Zoe is almost five. We're celebrating her birthday in Salt Lake with fried chicken from Meier's, homemade cupcakes and potato salad made by our fine relatives. I should have no gifts but I forgot. Zoe's at a kind of hilarious age where she tells everyone who asks that she would like the same thing. She will end up with 14 hula hoops on Friday.
I saw a picture of her from last year and I said to El, my mother-in-law, that's not from last year. She said, that's Italy. And it was Italy which was last year but in the picture, she still looks like a baby. She is the opposite of a baby now. She has a song that goes like this: Candy apple on a stick, makes my heart go 246. Not because I'm dirty. Not because I'm clean. Just because I kissed a boy behind the magazine. That's right. Hiding her naughty romance in the periodicals. That's my kid at 5. Thanks Mountain Jacks Camp! She also learned to swing, hula hoop and go under water in the swimming pool these past two weeks. She's learned that all grown ups do is talk and that if there are no kids around, it is no fun. Also, she says that unless you're dirty, you're not really playing. She has run through the sprinklers and eaten popsicles and complained about not having pretty enough shoes or a pretty dress for her birthday. She wants a princess backpack for her birthday even though she knows I hate princesses. She just looks at me until I come to my senses and say, OK, fine, it's your birthday.
Yesterday, she wouldn't talk to Erik's aunt or cousin in some super shyness but alternates super shyness with moments of true brazenness, like when she asks my mom's boyfriend for a taffy cookie. Sugar and sweets will draw her out with almost anyone.
She just ate a new cereal. Mostly, she just eats Frosted MiniWheats but this morning she said, I'm worried I'll still be hungry after Miniwheats. We gave her some fancy GoLean Kashi cereal instead. She thinks she's full for now.
When she's talking and telling a particularly long story, she'll pause for words she's forgotten and say "whatever it is" with open hands. That's how I see her mostly. She's open to the answer and she'll figure it out. I worry that she's so open that the world will crush her, but I imagine all parents worry about that. It's like being worried you won't be full before you even eat breakfast. Eventually, you just have to eat.
She still eats well. She's kind of off meat right now but still likes sweet potatoes, watermelon, peaches, blueberries, cherries, canteloupe and ice cream, cookies (Mother's Taffy) and regular, salt water taffy. She does not like french fries or ketchup.
She asks that people please don't bring anything yucky to her birthday. Yucky includes ketchup. It also includes mustard to which my mom agrees.
Zoe likes to help feed Max which means everyone is twice as messy as they would be if only Max were feeding himself. Max likes trout, salmon, peaches, blueberries and peaches and rice cereal. After the troupe of cereal eating monkeys sprinkled granules of rice on every surface and in every crevice, Erik asked her wash her hands and then to please go get his camera to which she said to me, my goodness he needs a lot of stuff. It's better just to want one thing--like a hula hoop.