Yesterday Scarlet and Leila had a play date at the gymnastics center. Sooner than not though, poor little Leila became the third wheel on Scarlet's first date. Someone should have told Leila that she was supposed to be put out by this because she seemed to handle it just fine.
That same someone should have also alerted Scarlet to what was going on as well.
In fact, out of the three of them I think the little boy who joined us was really the only one invested making more of the experience. What for the girls was a fun hour of bouncing, climbing and falling, was an epic love story filled with suspense, triumph and ultimate loss for him.
His name was Colin and he's three years old. Just like the beginning of any good love story, he spotted Scarlet from across the room. Enamored, he dashed as quickly as he could over the play mats and balance beams to be by her side. The kid got within 4 inches of her face but for all Scarlet cared, he could have been invisible. *cue Mr. Cellophane from the Chicago soundtrack* For the rest of the play date Colin was always at hand, gently patting Scarlet's back every few seconds and attempting to usher her out of harms way. Gym equipment with five year olds flying about are a hazardous combo. Where ever Scarlet went, Colin was there. When she went to the climbing wall he did his best to give her a boost and then scampered up wall as fast as he could with big hopes to him impress her. Sadly by the time he looked back she had already moved on to a new toy. When she took a tumble (purposefully mind you, on tumble mats) he darted over to her rescue. Whenever he caught her eye for a second he would seize the moment and toss himself into barrel rolls, kicks and general flailing of arms - anything to impress. Sadly though, none of it did. Scarlet continued blindly on her way, without batting an eye at dear Colin.
I have several poorly shot pictures from the play date but they do show how little Colin and his orange shirt were never more than a foot or two away from my girl.
When he recognized that I was her mother, he decided that maybe I needed to be impressed as well. I introduced myself.
"I'm Scarlet's mommy. What's your name?" I asked
"Caw-win" he said
Then he quickly jumped up, furrowed his brow and showed me all his best karate moves. He chopped at the air furiously, then froze.
"Oh my, that is impressive." I said
He stared intently into my eyes and then ran around in a circle 3 times as fast as his little legs would carry him.
"Yes Colin, I see you have many skills. You have proven yourself a worthy suiter."
He did his best almost-splits, a Chuck Norris style somersault and then sprinted away in Scarlet's direction once again.
Remember, this had been going on for about 40 minutes and Scarlet still hadn't really acknowledged his existence. I could see his little brain working.
He had made a few advances toward an actual hug but just couldn't bring himself to do it. There was the time where she was climbing out of the ball pit and he went for it but it just resulted in two bonked heads and a confused Scarlet. That threw off his game a bit. But then he saw it, his chance! Scarlet was looking out the window at a half deflated sad little orange balloon.
"A Bawoon a bawooon!" she shouted excitedly.
She's into balloons? he thought. I could be into balloons.
He ran to the window and squatted beside her.
"A bawoooon!" she said to him.
She'stalkingtome! Shestalkingtome! he thought.
This was it. He stood and went in for his big move, gently placing his arm around her.
"A bawoon!" Scarlet said.
Colin nodded enthusiastically and they both stared out the window.
Meanwhile (for any of you who are concerned) our little third wheel Leila girl was flying around on ziplines, climing rock walls and bouncing to and fro. So she was coo'.
All too soon it was time to clear out of the gym. Scarlet hugged Leila and said her goodbyes. Colin's eyes were as wide as saucers while Scarlet put on her shoes and headed toward the door. I stopped her before we left pointed out the little boy with the orange shirt and said
"Go tell Colin goodbye too Scarlet."
"Buhbye Conaan." she said while she waved her floppy little Beeble arm at him.
Happily, she took my hand and trotted out of the building asking about lunch plans. I looked back and saw dear Colin.
His grandmother was fussing over him with his jacket and shoes while he unblinkingly watched Scarlet walk out of his life.