Monday, June 30, 2008

pretty girl

playing with the peonies

sunlit shot

all smiles

when did my baby become a little girl?

Though she will still refer to herself as "baby," Madeleine amazes me each day with how capable, competent and communicative she is. This morning she came to me, saying, "Mama, ouch. Ouchie. Heel," lifting her leg to show me the bottom of her foot. Sure enough, embedded in the soft tissue of her heel was a splinter. This is just one of the ways she communicates her needs these days. She's also a great help at meals and snack times, nodding yes or vigorously shaking her head "No!" to indicate food selection. She wants to help with every household task and will simply throw a fit unless I let her help wash the floor (using her own mop), dust the furniture (her own rag), sweep up leaves (her own broom--you get the picture), brush the dog, etc, etc, etc. One of these days that help is really going to pay off, though now it can be somewhat of a struggle to find "work" for her to do.

Today Maddie was in an exceptionally good mood, grinning and hamming it up for all the cashiers at Costco, Trader Joe's & Lunardi's (yes, I had to visit 3 stores in order to create this week's meals, among other necessities). She sang her own little songs in her carseat between errands, making long sentences out of real and imagined words, cooing and smiling at me to make sure I was paying attention to the cuteness. 

For a long time Maddie has thought gentle means hitting (word association: every time she would get rough, I'd say "be gentle," and so thus became the antonym confusion). So we've been working on teaching her to be kind. This afternoon she petted me, the dog, the flowers, the chair with long, smooth strokes, repeating "nice," "gentle," and "baby...nice." This little routine went on for about 10 minutes, accompanied by lots of sweet soft kisses, which, luckily for me, fall into the "nice" category.

Another concept Maddie's learned in the last few weeks is that Dada is at work during the day. At random points throughout the time he's away, she'll mention to me "Dada. Work." and I nod and repeat. Today she said "Mama. Work." and I told her that Mama does work, but she doesn't leave home because her work is at home, taking care of Maddie. She watched and listened intently and repeated "Baby. Mama. Work." Though many days are challenging, what with Maddie's unending supply of energy and enthusiasm coupled with the desires of toddlerhood, most of my life's work with Maddie is characterized by joy, "happy!", and the intense satisfaction of being home to see each little piece fall into place. She is indescribably amazing.


The Ulrickson Fam said...

oh the cuteness! one of these days i've got to get my hands on this munchkin.

bonnieb said...

Yes, yes, yes! Baby, Mama, work. The very best and hardest job there is! Never more tired, never more fulfilled. I love you.