I really thought we’d have another 17-20 years before we’d have to worry about Dexter face-planting on a pub floor, but it happened a few days ago. We were with friends waiting to be seated for a late lunch, in a slightly crowded bar area, when Dex sucessfully navigated the stairs and then when taking his next step forward, stumbled and completely failed to stop his fall. (The puffer coat and new backpack he was wearing probably didn’t help.)
Matt scooped him up and sure enough – mouth full of blood.
Last year, Dexter met Santa for the first time at the EA holiday party held at Matt’s office. He was much more interested in removing his socks than getting to know Claus, and his face was that knowing, “I’m just doing this to make my parents happy” smirk that he continues to perfect.
This year, as his is nature, things got more judgmental.
After Dexter conquered his carousel fear, we took him home for a nap and then bought him some pizza when he woke up. He was pretty happy about it.
Our itinerary was loose, but we knew we wanted to wander around and look at Christmas lights, eventually heading to Guilio Giannini, a shop where six generations of family have been master bookbinders since 1856.
Now that Matt is all British, he’s incorporated a new phrase into his vocabulary: giving stick. It’s means good-natured picking on someone, which, if you know Matt, you know is 90% of his interactions with other humans.
I tell you this because I will be giving Matt some stick this post. You’ll notice a running theme. Matt is terrible at taking vacation photos. Yeah, he can do a decent landscape, but when it comes to photos of his fellow beloved family members? Usually, he forgets to take them altogether and if he remembers (or I remind him), they look like this:
Dexter and I had been gazing thoughtfully and adorably at art, and as I asked Matt to take a photo, I imagined an image from behind, a lovely mother+son cultural moment. Instead, we got Dexter messing with the thing that controls the temperature for the priceless paintings and me hitching up my maternity pants as I chase after him to stop him from accidentally melting priceless paintings.
When we were leaving Florida, during our final garage sale, a few Orlando pals stopped by to buy to some stuff, and mentioned they’d be spending Thanksgiving 2017 in Florence, Italy. They had a big apartment, and would we like to meet up?
Yes. Yes, we would.
We left on a Tuesday afternoon and returned on a Sunday. On the flight there, Dexter blessed us with a rare airplane nap. Matt joined in.
Our family ended up renting our own flat for reasons of Toddler and Pregnant Belly and Sleep. It was teeny but charming. Dexter LOVED it, and would run back and forth with unbridled glee every time we returned “home.” I think the hobbit hole-like layout felt his size, to him.
The night we arrived, it was already past Dex’s bedtime, so we pretty much put him straight down (he had his own area with a door for once, no cowering in the hall for us, woo hoo!) and then Matt went scouting for some pizza. He was successful at Toscania Pizzeria, and brought home a pizza the size of a surfboard.
I could count on one hand, the number of episodes of Teletubbies Dexter has seen, and of those limited viewings, he saw most of them when we were stuck in the hotel, nearly four months ago. But he remembers them. He points out Teletubbies in stores and magazines. The theme song gets stuck in my head and I catch myself singing it daily, so that probably helps reinforce the power of the Teletubbies.
The other day, we were in the library. I was browsing books in an adult section – honestly, I was keeping Dex away from the children’s part because I was trying to be relatively quick. Didn’t want to take him out of his stroller, then deal with putting him back in.