Elliott and I took a trip to Wal Mart yesterday. Any trip to Wal Mart is an adventure, but Elliott, Mr. Personality as he likes to be referred to now, provided a scene I’m sure even the senior citizen greeters had never seen the likes of. In Elliott’s world these days, everything is animated – the whole world is a Disney film produced just for him. It’s also interactive, at least that’s the way he sees it.
He willingly got into the tight confines of the shopping cart, which took me by surprise and left me a little suspicious of what he was up to but also eager to keep him content. So we broke into a little aisle way NASCAR. That’s where we purposely find the least traveled aisles, vacuum and trash can rows are good on Sunday mornings, and make roaring engine noises while the front wheels pop straight off the ground with the sudden acceleration. At the end of the row, we momentarily lose control (not really but it makes it more fun for him), tires squealing before making the tight turn into the next row. It’s a blind turn so we utter a quick prayer that no one is exiting.
I should have known this might have got him a bit wound up and walked a couple of wind down laps before we headed to the much busier food section. But I didn’t. We had barely entered the dairy section when Elliott’s little hand began waving as he shouted “Hi Milk” “Hi Milk” – over and over – each repetition with more volume, begging for someone to hear him. Part of me wanted him acknowledged quickly; attention is the only trick to quiet him lately when he gets on one of his rolls. I had no such luck. So we reverted back to a bit of the NASCAR and raced out of the dairy into another row – away from the crowd.
I didn’t know he had other friends. We were now in the cereal section where his old friend Diego lives on one of the boxes. “Hi Dego” he shouts, waving furiously. A nice lady obviously shopping for breakfast food for her children tried not to look, unsure of what to make of the raucous. Curiosity finally got the best of her, the “Hi Degos” coming louder, like Elliott had found a long lost family member, so she looked at him. She studied him for a moment, smiled with relief to see he appeared to be just a normal baby and said “he sure is a happy baby.” “Oh yes,” I said, “he sure seems to be doesn’t he.”
We picked up the pace of our shopping. The after church crowds rolled in just in time to hear the “Hi pear” and “Hi balloon”, as Elliott tried to make sure each individual item saw his wave.
So it is with Mr. Elliott these days. He can’t laugh enough. He can’t find enough ways to have fun. If he isn’t walking around in my shoes, which he has managed to put on himself, he is emptying mama’s breakfast bars on the kitchen floor and relocating them all in a box of Grape Nuts.
I’m not sure where he finds the energy really. He continues to wake up early, most mornings 4AM now - ready to go. He fights off the idea of a nap most days. I’m hoping he’ll be ready to feed middle of the night bottles when his brother arrives (or sister, which I’m contractually obligated to at least acknowledge the possibility of in these updates – the contract of til death do us part)
Mama went to the doctor last week and the baby continues to look healthy. Mama on the other hand continues to feel quite unhealthy. It helps to watch Elliott’s World; it is a reminder of the blessing at the other end. It is also a constant reminder of the strength God provides us. There are many days when it is hard to figure how we’ll get everything done, how we’ll get through a day of work when we feel bad or tired, and then lo and behold, another day has passed. I listened to a preacher this week describe how happy it makes a smiling God, overcome with joy, as his children unload their burdens to him in nightly prayer, often falling asleep before they finish. We have made him very happy lately.