Baby, Life

Free and easy

04.12.09 | 5 Comments

Saturday we had no formal plans, so Zoe and I ventured to our old standby, the zoo. As is typical on the weekend, there was no parking, so we went the extra mile to the Holocaust Museum where there is a small exhibit on Dr. Seuss. We paid a meter, walked through the exhibit, then meandered through the museum district to Hermann Park. Zoe loved pressing the crosswalk buttons and waiting for the white light man to show us when it was safe to cross.

In the park we hopped on the new red choo-choo train and enjoyed the ride to the main stop right at the zoo. Zoe led the way, and we saw all her favorite animals, shared some popcorn, and rode the carousel. After petting the goats, she had to check out the playground. She ran among the sea of other kids and began climbing and sliding as usual.

By then my dogs were barking, so I sat on the ground near the perimeter with the other adults, whipped out my phone, and checked to see what vital Saturday news I might have missed. My eyes were off her no more than 20 seconds.

I heard a kid, maybe six or seven, say, “That’s nasty!” Natural human curiosity drew my eyes upward to see my daughter, naked as the day she was born, streaking across the playground with a giant grin.

Oh. God.

I sailed to her, grabbed her little body, then, following the pointing finger of another mother, scrambled to gather her clothes and diaper, trying not to knock down children as we climbed the jungle gym to the landing where she had decided to disrobe.

She fought me to get her dressed again, making an already humiliating scene even more captivating. Somehow the flailing blur of legs and bum and nipples became colorful fabric and a calmly discussed agreement that if a shred of clothing left her body again we would be out the gate in ten seconds flat, so help me, and the incident was over.

She was so sweet and well-behaved before and after that those few minutes were kind of worth it.

We walked to the rail and rode it back to the car, all told covering about 3 miles plus the whole zoo together. It was a lovely day.


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