The critters have come. It’s just a matter of time before they’re everywhere. Under our feet. On the table. In boxes and shelves. We may find them in little critter cars or critter houses, playing on critter playgrounds in critter clothes. Or unclothed when Penelope learns how to take off their tiny garments.
The critters are Calico Critters, the adorable line of 3″ anthropomorphic animal figurines. Penelope was captivated the first time she laid eyes on them. Since she treats her toys well we decided her third birthday would be the inauguration of critter collecting. They are delicate and come with tiny accessories a less responsible child would be sure to lose.
There were three little words on the brochure that made my wallet tremble : “Collect them all”. It looked like two grand in toys laid out on a piece of paper printed to scale for the critters to read. Now I know how my parents felt when a new series of G.I. Joe toys were released!
Earlier that day we gave Penelope her other gift; a day at the Georgia Aquarium. She loves watching fish. What could be better than fish large enough to swallow our family whole?
As we waited to get tickets I told Penelope she must be holding either my or mommy’s hand the entire time. Whenever she tried to get free I would grab her hand and bring her closer to me. There seemed to be as many people as there were fish. Our birthday celebration would have been a nightmare if our little Nemo had gotten lost. I did my best to enjoy the exhibits but my attention was divided at best. If I could have taken one eye out and stuck it on Penelope I would have.
Penelope seemed to enjoy herself. She pointed at lots of fish, said “no!” when asked if she wanted to put her hands in the sting ray pool (it’s permitted), and she kept telling the penguins to “jump” from their rocky perches into the water.
After an hour or so Penelope ran out of gas. Lucky for her I had enough strength to carry her. Maybe I was amped up from the fear of getting separated. I was able to carry her for a lot longer than normal.
When we stopped to use the bathroom a woman asked where Penelope was from. “China” I said. My response was the springboard for this stranger to tell us about a family with two children from China. I learned way more than I wanted to know about this person. It brought the issue of privacy home in a big way. I’m not sure what it’s going to be like when Penelope can respond to people’s comments. I’ve got a feeling there are going to be a lot of cringe-worthy moments due to inquiring minds.
It was a great family day. Birthday pancakes, birthday noodles at Doc Chey’s, birthday gifts, and birthday treats (carrot cake cupcakes and vanilla ice cream) made for a special day. And lots of pictures.