This weekend the Madhouse was a Full House. Friends of mine from my college days brought their children down from North Bay (about a 6 1/2 hour drive) for a visit with the occupants of the Madhouse. T. and I met on our first day of Print-Journalism at Canadore College. I was an import from the south and T. was a townie. We hit it off right away sharing an interest in photography, The Muppets, Star Wars, The X-Men (T. got me hooked on the cartoon and comic books) and hockey players (two specific players to be more precise). T. was one of my bridesmaids and I was one of hers. She and B. have 2 children; H. a 7-year-old girl and Little H. a 9-month-old boy (blame B. for the confusion).
It was so great to spend time with them. I haven’t seen them since last year, before I took ill. We talked about our college days and Star Wars (T. can quote the entire trilogy, episodes 4, 5 and 6. The originals of course because, lets’ be honest, the new ones are kinda lame.) We reminisced about the first New Year’s Eve we all spent together. B. tipped me well for making him microwave popcorn (yes, my friends, the only sober person at the party will take advantage of her drunken friends especially for bus fare).
Rian was an amazing “big cousin” to H. When we were at the Madhouse the two girls were closeted up in Rian’s room playing Monster High (Mattel’s answer to the Twilight craze. There’s even a Monster High Wiki). We took the kids to Adventures On Wonderland and met another college friend, C. and her 7-year-old daughter, Little C. (can’t blame B. for this confusion). While the kids pretended to be hamsters climbing all through the ginormous habitrail, B. took Little H. to the Wee World, an area just for ankle biters. T., C. and I were able to enjoy a visit despite the ambient noise level (one would think the people who design these free-for-all spaces for munchkins would have figured out a way to reduce the noise – egg cartons aren’t that hard to find, folks). We talked about college, kids and problems with lady parts (that’s the real reason B. left). It was wonderful to be with old friends, I have missed them more than I knew.
The most enlightening thing about the weekend was my kids reaction to Little H. Being the only grandchildren on my side of the family and the youngest grandchildren on their father’s side of the family they have not had much exposure to babies. How curious they are and how fast they can move. Little H. is mobile and he knows it! He was all over the place and much faster than my kids thought possible. More on that in a minute, first I have to acknowledge how proud I was of my dog.
Little H. was especially fascinated by our dog, Jake and our cat, Mitty. The cat was smart and went into hiding for most of the weekend. Jake, on the other hand, is a little too big to hide in cat-sized cubby holes so he was exposed to Little H. for the duration. And he managed extremely well. When Little H. grabbed Jake’s eye Jake didn’t move until the baby let go. He was extremely patient with little fingers tugging at his fur. Little H. squealed when Jake would come near him. It was adorable.
But the epiphany of the weekend came when I asked my son what he thought of Little H. Alexi replied, “He’s busy.” Alexi was amazed at how fast Little H. is able to move and that he had to touch EVERYTHING he saw. I laughed to myself. “You and your sister were busier.” I told him. Alexi raised both eyebrows and said, “Whoa.” I think maybe, just maybe I earned a little more respect from my son that day.