While looking after Mattman in D.C., we decided on July 11th we wanted to have an Adventure Day all around the town. After rousing the child from his slumber, we made him some pancakes, slapped some tats on him, and put him in his best attire. Then we headed for the water park. Unfortunately, we arrived during a break so the child had to patiently sit there (while snacking on some Annie’s fruit snacks as per usual; we should probably buy stock in Annie’s at this point) before adventuring into the kiddy park area. Once there, we discovered he was afraid of literally everything. So, naturally, ignoring his cowardice, we doused him with large amounts of water (yay waterboarding!) and introduced him to ‘shrooms. The giant mushroom waterfall, of course. After a solid hour that seemed like an eternity of carrying the child back and forth under the stream of water, we left the waterpark for home to change and continue our adventure.
On the way into town, we obviously stopped for slurpees as they are free from 7-11 on 7/11. After giving him a cup of icy sugar to quiet him in the backseat, we proceeded to drive to the D.C. Metro to get into town. This time, we didn’t miss the exit so no trip to Baltimore / Philly for us. As we rode the train, which Mattman told us was a train about 40 times, I gave him the rest of my slurpee to pacify him and avoid early-onset diabetes for me. Once again, this parenting thing doesn’t seem so hard. You just feed them tasty treats and they pretty much become putty in your hands. Then, they expend this sugar-induced energy by grasping the sides of their stroller and writhing like Regan in the Exorcist, all while laughing hysterically, on public transportation.
Once we got into D.C., we headed for Turtle Park, a delightful, kid-friendly park in downtown D.C. with great reviews, and – you guessed it – an abundance of turtles. This park looked great on the internet and was even called Friendship Park by some. A real gem of D.C. What better place to go with Mattman, our bestie for lyfe? Little did we know, Ryan mapped it to a different Turtle Park (and really, we shouldn’t be too hard on him because no town should have two parks dedicated entirely to the turtle).
Upon arriving and sauntering past the kindly homeless sleeping, errrr twitching, on the ground on the edge of the park, Mattman whispers from his stroller, “I’m scared,” and we take in the view. A dirt mound the size of a 7-11 with very little except for a couple of Stalinistic, concrete turtle statues. Trying to rally and create an illusion of safety and excitement, we scooped Mattman up and put him on the turtle. He seemed to enjoy this but, as it was approaching dark, we determined it might be best to skip the remainder of our park fun and walk to the National Mall.
After arriving, we showed Mattman the Capital, said a quick hello to Douglas Stamper, and decided to head towards Founding Farmers, a tried and true favorite for us. By the time we arrived, after I taught Mattman to scoot the entire way down the National Mall (life skills training) it was approaching 8:30. Unfortunately, as it was a Saturday night and we hadn’t made a reservation, they told us it would be at least an hour wait. With a complainy toddler and a hungry Ry, we determined this was not a viable option. While Ry frantically researched places to go, I introduced Mattman to the wonders of the fountain next to the restaurant. Being the controlling parents that Brother Bear and Caitlin are, they had never let the child actually touch the fountain. That’s obviously something Auntie Meggie taught him about.
After about 2 minutes of play time, the child was beyond soaked and the only logical solution was to suggest he pants off dance off while he changed out of his clothes. Into what you ask? Well unfortunately we didn’t have the foresight to bring a spare change of clothes so, much to the chagrin of onlookers, Mattman danced to take off his pants and then I put the child into his stroller and tuck tucked his blueket around him to keep him nice and cozy. When you’re a child you not only get the luxury of being pushed everywhere (adult stroller invention coming soon) but you also get to wear next to nothing and it’s totally acceptable.
Deciding that Annie’s would suffice for now, we walked a mile to the Lincoln Monument where introduced a star-struck Mattman to the best president ever. As we sat there, Mattman kept shouting ‘Stars! Stars!’ and counting them ‘1, 2, 4!’ Yes child, stars are a thing, your parents just never let you stay out to see them. Once again, expanding his horizons. Deciding that yes, it was in fact time for dinner, we took the child to Whole Foods (ya know, healthy, well-balanced diet) and purchased go-go and other delicious foods.
Afterwards, I had to go change his diaper so I took him to the bathroom. Now, the child still didn’t have any dry clothes so, by the time we made it past all the frozen goods and into the highly air conditioned bathroom, the early stages of hypothermia were setting in. Unfortunately, someone took the stall with the changing table so we had to wait while the child’s lower lip began to quiver and his teeth began chattering (sorry Mattman if you’re reading this in 10 years when you’re actually literate). After finally getting into the stall to change him and returning him to the safety of his stroller / blueket, he warmed up and we decided that Adventure Day sadly should come to a close.
Arriving home a bit after midnight, the child slept until after 8 the next morning, once again proving children will pretty much do whatever you want as long as you keep them in a state of perpetual disorientation and sleep deprivation, occasionally forcing sweet foods upon them at odd hours.
Moral of this story: Never believe people when they say the North doesn’t have A/C and never use the stall with the changing table unless you have a child.