Archive for February, 2009

Crib, take 3

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Well, I dragged the crib out from underneath the basement steps this afternoon and assembled it with a bit of help from Brendan and Fiona.  It’s strange to be putting it together again – aside from Heather’s belly it is the most palpable indication around the house that big changes are afoot.  Heather went to the store to buy new linens for the crib and a new (less stinky) diaper genie cantraption.

Oh boy, here we go :-)

Auto Show

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Brendan loves cars.  A lot.  I had been intending on taking him to the DC auto show this year but managed to miss it by a week.  Fortunately the Baltimore auto show was the following week.  So B and I ventured north this morning to check out some cars.

We got there before it opened.  B had a good time walking around on the various ledges, planters, etc in the convention center lobby.  We wandered upstairs to grab a bit of breakfast.  Breandan kept asking if we were going home – he was quite concerned that we were going to leave after seeing only the couple cars visible from the lobby.  He had no idea what was in store for him.

Once the show opened we stepped into the exhibit hall and were in the Toyota section.  Brendan wanted to get into pretty much every car he saw.  I expected as much and let him run from one to the other for a bit.  After a few minutes I picked him up so he could get a better idea how large the room was and how many cars there were to see.  We got into a routine where we’d take turns picking out cars to go sit in.  In this way I managed to move us across the show floor in a kind of Brownian motion-esque manner.

We’d walk up to a car, usually with Brendan tugging on my arm and leaning at a 45-degree angle to get me where he wanted us to go, and he’d crawl in or I’d lift him into one of the front seats.  Usually the driver side window was down so I’d close the door and watch through the open window as he explored the dashboard.  He was a bit disappointed that none of the controls worked, but it seemed to not diminish his excitement at all.

To my surprise Brendan was not really interested in turning the steering wheel and prentending he was driving.  Mostly he wanted to play with the controls and asked me what pretty much every button and lever on every dashboard was for.  Not being familiar with the obscure controls on most manufacturers’ dashboards I pretty much just said that every control was for a different light somewhere on the vehicle :-)

We probably went for about an hour before he showed signs of flagging energy and tolerance.  When I refused to let him sit in a Hummer H3 for the third time he sort of lost it.  Time out for some snacks.  He had a great time pretending his bottle of juice was a car and racing it back and forth along the tray-support-rail at the concession area while we waited for our lunch.  After a snack and a brief sit we were back to the cars.

The subaru exhibit had a tv showing some sort of rally-car event where two cars raced each other on parallel tracks.  Brendan was entralled by this.  At one point in the course one track had a spectacular jump across the other track.  The jumps as well as the inevitable scrapes with the walls/barricades/etc could have kept B  entertained for hours.  We had a bit of a disagreement when it was time to leave, but I lured him away with promises of sitting in the beatle-bug (VW Beetle) in the next exhibit.

We were both getting a bit weary – B was riding on my shoulders at this point with his head resting on its side on top of mine.  Nonetheless we wandered up to the other floor which had just a few cars on display.  Brendan was unimpressed with some of the exotic sports cars there but did perk up for the porche 911 (Sally car – from the movie Cars.)  Some insurance company had a few racing simulators hooked together and B insisted that we play despite my attempts to distract him.  He sat on my lap and helped me steer, it was pretty fun I have to admit.

Of course before we left we wandered across the miniture-car vendors.  Brendan picked out a 1/64 scale model of a white old-school racing Beetle (like Herbie is the Love Bug movies.  Who, incidentally, Brendan insists on calling Harvey for some reason.)

All throughout the day Brendan kept asking me “Are we going home?” every time I’d pick him up.  Not because he wanted to go, but because he was worried we’d leave.  Finally I had to answer “Yes” which caused a bit of stress but not too much.  The hotel we had to go through to get back to the car has some escalators and some glass elevators that are fun to ride and give a great view of the inner harbor.  Going up and down the elevators again on the way out helped ease the pain of leaving.

His favorite car was apparently the silver VW Beetle.

I used to really enjoy going to these shows with Scott when I lived in Philly, and more recently once or twice in DC with various friends.  I love sitting in the various cars I’ve read about and pondering what I might be driving in a few years.  Today’s agenda was more about what was brightly colored or looked fast/tough and not so much about what I’m actually interested in.  Nonetheless it was easily the best time I’ve had at a car show.  Brendan just radiated excitement the way only a small kid can.