Craig and I spent our first night away from Wesley this weekend, and we all three lived through it unscathed. To be honest, though it stirred some nerves in us at first, it was truly lovely to have a long-awaited date night, and with such style, too. Craig’s darling friend celebrated a big birthday on Saturday and was incredibly generous in hosting us overnight at the W Hotel on Ft. Lauderdale Beach. We had a dreamy room on the 19th floor, practically identical to this one, with a gorgeous balcony overlooking the ocean, a huge soft bed and one heck of a sexy bathroom.
We stayed up with adults far longer than we have in a very long time and enjoyed dinner and breakfast at a scrumptious restaurant that serves Serrano ham crepes with dulce de leche. Yum. I highly recommend both the hotel and the restaurant if you’re ever in the area.
And we remembered our promise to take Wesley, our Florida baby, to set foot on our beaches sooner rather than later.
On Sunday morning as we drove to Mimi’s to reunite with our boys, Craig and I agreed that Wesley may have missed us, but we were more likely to get an energetic welcome from our dog than from our human son. And we were right on the money: Wes saw us and then practically ignored us as he stood in the middle of the den, dancing with a passion I’d never witnessed before, perfecting his new waist rocking moves.
Wes seems to be an interesting combination of independence and attachment, of hesitation and bravado. Are all toddlers like this? I wonder. He can be much more than just shy around other adults if Craig or I are present, refusing to be held by anyone other than us two, even by people he knows well – or for that matter, even looked at, returning a loving look with something closely resembling an evil eye. He is unhappy around even a relatively small group of adults, especially if it appears they are fawning over him. One single extra person can come into the picture and his whole demeanor changes, putting him ill at ease for hours afterward it seems. Or he can be, as we experienced ourselves yesterday morning, completely unfazed by our absence – or our return.
He can walk into a playground or a store and run off without hardly taking a second look back at us, especially if other children are around. A bigger or smaller kid will come over and push him or grab him in some way, and he will note it, but continue happily in his endeavors, hardly needing our reassurance, or exacting revenge. Or, he can refuse to enjoy a particular thing, as he did the other day at the water park, afraid of the spraying porpoises and curtains of water, far from entertained by the water slides or the lazy river – but content with walking off on his own over to garbage cans or lounge chaises, touching each one by one, as if counting them.
It appears he is a child who knows what he wants and what he does not want; a child who is happy left alone to do his own thing, when he wants it; and a child who is happy to crawl up on your lap for a snuggle, when he needs it.
That morning, he was happier getting his groove on than taking notice of us. That is, until he decided he was due for a swim in the pool. And for that, he needed one of us. I hope he does, still, for a long time.