Sunday after Shavuot came out with a mixed promise of rain and sunshine, and the unbeatable desire to sleep. But the labor of love called, and I took out Mini Me on the outing to our favorite "pak".
It proved out to be another adventure filled Sunday with my favorite niece. As usual, her stubborn delicious fluffy Jewish head succumbed to Morpheus on the way there, which gave me few minutes to read my book and surreptitiously collect the disapproving stares - where are the envirowacos when you need them? Yes, her Maclaren (plus she in it) occupies around half the space of one of those fruitcakes with a bicycle, but earns waaaay more dirty stares. What gives? After all, we are traveling according to the "green" guidelines (sarcasm intended).
She awoke few minutes after we disembarked. Upon observing the ever thickening and darkening clouds, I asked her if she wanted to go to the park or the book store. "Pak" was her resolute answer. So, off to the park we went - right into a little skirmish.
There was a whole bunch of young activists positioned at most of the corners and by all the major entrances on the block. Somehow I knew they did not collect signatures to support troops or hand out invitations to the next tea party. Upon closer inspection I spied "DNC" clearly stamped across their uniform t-shirts. Approaching closer, I heard something about "healthcare reform". And then I reached one of them, who approached me with an opening salvo of "you supported Obama..."; it was a statement of fact, and not a question. That was the clichéd final straw: “I? Support Obama? I wish he would drop dead!" Thus shocking the poor, wide-eyed product of systematic brainwashing by the likes of Lee Bollinger and Ward Churchill, we proceeded to the park; and yours truly could feel few pairs of eyes drilling holes in her retreating back and sending her death rays. OK, Barb, note to self: next time just tell them to buzz off if you have one of your young charges with you. After all, you never know when it would escalate to more than death ray looks; and for the record, I do not want him dead (why should he become a martyr?); but that is a separate discussion.
After we arrived at the park, we had a grand time snaking in the grass, running around, and swinging. I also had fun by surreptitiously photographing Curly, who was not in the mood to be thusly immortalized, so I also got a few great shots of trees and sky.
Shortly after, the said sky started producing moisture otherwise known as rain, and I finally persuaded Mini Me to go to the book store. Of course, she decided to balk at her plastic rain cover, so I had to really run, which is really a fun activity when you try to run in the rain in flip-flops while pushing a stroller.
In the book store (B and N, of course), I was entertained by a wonderful spectacle of polite gentleman also running, this time in front of the woman with the stroller (yours truly), so he can get the last table at the cafe, so the above-mentioned woman with the stroller should scramble in order to find a place where she can feed the child in the stroller - who said that chivalry was dead?
After the snack and the fascinating visit to the ladies, where Mini Me always points out at the changing table with "this is where you changed me when I was a teeny tiny baby, Papi" (all of half a year ago), we made our way into the children's department. Once there, we started by reading her beloved "Olivia". Unfortunately, that did not last long. She started running around and exploring the "pricier" parts of the department. Long story short, we left the store laden with a magnetic doll with an interchangeable wardrobe, plush panda (which was declared Mini Me's new best friend), and a plush chipmunk for Mini Not Me. In between horsing around and trying to lighten my wallet, she also tried to play with other kids there. Unfortunately, the couple that she tried to engage (and their parents) proved to be on the snobby side. Their loss - Curly is a fantastic company (never mind her favorite auntie).
On the way back she kept hugging her new panda - maybe it really is her new best friend? She also kept insisting that we were on the wrong choo choo, and should get off immediately; I think she got overwhelmed by the amount of people on the said choo choo, but interesting diversionary tactic none the less. When Mini Not Me was presented with a chipmunk, another adult proclaimed him to be a hamster. Only the next morning, when I was doing my neurotic routine by cleaning my bag and incidentally discovered the ticket belonging to that animal did I find out that is was guinea pig! Go figure! As of press time, this animal has a permanent living space in Blondie’s bed, and goes by the name of chipmunk anyway.