The Joy of Childhood

She just turned 26 months old.  I know I’m not supposed to do that anymore, you know, count her months.  But I’m just going to make my own rules up as I go.  Time is too precious to just cast it aside and not see every moment for the treasure that it is.

Guess what we did today?

We built a snowman.  Not a real snowman of course.   It’s actually a blustery, warm spring day, not a flake in sight,  but it was her first day to watch the movie Frozen.  Afterwards, she asked if I wanted to build a snowman with her.  “Come on,” she said patting her thigh as if calling a dog,  so of course I did.

She is such a joy.  So smart.  She pretends and plays make-believe all day long.  One minute she’s Cinderella, forcibly kicking off her plastic dress up shoe and saying she better get in her carriage while running to sit in her pink Barbie Jeep, and the next minute she is pouring tea for me and adding spoonfuls of sugar.  She goes on Bear Hunts and squelch-squearches through the mud and peels pinecones apart declaring they are surprise eggs and wonders what’s inside.

We built our snowman today with a carrot nose made from a blue piece of wire found in the yard and two eyes and arms she stuck in the ground.

Her shoes were on the wrong feet, chocolate smudged her lips.

Her dog-ears had long since lost their snugness and flopped haphazardly.

She searched for crickets and got scared by something and ran to my side.

I lay in the grass just watching her and feeling filled to the measure with happiness and joy that she is mine.

Our days are filled with magical make-believe, chocolate kisses and snowmen fashioned from dirt.

It’s been a very long time since my own childhood, but I can vividly remember the games I played with my own imagination.  How magical my world of pretend was.

Watching EK grow and play in this same make-believe way takes me to a place I used to know.  It reawakens a child I used to be.  I remember care-free days where nothing really mattered.

And now all that truly matters is that this little dog-eared 2-year-old (ahem……26 month old) who brings me such joy.

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Just the beginning

She’s barely one.

And I’m pretty sure I’m in over my head.

When she’s sleeping, I’ve got it made.  Piece of cake.

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But when she’s awake, she’s really trying to run the show around here.  Already.   At the end of some days, I need a 3 day vacation.  But alas, this is a 24/7 job I’ve signed up for.  Just hand me another coffee please.

She stiffens her legs, arches her back, and throws back her head when I try to put her in her high chair.     Then once I’ve wrestled her in,  in order to have the advantage on me, she throws all her food off her tray.  Is this typical one year old behavior?  Is she just not hungry?  Is she a brat?

I wonder what I’m supposed to do.  Should I break her spirit?  Force her to do everything that I, the all-knowing mother, think necessary?  Because really.  I’m kind of new at this too.

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We fight tooth and nail.  She usually wins right and left.

She is nineteen pounds of sheer determination.

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If she had her ‘druthers, she would walk around with a naked hiney, a dirty face, eating goldfish crackers and watching Elmo all day.  And then I’d be raising a wretch.

But whose to say I’m not.

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Mama knows best.  Well, about some things anyway, for instance children shouldn’t pee on the floor and occasionally they should eat a fruit.

I might not know much, but at least I know that.

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I’m hoping she’s receiving some vitamins and nutrients from the dirt she eats, because she’s rather fond of that too.

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She is a busy girl.  And this is her childhood.  The only one she’ll ever have.  The one she’ll look back on with either fondness or dismay.  The one that will shape her. The Nurture to help balance her Nature.   It’s kind of a big deal when you think of it.

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She’s exploring, discovering, and learning.   As all children should be allowed to do. Within reason, of course.

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While she’s busy growing up, I am  busy watching, worrying, and trying to find the fine line between interfering or giving her the space she needs to become the independent little girl that she is becoming.

And  trying desperately not to raise a wretch.

Tight Spaces

Forgive the quality of the photos in this post.  I think I must have been drunk when I took these.  Just kidding.  Really, they were taken with my phone, which is so old it’s considered a dumb smart phone.

Lately our little EK has been quite the explorer.  Finding just the right spaces to crawl into is her current obsession.

First, she empties the small space to make room for herself.

And then she climbs in.

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She’s especially partial to cabinets.

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Although she doesn’t discriminate.  Sometimes, she prefers drawers.

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And occasionally, she’ll attempt to fit herself in a canvas bin.

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When she’s not squeezing into small spaces, she’s climbing on top of them.

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And going after what she wants.

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Even if she has to get on her tippy toes.