We went to the zoo last weekend. It was a perfect fall day. Sunny. Chilly enough for hot chocolate and donuts. Warm enough to walk around watching the animals and appreciating the changing colors. It was an educational experience for Piper, too. These are the things she learned:
1. Animals poop. A lot.
2. Monkeys have funny butts.
3. Some monkeys have funny boobs, too.
4. Underwater caves have the best views.
5. When animals poop a lot it smells. Bad.
6. If you ask for a really small thing at the gift store, your odds are better than when you ask to take home the life size panda.
7. You’re always the red dot on the map. The red dot follows you. It’s amazing.
8. Elephants lay eggs. Or they like to play with big white balls. Whatever.
9. Elephants poop a lot. It’s big poop. It smells like big poop.
10. Seals fight over the same rock. Even when there are two seals and twenty rocks. It’s a lot like having a Sissy.
A Piper doesn’t do blue jeans. They’re too stiff. She refuses to unbutton and zip. Tutus don’t easily slip over blue jeans and dancing is inhibited. So there.
Yet the leaves are changing and it’s starting to get cool. Blue jeans keep you warm. So yesterday we hauled out the hand-me-downs to add some layers to Piper’s tutu collection. Sissy made it into a fashion show. We blasted Lady Gaga and assessed new outfits with thumbs up and thumbs down. It was fun. At first. Piper gave everything a thumbs down. Too many blue jeans. Too many plain turtlenecks (Sissy was a bit more practical in her kindergarten fashion). Piper agreed to a few knit pants but only the ones with flowers, Eiffel Tower prints, and rainbows. The shirts were boring. The blue jeans were impossible. Piper was grumpy. So was I. Then she turned on Sissy. “Why couldn’t you like dresses and skirts?” she accused. “Now look what I have to deal with!” Sissy just rolled her eyes at her sister’s fussiness.
“Mom, you know what we need?” Sissy said.
“A shopping spree paid for by someone else?” In my mind I was trying to come up with a compromise between all the free hand-me-downs I’d laundered and stored and Piper’s fashion demands.
“Rice krispie treats.”
“Okay. A break would be good.” We pulled on fall jackets and walked to the store for the essentials. Along the way Piper was a little chilled. Bare legs in brisk fall weather will do that to you.
We made the rice krispies. We ate the rice krispies. Piper told us that marshmallows are harvested from the clouds. Sissy said, “Boy is she going to be disappointed when she learns about the water cycle.”
With bellies full of rice krispies we went back to abandoned clothes piles. Piper was more agreeable. I was more patient. Piper picked one pair of hot pink blue jeans with an elastic waist. She picked long sleeve t-shirts and tights that she could wear with her tutus. I showed her how we could layer all of her favorite rainbow t-shirts over the turtlenecks. Then we went back to finish off the rice krispie pan.