Monday, July 21, 2008

Planes, Trains, and Elephants

One of the greatest joys for me about being a parent is the ability to shape a young mind and impress my views of the world upon it.  People give me the strangest looks when I compare having a toddler to owning a parrot.  It is though, except eventually the toddler actually knows what it's saying, and "Hot Damn" is no longer cute or funny.

This past weekend we took the metro to the Museum of Natural History (my personal favorite of the Smithsonian's) and she seemed to enjoy it, although she was in no way getting in that line to see the silly Hope Diamond.  Who wants to be weighed down by senseless gajillions of carats like that???  Now, a pacifier made of diamonds or sand, perhaps.

We had watched Ratatouille the night before and I'm afraid I kept referring to the rat as a mouse.  I just couldn't bring myself to call something cute a rat.  Even though, as many of my friends would point out to you, I used to have a hairless rat for a pet in High School.  And his name was...Fetus, yes Fetus, because that's what he resembled.  But that is another story entirely and not one for breakfast reading.  Nevertheless, I called the rat in the movie a mouse and my dear child, upon seeing any small animal in the glass cases would shout "Mouse".  

I knew that all those Zoo Books I read as a child would eventually pay off one day and it was at this point that I would  clear my throat and affect a professorial like tone while saying, "actually Elsbeth that is a pygmy marmoset.  They are indigenous to South America, and Mommy would LOVE to have one!  Would Ellie love to have one?  Yes?  Well, go and tell Daddy you would like a Mar-Mo-Set."  Because, while my feminine wiles no longer cast the powerful spell over Jeremy that they once did, Elsbeth has him wrapped around her leetle finger.  Alas, still no marmoset.

We had a quick snack on the mall under some trees and although the thermostat read: Hell, it was nice and breezy in the shade.  At one point Ellie reached into the bag of trail mix that we were sharing and stuffed a handful of almonds into her mouth.  I thought from her facial expression that she was beginning to choke and so I gave her a hearty slap on the back.  She spit the nuts out casually, turned her head slowly in my direction, and gave me a venomous glare.  A tiny index finger was raised in my face and she quietly said "Don't".  It was as if she knew that the slap was unwarranted and she was having none of it.  Jeremy was all: Thas my girrrrl!  Have I mentioned he likes his women with a hearty splash of sauciness and venom.  It's all fun and games when you're on the same playing field (as in husband and wife) but when it's your kid I think it needs to be more like coach and player.  I attempted to stifle a laugh and tried not to think of the adolescent years that lay ahead.

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