Today I spent the entire day with my kids, instead of working. Normally, my husband is home and I work full-time, but today he had to attend an all day work thing, so I got to step into his shoes. The first of April, it was our first sunny, warm day since I don’t know when. My husband left before the kids got up. We had breakfast, and then my daughter was dropped off at pre-school and my son and I were on our own. I’m not used to this routine, so I forgot my daughter’s knapsack. When I knelt down to kiss her goodbye at preschool, I realized that I’d also forgotten to wipe her face after breakfast.
My son and I went on to some thrift stores, in search of yellow or red rain boots for him. No luck, but we had fun, looking at toddler-sized luggage (zipper broken) and an empty toddler wading pool. He got to play with the toys while I checked out children’s books.
Next stop was the zoo. It was great to go to the zoo all alone with my son. He is two now. He runs ahead of me and knows exactly where he wants to go: moving water ball, fishes, waterfalls, outside fishes.
You have to know the Omaha zoo to understand the giant globe that moves and has water streaming over it. He stood up on the ledge and ran his hands over the freezing water. Next a potty break, then the aquarium, where he ran ahead of me, looking at his favorite exhibits – jelly fish, tunnel of fish, penguins, Nemo fish. Halfway through he said, “Mommy, I want to go outside.” So off we went. On to howling monkeys, bears (and their waterfalls), and koi (outdoor fish.)
We left the zoo to pick up his three year old sister from preschool. I said to my son, “Tell Aggie what you did today.” My son said, “I went to the zoo and washed my hands.”
Oh, the perspective of the two year old. Novelty is more important than content, thus, hand washing after a potty break trumps monkeys who hang from their arms, eye-level with you, howling so loudly that you can hear them throughout the entire zoo.
What in my life would be different if I had my two year old’s perspective? Definitely, the feeling of his hand clenching my two fingers as we walked through the zoo trumped the jellyfish, the tunnel of fish, the monkeys. Well, it trumped it all. Isn’t it interesting that hand washing and hand holding mean more than anything a zoo with a bazillion dollar endowment has to offer?