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August 21, 2001
a year ago
three years ago
four years ago

Dandelion and Putt Putt Golf

8:30 pm: It's pretty fun playing putt putt golf with ten people. It's a lot more fun with a lot of people than with just a few, and it was even more fun with Jet and a bunch of folks that weren't afraid of taking the baby when I needed to make a shot.

Today started with a nine o' clock meeting that was pretty brain numbing. We're behind on getting definitions from everyone for all the things we need to do, and it's showing. Bill and I are scrambling to get people to answer our questions, but the local project responsibility team is having a hard time figuring out what it is that we really need in order to actually do things. I think that the bad part of it all is just that the marketing folks are so used to us making allowances for them not knowing what it is that they really want that they assume we should be able to do all that.

When the meeting was done, I helped a co-worker out with some fundamental problems with the way things were designed ten years ago. Then I waded through lots of email and did a bunch of other stuff as well.

When I went to get Jet from Joan's, and Ray's family was there, and they all had had a blast with Jet, who was having a blast as well. He hadn't slept a wink while there, and he was bouncing and blasting away when I picked him up and tucked him in the car seat. Of course, on the way home, he fell asleep. He woke up when I got him into the house and he ate steadily for the forty minutes I gave him before we had to leave for lunch.

Bill was taking everyone out to lunch. I sent him email from 10-11 to ask him where and when I was supposed to meet everyone. I nearly died when I found out that he was taking everyone to the Dandelion. It's one of two restaurants I really respect in Boulder. The other is Dolan's, which is an excellent steak place. Both are restaurants that pay attention to the details. Which is probably one of the higher compliments I'll ever pay a restaurant.

Of course I panicked on learning where we were going to lunch. The Dandelion is also one of the posher restaurants in Boulder. White table linens and crystal and silver posh. It helped knowing that everyone else was going to be surprised, so the crew would all be in work clothes, i.e. shorts, t-shirts and regular stuff. But bringing a precocious six-month-old who is now stating to grab everything in sight and has gotten a screech that reaches super sonic levels is something that made some part of me just panic.

So, in my panic, I brought along a jar of solids, a spoon, a bib, a couple of wash clothes, a couple toys, the things I needed to make formula if I needed to, the sling, and a stroller for the putt putt golf. I mostly brought the stroller because Jet would need shade out in the sun and nothing else I had would do that job. I packed extra water as well, including some of the sterilized water that we use to make him formula.

With all those things, I could fight the panic down and say to myself that I would, at least, try. I got everything packed up and into the car while Jet slept in his car seat after eating off me. Then I tucked him into the car, draped a blanket over his seat so that the sunlight wouldn't get to him and wake him up, and then we drove for Boulder. Traffic getting there was worse than I'd thought it'd be, and when I got to the address I realized I had no change, so I would have to park in a parking structure, where I could pay with bills. There was one that was a block away, so I went into that one and parked on the top floor, under an awning that gave the car shade. I was very glad of that, as the Passat gets really hot in the sun very quickly.

Lunch was fun and interesting and good. Jet woke up on the way over, and was very quiet for the first half hour. He was just watching things sleepily and was very quiet and very easy to take care of. I had penne with sausage, mushrooms and a creamy tomato sauce after a soup of smoked sweet corn. The soup came with the appetizers everyone had ordered and were sharing. The soup was creamy with avocado, smoky, sweet, spicy with salsa, and crunchy with the corn. There were three appetizers, calamari, an Italian morta della, and a rock shrimp cocktail in a salsa cocktail sauce. Everyone loved the tastes of stuff they got, and with all the appetizers they served their bread, which was crisp crusted and chewy good.

Jet had fun watching everyone eating and talking. Eventually, he started playing with his blanket and with his jitterbug and he started talking back to everyone as well. He gradually got louder and louder as the conversations got louder, and when everyone's main courses arrived, he got mildly upset. So I picked him up, tucked him in my lap, and he was happy there.

He tried to grab my lunch, but I now have practice sitting so that I can eat but he can't pull things off the table. That's a very useful skill for a mom. Jet got gradually more rambunctious, but when Cary finished his lunch, he took Jet. With a new person, Jet's a bit more cautious, so he was fairly quiet with Cary, until he got used to being there. Then he started grabbing Cary's beard, glasses, and face. Cary ended up letting Jet play with a spoon and I pulled out the jar of pears, and Cary fed Jet a little bit at a time as Jet got used to the idea of pears. With all the distractions I was pretty impressed that Jet was eating at all.

Bill's wife, Allison, works at the Dandelion, so she was able to slip the staff a dessert for all of us in congratulations on the release. She bought an absolutely awesome chocolate torte with a chocolate cake base, chocolate mousse filling, a chocolate ganache shell, shaved chocolate decorations, all topped with chocolate covered coffee beans. It was utterly delicious, especially with coffee.

That was so excellent. After all that, Bob watched Jet while I got to use the ladies, and then Jet and I headed back to the car. I told Bob that I'd be a bit slow because I had to feed Jet. Since I'd found that nice spot with the awning and shade, I nursed Jet for a while in the car with the windows wide open. Clouds had started to gather over the Flatirons, and a wind was starting to pick up. The coolness was very welcome, and Jet got a good, steady ten minutes off each side before he was totally distracted by the unusual surroundings.

So I tucked him back into his car seat and we took off for the putt putt golf course just north of Boulder. He fell asleep on the way over, but woke up when I stopped the car and opened the door to peer at him. So I pulled out the stroller, tucked his diaper bag into the cargo area, and then pulled him out and put him into the stroller. I did this with the splint on my wrist, and it helped.

Everyone was waiting for us at the clubhouse, they'd decided to not start until we got there. Which was very nice of them, and I was glad of it when we got to the gate and found that the stroller couldn't get through. A bunch of folks picked the stroller up and hauled it over the gate. Ryan laughed and went through the exit gate, which would have been easier if we'd seen it, but I guess that's why Ryan's a good engineer, or at least an experienced parent.

The splint, however, really hampered any golfing hopes I might have had, so I took it off and tucked it in the diaper bag while Jet was happy perched upright in the stroller watching everything and everyone. So we had fun and played putt putt golf. It's always more fun with many people, who can all comment, cheer, or share strategies. We made two teams of five, and decided that whichever team won would get chia pets, as the official mascot of our new communication system between applications.

The course was pretty fun, lots of tiny, interwound courses, with some really steep grades on some of them that proved really challenging. The other group was much faster than our group was, given that we were also taking care of Jet along the way, and they either heckled, good-naturedly, when they were behind us and when we let them play through they were soon well ahead of us. We all had a blast.

Jet watched every hole, some, and had fun watching. Eventually he started getting thirsty, so I filled a bottle with water and he drank a great deal of that. He also started tossing it off the sides of the stroller, while trying to play with it he'd lose it and it would end up on the course, in the scrub, or, at one moment, nearly in a water trap. I was glad I rescued it from that, as when Jet got really hungry, I had to use that bottle to feed him formula. That was really funny because Jet would drink so long as anyone was holding the bottle for him. So when I had to take a shot, Ryan or Bob would hold the bottle for Jet, and he'd cheerfully suck away.

I was very glad that I'd brought water for Jet and for myself, as I was pretty dehydrated, too, by the sunshine. It was hot out. So I was glad that Jet was drinking water as readily as formula. It would keep him from dehydrating, and he seemed to enjoy the process enough to find it entertaining in and of itself.

By the 15th hole, Jet was getting really cranky. He was actually quite tired, but wasn't going to sleep as long as anything interesting was happening. By then Bob and I were taking turns holding Jet and bouncing him gently while we kept on. It was one really awful hole where most folks had to take at least six shots to get it that finally decided us that enough was enough. It was also time for a few folks to take off to appointments and dinners with families and stuff, so I packed things up and wheeled back to the club house with everyone. We all expressed thanks to Bill for how fun it was, and then everyone got back into the big cars to go back to work to scatter from there. I strolled Jet to the Baby Buggy, and strapped him in his seat.

Jet cried. Not the angry or hurt cry, more the completely wound down and desperately tired and unhappy cry. So I let him cry a little while I put the stroller in the back, the diaper bag away with all the things we'd taken out and I talked to him, quietly, the whole time. By the time I got back into the driver's seat, Jet was sound asleep. I took a light blanket and put it as a canopy over his seat, to be sure that the evening sun wouldn't get him in the eyes, and took off for home.

John was already home when we got there. Jet woke up when I wrestled his seat into the house, and he smiled for Dad, and then the two of them played and played and played. We had a very quiet dinner of leftovers, and settled into our evening routine. Dinner, the walk out in the cool evening air, and then the slow wind down to sleep.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.