Friday, May 29, 2015


As Baby learns new things about life, we learn new things about Baby. Like that sometimes it's good to hold back what the surprise is when we go out.

It happened that we went to Wheeler Farm a couple of weekends ago. When we got there there was a huge line for the barn, stretching out the door and down the sidewalk all the way to the parking lot.

I blame Daniel Tiger.

Almost every two- and three-year-old in the valley was there
The parking lot was, of course, completely overwhelmed. It's a bit of a hike from the 209 bus stop to the barn, but we were definitely not the people who walked the furthest.

And of course everyone in the parking lot was completely civil.

It made me wonder why more people didn't take the 209.

Looking at this picture, you might be tempted to theorize that Baby and commutergirl was nobody else on the 209. This isn't quite true--I, for one, was taking the picture
(for the record, I know why more people didn't take the 209; I just respectfully disagree with them)

When we got there and saw the line, commutergirl and I of course lost all desire to be there. We carefully checked Baby's nonverbal cues and it appeared he was just excited to be there, so we nonchalantly walked past the barn and out to the animals. We had a pleasant time seeing goats, cows, ducks, geese, and sheep, and we scrupulously avoided the mention of tigers. We got lucky. Baby didn't remember.

(Later that day, while we were grocery shopping, Baby made choices that resulted in his not being eligible to go to the "ice cream store" afterwards--and he yelled at us all evening about it. Guess you can't win 'em all.)

Another parent I know who also went to Wheeler Farm that day gave me some good advice: keep the surprise. He told his daughter that they were "going to the park." When they got there and saw the line, they freaking went to the park. No lucky dodge necessary. We'll keep that in mind, because Baby isn't likely to forget more things as he gets older.

(Until he gets really old. But I probably won't be worried about it then.)

As we walked back to the bus stop, we passed the same line, hopefully populated with different parents and toddlers, but still just as long. It began to rain. And as we walked past all the cars waiting to get out of the parking lot, that same old thought came to my head:


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