My three year-old daughter has a way — even more than her older brother — of saying some of the most outrageous and endearing things.
Earlier in the day my mother-in-law, Wilma (please, in your charity, continue to pray for her) and I decided that four days stuck in the house due to ice were four days too many. Taking advantage of a mid-afternoon thaw we decided to take the kittens out. Our itinerary included Chick-fil-a to celebrate the solemnity (Immaculate Conception) and then on to Toys-R-Us so the kids could “browse” a few things in preparation for writing their letters to Santa. This latter activity took the form of creating a “wish list”. More on that in a bit. Let’s just say it involves bar code scanners and kids in a toy store. Can you just imagine?
As we were driving to Chick-fil-a, a favorite spot of ours, Baby Girl and Sonny-Boy were chatting in a most grown-up sort of way in the back seat as Granny Wilma and I listened to Rush Limbaugh up front. “Hey, Daddy?” piped up my daughter. “Are we going to the Chick-fil-a with a playground?” I explained to her that Chick-fil-a’s almost universally have playgrounds. Wilma remarried that she had yet to see one without a playground. To this bit of folly (and to prove my point) I tapped her on the shoulder and pointed out the passenger side window at the lone Chick-fil-a without a playground. Amazing when things just pop into view and help prove your point. We laughed and then resumed our earlier conversation.
A moment later my little princess, talking to her brother, started to raise her voice in frantic excitement, as though she was sharing a piece of life altering news. “Hey, hey! One time, I went to a McDonald’s… [Wait for it.]
And it DIDN’t have a playground!
With that last line she actually exuded thorough disgust and disbelief. She continued, “and it was a BIG McDonald’s. Can you believe it?!”
At the toy store I approached the service counter to inquire about something my wife had mentioned to me. “Um, my wife told me that you guys had scanners that we could carry around the store.” I didn’t have to say another word before they directed me to another service counter (this time actually a desk) to set me up with a wish list. I only mention this because the lady who walked us over to this desk quickly returned to her position at the first counter leaving us with an older sales associate who resembled Methuselah in his younger years, say, around 500. Not only was she tech-illiterate but she moved slower than molasses on Xanax. We eventually got things sorted and proceeded to make our way around the store — my son with me and my daughter with my mother-in-law. While I tried to steer the boy toward board games and telescopes, Wilma took a more hands-off approach. When we got back to the car I discovered that my daughter’s wish list included a black Barbie and a Virgin of Guadalupe votive candle. I wouldn’t have even thought they carried them at Toys-R-Us.
After an adventurous drive home that included ice, ice, and more ice, our evening progressed as usual and then came time to put the little tikes to bed. As I was giving my daughter a kiss and signing a cross on her forehead I asked her to pray for a particular intention of mine. “Sweetheart, can you ask Jesus” such and such? Came the reply, “Daddy, Jesus is our Shepherd,” with an ironical sheepish grin and an accompanying bleat for a laugh. “Yes, baby, and we are His sheep.” I was just about to leave the darkened room and let her drift off to sleep when she continued, “but sheep live on a farm and we live in houses.” A round a laughter and we’re through for the day.
Love that little girl!