Wednesday, August 20

Bits and Joy

This past Saturday we took a little diversion from our usual routine and wandered to the North Side North Shore (Gah!) for our little family biking adventure. There's a very long bike trail that runs all along the rivers. Along the way, I figured we would do something that I've been meaning to do for well over a year and stop at the fountains between the stadiums to let Alexis play. These fountains:



In all honesty, I was expecting that Alexis would see a lot of water, hear a lot of noise, and sense a whole lot of strangers and freak the heck out. After all, we are talking about a kid who hides her face all the way up my butt any time someone she doesn't know so much as glances at her.

I was wrong.

Miss Thing love-love-LOVED playing in the water. What started as a brief stop to get our feet wet turned into this:





The only way we could drag her away from The Beach (her name for the fountains) was to promise her we would return the next day. OF COURSE she woke up at 2:00 in the morning and asked if, "We go to da beach?" Obviously toddlers are just elephants in disguise because they never forget anything.

Twelve hours later we headed off to The Beach, this time armed with a swimsuit, towel, and change of clothes for Alexis. Preparation is everything, after all. When we landed at The Beach, it was pretty obvious that of the 248 kids there, only about 5 of them showed up prepared. The others had wandered over from the Mets game (Mets gear outnumbered Pirates gear 10 to 1 everywhere we looked, so it was the Mets game) and were getting a little impromptu bath time.

I will forever have two very vivid memories from the hour we spent at The Beach on Sunday.

For one, Alexis was joy epitomized as she splashed around in the water. Her smiles and giggles and glee were intoxicating. She has a habit of refusing to look a the camera when she's having fun, so I wasn't able to capture her glee digitally, but I'm pretty sure I actually touched happiness that day. It's warmth enveloped me, leaving me breathless and in awe of how a child can find such pleasure in something so simple.

My other distinct memory is one that I've been trying to shake, but there it sits, hovering in my mind's eye. Among the unprepared water dwellers was a maybe 5-year old little boy whose Grandmother (I assume) decided she didn't want him to get his shorts wet. Or his underwear. So there he sat, wearing a bright red polo shirt that fell to his waist and -nothing- else. Um, yeah. I want the image of boy bits hanging out on the perimeter of my circle of Toddler happiness to go away, but it's not. It just sits there, hanging out. Not leaving.

Please tell me time will fix that memory, banishing the boy bits and leaving me with just the joyous Toddler. Please? PLEASE!





46 comments:

  1. That. Is. Awesome.
    What a great day! My boys would love it there!

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  2. This is awesome. And "they" let the kids in the water? Sweet.

    When we were in London last year, tons of kids were in the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain and the park police kept trying to kick the kids out. Mr. Police Dude would shoo the kids from one side of the fountain, "whilst" on the other side other children (most clad only in undies) would jump in. I liked to think that Princess Diana was watching the antics from a cloud and cheering for the children.

    Great post.

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  3. well, at least he's cropped out. I get enough boy bits around here since Gavin will forget what he's doing when he's supposed to be getting dressed or putting on his jammies and starts running around naked.

    Glad you guys had such a wonderful time and you got several good shots (you can totally see her Joy and Glee).

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  4. That's a rockin' fountain.

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  5. Look at her in that fountain...what a cutie, cutie, cutie!

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  6. awesome fountain.

    and just be glad those boy bits were still only 5.

    i'm a little worried about the boy bits that could be hanging out around my teenage daughter. i don't think i'll be able to crop those out.

    *shudder*

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  7. Awesome fountain!

    And as for the boy bits - ugh - she could have left his undies on, then taken them off and put the shorts on without undies, right? But to let him go half-naked - just not right.

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  8. Nope. The boy bits will never leave. It's your punishment for all those creepy doll posts you've done ;)

    But, really? I'd have left my kid's underwear on and then let him go commando in his shorts after. Poor kid.

    Love the fountain :)

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  9. What a little cutie. She look like she is having such fun.

    I think you are stuck with the memory.

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  10. I can't make you any promises, but that was darn beautiful.

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  11. Wonderful pictures! It looks like Ms. Princess had a wonderful time.

    (Seriously? Uh, save the naked pool time for at home lady. Yeeesh.)

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  12. Wow! That place looks like so much fun!

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  13. That looks like so much fun! I'm glad Alexis loved it so much and you got to feel unadulterated joy. That's awesome.

    As for the boy bits, I will confess that I still remember that the evening my hubby proposed was the day that some guy flashed me and some friends at the lake. How I wish I could disassociate, but there it is. Forever linked. Thanks for reminding me. ;-)

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  14. Man, I've never been there when the fountains were on! We went there for a March of Dimes walk in April and there was no water and my kids loved walking through there!

    I really don't understand why someone would have a little child go naked in a public fountain like that. Neither one of my kids would have agreed to doing that when they were five!! Poor kid.

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  15. Alexis is absolutely adorable. But you already know that. Boy bits are disturbing. But you already know that too.

    The end.

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  16. Haha! I have always seen kids running around in the fountains there...never thought of taking my own, though. Good idea! We can go to The Beach right here in Pittsburgh.

    Umm. Isn't 5 too old to be without pants? In PUBLIC? Oy.

    Alexis is adorable as always!

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  17. At 5 years old my, either of my sons would have died if I took their pants off in public.

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  18. Look how fun that is! And Emma has that same dress in the blue. We are always prepared for the fountains. I can't stand wet clothes so I always pack suits and coverups to change into.

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  19. Um, a baby would have been okay but 5????!!! That is a little too old.
    I would have been mortified as well.
    Glad Alexis had fun!

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  20. That kid is gonna have nightmares for the rest of his life.
    Yeesh.

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  21. poor kid!!!!
    But i'm sure you will be able to block the bad. Heck, my mom's become a pro at it so maybe that's a good sign.
    Or not...

    "The beach". That's adorable!

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  22. It will disappear. IT will and be replaced by only toddler giggles. I am sure of it.

    But that water? Where does it come from? Looks a little scary.

    But a total blast and like something Jonathan would love too!

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  23. wow!!! WHAT A NEAT PLACE!!!

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  24. That looks like a great time! We can't play in any fountains here.


    As for the boy.....eeeewwwwwww....going commando would have been much better than subjecting the poor kid to THAT!

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  25. anglophilefootballfanatic.com3:02 PM

    We wanna come and play at the beach, too. And, I'm appalled at Granny. A 5 year old boy would certainly know embarrassment. My 3 yo boy gets embarrassed at lack of clothes. Shame on Granny.

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  26. Oh my goodness, I can not believe that Granny did that! That poor boy, I can't even imagine that he would not be embarrassed.

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  27. LOL, looks like she had an absolute ball!! Love the huge fountain!

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  28. No picture of the boy??? LOL!

    That looks like so. much. fun!

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  29. What a cute kid you have! Looks like she had a blast.

    As for the image of the boy bits in your brain...well, I'm sorry for you, but I'm a little more sorry for the boy who had to bare his bits just to play in the fountain.

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  30. I scrunched my nose just reading your post, so if I get a visual from second hand boy bits, I am pretty sure you are stuck for life. Too bad there wasn't a censor black box you could have just stuck right over him.

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  31. You got issues with boy bits?!

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  32. what a great place!! i can't believe they let people play in that. here you would be run out on a rail!

    she just gets cuter and cuter doesn't she?

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  33. Hmmm, happiness with a side of boy bits...interesting!! ;)

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  34. That is disturbing. Disturbing and gross and wrong. But! It could have ended with a big pile of poop floating down the fountain into the toddler's happiness, so it could have been worse. (Your welcome)

    When I went on the Just Ducky tour we passed those fountains and I said "We have to take Dylan there!" You do everything first, don't you?

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  35. That looks like a really great fountain and coming from the city of fountains, I'm impressed! As for hanging bits, I'm not sure I can help. A couple years ago we went to a family reunion. The family of my cousin's husband from his previous marriage (just want to make it clear there is NO blood relation) had this very large boy (maybe 5 years old) running around in pullups. I didn't know they made pullups that big. Then, he went to the bathroom and apparantly did a #2. I looked up towards the outhouses only to see this large boy, naked, bending over while mom wiped his butt. It was several years ago, and yet, I can still see it like it was yesterday. MY EYES! MY EYES!

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  36. Absolute joy and extreme horror often go hand-in-hand. You, my dear are forever doomed with those two images burned in your memory forever.

    Sorry to have to say it that harsh, reality can be harsh.

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  37. Looks like she had a great time!

    Kimmy

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  38. Alexis is a very lucky girl that you actually went back the very next day. She looks sweet in her Dora suit.

    And for that five year old. Hmmm. He might have that memory in his head longer than you do. I bet that kid will NEVER ask to swim in a fountain again. Ewww.

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  39. How trashtacular to make your kid go pantless instead of just letting him get wet. That kid is going to be royally effed up for life.

    Sadly, I think you'll be stuck with boy bits memory. But if you go back to the beach again, maybe you can make new memories that will override the previous.

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  40. What a great fountain! Looks like your daughter had a blast!

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  41. In time the memory will fade (just not sure how much time...)

    That does look like a lot of fun!!

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  42. Five is way old for boy bits. In public or otherwise. Two? Not a big deal. But it looks like great fun for the Toddler!

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  43. You probably won't forget the boy bits, but you could try cropping the picture so you remember it as bits on the floor and focus on the toddler joy.

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  44. Doesn't it look like she has webbed feet in the 3rd picture??

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  45. man I SOOOO miss the Burgh.

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  46. So excited we are headed to the burgh next weekend! Brunch at Lydia's (mouth is watering - have you been?), lunch or dinner at Primanti's, and hopefully I can make it to the candy shop on the south side that makes the best turtles ever! Oh and we'll see some friends and family while we are there too.

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