Friday, May 3, 2013

Consider the bull

On Tuesday I took most of the day off from work to take my sweet L to a parent+child blogging event. She's the perfect age for such an outing: young enough that I don't have to pull her out of school; old enough that I don't worry about disrupting her nap schedule. And of the three kids, she's by far the most easygoing and outgoing. I can take her into a crowd of strangers and leave her to play with other kids while I go hear the presentation for the parents and she'll be happy. 

Plus, sometimes it's nice to have a little one-on-one time with each of my funny monkeys. And that girl L, she is wildly funny.

We began the day as any other, driving to my work so we could drop her brother off at daycare, and then we continued on and drove through DC into Virginia (the event was put on by PBS and was at their headquarters). We had so much fun and my girl was taking every advantage of being alone with me, and I let her. She never stopped talking, except to eat cookies and raspberries. She asked a million gazbillion questions. And she wanted control over the rest of the day.

Before we go back, can we go out to lunch? Yes.

Can we sit at the counter? Yes.

And then can we get ice cream?  Yes.

When we go back, can we park in the satellite lot and walk through the woods? Yes.

Can we go see the bull now?

L has been attending the daycare in my building at work since she was four months old, which means that just this week she passed her five-year anniversary. So twice a weekday, every weekday, for five years, that girl has been in the backseat observing the path of our commute. At the last intersection before we get to work and school, we pass a crumbling, decrepit shopping plaza. It's pretty rundown but has its merits: the 7-11 has a Redbox machine, and the Hispanic-oriented grocery store has an amazing array of both piƱatas and spices.

It also has this seedy, sticky, scary restaurant called The Golden Bull. I've eaten there once. It was all unwashed men playing compulsive Keno, stale nicotene cloud cover, and soggy grilled cheese. Don't disrespect the grilled cheese, please. That was eight years ago and I haven't been back.

But The Golden Bull has an enormous golden bull on its roof and for years, L has been asking to go to the place with the bull. When I told her it was so yucky and she'd never want to eat there, she explained she just wanted to see the bull, not the restaurant. And it's been a standing request, but the thing about commuting is you're always trying to get somewhere, and we've never taken the time for my daydreamiest child to contemplate a rooftop fiberglass farm animal.

So we went on Tuesday, and naturally it was the capstone of the day. Untoppable and unbeatable. Childhood: won.

She was so happy.

Consider the bull. What's the thing right in front of you that would make you so happy that you're not doing? I've thought of two,
and I'm going to do one of them this weekend. You can learn a lot from five-year-olds when you look at things from their perspectives.

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