We had a nice family dinner Monday night. We know of a local place that is kid friendly, and has great prices on food during Happy Hour. It's about 7 or 8 blocks from our house in the middle of our neighborhoods business district. Lukas and I met Mrs. LIAYF there on our drive home from work and school and enjoyed some good conversation and comfort food.
As we left the restaurant and put him into his car seat, we were all laughing and joking. Mrs. LIAYF kidded Lukas that if he didn't stop squirming they would walk home - which would not have been wise since it was fairly cold out. "Okay!" he exclaimed in all seriousness, to which my wife had to finally acknowledge that we were NOT going to walk home.
Lukas was disappointed at this, as he was actually eager to walk the several blocks of the roundabout route back to our house. "Well, if we let you walk all by yourself how would you get home?" I asked. "Go that way." he responded pointing in the general direction of our house.
So I said "Okay buddy, let's do this. I'm going to drive and YOU get to tell me which way to go. How does that sound?" "Good!" he excitedly exclaimed. And at that we started down the alley.
Then, as we reached the end of the alley I asked "Which way do we turn Lukas?" "Uhhhhh....that way!" was his reply pointing us East onto the road, not our normal path home but still a valid option. At the first stop light we came to, again I asked for directions. "Turn this way" he instructed me pointing right, which was the correct direction home. As we waited at the light I asked for confirmation "This way?" "No....go straight" he responded, changing his mind. Mrs. LIAYF and I glanced at each other with slight smirks, but as the light turned I readily obliged.
One block away was another light. "That way" came his instruction and as I looked over my shoulder I could see him pointing to the right. I obeyed and drove to the end of the block. This time he didn't wait for us to ask. "Go Right Daddy! Down the hill!". I did. Then as we approached the bottom came the command "Take a Left" (Yes, he knows his right from his left better than I do).
He had taken us a block over, to a less busy street. To avoid delays? Perhaps.
From there it was a piece of cake as he had delivered us onto our daily route which we take to and from school. Grinning from ear to ear he easily directed us the rest of the way back to our house where, once stopped, Mrs. LIAYF and I gave him high fives and let him know how proud we were of him and how big a boy he was becoming.
No, it wasn't that far. But watching our 3 year old successfully navigate a trip home was still a proud moment for us. And further indication of how fast he is growing up.
Moments like this are a lot fun.