The Nugget Chronicles: Making Friends

Things have been quiet here in this little corner of the interwebs for awhile. That’s largely due to the fact that our little family was away from our home for about a week, on an excursion to the Mile High City, so that I could go and do a roller derby thing (which was awesome), and HawtWife and Nugget could explore a city other than our own (which, by all accounts, was also awesome). So, while there COULD have been stories posted while we were away, we took the crazy idea to, you know, spend time enjoying the company of the real people in our general vicinity, instead of documenting everything. Sure, there was still a decent amount of FB usage, and Twitter commentary, but, for the most part, we weren’t overly plugged in.

Naturally, being in Denver allowed Nugget to experience new things. For example, on the way to pick up some groceries for the week, we got to drive Nugget through her first little marijuana cloud (totally not a big deal, but it was a surprise, because we’d honestly forgotten that Colorado made it legal recently). She got to spend time at a much higher elevation than she ever had before (no worries about altitude sickness, probably due in no small part to the fact that we drove instead of flew). And she got to once again relive the experience of spending the better part of one day stuck in her car seat, each way.

Now, before you think that those experiences were the only ones that Nugget had, I do want you to know that she got to see other things, too. We didn’t get the chance to hit the zoo, because the weather forecast shifted from beautiful for our entire trip just BEFORE we left, to kinda cold and maybe a little miserable right after we arrived. Without our MN clothes, we made it through, but we had been expecting 60s and 70s all week, so, needless to say, the blizzard that threatened to shut down CO on Mother’s Day was a bit of a shocker, and kept us all inside at our various locations. But we did get the chance to take Nugget out to the aquarium (she LOVES watching fish), and also to the Butterfly Pavilion the next day, with the mountains as a backdrop. She seemed to enjoy both pretty well, although the aquarium definitely led to more excitement (it’s easier to track fish moving through water than butterflies flitting about the open air, even when they do try and land next to her ear).

The most interesting thing about both of those experiences, at least to my eyes, wasn’t anything that we expected to happen. At the aquarium, it happened when we were in the restaurant attached, having seafood  (because nothing says “disconnect” like a seafood restaurant attached to an aquarium). With the butterflies, it was in a children’s play area. Now, we’ve gotten used to Nugget being hesitant to interact with people who aren’t HawtWife or myself. Nothing strange about that. After all, she’s definitely at the age where attachment to her parents is totally expected. But darned if this trip wasn’t a good one for her. Heck, even after having spent far too many hours in the car, she was in pretty good spirits during a derby announcer dinner, up until she decided that face-planting into the table was a great idea. Even so, she was still in the mindset of “I can only associate with them as long as my parents are holding me.”

That went out the window at the aquarium and with the butterflies. Apparently, the rules about her parents holding her go out the window completely if we’re talking about other kids. In both environments, Nugget went out of her way to make friends, babbling at other children. At the restaurant, it was a little girl of about 4. At the Butterfly Pavilion, she made friends with two little boys, both right about her own age. The babbling wasn’t really a surprise, as Nugget has recently become a fan of her own voice, but the way she was interacting with the other kids was pretty awesome. Even more to the point, she made an effort to hold hands with each of her new friends, while also making shrieks of pure happiness emanate from her. It was adorable, and so very very cool.

Look, if there’s any justice in this world, Nugget will go to college, and meet a girl just a little older than she is, and they’ll both think about mermaids for no discernible reason. Or she’ll meet a young man who calls her “Butterfly”, and the nickname will feel right, even though neither of them will be able to place it. Or, neither of those things will happen, and Nugget will just continue to grow up to be social, friendly, and kind.

Yeah, I’ll definitely take that last one. The other two would be fine, too.

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