The Kidling has taken a keen dislike for blueberries. Once her favorite fruit, she now specifically requests her yogurt sans those tasty little morsels of berry goodness. The Dada commented on the transformation, telling Alice, “You used to gobble blueberries down like candy!” Without missing a beat, The Kidling replied, “Now I don’t! Now I gobble candy down!”
And she’s right. Sigh.
We were out running errands one recent weekend when I loaded the trunk with The Family’s exciting new acquisitions (Toilet paper and kale. Jealous yet?), closed the trunk, and hopped in the car. As we were preparing to drive away, The Kidling noticed that the trunk was cracked open. You see, the back seat of our new-to-us car has a nifty fold down arm rest with even niftier storage hidden inside. This means
- Alice can always have sh*t to do in the car without it looking like a pit; and
- The armrest is always down. Seriously. Always.
The result of item two is that Alice has a view into the trunk. This can be funny, such as the time she told me she really wanted to climb into the trunk NOW before her bottom gets too big to fit.
Let’s pretend she didn’t get that from watching me try to squeeze under the couch, okay?
It can also, apparently, be useful. Such was the case on this day, when The Kidling yelled to notify me of the deficiency in my trunk closing abilities. I thanked her, and she responded,
“Sometimes I can be a big helper. Like now! I helped you that time. And it was good.”
And on the seventh day, The Kidling rested.
The Kidling is a lucky little munchkin in more ways than I can count. Most importantly, she is safe, her basic needs are all tended to, and she is loved.
By safe, I mean followed around and hovered over. A bit.
By basic needs, I really mean “and then some.” A little bit because we work hard, but mostly because we are fortunate and the world has been kind. Don’t go getting any crazy ideas. She doesn’t have her own iPad or anything, but when she needs new shoes, she gets them. And they’ll probably be cute.
And by loved, I mean worshipped (hence this blog’s name).
You know what puts the lucky-Kidling-o-meter over the top? Alice adores horses, and Grandma and Grandpa have three. Notice I didn’t say we have horses. That would require an acreage we cannot afford, tack we have nowhere to store, farriers I know nothing about (as evidenced by the fact that I spelled it with an “e” before autocorrect saved me), and far more time than we have to ensure they have adequate care and attention.
No, having horses at Grandma and Grandpa’s is the best case scenario for The Kidling. Not unlike a niece or nephew, we get to have all the fun and hand them back when the diaper gets dirty…
But with much messier accidents.
So dear darling child had a fantastically good time yesterday with Grandma and Grandpa’s equine friends. Too much fun, it turns out, because at bedtime she declared, “I will only go to sleep if I can ride a horse right now!”
That settles it: no fun for you.
The Mama: How do you like New York?
Alice: I never want to go back to my house!
Saturday afternoon we walked to the subway station, hopped the train to lower Manhattan, took the ferry to Staten Island (and back), hopped back on the train but this time to Brooklyn, went for a lovely little stroll through DUMBO, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, trekked to the subway station, and hopped one final train back to midtown.
Is it no wonder that at one point The Kidling asked, ”Why are we taking so many things to get there?”
It is on our walk across the Brooklyn Bridge that today’s story took place. The Kidling was amazed, if exhausted, by the bridge. As we walked, we talked about how bridges are built and who is responsible for their construction. When we stopped for one of our (28) rest breaks, Alice told us a lengthy story about her career goals. It began with a telling us that, when she is an adult, she will be a bridge engineer and live in New York City. Being a fan of the city myself, I asked whether we could come visit and stay with her. Alice was ever-so-gracious:
“Of course! Because you’re my parents! Just so you know, I have lots of jobs planned, so call me, and if I don’t answer, then I’m at another job.”
Call first. Got it. And I’m glad you plan to work so hard. New York City is a pricy place to live.
The Kidling loves animals. I know all kids love animals, but she seems to love them even more intensely than other kids. Dogs, cats, birds, horses, dinosaurs, dragons, unicorns (no one said they had to be real animals)… she adores them all. As such, we knew our trip to New York must include a visit to the American Museum of Natural History. Some things are nonnegotiable.
The museum did not disappoint. Alice ran from diorama to diorama, peering inside and providing thoughtful commentary and asking difficult questions:
“Why is the owl in there (pointing to a display with a brightly painted background)? They are nocturnal and it is day time.”
“It’s a raven!”
“Why are that antelope’s horns curved backward? How does he protect himself, then?”
This went on for hours.
Later, we approached a diorama with a buffalo and several birds. Alice asked how the birds would escape the buffalo. I told her that the birds would fly away (neglecting to point out that a buffalo, being herbivorous, would have no interest in catching a bird. You win some, you lose some). The Kidling remained unconvinced of the feasibility of that plan and predicted that, to catch the birds, “Buffalo stand on their tippy hooves!”
We were walking around midtown Saturday early evening in search of ice cream (confidential to The Dada: I swear that Tasty Treat was so much closer than that. It must have been moved during dinner). After 20ish minutes of wandering, we gave up when we spied a McDonald’s.
Don’t judge: a promise is a promise, and McDonald’s soft serve is still technically ice cream. Besides, I didn’t promise ice cream of any particular quality.
We must have looked less lost than we felt (or perhaps upon spotting an ice cream source, we looked more confident of our destination), because someone stopped us on the street to ask us for directions.
To Toys ‘R’ Us.
The Dada and I apologized for our ignorance. We were prepared to move on, when Alice told the inquirers, “I’m smart, and I don’t even know!” As we walked across the street, I thanked her for wanting to help, to which she replied, “I was looking at the signs, but I just can’t read!” *
Now that’s self-awareness.
* Post edited to reflect the fact that The Dada told me I got the quote wrong. I am so glad there are two of us…
The Kidling has spent a lot of time as of late pondering fairness. This contemplation has taken many forms.
Some are predictable: Alice is fond of foot-stomping, lower-lip protruding declarations that an injustice has been served upon her, usually by The Mama. This particular consideration of fairness typically concludes with the quote, “No fair!” and is often finished with a dramatic exit from the room.
Hey, the girl has flair. You’ve got to give her that.
Others are surprising in their selfishness: Last night, for example, The Kidling fell and sustained an injury (to her ego). While still on the ground, she huffed, “It’s no fair that I got hurt and you didn’t!” Hours later when she hit an arm on the door frame while flopping her tiny kidling body around, another lament, this time, “It’s no fair that I got hurt two times and you got hurt none.” Stomp. Huff. Exit stage right.
Finally, other observations take a decidedly empathetic tone: Such was the case on our Saturday morning car ride to the airport. As you know, The Family recently returned from a family wedding in New York. The Dada does the driving on such trips (thank you, dear!). As I was distributing a snack to the back seat, Alice commented, “It’s too bad Dad has to do all the driving and we get to do all the eating!”
I guess that depends on who you ask.