Clayton’s Birthday Day

Going all the way back to April (man, losing that camera cord really threw a wrench in my blogging), I have to do a quick recap of my date with Clay.

I had told him it was up to him to pick what we do. He only had one request. Legoland.


Okay! I picked him up (and I was late, due to the unforseen circumstance of…I was babysitting Arionna) and we headed out to the Mall of America. I told him that the first thing we had to do was have lunch. I was starving, so we were eating. We found a food court and he wanted McDonalds. What is it with kids and McDonalds? I like the place, but in a food court, it is the LAST thing I would choose.

I stood with him and we got what he wanted (not a Happy Meal–he’s too big) and then I made him hold it and stand in line with me at Great Steak and Potato Co. The sign prompted a discussion. He wanted to know what “co” meant. I told him it was an abbreviation for Company. He absorbed that and then we talked about what an abbreviation is and why someone would abbreviate something and how to they decide what the abbreviation will be?

It was a fascinating wait for my food.

Then we found a table, overlooking Legoland, so he was able to speculate and dream while we ate our food. Mostly while I ate and tried to talk him into eating. Excitement was taking hold.

He was taking everything in. He doesn’t get out to MOA all that often, so he was absorbing the culture.

Think he’s more excited about Legoland or that giant pop I let him have?

While less-than-thrilled with the number of pictures I took (not that many! I am posting them all, just to prove it) he was still a good sport. Though his brain is clearly elsewhere.

Our time in Legoland was actually pretty cute. He is so serious, considering the number of guys in a set. The total pieces. The overall price. He is getting better and better with money, but he gets confused on what he can afford sometimes. I think it is more that he gets excited and overwhelmed and doesn’t take the time to figure it out. But we’d talk prices and he kept asking me if I would pitch in any money. I told him it would depend.

Then he finally found, with my help and the help of the friendly sales associate, several packs of “guys” which was all he really wanted. I ended up having to pay some, but he was so happy, it was totally worth it.

We left the store and headed out to the mall, he stopped right away to open his packages and take out all his guys. I kept warning him about small parts and losing them, but he was content.

He’s stuffing the tiny guys into his pockets for transportation. Never mind the BAGS I am holding…

I was aimlessly wandering while he was doing this (it took a while, he bought like 18 guys and kept having to resituate who went it what pocket to make sure they’d all fit.

I glanced over at him and he was so intent on what he was doing, I sneaked another shot. He just looked so cute, fumbling with his pockets and trying to figure it all out.

Whoops. Caught me.

Then we just wandered around the mall for a bit. We walked past the Rainforest Cafe and he inspected the mist and jungle sounds; pockets bulging with Lego guys.

I forced him to pose again:

and I love that picture! He just looks so…Clay.

Then, while randomly wandering about, we came across a crowd of people. I was curious–well, so was Clay, and then the crowd shifted and I was able to see.

Can you tell? Can you see her? She is sitting down at a table, looking down, signing a book, wearing a black and white striped shirt.

Now can you tell?

Is that one better?

It was super crowded and I was getting jostled, trying to shoot the picture and keep track of Clayton. Plus, we were really far away and the lighting was awful. It was broad daylight…how can it be so dim in there?


Last one, after we went up a level. It’s a better picture, but she’s looking down, so I don’t know if it is easier or not…


Any guesses?


It’s Molly Ringwald. Man, anyone who lived through the 80s must know and love Molly Ringwald, as evidenced by the huge crowd of people. I guess she wrote a book. Who hasn’t? And she was there to sign copies.

Of course, after all these crazy photos, I had to explain to Clayton who Molly Ringwald was. He wanted to know what she was in. He’d never heard of her movies. Weird. I told him that both his mom and his dad would know who she was, so he should remember her name and then ask them when we get home. So, we were going up an escalator and he was whispering to himself “molly ringwell, molly ringwell, molly ringwell” I figured close enough and let him alone.

At the top level, I forced him to stop for another photo shoot, in front of this weird statue. He refused to smile. I worked for it, and, if you look close, you can tell he’s having to fight to NOT smile at me.

What can I say, I’m irresistable.

He didn’t really want to do anything else at the mall. I tried and tried to talk him into more. Anything, really, but he wanted to go home and hang out with me. It’s his day.

So we went back to his house and found that his mom was off working, his dad and Lewie spent the day shopping at Axman and Clay recounted our day. He forgot only one part and I prompted him “what celebrity did we see?” and I could see his little brain churning as he struggled for that name.

Molly Rangwill!

He was so proud of himself. Luckily, his dad is fairly savvy and knew who he meant. Later, he managed to get it right when he told his mom.

Then, he got the coveted permission to play a video game and the boys and I trekked to the basement to spend a couple hours playing some weird Star Wars game. I didn’t like it at all, but Clay liked that I was there to play it with him.

He was happy with how we spent our day, so, even though I was a bit disappointed, I’m happy he’s happy.

I might devise a better plan for next year. (and see, that wasn’t that many pictures, and it includes THREE of Molly Rangwell).


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