|Day 23 of 31 at TWT!|
She was so funny in the gift shop. It was already more than a half hour after I'd planned to leave the zoo and we're trying not to go into buildings, so I'd figured we'd zip quickly into the kids' gift shop, grab one sea lion the girls could share, and get going to the car.
Once we found the sea lion corner (since it's a new exhibit, there was truly a whole wall of sea lion items), it didn't take Sweetie long to pick one out: a smooth, silky brown sea lion that looked just like the ones we'd seen. I was pointing out a few other choices, just to make sure she saw the different styles and had the one she really wanted, when Rainbow Girl pointed towards a bin on the floor I hadn't even seen, filled with fluffy gray sea lion pups.
"Can I have THAT one?" she declared, both arms reaching out.
"You want one of these?!" I picked one up, checking the tag to see if it was even supposed to be a sea lion since it didn't look anything like the ones we'd seen. I wondered if it was some kind of seal, but sure enough, the tag said "sea lion". "We were going to get this one!" I held out her sister's brown, realistic one.
"I want THOSE!" she strained against her stroller straps, still pointing at the fluffy gray ones.
My heart melted. It was her first time ever picking anything out, not having been in any kind of store since she was a tiny baby. I glanced at the price tag (not too bad) and decided we could probably swing two stuffed animals to commemorate our new best animal friends, first trip to the zoo (& first real "activity") in over a year.
I started doing what my mom always does, picking up a few animals to inspect, making sure we get one that's not smushed or coming unthreaded.
"NO, Mommy! I WANT it!!!" Now she was waving her arms wildly and shaking her head vigorously, desperate for a fluffy gray sea lion. I hurriedly handed her one and she immediately wrapped it in her arms, dipping her head into its fur in her deepest snuggle-pose. "Mmmmm!"
"But I want THIS one, Mommy!" Sweetie waved the brown one in my face, worried that I was going to tell her to put it back.
"It's ok, we can get both!" I winked. "She's never gotten to pick out anything from a store before!" We scurried to the checkout counter, where Rainbow Girl refused to let go of her new friend for even a second, starting to get distressed as soon as she saw her sister hand the brown sea lion up to be scanned. Luckily, the very smart employee offered to let me cut the tag off while she still held it, and then scanned the discarded tag so the snuggles could continue uninterrupted.
After being completely baffled that I had to insert my card into the chip reader, demonstrating that I'd apparently forgotten how to pay for things in person while being at home all this time, we finally headed towards the car, long after they should have both been down for their naps.
On the way home, glancing in the rear view mirror, I smiled at the sight of both of them snuggling their sea lions. Rainbow Girl was absolutely enthralled with hers, gazing at it, little fingers petting its fluffy fur and tapping its shiny eyes. "It have blue eyes!" she declared at one point. "It's new! Never had it before!"
It ate some crackers with her at home, then had to come upstairs as I unsuccessfully tried to get her late-for-nap self to put it down for a nap somewhere. In her room, I was also unsuccessful at getting her to put it to sleep on a shelf. It stayed tucked under her arm while I got her pajamas on, then clutched tight in one hand in the rocking chair with Nutbrown Hare in the other hand.
I'll definitely be able to swipe it when she goes to sleep, I thought, but there was no such luck. Even when her breathing slowed on my chest and I laid her in her crib, I couldn't tug it loose. I'll just wait a minute until she's deeper asleep. I watched her peaceful breathing and tugged again. Still tightly snuggled.
"TWO ANIMALS!!!" she screeched in wonder when she woke up, holding them both in outstretched arms. "SEA LION AND NUTBROWN HARE! I LOVE HIM!"
|Snuggling both in her highchair!|
Since the thought of her sleeping with something that large and fluffy still makes me a little nervous, we've managed to get her into bed without him since that first nap (despite a bit of campaigning for "Sea lion! TWO animals!"), but she still wants him right away whenever she wakes up, and Sweetie is so excited to bring him to her. As soon as she hugs him, I think of how she chose him for herself. She knows just what she wants. Such a big little girl, growing up every day!