so we went to the zoo. the most tragic incident: ava lost her blankee somewhere along the way.
awhile back, when ava decided to start dragging her blankee everywhere, i cut it into two pieces to make the blankee more travel friendly. this actually worked to my benefit in more than one way: when ava and blankee must be separated for washings, she actually has a stand-in that she doesn't even know is a stand-in.
anyway, blankee is lost. ava hasn't noticed. i, on the other hand, have called the zoo every day and sat on hold with them waiting for them to search through the lost and found to find that stinky, yucky rag my daughter sleeps with every night. it's surpirsed me that i am almost as attached to her blankee as she is. when we first figured out that it was missing and then realized that the last time we'd seen it was at the zoo (i was wrestling it away from her before she went in to the petting zoo. i have my limitations, you know), my heart sank. then it broke. i mean, that's her comfort. and if i can't be there to comfort her, that blankee always has. and now what is she going to do? WHO WILL COMFORT HER NOW?? (i demanded we go back and i most likely had a wild emotional edge to my voice because ryan's eyes got big. however, we have the stand-in and i quickly gained control of myself)
anyway, the zoo: ryan's parents came with us and, after a small confusion with tickets (which involved chris breaking into his brother's house to retrieve said tickets), we were ready to follow ryan's lead (he'd got hold of a map and had plotted out our best course. is anyone surprised by this?).
the highlight: ava running into the petting zoo and giving the first goat she could find a hug. a huge hug. and then holding on. i had to keep reminding her to be gentle while hugging the goats. i'd like to spend my life not knowing what a goat does to defend itself when a toddler begins to choke it, thank you very much.
she's totally my child. wild animal giddiness and all. it delighted her grandparents, it did not surprise me and i think it worried ryan. he knows that's just a matter of time before she's dragging all sorts of animals home and asking to keep them. i know why he's worried: his wife is already doing it and if we both start doing it, just how many pets will we have? fact: ryan's soft spots happen to be me and ava. he cannot refuse us, so you know we're in a lot of trouble.
this is outside the "polar bear plunge" where ava sat on one polar bear statue and commanded her grandpa to "play" with the other one. he then had the pleasure of figuring out what game he was playing and what the rules were. when he did something right, ava said nothing. when he did something wrong she frowned, pointed and commanded him to "play". i'm fairly certain i called the game off early and led her away sobbing.