Can’t force a kid to smile.

mommy kissing Asha in Millennium Park

On Tuesday night, I met up with Dottie, Sara, and Maria for a picnic and a photo-shoot in Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavillion. Asha came along as my date.

Getting there involved a cab ride and a bit of walking.  Since cabs in Chicago don’t require a car seat (and I didn’t want to carry one around in the park), Asha used the regular seat belt.  It was a little scary and for the first time in life I was very thankful for stop and go traffic since it prevented anyone from going above 15-miles per hour.  After the cab ride were a couple of blocks of walking (without a stroller) but Asha was a great listener and held my hand and crossed the streets and looked amazingly urban and confident.

I had some toys with me to keep her busy but who needs anything else when there is so much open space. Asha ran around and of all things played with paper plates.  It’s funny though because anytime we tried taking a picture she made the most serious and solemn face and refused to smile.  Maria even tried all her monkey imitation skills but nothing worked.  I guess you can’t force a kid to smile.

Another thing one can’t force a kid to do is rush (especially without a stroller).  Devang was picking us up on the way back home and if it wasn’t for Auntie Dottie’s super lifting capabilities we would have made it to the parked car two blocks away in about an hour.  In hindsight of course, I am envious of children’s ability to find every sidewalk crack and piece of dirt fascinating and worth a closer inspection; no better way to ask Time to kiss your behind. Wish we could all be as inquisitive and carefree at least some of the time.

It was awesome to be out on such a beautiful day with such great company. I loved spending time with Asha one on one too.  Oh and thanks for these gorgeous pictures Dottie! Maria, good luck with the photo contest, I hope the rest of our smiling faces win you some prizes.

IMG_1122 Picture taken by Dottie Brackett of Asha, Chika, Sara at a picnic in Millennium Park Picture by Dottie Brackett of Asha and Helmet, Little Nutty by NutcasePicture by Dottie Brackett of Asha and Helmet, Little Nutty by NutcasePicture by Dottie Brackett of Asha and Chesse. Millennium Park Picnic Picture by Dottie Brackett of Asha and Chesse. Millennium Park Picnic Asha snacking at Millennium Park Picnic Dottie carrying Asha and bag

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer and a mother of three from Raleigh, NC. She writes for national and local publications about lifestyle, travel, books, and of course, motherhood! Her most current project involves illustrating and publishing a children’s Hindi book. When not adventuring with her family in the minivan, you can find her riding the streets of Raleigh on her beloved bike Linus.

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