Monday, April 02, 2007

Weekend at Randy's

It looks like those inflatable-rim swimming pools are a thing of the past at my house. We went through a couple of those every year--the kids inevitably would lean on the rims until they created a leak, deflating the rim and causing the water to pour onto the ground. They loved watching the water cascade from the pool onto the ground. That's nice and all, but not very efficient or environmentally responsible. Either DW or I would go outside and pump up the rim every 15 minutes (if the kids were actually playing in the pool) and/or refill the pool several times a day. Well, it's not like water is a scarce resource in Louisiana, but still. I picked up a rigid-framed pool at WalMart a few weeks ago, and used it for the first time this past weekend. T. loved it, especially when he ginned up the will to jump from the top of the ladder into the water. I like it too, and I'm sure I'll be going out back for the occasional dip. Speaking of T., a little parental bragging is in order. For months, he has been having me draw little pictures for him, then refusing to put pencil to paper himself. He had me buy him a little device the other day that has an erasable screen underneath a tiny computer screen that shows how to draw various shapes, letters, and numbers. I caught him drawing a rectangle and bisecting it, which is one of his favorite pictures for me to draw. I think he wants perfection before he lets me see anything he draws.

I had an interesting experience at Target the other night. T. and I were in the toy section, and he was interested in a Dora the Explorer cash register that I didn't want to buy. I diverted his attention to a toy cell phone, then put him in the cart to leave the store. There was a gentleman speaking on his cell phone in what sounded like German, watching his son at the Thomas the Tank Engine display. As I walked past him, he asked whether T. is autistic. It turns out that his 3 year old was diagnosed a few months ago. The father is in the flooring business, and they moved here recently due to the favorable environment for people in the construction trades. He needed to talk, so we conversed while T. was staring at that cash register, which was by now directly in front of him. I ended up having to buy the dang thing, but it's still in the original packaging, so maybe it'll go back. OTOH, T. is learning about money, so it might not be a bad thing to have. The German fellow made one observation about America that I found interesting--he said that in Berlin, you take your kids to the park and see the same people over and over, making friends along the way. In America, OTOH, you never see the same people twice at the park. That frustrated him, as his son really has no friends. However, the boy is in school, which is where we Americans probably pick up most of our friends.

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