Two Lions, an Elephant and a Hippo

In Family, Pursuit of Happiness on January 19, 2010 at 8:05 am

On Sunday, after watching the Cowboys get pummeled by the Vikings, I decided to go for a walk.  My daughter agreed to come along in her stroller, but as usual, needed to know where we going first.  I told her that we could walk to the supermarket and pick up some treats, which was all that I needed to say to get her on board.  Although I brought my headphones with me in case she fell asleep, I never got the chance to use them.  Not only did she stay awake, but she was very chatty the whole way there and back.

Oddly enough, they have already started putting mulch in the flower beds in and around the shopping center (I’m used to seeing it done in April in New York).  The smell of freshly laid mulch is not good.  That’s the grown-up opinion.  The 3-yr old opinion is “ewww…it smells like poop…that’s so gross!” When I returned home I told my wife that my daughter was bothered by the smell of horse crap, to which the little one replied “It didn’t smell like horse crap, Daddy, it smelled like horse poop!” Good thing that I didn’t say horse s**t, I thought to myself as she corrected me.

As we got to the shopping center, my daughter pointed out the statue of the cement elephant that she sometimes sits on when we aren’t in a rush.  Approaching the supermarket, she pointed out the cement lion statue as well.  We usually don’t go any further than that, but I noticed other statues further down one day when I was out walking alone, and I knew that she’d like to see them.  She was excited to see that there was lioness to match the lion and shrieked with delight at the sight of the hippo statue as she asked me the hippo’s name.  “Henrietta,” I said (recalling the name of the hippo on one of my favorite shows as a kid – New Zoo Review).

It must have dawned on her at that moment that we were there to get dessert, not to visit the cement statue zoo.  Without missing a beat, she said “Daddy, can you hear that?”

“Can I hear what, baby?” I responded.

“The sound of the donuts and the cake in the supermarket calling…Daaaadddddy, come….. buy……me!” she replied in her sweet little voice.

Laughing out loud at her clever attempt to speed up the dessert-buying process, we entered the supermarket.  I wasn’t sure where the cakes were, but she shops regularly with my wife and offered to show me the way.  However, I have a sneaking suspicion that if we were looking for vegetables, I’d be left to my own devices to find them.   I was surprised to find that the selection of cakes in Texas is only a fraction of what it is in New York supermarkets.  However, we did end up getting a King Cake (complete with the beads and everything) – something that I thought was only available in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.

After paying for everything at the register, the cashier thanked me at the exact same moment that my daughter was asking me a question.  She handed me the receipt just as I was smiling and saying “yes, baby.” The cashier looked puzzled, and slightly offended at first.  She then saw the headphones around my neck and, for some reason, assumed that I was on the phone because she responded by saying “you’re talking to a woman on the phone, right?” I shook my head and smiled, not quite sure what she was talking about.  I realized as I was walking out of the store that she thought that I was calling her “baby.” Honest mistake, I suppose, but it seems to me that she should have taken the stroller into consideration before assuming that I was somehow being inappropriate with her.

On the way home, my daughter was so excited about the cake and donuts that somehow the smell of horse poop never came up in conversation.  I always enjoy these outings with my little girl, and this one was no exception.  While I’m not sure that my pursuit of health was best-served by walking to the store to buy dessert, sometimes you just have to live in the moment and enjoy it!

  1. That is great, you really need an editor and a book deal. I always love to read your blog.

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