It’s A Hot Time in the Old Town

This time, we cannot pin the guilt on Mrs. O’Leary’s cow and instead have only ourselves to blame. It is 97 degrees fahrenheit outside today and while I should take this opportunity to take the kids to the beach or Millennium Park to play in the fountain sculpture or even to Portage Park’s zero-depth pool, I just can’t manage it. Too hot and, since it is Saturday, too crowded. And, since it is Saturday with a 3:05 p.m. start Cubs game, too much traffic. All I want to do is sit on the couch in my freezing living room, drink iced tea and zone out in front of the boob tube.

Unfortunately, The Boy had other ideas. He’s been bugging me for Cranky the Crane, which parents of boys will recognize as yet another character in the Thomas the Tank Engine series. The Boy calls all of the Thomas branded stuff “trains with a face” and has gotten quite picky about with which train cars he’ll concede to play.

Anyway, last night, he repeated his request for Cranky and I told him that if he started wiping his own bum when he went potty, I’d get him Cranky. I have discovered that offering The Boy some trains with a face is an amazing motivational tool on the potty learning front. I gave him Spencer right after he started pooping in the toilet about 6 weeks ago and we haven’t had a problem since then. So this morning, The Boy woke up, ate his oatmeal, went to the bathroom, wiped himself, and demanded that we keep our promise.

So, with The Girl, out we trekked in the 97-degree heat to buy Cranky. Although I am normally quite a fan of small, independent toy stores like Timeless Toys, Toys and Treasures, and Building Blocks, I just dropped no small amount of cash at one of them yesterday and so decided to take advantage of big corporate by buying Cranky the Crane (and nothing else) at the Niles Michael’s with a 40% Off One Item coupon.

We also had lunch at Corner Bakery, where I was again so nicely complimented on my children by an older woman who told me that they were adorable (and patted The Girl on the head) as she left. She didn’t say anything about their behavior, but they were really well-behaved in the restaurant. We all sat there, quietly coloring, for a good 10 minutes after we finished eating.

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