the verdict

The Mama: How do you like New York?

Alice: I never want to go back to my house!

long-range planning

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.

a morning at the museum

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.

And 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!”

Giggle.

sometimes smart just isn’t enough

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.

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* 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…

on fairness

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.

Sweet, no?

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.

traveling with The Kidling

The Family recently returned from a trip with a big girl (Alice) to a big city (New York). It was fun. And highly quotable. The next few days’ stories will be tales from the trip. We begin with a story of appreciation from the car ride to the airport:

“It’s good we have a snack to keep us healthy and hydronated.”

Indeed it is. Also? A new entry for The Dictionary.

Hy-dro-nat-ed. adj. The state of having adequate water in an object. Not to be confused with hydrogenated.