|The Laughing Mom: humorous tales of motherhood|
|Written by Susan Pfaltzgraff|
Life of the party
At the start of the summer, my little family took a weekend vacation to Palisade, Colorado. It’s a town famous for its peaches, but it also has art galleries, wineries and orchard tours. The trip sounded fabulous to me . . . until I realized that those aren’t the kind of activities that are known to excite 18-month-olds.
To my surprise (and my great relief), Melise loved the art galleries! She squealed with delight at the bright-colored paintings on the walls, especially those depicting animals. Without Melise, I would never have noticed how many birds, dogs and cows were in the paintings. Melise was well aware of every single animal and made me aware, too, with points and animal sounds “Maaa!” she said at an oil painting of a purple cow.
I realized that, for the most part, art galleries are fairly childproof. Paintings hang up at eye level and sculptures are on pedestals. There always has to be a flaw in every apparently perfect situation, though, right? The flaws in this situation were the oversized sculptures that didn’t fit on pedestals . . . it was all I could do to keep Melise from giving them a hug or climbing up them.
Eventually, we moved on to a tour of the wineries. Again, I was happily surprised with how well Melise handled it. She was a little put-out that she couldn’t drink the “juice” that all the adults were drinking, but she always found something to amuse herself.
One winery had fake grapes decorating a low shelf. Melise enjoyed stealing them, to my embarrassment, and making me chase her in little circles around the tasting room. Luckily, everyone found this entertaining (it must have been the wine going to their heads).
Even luckier, two of the wineries had resident cats. Do you know how long a toddler can be entertained by following a cat? Long enough for us to taste four wines and make a purchase! Chasing cats makes toddlers sleepy, too. It wasn’t long before my little girl was sleeping like an angel.
I had high hopes that orchard tours would be right up Melise’s alley. I had imagined Melise frolicking freely between the trees. Instead, she ran up to the flowering fruit trees and tried to pull the delicate buds off their branches. I ended up holding onto my squirming toddler for the remainder of the tour, which was not what either of us wanted. At least we got to enjoy fresh air and sunshine.
At the end of a long day, we had supper at a very nice cafe. It’s always hard to keep Melise entertained at a restaurant while waiting for the main course. At this restaurant, she heard live music coming from the next room, so I let her toddle her way over there. The next room was empty except for two men playing classic rock and one woman listening from a booth. I timidly stepped onto the dance floor with Melise so she could dance her little heart out, and she did.
Melise seemed like a magic dancing charm because people just kept coming into the room to see her dancing and then they stayed to dance themselves. By the time our dinner was served, Melise had filled the dance floor. As we went back to our table, everyone dancing waved goodbye. It left me a little amazed and wondering, “Since when did my child become the life of the party?” I don’t think she got that from me!