At FAO Schwarz, Q was told that she could pick one thing for herself.
She took this mission very seriously. Q is not the sort to grab everything in sight and see what she can get away with. She considers. She mulls. She weighs her options. This bunny was the first thing she considered, but after receiving a furry kiss, she set it back on the shelf and moved on.
I myself, as a child, would have gone wild in the Steiff section. I never could resist them. But Q has very definite tastes, and stuffed animals are generally not her priority.
The Winnie the Pooh shelf nearly did her in, since she recently became enthralled with a Pooh counting book. Here, she is making choices. Notice how she debates a second Tigger, and then, realizing that she has gone too far, gravely sets it back on the shelf.
When I look at these photos, the deep concentration on her face as she weighs her choices, I love her so much it makes my heart ache.
Ultimately, she decided against the Pooh toys as well, and set them back in their places before moving on to retro Mickey Mouse dolls.
Three floors later, having considered monster dolls, a larger-than-life Peter Rabbit, racing cars, plush dogs, a NASA backpack, Q finally found her prize.
It was sitting alone on a shelf of wildlife figurines.
A single, clear vinyl bag of snakes.
You heard me, snakes. Rubber snakes.
I couldn't tell you why this particular item spoke to her - was it the sturdy zipper bag? The lifelike serpents? Was she looking forward to counting them? Did it seem like the best possible value in a single item? Whatever her motivation, she was very sure. I could see her face set in conclusive lines the moment she set eyes on it. There was no further equivocation. She looped it over her arm, and she was done. Even as we made our way back through the aisles to find a checkout, past myriad temptations of every variety, she never wavered. Her eyes never strayed. She wanted nothing more than her bag of snakes.
That night, back in the hotel, she took out her collection of serpents one by one and lined them up on her pillow in neat order. Then she replaced them one at a time in the vinyl bag and zipped it closed with a contented sigh.
The famous piano.
A particularly appealing burger restaurant.
The Met is closed on Mondays...
...but we made our way up the steps by way of a token visit, past what I will from now on always think of as the "gossip girls" on their traditional perch.