Wednesday, September 30, 2015

a special Wednesday

I suppose every day is special -- to borrow Ed's philosophy for a minute. But some days are ordinary and wonderful and some are unique and wonderful and today surely belongs to the latter camp.

Breakfast is in the sun room.

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Our bowls are full of pears, grapes and plums that had just been trucked over from a grocery store (that's some 7 miles away, but they deliver!).
Testing, we're just testing how it works.
You know you're never going to convince me that online grocery shopping is the way to go.
Just testing...
I have to see the full display, consider the freshness, read the labels...
Not bad: you must admit, the fruits aren't bad.
And smell the fruits and compare the ingredients on all the whole grain chips...
The peach could use a few days...
Well that's okay, most peaches could use a few days... and the delivery person was awfully nice. But too much plastic! Everything was in a plastic sack. We have ten bags just from this one small order.
You can make special requests: skip the plastic.
I need to see which berry is plumpest, which banana is least damaged...
Just testing.

And then I go to Snowdrop's home. Here's a difference to the day: I will be with her at her house and in the evening I'll be taking her to her weekly music class. And after -- home to the farmhouse, with Snowdrop in tow. She'll be with us until late tomorrow as her mommy and daddy are off and away (to an award event honoring my daughter's professional accomplishments, so that's cool in its own right).

And so we begin our morning of play. Ah, she remembers that standing up is the wave of the future for her!

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Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down. Okay Snowdrop, let's try something else. How about music sticks to get you ready for music class?

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Good effort, sweet one! 

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No, not an exercise bar, but hey -- good stretching!

And then, here's another novel twist to the day: after her lunch, we walk over to the expo center: it is the week of the World Dairy Expo -- a really big deal for the state of Wisconsin and for the dairy industry. Why not introduce Snowdrop to the animal that makes us proud -- the cow?

And here are my post factum thoughts on this expedition: the world of a little one is so small! Oh, you may travel and take her places -- she's been to Chicago several times. You may immerse her in social events -- she has been to more than one baseball game and is a regular at evening get togethers. She has, besides me, any number of adoring caretakers -- grandpas, grammies, aunts, uncles, to say nothing of the nursery at her church and the occasional baby sitter when I'm not around. She takes it all in stride. She is a happy, outgoing little girl.

But her world is small. Zoos, cheepers, cats - yes, animals all, but there is nothing, nothing like plunging her into a megaspace of cow stalls, with all the noise, machinery, smells, boisterous voices, megaphones, and of course moooooos coming on strong from all directions.

(It doesn't help that on our walk over (the expo center is a short distance from where Snowdrop lives), we had to pause at a train intersection while a large and loud train rumbled by. Snowdrop shook with fear.)

And here we are, at the expo center.

Whoa! All those cows!

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I take her out of the stroller and carry her past stall after stall. I talk about the cows and the milk and the cheese and the udder and the cows and the milk and cheese and the farmers who make it all possible for us. She listens, looks, and clings to my arm.

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We go into the arena too, and watch the selection of the top jersey.

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 ...while the small crowd cheers on. Or rests. I suppose it's a grueling set of days for the dairy people.

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Toward the end, Snowdrop isn't complaining. She is just somewhat aghast.

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It just doesn't fit into anything she'd seen so far.

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(On the upside, I think she is ready for a visit to the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh. Someday.)

And of course, there's nothing like the joy of returning home after an especially exciting set of hours. When I ask her at home "what does the cow say," she just laughs and laughs!

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At the music class she is her usual radiant self (possibly more than one grandma has said this of her grandchild). She is learning not only songs and rhythm, but also restraint and she is not too young to understand that there is a time for exuberance and a time for quiet. Tonight, she shows that she can do both very very well.

It's just an hour short of her bedtime when we get home to the farmhouse. Ed has picked up take-out Japanese for dinner, but still, it takes me a bit of time to tidy up and set out the food. All evening long, Snowdrop is at her best. She follows me around but settles in to amuse herself whenever I need time to wash dishes or eat my own dinner.

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pots: I'll just examine grandma's pots...

Tomorrow she may act like a 2 month old, but tonight she is no longer a baby -- she gives us a glimpse of herself as a child.