Wash. Dry. Fold. Repeat.

Last week on vacation Piper and I spent a lot of time at a local children’s museum. On a rainy day, it was exactly what we needed. (In case you’re ever in Harrisonburg, Virginia, here it is: http://www.iexploremore.com/cms/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx. I highly recommend it.)

Nobody does a children’s museum like Piper. There isn’t a toy she won’t play with. Upon arrival, she runs around touching and examining everything until she decides on the one spot where she will spend the next six hours. This time it was the kitchen.

“It’s just like a real kitchen!” Piper exclaimed.

And it was. A life size refrigerator, full cabinets, a dishwasher, table for serving, and laundry facilities within an arm’s reach. What more could a domestic goddess desire? The fruit and vegetable market was just a short walk from your fake front porch. It was all pretty darn cute. It gave me a terrible itch. The last thing I want to do on my vacation is spend a day trapped in a pretend kitchen “cooking” and “cleaning.”

“You can do the laundry! Just like at home. You’re ALWAYS doing laundry there. Now you can do it here,” Piper said. “Won’t that be fun?”

I gritted my teeth and assessed my chores.

Then I began my work, just like at home. I take my linens seriously.

Then Piper discovered unchartered territory. “What’s this?” she asked, sizing up a tiny ironing board. I hesitated. She’s so young. Why force her to grow up so soon?

“It’s an ironing board,” I said. “You use the iron to take the wrinkles out of the clothes.”

Piper’s eyes were huge. I’m proud to say she’s never seen me iron. She moved so fast in her excitement I could hardly get a picture. She grabbed the pile of linens I had carefully folded and began “ironering” out their wrinkles.

“My tutu won’t need ironering, though,” Piper said.  “It’s already perfect.”

I Scream. You Scream.

A Piper is observant. She goes through the day like Yoda sprinkling her wisdom.

After a nature walk and scavenger hunt this afternoon, we stopped for ice cream. Piper slurped up her melting cup and turned her attention to my cone.

“Can I have a bite of your cone, Mommy?”

I had been licking down the chocolate chip ice cream to the perfect cone bite. You know the one. I handed it over. Piper happily crunched the cake cone. She watched me get the next bite ready.

“Here. You can have my cup,” Piper volunteered. “I’ll finish your cone.”

I looked at the melted vanilla mess.

“It tastes better when you share,” Piper assured me. It didn’t. But watching her on a summer day eating ice cream may have been worth it.

After ice cream, Piper went swimming. Then she came home to a bath and dinner. While she was soaking the chlorine out, I leaned over the tub and Piper traced my face with her pruned fingers. “You know how come I know you’re my mom?” she asked.

“Because I’m bathing you and making your favorite ravioli for dinner?” I guessed.

“No. You have those lines on your face and those dark things under your eyes. All moms have those. That’s how I know you’re mine.”