On the ride home from a fun-filled morning at the zoo, Zoe and Aunt Claire and I played a game inspired by Dora the Explorer.
Luckily, it was not the game she learned from Swiper the Fox, which entails throwing blocks across the library and yelling, “You’ll never find it now!” (Pro Tip: Swiper is not a good role model. He is a bandit.)
This was the game that Dora and Boots play at the end of every show, which entails answering the question, “What was your favorite part?”
As usual, Zoe didn’t stop with just one. We asked the question back and forth, over and over, and she went from naming things at the zoo to anything in her field of vision. The merry-go-round, the pigs, the car, Aunt Claire.
“You’re not helping her learn what ‘favorite’ means,” Aunt Claire pointed out.
And it’s true. “Favorite”, as all you grown-ups know, means the one thing you like best. For Zoe, everything is her favorite, and the list of things she doesn’t like is so far much, much shorter than the list of things she does. (On the No List: the sound of vacuum cleaners and blenders; the Thomas the Train TV show; hearing the word “no” from other people. On the Yes List: almost everything else.)
Soon enough, Zoe will understand what “favorite” means. She will understand that when people have favorites, some things and some people get left out or put at the bottom of the list. Maybe she will even stand in a cluster of girls while one of them looks at her minions and decrees which is her first, her second, her third, her fourth best friend. (Pro Tip: I have seen seven-year-old girls do this, and it is ugly.)
For now, though, it’s all her favorite. And it’s all good.
What’s your favorite?