Friday, February 21, 2014

Out of the blue, our social calendar is speeding up just as fast as the daylight is increasing. When I get home from work it's still light out -- a great sign of a spring that will someday come.

Mom and Dad were able to have a date on this past Saturday -- the ribeye and scallops were perfect, not to mention the company. Wednesday saw us heading to the dentist where Henry flat out stunned me with his behavior. He quietly ceased his current favorite game ("What is that for?" with a pointed finger) to lay back, calmly open his mouth, and sit still as Dr. Bob scraped at some plaque and applied a sealant. He was a complete champion and proudly selected a race car from the plastic treasure chest.

That night we took advantage of a Subway coupon and headed to an Aces hockey game. For $5 a ticket we could have plenty of fun watching warmups, staring at the zamboni, following the play of the first period, and staring at the zamboni again before hitting the road on track for a normal bedtime. That was the plan at least.

It all went as planned with one addendum. While standing along the glass during warmups a player from the Ontario Reign gave us a nod and held a puck in his glove. I nodded back and soon found myself leaning back to catch the cold, wet puck he had flipped over the glass. I immediately handed it to Hank and watched his smile beam. While Maggie and Casey clapped along with the music and crowd during the first period, Henry happily sat stoically with his puck clutched firmly in hand.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter remains in full force, but the days are getting longer and have been very sunny, so we bundle up and and head out as often as possible. Our momentum is inching towards spring, but the bitter cold has not budged. There has been a sad lack of snow, which only means the ice is clear and perfect, so off we headed for skating at Westchester Lagoon on a bright Saturday morning.

Meeting up with Maggie and Casey created a fun group of toddlers and parents that ended up with the entire lagoon to themselves. Henry once again happily tolerated ice skating for about 30 minutes and even moved his feet a bit while I propped him up and steered him around. That positive attitude in the face of a windy 9 degree day is confirmation of a winning event. As long as we keep getting reps in, one of these days he'll be able to stand on the ice skates alone. Predictably, his favorite moments were staring at the cell phone tower and digging around in the wood sheds near the fire barrels. Everyone had a great time (ie. no crying by anyone) and I even worked up a sweat skating around. Add in a hockey puck discovered in the snow bank and the day was a winner.

Maggie's birthday was the following day and the skating toddler trio reformed there. Henry's defining moment was clutching mommy and holding back tears as he watched the presents being opened because "it's not my birthday." He joined in the fun soon after it was explained that after the snow melts his birthday will come. "My turn will come after the snow goes away." We were impressed that he made an effort to restrain his emotions and didn't just let them gush. I say impressed, but I might just mean relieved because the volume behind that sadness was going to be impressive.

This morning we awoke to an inch of fresh powder and the only marks in the fresh snow were moose tracks looping around our front door and stoop -- all for the delicious salt spilled on the walkway.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Our first ice skating attempt was at the lake up the street and I believe it went well. 30 minutes, lots of slipping and sliding everywhere, but no fussing. That's a victory to be sure. In came the warm weather and the lake, while still safe, became a pockmarked mess.

So off to the indoor rink we went on Superbowl Sunday, which is a great way to beat the crowds. The key this time was to take advantage of not needing gloves and get Henry's paws locked around the safety equipment.

The plan worked well and he did a little better than last time. When we first hit the ice he immediately noticed an advertisement for a septic company on the boards and demanded, "Go see the truck." Regardless of the direction I was trying to steer our operation, he kept craning his head toward that truck. So towards the truck we went.

After about 20  minutes he stated calmly, "I'm done."
"Did you have fun playing hockey?"
"Oh yes."

Good enough for now.