In the book Babar's Family Time, Babar and Celeste take their kids, and a mysteriously ever-present Cousin Arthur, on a family picnic. This is the book that E pulled off of her bookshelf this morning, the very same morning that we had decided to pack up the whole Cowfam (Ralph included) and head to the Dow's Lake Arboretum for some frolicking and picnicking of our own. How fitting.
The Arboretum is not far from our house, and it's not just a bunch of trees. There's a lake (as the name would imply), a pavilion with restaurants and boat rentals, a hosta garden, unlimited walking and biking trails, dozens of ducks, a dragonfly, lots of spiders and even a muskrat or two. Did I mention the dogs? Dogs everywhere. It's a good thing we decided to temporarily lift the ban on taking Ralph out in public for this one. He swam, he played fetch, he collapsed repeatedly in the grass. And he managed to be civil when one or two other four legged creatures crossed his path. Maybe there's hope yet.
As for our terrible two year old, she ran through the grass, she chased dogs and fed ducks, she giggled at the muskrat and even let a spider crawl on her face. And after eating a reasonably healthy lunch she sat down to enjoy her favourite bug of all...the chocolate variety hidden in bumblebee wrapping.
And when Ralph would no longer run and E would no longer chase, we decided to leave on a high note. Sunday mornings aren't always this perfect, but it sure is nice when they are.