I just Googled it. He's a squirrel. Never would have guessed.
Anyway, we chose the free Jelly Bean Factory tour as our fun family outing because it's free and it's a factory. Oh, wait. It's not a factory, it's just a warehouse. Oh, wait. Warehouses aren't nearly as exciting as factories. And, oh wait. The "fun train ride" through the warehouse stops every five feet at a different television to show a series of incredibly boring videos about jelly beans. Snooze fest, man. Who cares if Ronald Reagan enjoyed jelly beans!? They only thing that could have saved these videos would have been Troy McClure, who could have possibly started each video segment with, "You may remember me from other candy warehouse tour videos such as 'Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut: The Emotional Downward Spiral of Almond Joys' and 'Skittles- The Rainbow Tastes Like Cavities.'"
The tour would have been a thousand times better if the train driver (I refuse to call her an engineer) would have just set the dang choo choo to full throttle and whipped us all around the warehouse like six or seven times. Now that would have been a tour! Andy was definitely disappointed in his train ride. Every time the train stopped for another video (which was all the train did), he yelled out to the train driver to keep it moving. "Go!" he yelled. I tried to feign enthusiasm for the videos ("Wow! The president was called 'The Gipper' because.... Hey, look at that!"), but Andy wasn't buying it. Alex was also bored out of his mind, struggling to just abandon the choo choo altogether in search of some pepperoni, which Chris let him try for the first time while I was out on Saturday. Chris is very interested in feeding Alex when it's pepperoni, a sip of soda, part of a jelly bean, or just the tiniest taste of nicotine gum, but not so much when it's age appropriate or mildly healthy. Nonetheless. At least he watches his own kids without referring to it as "babysitting," even if the house is an unbelievable mess when I return home after only four hours, three of those hours during which everyone should have been asleep. But I digress. Love you, Chris!
After the tour, I told Andy that he could have one jelly bean. I figured if I started low, he could bargain his way up to my real jelly bean number, which was five. By the end of the day, I'm going to say he had like two hundred. I have him on a Pediasure regimen nowadays, though, so we're all good.
Alex is proving to be just about the opposite from Andy in every category, so maybe he'll be my steak and potatoes kid while Andy and Chris are off eating Nutella spread on a Snickers bar. Alex eats better than Andy ever did. He crawled faster. He has golden hair and a fair complexion. And he has zero interest in pacifiers or blankies. I am attributing this lack of interest in security objects to the fact that he's not in daycare where his only soothers from home are his own binky and blanky, but that's just my own take on things.
Anyway, we did the jelly bean factory tour, and then our own homespun Dora episode took us to that Bass Pro Shop in Gurnee, the store with the big fish tank and all the metal detectors to make sure that you don't take any firearms OUT of the store and into the mall, which made me feel super secure whilst IN the store. Then we had lunch in the food court (I hate the mall) and THEN we paid six dollars to let the boys ride the little kid choo choo around the mall play area. Andy and Alex had been let down with the jelly bean factory ride, and so the six dollar ride seemed worth the price of admission. Here's where one of the boys' similarities did shine through- both had a blast. Alex stuck his face out the choo choo window and took it all in like he was on a train tour through Europe, and Andy just sat in his seat and soaked it all up with a smile on his face. Man, do I love those boys. Enough to give them each another jelly bean. OR, maybe just enough to never give them any more jelly beans ever again, because, for real, that crap is pretty bad for you, no matter what Ronald Reagan ever said.