We went to the Zoo Boo at Como Park last night. Wow. It was ridiculously crowded. We trudged about a mile and a half from our parking place to the zoo entrance, got yelled at by a guy who accused us of cutting in line (No, Sir, we didn't.), and then stood like good little sheep in a crowd of people for the next hour or so. It was so crowded that we couldn't really appreciate any of the decorations or interact with the people in costume. At one point I said to Scott, "This really reminds of the Beijing airport." That is not a compliment, by the way.
The spookiest part of the Zoo Boo was the way the other kids reacted to Wynn's Elmo costume. They'd wander over to us with these zombie-like expressions on their faces, saying, "El-mo. El-mo." Very Night of the Living Dead. They all wanted to touch her, so she got pet on the head and the hands by a bunch of kids she didn't know, which was not to her liking at all. Two little twin brothers went so far as to take turns punching her as she sat in her stroller. Their mom was sufficiently mortified and apologetic, but, still. While I LOVE being a parent, I'm finding that I don't often enjoy being one in the company of a bunch of other parents and their children.
The best part of this weekend was raking leaves out in the backyard. Wynn, Scott, and I each had our own rake. Her way of helping involved taking leaves out of the pile and putting them on the green moss next to it, but we appreciate her desire to help out. Last year she was a little too little for jumping in the leaves, so I gladly gave her a tutorial on the finer points; she got the hang of it right away. :-)
When last we blogged, it was the day Ranger passed away, and Wynn still hadn't figured out what happened. About two days after, she and I were on the porch looking at some flowers friends had sent. I told her that they had sent flowers because they knew Mom was sad. When I asked her if she knew why, she pressed her little cheek against mine and whispered, "Ranger gone." No tears, but the beginnings of understanding.
The next night she woke up at midnight screaming. Scott can usually calm her down just by going in her room and hugging her, but she was beyond that. I realized that she was calling out, "Mom!" and "Ranger!" I went to her room, and we all sat together and hugged and talked about how Mom and Baba don't leave. It was heartbreaking for us to hear her grieving cry again; it was just as it sounded that first night in Nanning, filled with the profound sadness that comes from losing someone you love. We've had a few moments of separation anxiety since - that I had three nights of conferences and wasn't getting home before her bedtime didn't help. We've moved on to talking about getting another Sheltie, but realize that we need to give it time.