Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Crowning Moment

It was a lazy Saturday afternoon when I gathered my courage to venture out dress shopping. We have two functions this summer that will require something a bit nicer than my usual t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, however formal dresses and I usually do not get along very well.

"Let's go buddy," I said to the little man, who had just barely awakened from his afternoon nap.

"Where are we going?" he asked.

"Mommy needs a new dress," I replied.

"But I wanna stay here and watch cartoons," the little man said, still waking up from his nap.

I knew the little man, just like any 4-year-old, liked to feel important. I also knew that I wasn't in the mood for a "I don't wanna go" tantrum.

"But mommy needs your help to find her a pretty dress," I said. "Can you please come and help me?"

The little man jumped up, ready to save the day.

"Sure," he said as he smiled. "I will find you a pink one ... no, a blue one, because that's your favorite color."

We loaded up the car and headed on our adventure. As we entered the shop I crossed my fingers that my 4-year-old little helper would be on his best behavior.

As I approached the dressing room with an arm full of dresses, the little man stopped me.

It wasn't because I didn't have a pink dress ... or a blue one.

It was because I had forgotten one important accessory.

At least to him.

"Mommy, don't you need a crown?" He asked as he looked at a rack of dazzling combs, barrettes and other hair pieces.

"Why?" I asked him as I walked to the dressing room.

"Because you're a pretty princess," he said as he looked up at me. "All princesses need a crown."

As I shut the door on the dressing room I couldn't help but smile.

And feel like a pretty princess.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sssssummer Fun

It's hard to believe that so much of the summer has already passed. Because we were cooped up inside for so long as part of what seemed like an endless cold and dreary winter, we are now taking every advantage to play outside in the sunshine.

On one of those sunshiny summer days we decided to take at trip to see Nana and Grandpa. The little man had been going through some Nana withdrawal, so we packed up our car and headed off to their fun-filled home.

Near Nana and Grandpa's house is a wonderful wildlife park that it a bit smaller than a real zoo, but has all the same exotic animals. However, besides it's size, there is another key difference between it and other major zoos.

It's interactive.

Just like 4-year-olds.

We hopped around with kangaroos.

We fed pygmy goats.

We gave a tortoise a cool afternoon snack.

We took an afternoon ride on a camel.

We fed the colorful lorikeets (with some mommy help).

We discovered baby lemurs love craisins.

We said hello to Anessa, the giraffe.

But the highlight of the day wasn't the kangaroo, goats, tortoise, camel, lorikeets, lemur or giraffe. No, the little man's favorite animal of the day was something much more interesting.

Something much more interactive.

What wasssssssss it?

It was Charlie, the king snake.

{Much to mommy's dismay.}

As I took the little man's hand to walk on after handing the snake back to it's handler, I held my breath, knowing all to well what was coming next.

"Mommy, I want one of those king snakes," the little man said as he took my hand.

"I don't think so," I said, shivering at the thought of a pet snake.

"But I want a snake like that," the little man reiterated. "He's silly!"

"We need to leave him here, so other little boys and girls can play with him," I said.

The little man's eyes shifted to look back at his slithery friend.

"But ... can we come back and see him again sometime?" He asked.

"Yes," I said. "That we can do."

And although that was the end of our conversation that day, I also know that it is not over, for I fear Santa will be getting an unusual request this year from a blue-eyed little boy with a love for king snakes.