Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Something special

What are the highlights of a visit to Washington with a three year old?

1) Watching episodes of The Muppet Show in the car and then walking up the steps to the Lincoln Memorial, turning to read the giant etching of the Gettysburg Address and hearing your daughter exclaim, "It's Sam the American Eagle!"

2) Remembering how much fun it is to swim in a hotel pool. Somersaults! Handstands! Water wings! And that particular grown-up pleasure, the hot tub. (What's not so fun is forgetting your most flattering bathing suit in the hotel and paying them to fed-ex it to you in Canada.)

3) Pretending to be a giant panda eating bamboo. Not to mention seeing the phenomenon live a few feet away.

Will may have preferred playing on the zoo playground that was actually a giant pizza. Really! She had to push a giant mushroom across the dough in order to be able to climb onto (and slide down) the wedge of cheese.

4. Watching the oldest bug keepers in the history of the world trying to keep the children from standing too close to the tarantula at feeding time. ("She will shoot out her poisonous hairs when she's nervous! I've been hit and it itched for a week!") The best part may have been hearing the other keeper declare, as she counted up some green worm-like creatures, "I'm missing one!"

5. Wandering through the neanderthal section of the National History Museum and hearing Will announce, "I see something special!" in that singsong voice of the excited three-year-old. My sister and I looked over to see her holding the, um, iron private parts of a toddler neanderthal statue. "It's so, so special Mommy! What is it?"

I tried not to laugh. "You know what it is."

"You tell me!" She was still touching it.

"It's a penis."

"Whoo hoo! A penis!"

Will then almost danced from statue to statue looking for more special things. I'd call that a successful trip.