“Hey J, want to go for a walk around the big circle in grandma and grandpa’s neighborhood after supper?”

“Well, I suppose, after I eat my cookie. Because right now I’m thinking of a shape of a circle that has M&M’s and chocolate chips on it and is a cookie called a Monster Cookie!”

This, after earlier proclaiming: “I’m thinking of a shape that is a triangle that is a piece of pizza!” But alas, it is (chicken) nugget and (fish) finger night. He is currently eating in my parent’s laundry closet. No, not a punishment, just great fun. First we did an experiment with some strawberries to see if eating in there would be a good idea. It was! Party time!

These exchanges are a welcome shift from our semi-meltdown encounter this afternoon. It was time to leave Cousin Charlotte’s house, for the last time this time around. “But this is the Last time I will see Cousin Charlotte’s house! I don’t like leaving houses! And tomorrow we’re leave grandma and grandpa’s house and then in a few days we’re leaving Kansas! I don’t want to leave Kansas! I want to stay a hundred days!”

On our drive home he continued in distress: “Why did you ever leave Kansas in the first place?” he demanded.

Because I decided I wanted to be with your daddy.

“But do you ever cry and cry when you leave Kansas?”

Yes. Sometimes (though not like I used to). To which I added, “We live in Ohio because your daddy got a job there. And getting a job is an important thing.”

“What about he could drive a train instead of being an office worker?!” Jonah countered (we had just crossed the railroad tracks).

I had no response to that.

We had a fine day though. He met my friends Ned and Sara, and their kids Eliot and Claire, at the park. We climbed trees. We ate lunch and ordered chocolate cream pie. We found a rocket pen and scored a KungFu Panda Crane and Toy Store Bo Peep (each with cleverly moving parts—2 for 25 cents) at the Save and Share. That’s a lot of great, but it’s also a lot of new. He was ripe for being overwhelmed. Heck, I was ripe for being overwhelmed.

But on we go. All recovered, all fed, all monster cookies consumed. Grandma and Grandpa installed a swing in their backyard just for our visit, and it continues to work its wonders. Now we walk (the Americans having just won their beach volleyball match—so Papa can join us).

(Jonah and Charlotte at the movies)

(with Claire)

(with Eliot)


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