Busy day today - we went to St. J. to do errands and get haircuts and picked up granddaughter Tangeni - actually, we picked her up first and then set about doing our errands, ending our visit to town at the car wash. Cars always need a few good washings during mud season!
We were amazed at how many things there are to talk about when you're four years old. Tangeni has lots of energy and a huge imagination. After lunch we went for a long walk in the woods. A piece of birch bark became a map to lead Dora the Explorer and her buddies, Boots (Grandpa Fred) and Benny (Grandma Jane - "Do you mind being a pig, Grandma?") through the woods. I have a special thing about pigs, having had one as a best friend when I was a kid, so of course I didn't mind!
I'm pretty sure Grandpa had no idea he was playing the part of a monkey and wouldn't have cared anyway - "Dora" explained that Boots and Benny are her "favorite friends," and who could resist that!
Dora led us down the old logging road, referring frequently to the piece of birch bark and telling us "according to the map" we should "watch out for a log across the path," and
"the map tells us how to cross the brook," along with a stream of other observations like when we needed to find a rock or a log to rest on. We picked flowers along the way - there was a small bush of daphne and some small yellow colt's feet - and found some small fungus growths on an old dead log. The flowers became prizes for "being good." At one of our stops, Boots took a selfie with Dora.
On the way home, I think we were all tired, and Tangeni decided we wouldn't play the Dora game anymore, saying "We're now in our own bodies." I know my own body was ready to find some level ground to walk on or better yet, a place to park my butt and rest.
We were able to rest at Uncle Jamie and Aunt Marie's. Otto came dashing to meet us as we came out of the woods, barking a huge welcome. Tangeni is used to our cat, Woody, quietly enduring all her attentions, whereas big old Otto is a little intimidating, especially when he runs up and slobbers a big kiss on an unsuspecting small cheek and issues his thunderous bark in the excitement of playing "catch" with a tennis ball. He's gentle in his own way, but a lot bigger and more energetic than Woody, so Tangeni is a bit leary of him - but she cannot resist giving him hugs.
Her mom had just come from work at the hospital when she picked Tangeni up, and said they were going to "pick up Daddy and go for a long walk." I caught the expression on our granddaughter's face at that moment - it was bordering on horror. She recovered quickly and told her mom, "I'm pretty tired." We haven't heard from her mom, but we're betting Tangeni was sound asleep before they got to Route 2 and they never got to go on their walk - unless they took her in a stroller. Boots and Benny were pretty tired, too - we each had a little nap during the evening news after dinner . . . Being grandparents to a four-year-old is exhausting!