Theme Park

Lia Kitchen

As an adult you tend to forget what Toy’s R Us was like as a child. I was quickly reminded this weekend seeing Lia play with almost everything in the store. If only she would have had an inventory gun, she could have done the entire store in record time. Come to think about it, the in-store security cameras played at high speed would make Lia look like a worker ant, only not getting anything done.

I figured we would walk in and she would look at a few items and pick one out that she really showed an attachment too and that would also be more of a learning toy for her. Let’s just say it was more like an all out shopping spree, only without the shopping cart. Come to think of it, I don’t even think she blinked the entire time we were there to make sure she didn’t miss out on anything.

When something did catch her eye and it was out of reach for her, she would point to it and exclaim “Uh-Da”. Lucky for me there was a 5 year old translator standing a few feet away letting me know she said “that she wants to see that particular toy”. Well of course I’m not going to stand around and be patronized by a little 5 year old, so I said thank you and told her “I think I saw your parents about to leave the store”. Of course I didn’t tell her that last part, but my imagination did and it was funny to see her arms raised up running off crying “Mommy, don’t leave me!”

Lia and I finally agreed upon a little mermaid ball and a learning piano that helps with counting and plays music for her to dance to. I think the best part of the experience was when I buckled her into her car seat and handed her the ball I just bought for her, she had this incredible smile that looked that exclaimed “You did get it for me!”. When I started the car and looked back at her and thought about the past hour in the store, I realized that Toy’s R Us is sort of like a theme park for kids. I looked back again a few minutes later and she was fast asleep with her arms firmly around her Little Mermaid ball.

Bluebonnet Fields Forever


Your eyes matched the field of blue you were sitting in as I snapped off as many shots as I could before you tried to move. You couldn’t stay focused on any one particular bluebonnet out of the sea of millions that engulfed you. You somehow defy the laws of photography and make my job harder to pick the better one out of the hundreds I take since you are so darn photogenic. It can be somewhat time consuming for me, but I enjoy it and it brings me back to those moments we shared. I can even hear your laughter and yearns for me when I am editing them.

The things parents do to get the perfect shot to be quickly passed over years from now as people look at the pictures and then hand them to you and say “nice pictures”. Well you know I do these more for your collection rather than a pat on the back. Everything I do is for you even though I was recently told that there is more to raising a daughter than taking pictures. I know that they probably didn’t mean it, but it’s fun to hear what people “think” from time to time.

It’s been almost 16 months since you blessed me with your presence and it’s been a fun journey so far and I look forward to what you have up your sleeve. I will say that I have seen signs of what other parents refer to as “meltdowns” when something doesn’t go your way and I have a feeling that those are just around the corner. I will begin to pray to the God’s of parenthood and remind them that I wasn’t that bad of a kid and that the punishment should fit the crime.

I have not heard back from them as of yet. I imagine it’s a little hard to respond when they are too busy laughing.

Shopaholic’s Anonymous

“Attention Target Sales Reps, customer service is needed in the baby shoe department.” This is surely not a good sign of things to come for me. A shoe shopper at 15 months? Is that even possible? My parents have horrid tales of me throwing the biggest conniption fits over wanting the most expensive toys in the store. Is this merely a hint of what’s to come?

Now that she is walking, I am realizing that she has a mind of her own unlike Dylan. Which by the way I am still wondering if there is anything that even resembles a brain in his noggin. For example, when I set Lia down to walk and get her to follow where I am trying to go, it seems as if she is having an Alzheimer’s moment trying to remember what it is she wanted to do by pacing around in circles. It’s like there is so much to do before I am going to pick her up again and she doesn’t know what to do first.

HOWEVER, when I let her down by the shoe aisle, basic instinct of the female race took over and she made a beeline to the shoes and was determined to walk out of Target with a new pair regardless if she had anything to even wear with them. It’s ok though, it just shows to me she is a normal little girl, and has taken an interest in shopping. It’s at least more normal than me standing in my underwear with my face 2 inches from the microwave watching something cook and singing the Duke’s of Hazard theme before my Mother walked in and asked “What on God’s green Earth are you doing?” I didn’t know quite how to respond at the time because it seemed so long ago, but after thinking about it I should have said “I’m 34 years old Mother, I can do what I want!”