Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just Sit Anywhere

Diana had a baby shower and a Wine Goddess thing today, so she was pretty well out of commission. The thought of lying around all day letting Elijah learn how to be a lazy sack from his father didn’t interest me. So I said, screw it, let’s go to the Air and Water Show.

The Chicago Air and Water show is famous for two reasons. #1, it is one of the largest demonstrations of military might this side of Iraq. #2, millions and millions and millions of people descend on Lake Michigan in one of the largest invasions this side of Iraq. I figured we could knock out Baby’s First War Machine and Baby’s First Crush Of Humanity.

We had agreed to meet my friend Chris and his wife, Sheri, who staked out a perfect lakeside stretch right in the heart of everything. And they could be counted on to have many cold beers. What I didn’t realize was ever single parking space in Chicago was taken. Every. Single. One. So the boy and I parked a mile and a half away. By the time we arrived, Eli was on the verge of a meltdown.

Until he saw the ladies.

This child has powers over the fairer sex that are clearly not inherited from his father. The moment I set him down he ping ponged to every woman in Chris and Sheri’s party. He’d bat his eyes and hug them and coo like a snake. That’s right. Coo like a snake. And the ladies would swoon. I realized I had the perfect baby sitter, or sitters, and treated myself to a deliciously tepid Old Style.

At one point he yanked down Sheri’s tank top and, well, fondled. A move like that would normally get you a black eye. Chris just said, “Go get ‘em, Eli!” I figured it was time to step in and keep things PG-13. So I grabbed Eli and went for a walk among the millions.

The little bugger walked to the blanket next to us, found a woman, and immediately sat in her lap. She of course was both stunned and instantly smitten.

This was before the war demonstration got under way.

The moment the F-15 or a B-52 or whatever agent of death streaked across the sky, shaking the trees with its sonic boom, Eli leapt into my arms and held on for dear life. I tried to cover his ears every time another thing that provides me the freedom to blog buzzed the crowd, but Eli began to cry.

He is a lover, not a fighter. So we thanked our hosts and walked against the sea of people back to the car. He fell asleep and I had to stop the stroller periodically to let women marvel at how beautiful he is.

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