I will say this much, baby, you have kept me humble. It is not easy to maintain your sense of dignity while parenting a toddler. Would a grown man ever wear a little girls pink fedora style hat perched on the very top of his head by his own choice? The easy answer is no, but I have done so to keep you from throwing it in the yard as I carry you to or from the car. If the neighbors see me, so what. Let them think what they want. I am sacrificing my dignity for a greater cause; your happiness. Another dignity shredder is the times we spend racing around the grocery store talking nonstop to you in a fast moving shopping cart. Look out little old ladies, our girl likes to be on the move. Stopping could be a problem, and slowing down can give you the blues, so sometimes we get the cart moving pretty quick in the name of happiness. It is even better if I get one of the noisy carts. We do pretty good until we are stuck in the check-out line. Then things could get ugly really quick unless we do whatever undignified thing we can think of to keep you entertained. We have an arsenal of tricks up our sleeves to keep you entertained. You are usually not the only one watching, but hey, that's life. The cashiers and baggers have to have something to keep them amused. Even our simple act of worship at church has been transformed by you. I can now say that I can worship unashamed as you pull my hair, pinch my face, or throw your toys across the room. You wave and greet everyone all across the room, play peek-a-boo with the people behind us, and even make me wear your hairbow to keep you from throwing it. I am just waiting for you to distract whomever is leading worship, preaching, or praying. All I want to do is try to worship with you in my arms. If you squeal, then so be it; it just might give me or someone else the courage to do the exact same thing and just let loose in a decidedly un-dignified way.
It seems that lately we have been on a food crawl, feeding you from our plate as we explore some of our favorite culinary venues. You are quite skilled in your social behavior. For your age, though, we will let you get away with a few things. Occasionally you have been known to talk with your mouth full. And chew with your mouth open. And bang your fists on the table. And stare at the diners around us. Your charm, however, makes any of these violations right. At least you don't put your elbows on the table. The servers at most restaurants usually make a big deal over you. You take this as your cue to personally take over all of their attention. At the mexican restaurant you had the entire wait staff at your disposal. They all waved and blew kisses at you from across the restaurant, generally ignoring the other patrons. At Starbucks you usually stop service completely as we let you stand up on the counter and wave at all the baristas. As far as the food itself, you love the refried beans at mexican restaurants. You even ate some of my enchilada and some ground beef. This was probably your favorite entree. At Cracker Barrel you simply loved their biscuits and green beans. Their mashed potatoes were good too. Arby's has some amazing roast beef and jamocha shakes. IHOP has the best pancakes around. Or was it the maple syrup that got you so excited to be there? Who says Starbucks is not for babies? We didn't let you have any latte, but you did try their raspberry pound cake and found it to be delicious; thus making it the quintessential place to grab an in-between meals snack. The bottom line is this, my future food critic, Life can be like a buffet if you have a fearless appetite and good manners. Tip your waiters and waitresses.