When papai came home, L’s account of the day went a lot like this:
“We went to the parque and I made a friend. And the grandma she had poop all over her and she broke her arm. And we went on the slide and we played on the teeter totter. And the woman had poop all over her shirt.”
And that was kind of what happened, only L got a bit too excited about the poop part of the story and all the rest got out of whack.
So after two days of staying home with me, L informed me that she had about enough of me and was ready to go to school and play with kids. (Granted, this poor child has literally been around the world and back over the past four months and has been desperate for kid interaction.) I knew things were getting bad after this weekend at the beach when the group of grandmas next to us got up to get a chopp (beer) and L asked, “Where did those kids go?”
Anyway so this week we are on a concerted friend-making mission. After lunch we went to the park in front of the apartment and I was thrilled to find there were actually quite a few kids. Copacabana is not known for younger demographics, so I was feeling lucky. Though, it is known for lots of older women with dogs, which in L’s book is almost as good. I spotted a little girl just about L’s age on the slide and we headed in that direction. L was a bit nervous trying to ask which language the little girl spoke (while she understands everything in Portuguese, she is not yet comfortable speaking it, especially to strangers). But in the end language was thrown aside and the girls started playing. That is when we learned about Lua, the dog that comes everyday around 1 p.m. Apparently everyone waits for this dog because on cue Lua arrived with her ball and people jumped off benches taking turns throwing the ball for her. In fact, it took me a few minutes to decipher who was actually Lua’s real owner. I finally spotted her, and older woman in her seventies on the edge of the crowd watching and holding Lua’s leash. The girls played with Lua until they lost interest and moved on to the swings. Just then a man told me that we needed to go help Lua’s owner. In an attempt to clean up after Lua, the woman had crossed a small fence and tripped. She broke her arm and in her fall she landed directly in the dog poop. It was quite a sad sight but for a toddler, it was breathtaking. A grandma covered in poop. In the end, we helped her clean up while some men fashioned a sling, helped her to her feet and arranged for her to get to a hospital
I came home thinking L would be thrilled to have met someone her age and planning to meet her again in the park later this week. But alas, at bedtime when L asked me to tell her a story she said, “Can you tell me that story about that grandma who was covered in poop?”