Last month, I arrived at daycare to find that my daycare provider had closed shop to celebrate a man who is only important to us because he got lost.
Anyway, rather than just go home, I headed to the local Panera Bread with my two little munchkins in tow. I ordered a mocha and a cinnamon roll while TheMonk and Swee’Pea snacked on muffin tops and apple juice.
We sat at a table in the middle of the dining area and together we ate. TheMonk kept waving to all those around us while Swee’Pea seemed very interested in all of the bread-themed artwork on the walls. It was a low-key moment that helped affirm my grasp on this parenting thing that was only reinforced when more than one person remarked upon leaving that Swee’Pea and TheMonk were amazingly well-behaved.
When it was time to leave, I wiped chocolate smeared faces and fingers with a wet napkin and we headed out the door. Panera is located in an outdoor mall that plays piped music throughout. Outside the door is one such speaker that was playing an upbeat song for all to hear.
As we head to the car, Swee’Pea hears the music and announces out loud, “I’m dancing Daddy!”
Sure enough, I look over to see little Swee’Pea doing a little jig in time to the music. TheMonk, seeing his sister getting down, and never one to let an opportunity to wiggle his hips pass him by, starts to boogie too. And as I watch two little ones dancing on a mall sidewalk at 9:00 a.m. on a Monday morning, I can’t help but shake what my mama gave me either.
Soon, we are all getting our groove on to the music and I can tell by the look on TheMonk’s and Swee’Pea’s face that they are loving this. No one is holding back. TheMonk looks like he’s doing his version of the Funky Chicken. Swee’Pea is twirling around and ending each twirl with a modified electric slide. Me? I’m leading the parade with a toned down version of the running man with a twirl thrown in to match Swee’Pea’s.
Finally, the song ends and the spell is momentarily broken. We all look at each other, each of us with big smiles on our faces. It has been a good day. Apple Juice, Mocha, Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops, a Cinnamon roll and each other. “Shall we go home, guys?” I ask.
Both Swee’Pea and TheMonk smile and nod affirmatively. I tousle their hair as I lead them to the car a few feet from where we finished dancing. I lift each one into their car seats, stealing a kiss in the process. As I do, I glance back at Panera and notice a number of people inside eating their breakfast and who had obviously just watched our improvisational dance. They are smiling and nodding. I smile and nod back.
I get into the car and start the engine. As we drive away, I reach down and turn up the radio. Who says you can’t dance and drive at the same time?
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