It's amazing how much can change in a few short months of summer when you're a little kid.
Zanna started the summer barely able to get up on her push trike but now hops on and steers appropriately, insisting we never turn around, so we go around the block a lot. She seems to have twice the ability to do what she could last summer and repeats everything we say. "What color is that car? 'An-thra-cite' "!
Over the summer she has started talking up a storm. From the moment she wakes up it's nonstop. More and more of what she says is starting to make sense. Though "musberries" took a while to decipher. Raspberries.
Favorite phrases include:
"IT'S WORKING!" which refers either to anything that's moving/changing/going, or to her realization that her plans for world domination are continuing to unfold.
"MYYYYYYYYYYY!" indicating unambiguous ownership.
"Bye __________." Including "Bye, other way" when walking in the opposite direction.
"Do you need a Band-Aid?"
Also: "I have a dirty diaper. It's gonna be all right."
We finished off the summer with two busy weeks. I traveled internationally for work, which sounds glamorous but nonetheless included being lost in a cab at 2am in Toronto's equivalent of Eden Prairie with my colleagues (sleeping mouth agape) and a girl from Argentina who really had to pee, and a cab driver with no idea where we were. Sweet. I had to negotiate not paying him 120 Canadian dollars for how long it took to get us from downtown Toronto to our corporate suburban Hilton. According to the standard, it should only have cost 65.
Aside from that, however, the trip was great. I met a ton of my international co-workers and we ate dinner at the top of the CN Tour and did the Maid of the Mist tour at Niagara Falls. It felt so...Canadian. I also bought the kind of maple sugar candies you can get as souvenirs but then just ate them as a snack.
Once back in Minnesota, we took the bus to the State Fair. Zanna was into the cows and horses, and then we had some fair food. I had grilled shrimp on a stick and refused to give any to my famished child on the offchance that she's allergic to shellfish. We got her a smoothie and a pretzel, and she seemed to appreciate that the fair had "pan" (bread) for her, one of her main sources of sustenance.
The next morning she insisted on drinking coffee with Micah ("It's delicious!"). What we gave her was pretty much 1 tbsp. of coffee with 2 tbsp. of water. So delicious.
Then we continued our family vacation time by heading to Duluth. We feasted on Mexican food with my brother David in his college town and watched Zanna positively love on the Pack N Play the hotel put in the room. Like, she just wanted to be put in it and exist in that space.
We stayed in Canal Park and did the whole lighthouse-seagulls-Park Point thing which I always love.
At this point, we should have known this is about as much novelty as one toddler can take before she just wants to get home and rule her normal world again.
But we pressed on.
To Bayfield and Madeline Island. We took the car ferry to LaPointe and Zanna shrieked "IT'S WORKING!" once every ten seconds for the 20-minute trip. We rented a little cabin near Chebomnicon Bay and my first squeal of delight was when I found that they had a copy of Austin Powers on DVD. Though we ultimately turned it down in favor of a head to head Scrabble tournament.
On to dinner we went in LaPointe at Beach Club. They had great burgers. Zanna wolfed down an entire grilled cheese and then fake played the race car video games. We ran into my sister's in-laws in the restaurant (they live there), and I would say that the general poise Zanna displayed for them was pretty much the last general poise we got for a while. *Toddler Overstimulated*
The rest of our Madeline Island stay was nice. It's a beautiful island. Even though Zanna probably woke up the entire town when I tried unsuccessfully to tear her away from a park at 8:30am, on the whole it was a lovely experience being on a true island, which is a rare experience for landlocked Midwesterners.
Because we didn't know better, we went back to Bayfield and took Zanna on a 3.5 hour glass bottom boat tour through the Apostle Islands, at times with 5-6 ft. waves. we probably would have reconsidered if we hadn't been talking about doing this for months.
The high waves precluded the standard glass bottom boat itinerary and so we were treated to a combo of what they would normally do, plus sea caves and lighthouses. It was incredible scenery and we were in some seriously remote locales. We got to see the Fedora shipwreck which stands in about 12 feet of water, as well of all of the undercut sea caves on the islands farthest out--where Zanna insisted the hippos lived.
Luckily the boat was really loud and drowned out the crying we were afraid might bother the other people. Overall Zanna did well and even napped a bit, but I was on edge the entire time waiting for our luck to run out. (Not my best Law of Attraction moment.)
For the last 30 minutes of the boat ride Zanna screamed, probably bored out of her mind, to the extent that the patriarch of an Indian family with an impressive collection of children who got their crying out of the way earlier on offered us a piece of melty Kit Kat and instructed us to "Just stick it in her mouth" to see if she'd stop crying. She didn't.
The second we got off the boat she stopped. I'm not sure if she was a little seasick, though on the whole that didn't seem an obvious possibility. I enjoy the honesty of her post-voyage expression:
Once home, she asked for peas for breakfast. Goes to show that the break from routine that adults crave in their vacations is less than refreshing for little kids in large doses. Or maybe it's just the long car rides. But if we just sat at home and never did anything, what fun would that be?