Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dandelions and Marshmallows

Anna and I just returned from an early evening stroll around the subdivision. Tonight’s entertainment turned out to be dandelions. Anna giggled and giggled when I made Dr. Seuss-style wishes and huffed and puffed and blew all those gentle wisps of pixie dust into the warm breeze that carried them off into the dipping golden sunset. She just couldn’t get enough of those darn dandelions. “Look, daddy, it’s a daannddeelion.” There is something indescribably cute and charming about the innocent tone and wonder of a two year old sounding out a word for the worst time. Dandelions = wishes and wonder.

I want to give a special shot-out to the inventor of marshmallows. God bless you because without your culinary genius I would never be able to pull Anna away from those blue slides! Anna LOVES the neighborhood playground. In fact, whenever I ask her if she would like to go for a walk, she immediately bursts into a song-like chant “Daddy, go for a walk, go on the sliiide. Daddy, go for a walk, go on the sliiide. Daddy, go for a walk, go on the sliiide.” That pretty much continues unabated for the remainder of the walk. She can hardly contain her effervescent ebullience when she catches sight of the playground. “Look, daddy, it’s the sliiide…” And the song continues with a slightly different refrain.

It was like having your teeth pulled without novocaine to get that child away from those slides. Then one day, Jennifer had the brilliant idea (by the way, Jennifer is usually the one who has the brilliant ideas) to offer Anna a snack to lure her away from the playground. The plan worked perfectly. Anna follows the bait right back into her stroller at which time a snap her in and book it back to the house. I think the key ingredient in the snack pack is marshmallows; this magical lotus has the property of briefly inducing forgetfulness in my shrieking child. That yummy, sweet softness mollifies Anna like nothing else that I have ever seen.

Here are the lessons for today: Make dandelion wishes and don’t forget the marshmallows!

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