Around 11, Zoe and I went to the playground while Paula went to a hair appointment.
(Kevin and Jonah had makeup soccer games, which my ex, Amy, was taking them to).
The phone wires were thick with pigeons catching their sun, and bushes swarmed with chattering starlings.
A family brought their dog out to play catch, and Zoe wanted to get to know the dog. She even threw the dog’s tennis ball for it to retrieve, before hiding behind me in shyness.
A week ago, Zoe told our neighbor Anna how she was going to get a dog someday, “after the cats die and we flush them down the toilet.” I guess the memory of her first goldfish’s death has stuck with her.
Well, she’s still on the puppy kick, rattling on about all the things she could do with a puppy. “But Desi and Lucy (our cats) would miss us if we got a dog,” she said matter-of-factly to me as we walked up the hill after the dog encounter. I assured her that we would keep the cats if we got a dog, which would only happen if we got a larger house. She agreed, and said it was time to see if mamma was done with her haircut.
We came back, and Paula had come back, her hair trimmed. She was on the phone, and in cleaning mode–she had decided, based on the gross-out factor of the dining room, that something Had To Be Done.
So I took Zoe out again, for a walk to the bank machine to deposit a check and a stop at McD’s for a Happy Meal lunch. Then we came back to the house to pick up mamma and head back to the playground.
Paula was willing and ready, so we left, this time with Zoe in the jogging stroller, and strolled once again to the park, where Zoe quickly pulled Paula over to the jungle gym/slide apparatus so she could go down slides with her. The slides being somewhat sticky and worn, there wasn’t a whole lot of sliding going on. A little girl named Seana showed up (“Daddy, she’s the same as you!” Zoe announced) and started climbing up slides, so Zoe had to do the same. Then she needed to slide down the firepole. And so on.
Finally, we packed it up, and hiked back up the hill past the house to the grocery store for some milk ‘n eggs.