Life as MommyMo

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Lessons Learned at McDonald's

First, to update my last post, we're sitting at T minus 5 hours now till Daddy lands and, truth be told, I'm a wee bit sad. I'm really going to be happy to see Rob and missed his company even more than I imagined I would, but Sam and I have had a great weekend together. It's been really nice to have some special Mommy time.

Well, nice except for the burst of energy he got last night that ended with me clutching a bag of frozen peas to my bloody, swollen nose. It's not broken. just bruised, but it was ugly and painful (and still is if I sneeze or scrunch up my nose!) It went like this: sticky hands needed wiping, Mommy bent over hyper son to wipe said hands, son -- apparently quite elated at the sight of a fresh wipe -- bolts STRAIGHT up out of his little chair and directly into Mommy's nose. My last deviated septum repair was no picnic. I hope not to repeat it.

So... back to the lessons I learned in McDonald's today.

After church, Sam said he was hungry (not surprising since he fed Ellie his breakfast.) A quick mental inventory of both the refrigerator and my cooking skills landed me at McDonald's for a McNugget treat. We rarely go to "Ronald McDonald's house," (we're a Wendy's nugget family) so Sam was delighted.

He behaved like a perfect gentleman, which translated into eating very slloooowwwwllly. His meandering pace left plenty of time for chat.

I learned a few things:

1. Sam DOES know how to whisper. You wouldn't know it most of the time, but the child IS capable of lowering his voice.

2. He also rather enjoys the particular brand of Muzak piped into this McDonald's location. As if he wasn't eating slowly enough, we stopped every few minutes to "groove" to a new song. It was mostly MoTown, which I like, too so it could have been worse. Each time the music caught his attention, he'd put down his nugget, swing his arms in the air, and wiggle around in his highchair with his eyes squeezed shut. He'd occasionally peek out at me mid-groove and demand that I "rock on" with him. Those quotes really are his.

3. He might possibly be getting ready to sample a new protein source. We're still all about beige food in our house, but he's starting to take notice of beef when it's nearby. He even asked if he could try another child's cheeseburger. She just stared at him as if he had horns. I don't blame her.

I also had a sweet moment with an older man who was hanging out enjoying his coffee with some pals. I am fairly used to being noticed when in public. I'd be less conscious of it were I even remotely convinced that it was my stunning good looks attracting attention or if I hadn't been approached one too many times by rude strangers demanding to know all sorts of details about Sam's place in our family. (For the record, the answer is always that I AM his REAL mom and that NO, he'll probably never speak Chinese.)

Anyway, this particular man was definitely noticing us, but not in a way that seemed offensive. He was just a cute guy trying to make Sam smile from across the room. When he got up to refill his coffee cup, he paused at our table and introduced himself to Sam. He asked him what his name was. Sam replied, "I'm Sam Andrew Becker!" in garbled toddlerese.

When I translated that his name is Sam, the man's face just lit up. He bent down to look Sam in the eye and told him that his name was Sam, too. (I later heard him marvel to his pals that he hadn't met too many kids named Sam...) They shook hands, gave each other a high five and he was on his way.

He seemed to take a few extra seconds to fill his cup and then turned back to us. This time, he bent down next to me and had tears in his eyes. He told me how lucky I was to have such a beautiful son and that he could just tell that we were going to have a wonderful life together.

Of course, I know this to be true, but it was so moving to have someone else phrase it that way. So often, people tell us that Sam is lucky to have been adopted by us. I suppose that could be true, but I know that it was Rob and I who received the real gift when he joined our family.