Day Seven: An incident with a pigeon – Tuesday 23 June 2015

Gymbaroo number two today.

Milo warming into it, not the most active but certainly the noisiest. LOVED dancing to the Wiggles, a very concerning development. No Pinky today so my child’s smooch integrity remained intact. The Lord Varys kid was there again. I re-affirm my first instinct; he is SO Lord Varys. Spends most of the session curled on his side inhaling his formula despite the best efforts of gravity, challenging the other gymbaroo-ites with his eyes to attempt to wrest the bottle away from him. Nobody takes this challenge.

Milo loved crawling up and through the dangling padded tube thing, was reasonably non-plussed about the ‘spinny chair’ (which is just an office chair with wheels) and almost injured himself diving head first into a pit of plastic dinosaurs while sucking furiously on the tail of one of said dinosaurs.

Had my first encounter with snotty kid dribbling on a toy and then Milo attempting to also suck on this toy. Today I intervened, the kid looked so gross, but clearly this is another example of parenting up-tightedness that needs to be expunged from our systems. Not today.

Another interesting observation I made today is the parental instinct to be embarrassed and aghast at their 8 month old’s poor behaviour, usually stealing toys from other children or befriending them too aggressively. Milo exhibited both of these poor behaviours today; several times, particularly the stealing thing. Maracas, Tambourines, plastic dinosaurs, the weird plastic accordion looking thing, anything anybody else had (that admittedly he also had). My strategy was simply to hand Milo’s version of these items to the child-in-question’s parent (there were plenty to go around), to be handed back to the theft victim. I noted other parents attempting to prevent the theft, or even reasoning with their children. Is this the way forward with an infant? I don’t know, seems fruitless. Also, Milo hasn’t met too many children his age so it is all a bit of a brain melt for him. Once he got over his initial reluctance he was cruising around the common mat space introducing himself to everybody; Max, Flo, Steve, Patrice. Not Varys. These introductions were usually pretty tactile; little faces at his natural eye-line are pretty exciting and he is a hands-on guy (as they all are). So there is a fair bit of slapping and pincering going on. I noted several parents flying awkwardly across the mat to separate or council their children on this behaviour. Is this really a profitable way forward? I don’t know. Maybe eventually. Not today.

This was the last Gymbaroo for the session (we came in late) and we think we are going to take Milo’s talents across town next session. So, new characters to be discovered. I am debating with Kuepps whether there is any underlying religious cult aspect to this franchise, I will continue my research but my antennae is up.

Driving home we managed to keep Milo awake which was a win. Milo then messily ate peas and tuna for lunch, delicious, before a nice nap. Upon his return to the waking world we both decided we should take our afternoon refreshment at the caf, which we did. Milo enjoyed his bottle while I had my double shot latte.

Toward the end of our relaxing cafe session Milo noticed a pigeon, pecking around on the other side of the outdoor blinds that box in the outdoor area of our local cafe. Milo has encountered pigeons before but he is unsure about them. After pecking for a while the pigeon leapt into the air, flapping its wings in a laboured way as only pigeons can. Milo jumped at the sudden movement and looked at me with an anxious face. The pigeon then pecked its way under the outdoor blind to see what it could find underneath our table. Milo continue to watch intently. Eventually the pigeon again tried to take to the air (3 inches into the air) to move quickly to another croissant crumb. Well, Milo jumped again at the sudden movement which set-off a cacophony of activity. The pigeon excitedly jumped again in response to Milo’s jump but then slapped directly into the transparent blind. The flailing wings and flying feathers panicked Milo further who started growling and barking at the poor beast which in turn was whipped into a frenzy, hopping and slapping into the plastic blind over and over as Milo’s barks become shrieks. I covered Milo’s eyes and mouth so no pigeon dust could get in there while the hapless bird bounced and jerked, eventually finding its way out. Milo’s breathing stabilised quickly but he looked at me with an expression that said “what was that dad? I don’t wish to ever encounter another animal such as that”. So perhaps Milo now has a Hitchcock-esque aversion to birds. Time will tell.

Anyway, this hastened our departure. We took some spent coffee grounds with us, for the kale plants, to conclude our pretentious coffee shop afternoon. There was just time then for a stroll through the park before Kuepps arrived home. Again, Milo reserved his last smile of the afternoon for mum as she got off the bus.

  • Number of times through the dangling padded tube thing – 3
  • Number of times through the double length orange tunnel – 1
  • Number of other children pincered by Milo – 2
  • Number of unsolicited smooches endured by Milo – 0
  • Number of plastic dinosaurs licked by Milo – 7
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