This is a picture of Anna June and her good friends Sipsey and Natalie. Natalie is moving to Tennessee, and in anticipation of the move, has already stopped going to daycare. Even though we (and her teachers) have talked to AJ about the concept of moving, she didn't really get it. After Natalie was out of school for over a week, AJ asked me about her, saying, "Natalie still sick?" This broke my heart, and I tried to explain that Natalie was fine, but at home. I decided to email Natalie's mom, Julie, to get her together with AJ one last time before the big move. We happened upon a gorgeous weekend in April and headed to the zoo.
When we had been there for a while, we ran in to Sipsey, who also adores Natalie. So we played together for the rest of the trip. The girls rode the carousel together. With a friend and moms on either side of her, AJ couldn't say no to actually riding one of the animals that goes up and down (the past two trips on a carousel have been spent on a bench). She had a blast! Afterward, when we described the trip to people, I asked, "What did you ride at the zoo?" hoping she'd tell everyone about the camel we went on. "CAROUSEL!" she'd say. So, next time, we're skipping the camel and just riding the merry-go-round.
Sometime last week, I picked AJ up from daycare, and I asked her what they did that day. She told me they went for a walk. I tried to get her to elaborate, asking what they saw on the walk. "Did you see birds?" "No." "Did you see bees?" "No." She also said no to seeing grass, trees, flowers, people, dogs and cats. Exasperated, I asked, "Did you see an elephant?" "No." she said matter-of-factly, "but I see one now!"
I asked her what the elephant's name was. She made a series of elephant-like sounds, until she came up with a couple together that sounded like "Hoo-Ha." I said, "HooHa? That's your elephant's name?" I was expecting her to say something like, "No mommy, that's silly." But instead she said, "Yep!"
Through more questions, we discovered that Hoo Ha is white (although she later changed to brown.) She is a girl, although she was a mama elephant and now she's a baby. She was really big but now she's small enough to fit in Anna June's hand. When asked what Hoo Ha does all day, Anna June replies, "Plays with Radar." I am so glad Radar has a friend to play with all day while we're gone. AJ held up her apple for Hoo Ha to eat, and her milk for her to drink. She tells Hoo Ha to sit down and for us to move out of the way for her.
Hoo Ha has been the subject of many conversations in our family, especially this morning, when she told me that Hoo Ha was coming to school with her so she could play on the playground. So I had to tell the teacher about her, in case they happened to come across an elephant this morning.
8 hours ago