Emma was confounded yesterday when she was told by one of the Central Park Zoo employees that she could not sit on the railing to watch the sea lions being fed. She was very upset and wanted to go home. However, instead of biting herself or doing herself injury, she came up with the following story, which is yet another example of her delightful temperament, personality and a wonderful display of the progress she is making in being able to turn something upsetting into a story that was both poignant and very funny.
Before we got on the subway, Emma verbally preseverated in her attempt to work through what had happened. “Mommy says no. Mommy go home, Emma stay at the zoo with just Daddy.” Emma reasoned immediately after leaving the zoo.
“But Em. This isn’t about Mommy or Daddy, this is about the zoo employees. This is their rule now. They won’t let anyone sit on the railing any more. It’s a new rule,” We told her.
“I want to sit on the railing!” Emma wailed over and over again as we made our way to the subway. “You have to ask Daddy! Daddy! I want to sit on the railing please!”
“Emmy, this isn’t up to me. This is a rule that the zoo has. You can’t sit on the railing.”
“But I want to sit on the railing!” Emma cried. Then Emma flung both arms around me and buried her head into my side. “I know, I know. You’re so upset,” Emma said, mimicking words I often say to her.
“Oh, Em. I know you’re sad. I know how hard this is for you. But I’m also really proud of you for the way you’re handling this and talking about it.”
When her beloved R train arrived Emma secured seats for us by the window and then told the following story.
“The lady said, You have to get off the railing! You have to get down! Yeah,” Emma nodded her head and frowned. Then she said, while stomping her foot on the floor of the subway, “The lady stomped her food and said, You. Stomp. Have. Stomp. To. Stomp. Get. Stomp. Down! Stomp. You get down right now! Then the lady said, I’m going to get you! I’m going to tickle you!” Emma demonstrated being tickled. She stomped her foot and continued. “Yeah. The lady is going to tickle you. Then the lady had to go home. She hurt her back. Bye! Bye, bye lady. Lady gotta go home! Bye!” Emma waved her hand, like a Queen waving to her adoring subjects. “The lady had to go.” Emma nodded her head and feigned looking sad. “The lady went home and Emma got up on the railing to watch the seal show! She had to go home because she hurt her back and she has to put on a bandaid. Now it’ll feel better.” Emma finished and looking triumphant said, “Emma got to sit on the railing!”
“Wow, Em. I love that story!” I said. “How did the lady hurt her back?”
“She tickled you!” Emma said and then collapsed into giggles.
Earlier in the day, playing on the High Line
To read my latest piece, Emma’s New Shoes, in the Huffington Post, click ‘here‘
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