Bonding Time With Dao

I had two vacation days left for the fiscal year. I would lose them If I didn’t take them. I took Wednesday and Thursday off. My plan was to catch up on chores that I have been pushing off because we hardly stay around on the weekends. I had written down the list that I needed to accomplish over two days including: take the Acura to a dealer for an oil change, mow the lawn, cut down the small trees I have chopped down a few weeks ago, replace the broken steps to the deck, fix the towel-hanger rod in the bathroom, and tidy up the house.

Wednesday morning came, the whole plan got wiped out. We woke up at nine and didn’t feel like taking Dao to daycare by myself (Dana already left for work) so I decided to spend a day with him. We packed up and headed to Glen Echo Park. We stopped by McDonald’s for some breakfast and hit 66. Even with the HOV lane, we were stuck in traffic. At ten something, Dao fell asleep. I turned off Curious George and enjoyed Clifford Brown while moving in a snail pace.

We arrived at Glen Echo Park around eleven and Dao was still in deep sleep. I found a shade to park the car and turned off the engine. I turned down the windows and the sun roof to enjoy the morning wind. I reclined my seat and do some reading. I always carried a book with me just in case I get a moment like this. I looked up the trees and watched the wind rocked lightly and produced a soothing sound that took me back to the childhood memories. The afternoons in my grandparent’s garden that I was forced to sleep and bored out of my mind. I hated the sound of the cicadas in the lazy afternoon.

About two hours later Dao woke up so we walked into the park. There was nothing exciting at the time, except for the big carousel. The problem was, “Dao ‘so’ [afraid] of Mary Go Round,” he told me as I wanted to take him for a ride. So that was it. We spent about ten minutes at the park and decided to hit Splash Down Waterpark.

We headed back to 66, the traffic was still jammed so we stopped at the mall to grab lunch and give Dao time at his favorite table train. Around 2:30 we hit the road again to the waterpark. At this time the weather had risen to 90 degrees Celsius. I took him to the children area, but Dao didn’t want to play. He just wanted me to carry him even though I tried all different techniques to get him to play. If May was there, I am sure he would had enjoyed the water with her like they did last Saturday at my sister-in-law’s backyard. Dao needed someone his age to play with. We ended up floating on the lazy river with him sitting on my stomach. We just kicked back and enjoyed the ride until 5pm. I was exhausted and sleepy when we got home.

On Thursday, we took Dana to work and headed to DC. We stopped at the National Air and Space Museum and the National Art Gallery. We had lunch and played ball at the park. We shared Vienna Sausage and crackers for lunch. Recently Dao and I really loved the Vienna Sausage. As we were eating, Dao threw the ball, hit my hand and dropped a sausage on the grass. I put it back into the can and threw it in the trash can and about fifteen minutes later, a man (black probably in his 60s) came by, picked up and ate it. I was stunned. A lady was reading a book under a tree witnessed the same thing so she gave him her orange juice and a few bucks. This was the second time I had seen something like that. Last Saturday, Dana and I saw a white male (probably in his late 30s) also picked up pineapple in the trash can and ate it. About half an hour later, the white man we saw last Saturday also walked by and checked out the trash can. How ironic was it that these men eating out of the trash can while the Smithsonian Folklife Festival was celebrating and selling all kind of food down a block? I sat back, contemplated a bit and realized how lucky we are to have food.

After eating lunch and running around, Dao pooped. I changed him right on the park hiding behind a tree, but I couldn’t just toss his dirty diaper into the trash can after what I had witnessed. I brought it back into the car and wrapped up with a plastic bag. I gave Dao his bottle of milk and strolled him over to huge water fall at the Hirshhorn. He napped for 2.5 hours next to the water fall. I did some reading, but then also fell asleep so I lay down on the bend and closed my eyes, but I kept waking up being paranoid that someone might have taken Dao away.

Around 4pm, we left DC to pick up Dana. So there went my two vacation days. Nothing has done as I had planned, but I am happy to have spent two days with Dao. It’s also a great excuse since Dana not only doesn’t mind, but also encourages me to do so. Work can wait, but the time with your son can’t. He’s only at this age once.

Bonjour Vietnam