Last Sunday, we took Eamon to a nearby Jurassic Park to see the genetically engineered dinosaurs.
Okay, well, actually, we took him to the Richmond Children's Museum. Which was awesome.
And Eamon was awesome.
If you don't have a Children's Museum of some kind in your area, this is a tragedy (I mean, assuming that you have children). The one in Richmond wasn't really so much a museum as a huge, fabulous playroom. There were playrooms set up like grocery stores, giant dinosaurs, huge sandpits, and an apple tree with pickable "apples."
Kids could basically just run free (followed by their adults, of course, who were more like interlopers into this strange, magical world of imagination realized). Eamon had a blast.
Of course, sometimes we felt the need to play a little, too.
The one thing Eamon really didn't like was the giant outdoor sandpit. While other children were happily rolling around in the sand, acquriing sand in all sorts of fascinating cervices, Eamon just kind of stood in the middle of it all, almost not daring to move.
"What's wrong, buddy?" we asked.
He looked around and shook his head.
"Mess," he told us solemnly.
"Well, yeah," I said. "It's a sandpit."
"Dirty," he said, sounding a bit put-out.
"Buddy, that's the point," said Aaron.
Eamon thought about it for a minute before reaching a conclusion that pretty much summed up his feelings about the entire idea of a giant sandpit: "Back inside."
So, I guess the beach is out this summer.
Eamon most loved the apple tree. We gathered those apples into our bucket over and over.
My favorite part, though, was watching Eamon interact with the other children. He easily "played" with the other kids (as much as 2 year olds can play with each other; it's mostly parallel play at this point). If a child had a toy that Eamon wanted, Eamon simply waited until the child was done with only the gentlest of reminders needed. If another child wanted the toy that Eamon had, Eamon would immediately give it to the other kid and find something else to do--often without any adult prompting.
At one point, another girl around Eamon's age tripped and her grocery cart full of "food" spilled all over the floor in front of Eamon. He had been running to the play school room, but stopped and began to pick up all her food and put it back in the cart for her. She eyed him distrustfully the entire time, as if he were helping only so that he could take her toys.
He finished putting away all her food, then just ran on to the school room.
At no point had anyone asked him to help. There was absolutely nothing in it for him--in fact, it kept him from his destination.
He did it just because, well, that's what Eamon does. He helps.
Well, as long as you're not having a crisis in the sandpit. That might be asking a bit much.