On Mother’s Day, Nico and I were in Old Navy and saw this rad, multi-colored bouncy ball for sale by the entrance. He is super into balls right now, to the point where he can spot one a mile away. He often mutters, “A-ball, a-ball, a-ball” to himself, to the tune of “Da Bears, da Bears, da Bears.” So, not surprisingly, he was quite upset when I didn’t let him take the ball to the back of the store, where I was on a mission to find some summer clothes for him. As I held up tiny shorts and T-shirts, comparing their prices, Nico sat in his stroller and shouted, “A Ball! A Ball! A Ball!” “Uh-huh,” I said distractedly, stretching the waistband of some miniature cargo shorts, having heard this hundreds of times before. “We’ll go back to see the ball in a minute.” And as usual, the kid did not let up.
But then a lady leaned over. “Um, he’s talking about THAT ball,” she said, pointing past the stroller. I looked down and, sure enough, a lone bouncy ball was hiding in a dark corner, underneath a rack of baby yoga pants.
A wave of guilt washed over me: some lady had just caught me totally ignoring my kid. But I also felt myself beaming with pride: my kid has an eagle eye for balls. So I grabbed the ball and tossed it in the stroller, where Nico clutched it with the giddiest face ever. Then we headed to the checkout line. Lil’ dude earned that ball.