driving to church, we stopped next to a public bus at a stoplight, and Ryan was gazing raptly over at it when I suddenly noticed the driver (who happened to be a guy, lest anyone think that only ladies are susceptible to Ryan’s charm) glance over at Ryan and give him a little wave. Ryan burst into a big grin and – wonder of wonders – waved back. The driver gave him a bigger wave and a grin of his own and the two of them continued their love-fest until the light turned green. I like to think that Ryan brought a bit of sunshine into that driver’s boring day.

After church, Ryan made his usual coffee hour rounds. One of the regular church members, Philip, who recently announced that his family in Africa will soon be joining him in the US, was playing with Ryan. He tossed him in the air and joggled him and got him giggling with delight, as he confessed to me that not only does he have 6 children of his own, but he used to work in a daycare and he just LOVES babies – and babies love him. Ryan was certainly no exception on either side of that equation. I wish I had a picture of Philip holding Ryan, with his beautiful ebony skin and dark eyes in stark contrast to Ryan’s alabaster skin and bright blue eyes, but with matching brilliant white grins. It was such a lovely (and charming) image.

But Ryan wasn’t quite finished with his weekend charms. Herb took the two of us to Nordstrom so I could get some good shoes that actually fit my goofy feet. While the salesman was measuring me (apparently my feet are a size 8WW - no wonder my size 9s weren't comfortable) and having me try on various styles, Ryan was exploring the paradise that is Nordstrom’s shoe department, and charming all the salespeople and the customers. He discovered that shoe displays are the perfect height for cruising along, with the added benefit of having fascinating shoes on top of them. Plus there are mirrors all over that are the perfect height for watching yourself crawl. Not to mention that there are even a few displays that you can crawl under and peek through to see the shoes above. And to top it all off, when the salesman came back with some shoes for Mum to try on, he also brought a balloon AND a stuffed animal (the Nordstrom mascot, which looks kind of like a mutant albino penguin) for Ryan to play with and take home. Oh, and the floors were either covered with nice clean rugs that were perfect for crawling on OR they were shiny linoleum that feels nice under your feet and makes really good slapping noises when you crawl on it. Absolute heaven.

I think it just about sums up the weekend that when we left the store after dropping a sizable chunk of cash on shoes, the sales staff politely thanked us for shopping there, and then all ran over to wave and call “Bye-bye, Ryan!! Come see us again soon!!!” as we left. He is, indeed, my little Prince Charming. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, he’s the son (and spitting image) of my big Prince Charming!

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