One of the real joys of toddlerhood is their dependence on routine and how much peace it brings them: knowing what to expect every day helps ease the bumpy road of growing independence. Since Jax was very little, I liked to have a few weekly outings that I could count on to break up the monotony: first Mommy and Me yoga, then 4th Trimester Mommy group, then Friday walks with friends, the Montshire Museum, Music Together class, story time in Woodstock, now gymnastics... Not only does it bring them peace, it brings me sanity as well. Knowing that I am not the only person who will interact/entertain my child today is a way of getting by. A little more method, a little less madness.
So since this spring, our Mondays have gone (usually) like this. Get up, get our act together and get out the door, then go to the Base Lodge for pancakes and then head into Woodstock for story time at 10 a.m. Before story time, meander down Main Street, ogle the many giant trucks that drive through since it's the only road to ski country (lots of logging trucks), then pop into the Woodstock Pharmacy for an animal. It was a weekly thing, and sometimes we wouldn't make it there, and sometimes he'd pick something random instead (like a paintbrush?), but usually he chose an animal and then it would come home to us and our menagerie.
I looked forward to Mondays as much as Jax did (and still do) and I was always intrigued about which animal he would choose. They have everything, from dinosaurs to moose, and sometimes he'd surprise me with something completely random, like a guinea pig (which he makes whine like a dog and hop like a bunny. I can't really correct him because I don't know what a guinea pig does, either). He definitely has favorites and when he makes me build his animals a house--a daily occurrence lately--there are a privileged few who get to live at the top. He's an elitist.
The tiger has always been his favorite and when I asked him randomly the other day what his favorite animal is he said tiger. The zebra and tiger used to have to go to sleep with him at night, but the zebra did something to make Jax angry, and has thus fallen from grace to the bottom level of Animal House. The tiger, baby elephant, Peter Rabbit, and dog that looks like Baxter are the top dogs right now (excuse the pun).