As four p.m.approached, I found I couldn't get myself primed for Tony coming home from kindergarten. I dragged myself to the rendezvous point. It was just going to be him and me as Jenny was in Taixing. When the van from the kindergarten did come, I put him on my shoulders and found out that he wanted to play with the train simulator program I had on the computer. I was hoping he wouldn't say that, so I took him for a walk first before I took him home to turn on the computer. Still, I wanted to get home quickly. I wasn't interested in watching him play at a playground.
Within minutes of arriving home we were playing with the train software. I found I couldn't stop myself from letting him try my patience. Within minutes, we were bickering about who was to control the train and what train we were going to control.
When Jenny arrived home, Tony and I went went to meet her at the local Taiwanese restaurant where they were now serving Hot Pot. This new addition to their menu turned out to be a disappointment because we served too much soggy and boiled lettuce, and little succulent meat. Tony added to the dismalness by not being interested in sitting in the restaurant, and by causing me to rise every two minutes to see where he had gotten to.
Walking home from the restaurant, I decided to take Tony for a walk because the evening was cloudless and comfortably coo,l and because I felt a sense of duty.
I decided to take Tony down a road that passed some neighboring apartment complexes and lead to a park. We passed about fifty shops before we got to the park, and this made my spirits rise. My 'hood was interesting I realized, even if it was in a nowhere part of Wuxi.
When we got to the park, it was dark, but Tony recognized it from previous trips, and ran to where the slides and other climbing sets were. He ascended an exceedingly steep and tall play tower -- full of marvel and concern at his daring, I kept close to him.
I was to be pleasantly surprised as Tony readily acquiesced to my desire to walk on a boardwalk built around the park's lake. Overlooking the dark park were tall apartment towers under construction and a canopy of stars. Tony was strangely calm and uncomplaining as we did a circuit of the park and of the nearby apartments. One time, we did stop throw rocks and clumps of dirt into the lake. I enjoyed observing the concentric waves formed from my tosses.
Tony was on my shoulders through most of our walk. But as we were headed back to our apartment and Jenny, he told me that he didn't want to sit on my shoulders and instead wanted to be held in my arms. He said "Daddy bao-bao! No 1-2-3!" The walk had made him sleepy and he wanted to put his head on my shoulders. Even though Tony had become too heavy for me to carry in my arms for more than fifty meters, he made my day and wiped out my ennui.