My fabulous friend and her adorable pixie daughter journeyed across the sea to visit us this last weekend. It was brilliant. We had as many child-friendly adventures as we could fit into two days, which it turns out is quite a lot. It is now Tuesday evening — they left Sunday afternoon — and I am still utterly exhausted.
In my normal life, there are no small children. Sometimes I see a couple of them outside selling drinks made from watery frozen concentrate and there is one little boy who takes my seabus with his mom to work or something in the mornings, but otherwise, they just don’t seem to populate my sphere. There have been times when I have forgotten altogether that children exist and when I see one, the first thing I think before realizing the truth is, “Wow; that is one short person.”
The result of this scarcity is that when I actually do spend time with children, I’m afraid I tend to treat them a little like exotic pets. (I’m sure if I had one of my own, I would spend all my time petting its hair and buying it miniature biker outfits.) I am also very much enchanted by children’s endless gullibility, which just seems like too precious a gift not to take advantage of. We live in a cynical world, and amongst adults, it is a rare treat to come across the truly gullible. Kids though, it seems, have an infinite capacity for believing whatever you tell them. The room for comedy in such a situation is almost limitless.
So suffice it to say, this child was spoiled rotten this weekend. I had a lot of fun myself and I imagine if I had been six, I would have shrivelled up in some kind of conniption of joy.
Our activities included all of the following: Took the seabus and skytrain; coloured with a fancy art set; played a beautiful glittery pink guitar (my guitar is basically the dream guitar for the six-year old girl demographic); had dinner at a place that had mini ice cream cones in horrible bubble gum flavours and colours; went to the park, found the playground, and spun around on the super-fast spinny thing for long enough to make any grown person extremely green; read an entertaining cautionary tale before bedtime (being the only book in my apartment that was even remotely appropriate for children); slept on an inflatable bed; fed the fish, practiced photography; had banana pancakes with blueberry sauce; watched the Caribbean days parade (my second favourite parade in Vancouver and almost indistinguishable from any large group of people who might choose to don feathers and dance down the street), where we received Sponge Bob tattoos as well as several dozen lollipops; went to the water park at Granville Island; swung on the tire swing; bought some sparkly amethyst rock crystal; had a lovely sushi dinner (ok, the girl-child had “food” from the place that starts with Mc); went to Science World and played on all the stuff for almost seven hours.
It was great, but I was stunned that after all that activity, her energy was still fully charged. Aren’t children supposed to need naps? I thought there would be naps.
Anyhow, just want to raise a glass to my friends who have kids and still manage to fit time in for me. I appreciate it. Also to my mom, who somehow managed to raise two of us without collapsing. I barely made it through one weekend with one relatively well-behaved child, so twenty years is a little beyond my comprehension.