Two weekends ago was the long-awaited Maryland Homecoming game! Dude has been looking forward to going down to Maryland to see a football game since about March.
In the weeks leading up to Saturday’s game, Dude recited his favorite “scripts” having to do with Maryland. On loop. Here is a sample (to understand Dude’s use of the word “no,” please refer to the Dude Language Guide):
“Practice field. Soon we go to the practice field. No practice field. Practice field on Saturday. The Miiiiiighty Souuuuuuund of Marrrrrrrrryland! No twirlers. Dancers. Color guard. No cheerleaders. Saxophone! Alto saxophone. Tenor saxophone. Soon we go to the The Truck. Practice field. Practice field alllllll gone. All gone for the practice field. Practice field alllll finished. Football game. Soon we go to the Maryland football game.”
Imagine that repeated over. And over. And over.
We arrived in Maryland on Saturday morning just in time to see the band practice. Dude contentedly settled himself into his chair to observe his beloved band. As an added bonus, we ran into my freshman and sophomore year roommate, who Dude had a HUGE crush on.
Dude watching practice w/ me, Kim(!), and our friend Chris
Afterwards, we stopped by my friends’ tailgate. Dude stuffed himself full of a hot dog, chocolate chip cookies, chips, etc. He positioned himself right next to my friend’s oversized speaker to better enjoy the music.
Next, we ran up to the performing arts center so Dude could see the band step off and do The Truck. He grinned as they marched past, chanting their silly words which make no sense to the outside world.
After that, we headed to the stadium to watch the Terps lose in a heart breaker of a game. It wouldn’t have been so bad if we didn’t lose as a result of ONE PERSON’S FAILURE TO DO THEIR JOB (ahem, field goal kicker) after rallying in the last five minutes.
Luckily for us, Dude doesn’t care whether the Terps win or lose. He just like the experience of going to see them play.
The Maryland visit ritual continued the next day. We went to our favorite diner for breakfast, and then swung by the bookstore to pick out some Maryland swag for Dude.
We’ve been trying more to have Dude actively participate in simple decisions that affect him. We’ll give him a choice of three desserts and have him choose. We’ll let him decide how he wants to spend his “unwind” time after he gets home from his program. We encourage him to select his breakfast in the morning.
When we got to the bookstore, Mom and Dad picked out several shirts for Dude. He got a football jersey and a long-sleeved shirt. For a third shirt, Mom was trying to decide between the red or black version of this long-sleeved shirt.
“What do you think?” she asked Dad and me, holding up both options.
I shrugged. Dad shrugged.
“Why don’t we ask Dude which one he likes?” Dad suggested.
Dad held up both options.
“Dude, do you want the red Maryland long-sleeved t-shirt, or the black Maryland long-sleeved t-shirt?” Dad showed Dude both the front and back sides.
Which one do you think he picked?
If you guessed both… you are absolutely correct!!!!
Sadly for Dude, he was overruled. The red shirt won.