This post is by a guest contributor – Gramamma!! Mom asked if she could write a blog about Ali’s stay last weekend while Chris and I were in Atlanta on our date/football trip, and of course I loved the idea of having a guest writer, so here it is! I think she should consider becoming a blogger. What do you think?

For those of you wondering how Ali and Grandmama’s weekend played out, we also had fun – not quite the adventure of mommy and daddy’s weekend – but fun.

Friday was errand day since I had to take Nick to work. I hated that Ali had to spend so much time in the car, but I did get to experience how much she has learned recently and the connections she is making. After dropping Nick at work, we stopped at the Walgreens in Pelham. As I opened the back door of the car to free her from the car seat, I heard her naming the letters of “photo” from the side of the building – I was impressed. As we were returning to the parking lot, I hear a train approaching (Walgreens is right next to the train track). I point to the crossing and tell Ali to watch for the choo choo train.

As the train gets closer and the horn gets louder, she climbs up me crying in terror, but keeps her eyes on the crossing. Once the engine passes and the horn is fading in the distance, she raises up to watch the train pass. Then in a sweet little voice full of awe and adoration, she said, “Thomas!!”. I didn’t even know she knew about Thomas the train.

We saw another train during our errands and heard several others and each time, with that same voice of adoration, she would say, “Thomas!!”. But there was no more fear.

Thomas definitely has celebrity status.

During our car ride, Ali thought I said the word “beach” and decided that I wanted to hear about her recent beach trip. So I got the whole scoop in an 18 month old vocabulary – “Beach Papa!! Pool!! Ocean!!”.

We went to lunch at Dales in Vestavia with Mammaw . Ali was completely fascinated with the small pack of crayons given to her by the waiter. Not with coloring, but dumping the 4 crayons out of the box and then carefully returning them one by one.

If practice makes perfect, she is now an expert at packing a crayon box.

Of course after the meal, we had to sit on the edge of the fountain so that Ali could kick her feet in the water. Ali did “big kicks” and “big splashes”, and Mammaw got quite wet from Ali’s achievements.

A Labor Day sale at the plant nursery gave us a good excuse (well, we needed a good excuse to tell Nick) to stop after spending over an hour in Friday rush hour traffic. I freed Ali from the car seat and she immediately begged, “Walk!! Walk!!”. So hand-in-hand, or more appropriately hand-around-finger, we strolled into the nursery. We were quickly greeted by a nursery employee with “Is there something I can do for you?”, at which I answered “We are just looking around. What time do you close?”. He checked his watch and said, “5:30 and it is now 5:40”.

Now what?

Looking down at Ali, I asked her if she was ready to go back to the car. Her quick answer was a resounding “uh uh” with definitive head shaking. I explained to the worker how she had suffered so long in the car and needed to walk. So he let us stay a little longer, acknowledging that not all their customers had left yet. Ali, ready for some fun or being mischievous (not sure which), began a game of “hide and find”. I say “hide and find” because she did both the hiding and the finding. While I was looking at plants, she would run down a row of plants until she thought I couldn’t see her. In a moment, she would come running back out and look at me like “Here I am, bet you couldn’t find me!” Then off she would run again down the very same isle.

This game entertained her until we reached the rose bushes. The “pretty flowers” mesmerized her. The only problem was that she wanted to pick the “pretty flowers”. I couldn’t make her understand the nursery owner would not be pleased with her picking the “pretty flowers” off the bushes he was trying to sell. She was flitting from bush to bush, first smelling the flower and then trying to pick it. I finally scooped her up and distanced ourselves from the roses before letting her “walk” again. We finally weaved our way out through sprinklers spraying us, past little pools and other pretties in the store. Someone had to unlock the door to let us out – we were the last to leave.

Once arriving home, we stopped at the chicken pen to gather eggs. I let Ali take the eggs out of the nest and hand them to me. Our eggs are shades of green, pink and brown. I guess she didn’t recognize them as eggs, because when she talked to Pop on the phone that night, I told her to tell Pop what the chickens gave us, and she said, “Balls!!!”.
The next morning I made eggs to go with our “bis-it-it-it-it” (Pop always makes her biscuits when she spends the night). I let her pick out which eggs to cook and let her watch me crack the eggs and cook them. Now she knows that chickens give us eggs.

Saturday we played “outsi” and in her baby pool. It was a good day. She now uses the phrase “all done” for more than just that she has had enough to eat. I could be reading her a book and all of a sudden she’d say, “all done”, slide out of my lap and be onto another interests. Or I could be singing a song for the 15th time (because she keeps saying “again”) and in the middle of the song say “all done” and expect me to stop.

This weekend she would even tell me which song she wanted me to sing. Of course I didn’t get the full title, i.e. “Bible” for the B-I-B-L-E song, and “beep, beep” for “The Horn went beep, beep, beep”, and a few others. I helped her with “Head and Shoulders, knees and toes” for the first time this weekend and she would just giggle and giggle. She would stoop down to do “knees and toes” and end up on her bottom still touching knees and toes.

Saturday morning, with Ali in my lap, I read Rachel’s blog about she and Chris’ Greek evening of dinner and entertainment. At Chris’ picture with napkins covering his eyes, I told Ali, “ Look, Daddy is playing peep-pie with Ali”. Then I would scroll up to the previous photo of Daddy clothed in napkins and say “Boo!”. Back to napkins over the eyes “peep-pie” and up to previous picture, “boo”. Of course Ali wanted Daddy to play “peep-pie” over and over and over and over. Every time I closed Rachel’s blog, she would beg, “Daddy peep-pie!!!”. I think after about 100 peep-pies, I said, “all done Daddy peep-pie”.

Needless to say, “Ganmama” enjoyed her weekend playing with Ali.

2 thoughts on “A View from the Other Side of the Trip

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