Daddy and Daughter Sunday: A Photo Essay

Nik wasn’t feeling great on Sunday and spent most of the day in bed. In an effort to give her some peace and quiet—and because I’ve been working so much lately I thought it would be a great opportunity to spend some time with Callie—I took the munchkin out for a played-by-ear afternoon outing.

Lately Callie has discovered the unparalleled joy of the out of doors. So much so that she actually spends most of her time indoors indicating that she would very much like to go out. It’s kind of like having a dog, if the dog could grunt and point at every point of egress the house possesses, over and over and over. So my first thought was that whatever we did needed to be outside and thankfully the weather was cooperating nicely. I also knew we’d want to have lunch sometime so I eventually settled on a downtown area a couple towns over which I thought I recalled having a nice park right next to the main strip with all the standard overpriced boutiques and kitschy little restaurants.

The first park I found wasn’t the one I had been thinking of, but it was kind of what I was hoping for, with a slide and toddler swings and stuff for Callie to climb around on, but I realized as I was driving that I’d failed to apply or bring any sunscreen. With the jungle gym equipment parked directly in the blazing sun I figured it may not be the ideal location so I followed my original instinct and went to the closer park only to find it was more of a bandstand area and while it had a nice little strolling trail, it lacked any actual equipment. Still, I didn’t want to waste the whole day wandering around looking for the ideal park so we got out and, in keeping with the theme, tried to roll with it and see how Callie did. She actually seemed to have a pretty good time.

If you have met her at all, you’ll know how fascinated Calliope is by dogs. The thing that I think made her the most excited, other than just the thrill of being in a new environment (and an outdoor one at that) was the plethora of pet dogs parading around, each of which Callie had to stop and admire or wave to. As we leisurely strolled across the bridge over the largely dry creekbed we came up to the bandstand area where, in the summer, the city puts on regular concerts. Callie seemed to like stomping around on the hollow-sounding wood and after a few moments she took a bit of a rest on the step before some kind ladies stopped by to be charmed by Callie’s magical grin.

Next I let her stomp through the grass, which she thought was pretty funny and we walked around, picking up sticks, examining leaves and—from a certain point onward—trying to convince Callie that just parking it in the grass wasn’t a long-term prospect.

At last I convinced her to continue along the path and we strolled around to the other bridge over the creek and around into the courtyard of an art museum that appeared to be closed. Outside though we found a statue of an artist on a bench that Callie found to be hysterical. I thought she was laughing at it so hard that it would be a great picture to sit her next to the statue on the bench. Of course, by the time I got her situated a woman walked into the courtyard with a small dog on a leash and Calliope completely forgot about the funny statue. Such is life with a toddler.

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