Things Athena Did Today

By Jason

1. Walked to the train station, actually doing the walking herself. This is a mile or so, and she is two years old. This is not unusual for Athena, we go every week for the farmers’ market, but I just remembered it’s kind of a feat for a two-year-old.

2. Took the train. After months of farmers’-market-induced proximity to the VTA light rail system, I finally took her on the train. This was an amazing experience for Athena. To illustrate: I told Athena she had to “sit nice” when the train started, and she sat in her seat like a human being for 20 minutes straight before reverting to her natural state. In her natural state, Athena is sort of like a lemur that harbors an irrational hatred of chairs.

3. Heard about every ride, live show, and concession available at California’s Great Adventure amusement park in great detail from a nice young man on his way to work at California’s Great Adventure amusement park who also clearly had Asperger syndrome. He was very earnest and helpful and thorough, but looked a little confused about how to say good bye when we got to his stop.

4. Played at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. I won a raffle at work for a year-long family membership, so we are there all the time, to the point where Athena just calls it “museum”.

5. Saw a short ballet dance performance at “museum”. Athena sat patiently as the lady in charge of the youth ballet program talked for 15 minutes straight about the program, upcoming performances, and the bizzare story of the dance we were about to see, which somehow involved a princess falling in love with a boy who put a dead bird in a shoe and smeared mud on it. I know that 15 minutes doesn’t sound like much time, but for a small theater filled with 2-to-6-year-olds who have been promised a princess and dancing it is an agonizing eternity. Athena did pretty well, only asking a couple times “see show?”

From Apr 30, 2011

6. Played in bubble area at the museum without getting covered in soap. Played in the water area without getting soaked. I need to call the Pope and get this miracle certified.

7. Rode a skateboard for the first time, at the San Jose Convention Center train station. She borrowed it from a nice young man who was also waiting for a train. He said she was a bit of a daredevil like himself, and that when he was a kid he sat on a skateboard and rode it down a hill in Santa Cruz all the way to the boardwalk. We have been warned.

8. Took her nap on the train in her daddy’s arms. She woke up at the Mountain View station fully recharged. It was like one of those old Energizer battery commercials, where I was the crappy other toy with the crappy other battery that the bunny always humiliates.

9. Went to the pet store, the book store, and the park on the way home. Saw “Nemo” at the pet store, periodically referenced Finding Nemo from then on.

10. Watched Finding Nemo when we got home. Yeah.

11. Totally showed up this 3-year-old neighbor girl by (1) asking nicely to share a toy she was done with, (2) giving it back when the girl pitched a fit, (3) restraining herself from retaliating when the 3-year-old swatted at her, and (4) saying sorry and “it’s okay” when the 3-year-old started crying. By the way I’m not gloating here – as every parent of a pre-K kid knows, tomorrow the shoe may be on the other foot with Athena as Gollum. I’m just proud of her today.

12. Ran into three different neighbors’ houses through opened doors, a total of 20 times. To Athena, an open door to a neighbor’s house is like a personalized invitation, printed on good stationary, to join their family and pet their dog. By the way a closed door is an invitation to ring the doorbell and bang on said door, and the existence of any windows on the building is an invitation to scale the walls and peer in.

13. Got wished a “happy May Fool’s Day Eve” by a guy walking down the street. I have no idea.

14. Ate the spiciest salsa at the Salvadoran place down the street. She invited herself to dinner with a random guy who was nice enough to give her some tortilla chips. Before either of us could stop her, she dipped a chip in his salsa, and took a big bite. I froze, expecting catastrophe. For an agonizing second, no reaction – and then a shudder, and a quick gasp and she was fine. She washed it down with a swig from her grape juicebox. Note to self: pepper spray probably no longer effective against Athena, local SWAT teams will have to adapt.

15. Took a bath. This sounds like no big deal but if you’ve ever been involved in bathtime with Athena you know it’s like the percussion section of a marching band jumping up and down inside a car wash for 25 minutes. After which the band members scream at you like you are stabbing them when in actuality you are attempting to apply lotion.

I am so very tired.

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