I can think of no better place to live for a little girl who adores castles than here in Europe.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays are our no-preschool days, so by Wednesday afternoon we were pretty restless. I woke K up from her nap and asked her, "Do you want to go see the castle?" Her eyes popped open instantly. When I suggested we could stop for a párek v rohlíku (hot dog in a rohlík, the long bread roll) along the way, she jumped up and started singing a song about castles and párky.
If I wrote a list of things in Prague that K loves, párky would have to be near the top. She jumped on that bandwagon after her first taste.
So we took the choo-choo, I mean tram, up to the Prague castle. On the way K entertained the woman sitting in front of us with questions to me about what we were seeing. Buses, cars, the boy walking on the sidewalk: "That's my friend my best friend! He's waiting for me!"
We got off the tram behind the castle and walked over. K was very impressed with the side view of the cathedral and insisted on being lifted up to see over the bridge railing to what was below. We admired the cathedral from the front and K commented how beautiful the castle is. To which I replied,
"Well, actually that's not a castle, it's a cathedral, a big church."
K: "Where's the castle, then?"
Me: "This is all the castle: this building here, that building over there..."
K, offended: "That's not a castle! That's a house!"
Her tastes are becoming more refined, I see. Not long ago she was satisfied with any tall, stone building!
We walked all around the cathedral, looked at St. George's Basilica and peeked into the cathedral itself (you have to pay to go all the way in now (!!), but they let you stand in the back and look around before filing back out. We looked at the stained glass and discussed what pictures and colors we could see. We looked toward the front and K was very impressed.
"Is that where the princess gets married?"
"Yes, that's where the princess gets married."
"Where's the princess??"
"She's not here right now."
"Where is she?"
"Well, she's busy. She hasn't found her prince yet. When she finds him, they'll come here and get married."
"And then dancing."
"Yes, and then there'll be dancing."
My daughter is such a girly girl that it shocks me. Where did she learn about weddings and princesses and dancing? She does love my wedding picture and calls it my "princess dress". I told her it was when I got married to Apo, and she always wants to know where SHE was that day (I guess meaning why doesn't she remember). I tell her she wasn't there, but she doesn't want to believe me. I tell her she was just a dream but I can tell she isn't convinced.
Last night she showed me an empty tin and said it was her presents. "A bracelet! Oh, it's perfect!" (Everything is perfect recently. The toilet paper with a floral pattern was, "Look, my perfect one!") K put an imaginary bracelet on herself and one on me. Then she put on her imaginary necklace and I showed her that I was already wearing one that Apo gave me. She knows that Apo gave me my (wedding and engagement) rings, too. Once we were wearing our perfect jewelry she asked if I wanted to get married. I said I am already married to Apo, but who did K want to marry? "Grandmama," she decided. I suggested that it's traditional to wait until you grow up to get married, and maybe someone outside the family would be best. K agreed that she would wait.
This girly love of weddings and pretty things is so foreign to me! At K's age I supposedly refused to wear anything except for a certain nightgown over a pair of pants. I think it's adorable, though. K is the only child I've seen who gets excited like it's Christmas morning when she gets new clothes. She always insists on trying them on right away.
When we finished at the castle, we walked through the front gates, looked over the wall to see the city from above, and made our way down the hill, across the bridge, through the winding streets of Old Town, never once finding a párek v rohlíku stand. K was asking for one every three minutes or so the whole afternoon, too! But like many fairy tales, this one has a slightly unsatisfying ending, because we never did find one and had to make do with a slice of pizza instead.
And yet, still, a lovely time was had by all.