I nannied so my friends could celebrate their anniversary out of town. The kids and I started by making an egg tree. You know, poke holes in eggs, blow the guts out, paint 'em up. The two little girls looked at me like I was the head of NASA for coming up with the idea.
Little L won't wear socks, so after we went outside to find the branch for the egg tree she wanted to take her socks off. I said, "But what if your feet get cold?" To which she simply responded, "That's why I have warm feet." Oh. Duh.
Little L is at that age when almost everything she says is golden. She gave me so many hugs with adorable little ramblings - "You're the bestest babysitter ever" and "You're staying overnight? AWESOME!" and "We can go to the zoo to see the annam-moles?"
So I decided to ask her, "How do you spell Mississippi?" Without missing a beat she said, "E - I - O - sippi."
I loved naptime.
After some pizza and a game of monopoly, we went bowling.
Then we went home and watched "What About Bob." When she fell asleep, I didn't bother to put her in her big girl bed. I let her sleep next to me. It was possibly my favorite part of the weekend, her little body snuggled up next to me, sleeping soundly, safely, peacefully. And when we woke up, we trekked out to the zoo.
We heard the tiger roar. I was depressed. The tiger was skinny and morose-looking. He lumbered about a cold, Minnesota den and looked misplaced. It was my least favorite exhibit. He continued to make this half-hearted roar, just enough to get a few oohs and aahs out of the children, but most of the adults looked unimpressed and said, "Let's go see the African-hoofed animals, kids." Little L hooked her fingers into the chain-linked fence and watched the thin cat move about slowly through the snow. It growled a few more times.
"OWWWWWWW..." she imitated. We watched the cat silently for a few more minutes.
"You want to go watch the polar bear again?" I asked her.
"Yeah, cause we both love the polar bear, right En-im-lee?"
I hoisted her up into my arms and she squeezed me around the neck and together we trudged down the path to go watch the polar bear again.
"I luff you," she said, nudging her head into my shoulder.
"I love you too, princess." We sat at the polar bear exhibit for twenty minutes, watching him swim back and forth, loving the giant white bear together.
Some of the other parents had children who pounded on the glass and threw fruit snacks on the ground in fits of rage and hit their siblings with full fists or with the legs of their Barbie doll. They'd run off with the digital camera and lick the railings and tell their mother that she was "stooooooopid poop." Meanwhile there was little L, tucked in my arms, rocking with me gently, counting the number of times the polar bear swam back and forth. Such a large animal moving so gracefully, such a small child sitting so peacefully.