We went out for dinner last night. My favorite part of going out is following Zane around the restaurant as he kind of free-for-all wanders the aisles and picks random people to stop and stare at. Even in the high chair he has a hard time containing his curiosity, spinning around to follow a passing person or evaluate someone’s meal. Our job is to try and get food into the mobile mouth, an unpredictable moving target.
After dinner Zane and I went outside to wander the courtyard while Faith finished up. The weather’s turned colder and he was bundled up in a 2T downy jacket. Being a little too large it’s a challenge to keep his arms in the sleeves and after a couple minutes one arm had all but retracted, giving him the look of a little puffy bird with a wounded wing. We wandered around, followed a few people and laughed at a wrought iron fence. I asked if he wanted to look into the windows of Salt Hill, an irish pub/casual dining joint that Zane’s been to dozens of times. Little wing zipped across the courtyard and right up to the big glass windows.
Inside there was a table with two couples, probably 60’s and 40’s, dressed and coiffed quite handsomely, surely more than a night out to Salt Hill would warrant. When they saw Zane staring up at them they all broke out in smiles, proffering small, dignified waves and chuckling among themselves. Zane persisted, perhaps making a face, and the older gentleman put aside his cool demeanor for a moment and leaned over to make a face at Zane, which he giggled at. Zane walked away from the window and you could see the diners smiling and talking about the little guy with the funny arm.
And then Zane came back for more. I could tell that they’d had their fun and didn’t want to get caught up making faces and capering for a stranger’s baby all night long. Small smiles, small waves. Zane seemed to be holding out for happy dancing or monkey impressions. I knew he’d probably win this battle, one way or the other, and guided him away in search of his mom.