It was one of those rare weekends dedicated to downtime with my daughter, Zoë. The playground, the zoo, and long walks around the neighborhood were all we got done. And it was good.
The one thing that happens when you spend two days mostly one-on-one with an almost-three-year-old is that you realize how much more time you'd like to spend one-on-one with her. You realize how much television she's been watching, how much of her brothers' influence has filtered into her conciousness as you talk with her. and how big a sponge her brain is.
Walking from the parking lot to the zoo: “Daddy, when I was a robot, I had really strong legs.”
At the gate: “I want to go see the cheetah.”
In the zoo: “The sitatunga was lonely before the other ones came. But now it has lots of friends.”
On the carousel: “Silly Daddy. Tricks are for kids.”
By the (goats in the petting zoo, waterfowl pond, duck enclosure): “Look out for (goat, goose, duck) poop, Daddy.”
Eating chicken fingers from the zoo's concession stand at a picnic table: “I like this chicken. But this is chicken from a farm, not from the zoo.”
At random: “Are you happy, Daddy? I'm happy.” and “I love you.”
Professions of happiness and love, and warnings of nearby poop; what more could anyone want?