Hazel and I had a day together today. We were with each other from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm, and the time was beautiful, positive, and fun. We started with a very special treat, a dual riding lesson with her on a pony and me on a horse. I am scared of big animals, so getting up on a horse takes some doing for me, but then I always enjoy it when I do. When we first got there we signed the inevitable paperwork, and then spent a bit of time waiting, accompanied by a very friendly tabby cat who drooled with ecstasy while we petted him. Then we got fitted up with shoes and helmets, and then got to meet our respective pony and horse. They were both white, as it happened, though the horse apparently likes to sleep in his manure, and so has a yellow streak up one leg, regardless of the amount of cleaning done. He was pretty patient with me, which I appreciated, though I could tell that he could tell immediately that I didn’t know what I was doing.
I am very glad that I was occupied with my own fears and my own horse, because it gave me the perfect reason not to pay too much attention to what Hazel was doing, and I couldn’t micromanage, as half the time I couldn’t even turn my head very far. That way, her teacher was able to coach her through the process, and our conversation throughout was mostly limited to happy exclamations of, “Mommy, look at me!” and equally happy responses of, “Wow, Hazel, that’s great!”
I had another reason to be glad I’ve been doing Pilates and have done the PT as well, because my core was much stronger and I could feel those muscles working when I made attempts at “posting”, and doing a “two-point” (ie, rising out of the saddle). If I had spare money and time, I’d love to have a weekly riding lesson myself, but that will have to wait for another era, if ever. Nonetheless, the woman who gave me my lesson said that she started riding when she was ten years old, and that her mother started with her, when she was 40. Her mother still rides. That was nice to hear.
After our lesson, Hazel helped her teacher take off the pony’s tack, brush her, and put her back in her stall. Then she really wanted me to see where the pony’s “home” was, so I went with them to say hello. After that, we stuck around to watch a few of the horses being ridden. I sat in a chair with Hazel in my lap inside my coat (it’s been cold), and we watched horses walking, trotting, cantering, and jumping. We finally left when we were both freezing and ravenous.
We drove straight to the zoo and had lunch, and then spent most of our time at the indoor play space, bracketed by rides on the carousel. I climbed to the top of the very tall play structure with Hazel. I love that she wants to share things with me, that doing things with me makes them more fun for her. I know that will not always be the case! So I took off my socks and squeezed into little passageways, up rope ladders, and down the slide. We chased each other around, and then I read her a book about elephants.
This evening, after a stop at home, we went to her haircut. She’s been asking for one for ages. She keeps saying she wants it cut halfway up the back of her head. I am positive she wouldn’t actually like a shaved skull, but did check in with her about the length during the cut. I think this might be my favorite of her hair cuts thus far. Her stylist is the best, such an awesome combination of cheerful and down-to-earth. I love that a hair cut is now something that Hazel loves and looks forward to.
After that, of course, a bath was in order. As soon as Emily heard the word she started oohing excitedly, and headed straight for the bathroom, where she practically jumped up and down with impatience as I got her clothes and diaper off. All three in the tub is always fun. I did duck out to take a break and load a few photos, and then went back to help with the baby-extraction from the tub.
Then Hazel and I read our new favorite book, “Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late,” by Mo Willems. Hazel wants to get all of his other books, and I don’t blame her. They are clever, hilarious, and both kid and adult-friendly.
A lovely day with my daughter.