It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Dinosaurs and bandaids

Malli arrives first, prances in on her pink-shod tippy toes. “See my new DRESS? My mommy got me my new DRESS! It is a PRINCESS DRESS!” She skips and spins and preens and prances, the better to elicit our cries of awe and admiration. She is delectable in a delicious confection of pink satin and white gauzey stuff, embellished with beads and ribbons.

She is truly a Sight to Behold.

And, boy, did people behold. Today we had an Outing, you see, to one of the many museums in this lovely city, so there was lots of beholding. The comments came in thick and fast. On the street, on the sidewalk, on the bus. From bus drivers through museum staff and random strangers here and there. Smiles and coos from doting adults padded our journey.

And her response to all these lovely, loving, friendly people? She pouted. Fixed each of them with a reproving glower before ducking her head and refusing to speak. The girl is not shy. Depending on her mood, she’ll readily start conversations with strangers. She’s just noticed you get a second round of coaxing from the doting adults, sometimes even a third, when you turn your nose up at them, make them really work for the privilege of your attention. And meantime, the other equally cute and possibly more receptive kids get ignored.

Sigh. It’s enough to make a caregiver wish she’d brought along a pair of jeans and a tshirt…

There are dinosaurs at the museum. Dinosaurs, it turns out, are scary. Now, they weren’t scary last time we went. Last time they were exciting! Big! Scaaary! But “scary” in a “how-exciting-to-pretend-to-be-scared” way. This time? This time, with a little more maturity, a little more imagination, a little greater concept of danger … they were scary-scary, not play-scary.

The three tots (only three today) who’d bounced ahead of the empty stroller, full of eager expectation for the wonders in the next gallery stopped dead in the entry. The gallery is dimly lit and filled with giant leafy ferns. The room is enormous, the dinosaurs huge. The tots’ eyes are wide, they scan the scene ahead of them, then, to a man, they turn on their heels. Quick! Head for the stroller!

We enter the gallery, but slowly, quietly. No one roamed far from the protective shelter of the stoller (though not one of them was riding. The stroller is merely crowd control.) They gazed up, up, up in awe-struck silence, speak only in cautious whispers.

“Is dat a dinosaur?”
“Yes.”
“Can it see me?”

In the sun-filled, dinosaur-free coffee shop — because no outing with Mary is complete without a trip to the coffee shop!! — the children come to exuberant life once more. The nice coffee shop lady notices not Malli (hallelujah!) but Timmy. Well, she did notice Malli, but when Malli played hard to get for the 147th time that morning, Smart Coffee Shop Woman immediately turned beaming attention upon Timmy.

My experienced eye caught her experienced eye and we exchanged knowing grins. We both know from manipulation. Heh. And besides, Timmy deserves some of the attention. Not only is is sweet as can be, but he is sporting not one, not two, but FOUR bandaids on his wee forearm.

“Oh, my! Look at all those band-aids? Did you hurt yourself?”
“No.” Timmy rewards her with an ear-to-ear grin, and if you remember Timmy’s ears, you’ll know it was a killer smile.
“Oh you just like bandaids?”
“Yep.” Timmy can talk your ear off once he gets going, but he knows how to stick to essentials, too.
“What do they have on them?”
Well, that’s a fascinating question, and one which he hadn’t considered before. He lifts his arm up, holding it so they can both peer at the bits of plastic dotting his arm. “Oh, I don’t know!” he chirps, in tones of great wonderment.
“Is that Donald Duck?”
“Nooo, it’s just a duck.”
They grin, each well-pleased with the other.

June 26, 2008 Posted by | Malli, Ottawa, outings, Timmy | 2 Comments