What a difference a year makes.
As we watched Zoe run around the playground a few nights ago, Mike and I marveled at how easily she climbs and reaches things she struggled to climb and reach last fall. This shouldn’t really be surprising: she is bigger and taller and stronger than she was six months ago.
Last night, I plotted my attack on the city of Hutchinson, whose annual citywide garage sale is not to be missed. As I carefully mapped my route to the six garage sales I especially wanted to hit (Pro Tip: Actually Google Maps did this for me, but I typed in all the addresses myself), I tried to keep my expectations low.
Zoe was my partner in Operation: Citywide, so the chances of stopping at all six garage sales and actually being able to enjoy shopping at them seemed small. Garage saleing takes stamina, and patience, and the ability not to wander off, break things that aren’t yours, or have a tantrum in a stranger’s garage.
At last year’s citywide sale, I did much more chasing and following than shopping. I prepared myself for the possibility of mission failure.
But guess what? Zoe is a whole year older this year. Her attention span is a few seconds longer and her nap time is a whole hour later. She totally rocked it: we hit seven garage sales, one gas station (for a potty break and a cookie, both of which were successful), and one playground.
By 11:45, we were picking up Mike and heading to the Litchfield McDonald’s for a victory lunch, then home to enjoy our loot for a little while before Zoe’s “daytime nap”. (Pro Tip: Emphasizing that this is a daytime nap, not bedtime, really does the trick for some reason. I hope it works till she’s at least nine.)
My favorite part of the morning–besides the amazing clothes and toys we got, which I may need some other mothers to come “ooh” and “aah” over later, since Mike was not quite up to it this week–was that Zoe didn’t run away or insist on being carried around.
Instead, she played happily by herself. Sometimes she would find a toy and plop down next to me while I dug through piles of clothes. Sometimes, if I lost sight of her and called her name, she would calmly reply, “I’m right here!”
And she was. And that made Operation: Citywide that much sweeter.