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32 coins in the fountain

saturday morning cam had an appointment with our tax guy. (to call him our accountant sounds so snooty -- and he isn't, all he does is our taxes.) since the guy's office is in manhattan beach, i decided that it might be nice if cam dropped us off at manhattan village (a nice tiny mall/plaza) then joined us after his appointment.

the way things were going that morning, i wasn't sure it would happen. as usual, we were running late. cam was having some difficulties locating all the paperwork he needed and i was trying to feed paul. the appointment was a scant hour away and we weren't even dressed. i told cam we weren't going (1 -- it was late, 2 -- it had the potential to be really stressful), but he seemed so positive we could pull it off, so i relented and got ready as quickly as i could. we left home by about 10:30 for cam's 11 am appointment.

amazingly enough, we made it to manhattan beach with time to spare. cam dropped us off in front of macys and sped off. "bye, daddy. bye, gray car," paul called out as cam drove away. we entered the store and paul waved cheerfully at people. we walked by the purses and he pointed at one, exclaiming, "cute! cute bag. mommy carry." he is so my child. we took the escalator up to the petite section. paul pointed at clothes and told me that cam would like to wear a pink shirt and a striped sweater. everything was "cute!" to paul. the tv displays up there were playing that fall out boy song that paul liked, so we stood in the middle of an aisle and watched the video. "like that song," he said. then we took the escalator down and walked through macys to the rest of the mall.

as planned, we stopped at the fountain near pottery barn and threw in a few pennies and dimes. i specifically brought a lot of coins with me for just this reason. a woman showed up with a double-stroller while we were sitting there. she unbuckled the older of her two kids and helped him out. when he was standing, she reached into her pocket and pulled out a handful of pennies. paul was envious. the little boy made quick work of his pennies and he and his mom and the double-stroller were gone the next time i looked over there. i told paul if he could tell me how many ceiling fans were above his head, i'd give him another coin. he looked up and started counting. i expected he'd just count up to six (because there were six), but instead he said that there were five and one that was off. i looked up and he was right, so i gave him a penny. then i held out a penny and a dime. "okay, last one. which one do you want?" i asked. "both," he said, and took them both.

after paul made about 20 cents' worth of wishes, we went to babystyle. i tried to find a gift for a coworker and her new baby, but paul wasn't having it. he wanted to play. he watched a girl fold a blanket. "blanket," he told her. "yes," she agreed. "nice soft blanket," he responded, much to her surprise. she asked him about his chin (it's a little raw) and i said he scratched it. then she said, "at least you didn't fall down." oh yes, better that he willingly inflict hurt upon himself than to accidentally do so. i think i know what she meant, but it sounded odd.

we spent about 20 minutes in babystyle, then i managed to coax him out of the store and we walked to the other end of the mall. we turned around at the end and paul pointed at every store window and yelled, "shoes!" even if there weren't any.

when we reached the fountain, out came the coins again. cam showed up a few minutes later and we headed home after a short stint at the apple store (where paul and cam goofed off for some camera thing with weird special effects. paul was particularly taken by a mirror image photo of cam's shirt with paul's hand on it. "dragonfly," insisted paul.). we tried to get a table at islands for lunch, but the wait was about 20 minutes. 20 minutes in the life of an adult, no big deal -- but 20 minutes in the life a hungry toddler could get ugly. we opted to pick up something on the way home instead. paul passed out not long after we left the mall, but then woke up close to home when cam slowed abruptly.

paul: big bump!
cam: yes, i'm sorry.
me: did the big bump wake you up?
paul: big bump, gray car, wake me, paul... eyes open.
me: you were surprised, huh?
paul: big bump wake me, paul. eyes open. surprise! [signs "surprise"] big. bump.
cam: [muffled giggles]

i didn't really want to ever get home -- we were having too much fun away from it.

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