Sunday, April 26, 2009
Enjoying our first really warm day this year, P and I returned to the rocks in Central Park. Can anyone spell "climbing addict?" :) P had a plan, too. He brought his long black rope (the one that he jumps, ties things with, dangles BB from... its an all purpose toy) in order to toss BB from the cliffs and chuckle while the monster dangled.
We found a new outcropping and settled in for some fun. Soon, a clothing photo shoot set up in the daffodils below our rocks. P paid no attention initially, but as they pulled out a faux picnic and lighting, he grew interested. He climbed, feeling very Bond, closer and closer to the shoot, ducking down when anyone looked his way. It ate up a Lot of his early afternoon :)
P, describing the picnic foods:
As we scooted to the zoo for a bathroom break, P remembered the children's section and decided we should take another peek. It was a good time:
Then we headed out for more climbing and new rocks. P's and my attempt to dig crystals caught the attention of a very friendly little boy. He gaily offered P some jelly beans and jumped right in to play Huck Finn.
After scoring the rock we were after, the boy offered to sword fight P with his sword balloons. Honestly, it seemed like a P playdate come true. A friendly, talkative, older child for an impromptu, pressure free sword fight. I looked at P's face, expecting a glow, and saw his blank look. The one he gives strangers for forever, only to be ready to chat them up as they are finally walking away. Nevertheless, he jumped about on the rocks with the boy, singing out a "ching-ching" occasionally for sound effects. When the boy called Phoenix by name I saw P almost glow :) Eventually, our new friend had to leave, promising to meet us again someday. As P watched the boy go, the one he hadn't uttered 5 words to in the last 30 minutes, he turned to me and said "I love that kid. Love him with all my heart. When can we see him again?" Ha! Slow to warm strikes again...
So we had some great rock climbing adventures while the day cooled and P watched for other kids that might befriend him with jelly beans:
Then, as I packed our bags, P wandered further and further afield, feeling quite Big and At Home. See the tiny pink P dot?
A glorious thing to see (even if the picture worries you, mom!) I was relieved to see him stretching his comfort zone - after his mishap the other week on an escalator. Knowing my preference for closeness on long escalators, P, of course, wants to be half the machine away from me. But, sometimes, he gets so obsessed turning around, directing me to not come closer (I'm not:) that he doesn't notice the end coming near. Typically a "Look!" from me suffices. But, on a busy midtown, rush hour escalator, P skipped down with dire directions for me to Stay. As people filled in the space between us, he kept looking back, filled with big kid pride. And then the end was near and he wasn't watching. My "look!" was lost and the young suit standing near him swiped P up to safety. As the child was lifted into the air by a perfect stranger, half an escalator away from his mother, he looked back at me and his face Broke My Heart. It was blank. Completely Blank. The fear, the lack of autonomy, the worry, was all so overwhelming that I could literally see him shrink inside himself. The suit carefully sat P down on the ground, turned around to give an anonymous and apologetic wave, and rushed on. When I finally got to P he was livid. "Don't EVER let someone do that Again!" His eyes fought back his tears and he clung to me. He told me he had thought the guy was going to take him away, that he was being kidnapped :(
So, after a week of fly paper like closeness, the kid stretched his legs again and enjoyed Spring.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Last week we went to a Homeschool New York event set up by the wonderful Twinkle (remember the Iron Fairies? That Twinkle.) It will be monthly - readers reading a short book to non-readers followed by a fun craft. P had a blast and Loved making butterflies at his favorite library. This week Homeschool New York started their very own community gardening plot, thanks to Milo's mum. P had jumped for joy when the idea was first mentioned but was less than enthusiastic the morning of the event. Which really drove home how easy it has been getting out of the house in the last two months. After months of turn- taking and deal making (I'll stay home Again today, P, if you'll go Anywhere tomorrow :) we'd been happily skipping out of the house a few times a week for fun adventures. I wasn't that surprised he was retracting his excitement. Since he started setting his own (late) bedtime routine, he was getting an average of 9 hours sleep a night. Yah, that's a couple short of what a four year old should be aiming for...
After chatting about the exact details of the day he was finally ready to zoom out the door, dark circles and all :) The garden is a lovely little spot in the East Village, surrounded by tattoo filled locals and ex-hippies. P and I were early and enjoyed the quiet space together, his irksome mood lifting with the outdoors and a good scoot.
When everyone was ready, we joined the gang to prepare our plot. There's nothing this city kid loves more than an excuse to dig in the dirt and he happily grabbed a shovel and heartily moved earth.
Then the drama started. One little girl didn't like where he was placing his dirt. Then another little boy was jealous of P's hole - he wanted a big deep hole too, but didn't want to make his own, he wanted P's :) I felt sorry for P, I could see his frustration mounting as he tried to give everyone their space and stay out of everyone's way. More kids piled around and the jealousy filled boy kept shoving P's shovel aside. P typically holds it together until it is Just Too Much and then he POPS. Wanting to avoid said popping, I lifted him towards the fence to an empty spot in the back. He started to dig a new hole, graciously giving his original one up. Then a little girl whined that she wanted to dig where he was, could he move? Then an older girl told him she wanted his shovel and handed him her hoe. He stuck the hoe into his new hole and realized it wouldn't do the job... and I could see the shadow pass over his face. D'oh. The pop was imminent and I coaxed him away from any moving objects since he was holding a rather large hoe :)
As he (very quietly, heaven forbid this most private child let other's overhear) railed about the loss of his shovel, I really felt for the tired little guy. And I saw so much of his father in him it made me smile. As he instructed me to retrieve the shovel (a community tool of which we had no special claim) and my answer disappointed him, I let him know he had a choice. He was tired and this felt Big. He could stay there, in that big, unhappy spot, and I would hold him while he was there. Or he could choose to let the sadness go and make his day a happy one. I was along for either ride and he really can Choose how his life goes. He swatted at me and then sat there for a second. Then he glanced back at his shovel longingly once more and said, "Let's explore the garden."
And so we did. His friend Milo joined us in a bush fort for a bit.
Then they gathered wood for a bonfire (well, P's was for a bonfire, Milo said he was gathering weapons for the fort, but they did gather sticks together :) Then Milo's unbelievably sweet and thoughtful mama let us know she had some solitary gardening to do, if we were interested. Hah! P jetted over to the now vacant plot and happily planted and watered for the remainder of the garden's hours. In the background, the other home-schoolers chased each other about the space. Ah, well, the kid comes from two introverted adults, you can run from your peers, but not your genes...
As for running from unhappiness, P seemed to embrace that concept wholeheartedly. The next night we met E for dinner after work. P was still tired. He repeatedly and accidentally dropped bits of my veggie burger's bun (that he was loving) onto the less than clean booth seat. As the last piece of bun not covered in spicy mustard slipped from sloppy tired fingers, P buried his head into my arm-nook and quietly cried. The restaurant was so loud I couldn't hear anything he said through his tears, but I kissed his head and he eventually rallied a sad face forward. Once outside, he got his bearings. "Is that Whole Foods over there?" Yup. "I want to go there and get something to replace my bun. There is a sadness in my heart and I want to feel better." E was ready to head home, but anytime a four year old says something like "sadness in my heart" a parent knows that they're smoked.......
I have uber-fond memories of my childhood felt-board (thanks mom!) and P loves playing with felt too. Its like Birthday fun for him - we cut out new dinosaurs, stars, fish, trees - anything the little man can dream up, we can materialize. For added rainy day fun we got two HUGE felt pieces so we could make the Entire World (P's request) for BB. Cuz' the pink monster really needed another home.... :)
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
P spent last Saturday doing what he loves most: hanging with E and I, Seth and Alicia. We planned to scoot the west side to the southern tip and hop the ferry... but we were on Saturday Time. So, we mosied west, ate, bought some chocolates :) and then started south by scooter. It was sixty degrees and pure perfection.
P is in top form when he hangs out with a few close, Adult, friends. (We had a social circle of wee ones yesterday - post forthcoming - and a very tired P enjoyed himself Much Less :) Unfortunately, his devotion to Uncle Seth frequently finds him climbing all over the guy - vague proximity isn't quite enough. We're working on helping our little Active Alert understand bodily boundaries, but its a looooong process :)
P finds a "pirate ship," treasure chest and all:
We didn't make it too far south before we landed on an old pier area - a great slab of concrete that hung out over the water, just begging to be played on. The Kansan in me saw the strange urban-ness of my child spending a lovely spring Saturday sans grass. But P didn't notice anything except Jersey. He found Uncles Shane and Tom's building and then proceeded to make plans to Swim the channel, British style. He would climb on my back and I would swim. We could drag our scooters under the water with a rope, tied to me. I told him it sounded like fun (validating generally being the best way to imagine with P) and he pushed me towards the cement retaining wall with a "Jump!" D'oh :) I told him I'd need to exercise a bit first, the scooters might weigh me down. No problem, he proceeded to wrangle Alicia into the plan, would she carry the scooters?
P, trying to seal the deal
We scootered, skated, chatted and watched the boats go by. It was a lovely time, of which I have few photos. Aunt Alicia, though, has some Amazing (and I mean Amazing!!!) shots of our day. So, please, ignore the rest of my dull post and proceed to her blog here. Ok, I'm linking you to her general blog site, not the day specific ones for two reasons. First, her photos are so great, you shouldn't miss any (even if P isn't in them:) and second, if you hurry, the top is a photo of P and I! I know, that Never happens. If I die, the child will actually have more than three photos of himself and his mother :) There is also the most awesome photo of E and P, E looking like a total stud :) So, go and scroll! (Alright, for future ease, once those posts are buried amongst her other brilliant photos, I'll do a link :) So go here and here)
We eventually moved from our slab southward to a spot of green, where we collapsed to chill, yet again :) Parting ways till another day, P was moved to share some of his chocolates with his favorite people. He picked green balls (green being Aunt Alicia's favorite color) and pink hearts (sign of love to all) and started piling it on. Then he switched to silver stars, shouldnt' they all be shiny? Then he switched some more. Then he started adding more and more to their hands, trying to keep it even between the two. As the sly foxes got up to go, they sweetly slid most of the candy back into the little man's bag. We also packed up and then headed for food. As we sat down (at a really fun little mexican restaurant that had shiny stuff hanging from the ceiling - thrilling P to no end!), P opened his chocolates and turned to me. "Why they no take their candy?" My answer of "because they love you so much" left him bewildered, but satisfied nonetheless :)
The candy man:
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
If only Aunt Alicia was on permanent break. P and I would kidnap her and drag her about the city to our heart's content. And it would take a Lot of dragging to make P's heart content :) He optimistically "sees" her about twice a week. The girl running up the sub stairs with long wavy hair. The strawberry blonde dashing across Houston Street.
But last week we got the real deal - Three times! After our fun day at the Botanical Gardens we frolicked on the rocks of Central Park under the sun. P was unusually content the whole day - making for a mellow and exceptionally enjoyable time. We started at the Crystal Rocks, where we picnicked, chiseled and people watched. Then P started dragging Alicia down and around the great rocks where we bumped into a fellow unschooler doing the same to his mum. The little man discovered a new path through greenness and daffodils where he decided to dig for Larger Crystals. Unfortunately, said crystals were in the Middle of a popular path. Fortunately, we were able to coax the little man onward...
We settled onto another rock outcropping where P danced precariously close to the edge (see top pic). He repeatedly tossed imaginary BB into a dirty puddle and then we chiseled away at a crystal swatch, garnering a few beauties. It was So Lovely and Relaxing. Actually Relaxing. Which, honestly, caught me off guard. I'm the first to admit that parenting almost did this whimp in. The sleeplessness, combined with the constant demands, combined with the number of deathly dangerous things abounding for a small child that moves independently (and quickly) before their brain has a Clue about what is actually dangerous - oy! And, of course, I'm a whimp:) Then, just the other day, someone replied to a post shortly after I posted it. And they had read the linked article too! I was lovin' the devotion, but blown away by the ability to do so much reading - right at Busy Bedtime! And then it hit me. Not only has life become so much more beautiful because spring is here and the little man sleeps Allll night now (and generally knows what will kill him), but also because I've finally forgotten what life pre-kids was like. (I often forget everyone doesn't have a couple kids stashed away somewhere too...) Cuz that was the biggest bitch of all in the early days, remembering the mellow evenings watching a movie, surfing the net, eating a warm dinner, talking to my husband, finishing a thought, reading a (non-parenting) book. As Phoenix wailed in my arms or repeatedly tried to eat another rock (and then wailed inconsolably at being thwarted), I would remember those freedoms and sigh. And it all hung heavily on my sleepy brain for the first, oh, three years (have I mentioned I'm slow to transition too?) I know we could have gotten a babysitter, shoved a bottle at the kid or stuck him in a crib to get some space, but that just wasn't our bag.... we wanted the bag we had, we were just surprised with how heavy it seemed in comparison to our bagless past lives, pre-kid:) With that friend's email, it hit me that after 4 and some years, being a parent is finally natural for me. God that's embarrassing.... And sounds unbelievably self-centered.... (But I'll admit right now, I've been adding to this post for 4 days now and have yet to finish it - and that seems perfectly normal. Two years ago it would have driven my Type A side Nuts:)
So where was I? Rocks. Yes. We danced on the rocks and then headed to the Alice sculpture. We never made it there because some Gorgeous magnolia trees called our names... and P was fascinated by burying his screwdriver :) His reading ability is entering into his play more and more. As he buried his lot and marked it with an "X," pirate style, he wondered what the "X" stood for. What word does it start? Why do they use an "X"?
Aunt Alicia, screwdriver retriever extraordinaire, looks on with her magical camera (aka new appendage:):
As the wind turned chilly we returned to our sweaters and headed to the West Village for dinner. Uncle Seth and Papa joined us and P became immediately glued to Seth, sitting beside him, being carried by him, and finally crying for him as Seth exited our homebound subway. We got off at the next stop, immensely satisfied by a day in our city, yet again :) So satisfied in general, in fact, that I don't ever consider thinking about life pre-P, ever anymore....
Monday, April 20, 2009
So, I posted a while back here ) about P beginning his reading journey. I mentioned that I half expected this to move slowly, if at all... boy was I wrong. Three weeks later he has read a number of books By Himself. While I still wouldn't say that P is truly reading (more like memorizing as quickly as possible :), he is certainly determined to do so, and soon. He requests reading as regularly as ever (story addict that he is!), but these days he's also finding words all around him and asking that they be read too. The realization that the world is Filled with words has hit him and he's psyched.
Simultaneously, he's decided to go to sleep differently. I think a lot has to do with his recent weaning (they really do willingly quit eventually! Holy Moly!), leaving space for a new bedtime ritual. A lot has to do with the sheer exercise of his Will too :) Darkness has always been a necessary element to P's nighttime sleep - overstimulated angel that he can be. Well, he's decided That particular silliness just Has to End. And so the light started staying on at bedtime. This, of course, means that P then has trouble going to sleep. Without the sway of a carseat or the rhythmic rocking of the mei tai, the light leaves everything, well, visible. And visible is distractible and distractible is Awake. As E and I are completely Done by ten at night, we've started just lying down with our eyes closed and resting (or zonking, in E's case:) while P settles himself.
His sleep has therefore crept an hour later, moving him closer and closer to owl's hours. But, the beauty of this approach is that, much like when I'm sick and there's just no option, he Has to entertain himself as we drift off. No emotional isolation engendered like there would be if I was just reading a book to myself ("Mama, why won't you Play with me?" As if he can't even imagine why the person he wants to spend every second with doesn't feel just as much love and excitement as him:), just quiet play because we're Sleeping. Sure, he's tested our sleepy resolve (what self respecting four year old wouldn't?). Gotten close to my face, his little breathy chuckles tickling my closed eyelids. Sure, he's considered hanging out in the (dark) house alone. Little feet quickly pitter-pattering back to the bed, an airplane clutched in his tired hand. (A scary independent accomplishment as yet repeated :)
And then he decided to right a wrong he feels nightly. The ending of book time. This signals the final transition from day to night, a transition P has fought for four years. Not in the typical "bedtime fights," as he's never had a stiff "bedtime" before. We go to sleep when he's tired. Just a sad little internal fight where he tries to keep his eyes open and his day going, misery be damn. As I finished another chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate factory the other night and kissed him good night, he moaned that he wanted more. I promised more in the morning, after I had rested my tired body, he could look at the pictures if he wanted. Typically, any suggestion to look at a book sans moi has him roaring "but I can't READ!" with immense indignation. This time, he grabbed a beginner book that he loves, "Today I Will Fly" and proceeded to read it to himself. Then he cuddled up next to me and went to sleep. It was amazing.
Two days later we got a set of "Brand New Readers." Easy beginner books that kids can tackle almost immediately. And so he did. He read through a few books that same day, pausing after each page to ask BB if he'd heard :) I love that BB acts as a mirror to P's emotions - an easy look into how he's feeling about life at any moment. If P's nervous about something he often asks BB if the pink monster is nervous, if P is hurt, he places bandaids on BB, if P's proud of himself, then he makes sure BB hears of what has just been done so BB can reply with the requisite "No Way! Really? Wow..." E and I skip the external praise and "good jobs" (see a great, short article on the many reasons why to skip verbal rewards here) but this peer-like feed back seems to be just the perk P needs when he feels pride. Have I mentioned how much I love this little monster?
At any rate, there's so much independence blossoming amongst the flowers here that I'm amazed. The child's belief that he really is, secretly, a grown-up, seems to be becoming more and more true every day and he awakens each day feeling like he really can fly...
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Sorry for the prolonged pause (mom:), P's been unusually busy, no longer goes to sleep before me and then the internet was out all week! So, here follows a few posts - more soon to come...
Until then, you should check out my awesome sister in law's blog. Not only can you get a great view of life in Brooklyn - you can also see some super shots of the little man :)
Until then, you should check out my awesome sister in law's blog. Not only can you get a great view of life in Brooklyn - you can also see some super shots of the little man :)
Just a week after we stalked magnolia blossoms with Papa, we were back at the gardens to puddle jump with friends. Aunt Alicia was enjoying her Spring Break and sweetly joined us for the fun. Nothing pleases P more than seeing his Aunt or Uncle. And he tells me this, every. single. day :)
After thinking himself quite the acrobat as he jumped back and forth over the water canal, he took to tossing a small bamboo stick for Alicia to fetch, sweet Aunt that she is :) Then he moved onto balancing scales with her, cackling that his heavy stick trumped her enormous pile. His buddies showed up and they all piled sticks together:
Until, that is, Leslie showed up with the buckets (only a super-mom travels with four adorable buckets!) Then the wee ones were hot to pump and dump:
Definitely weighing in as the non-super-mom for the day, P was without proper puddle jumping attire. That, however, does not deter a determined four year old and when he joined in on the jumping he become ever so much more wet than his compatriots. Then, of course, it cooled off and started to rain. Alicia and I headed to the desert with the now chilly child to warm up before our trek home. P was thrilled to catch the cacti (I am enthralled by his strange interests. Cacti? Sharks seem obvious, but cacti? I guess they're sharp... and a little menacing..), wetness be damned, and will probably remember on future visits that getting wet is a sure ticket to his beloved domes:) Building on his burgeoning reading habit, he learned how to spot the various aloe plants (another P love - burns and natural remedies fascinate him) by label, thereby guaranteeing his true aloe devotion... Once warmed, we headed home through a light spring rain, P happily running his bike through the ever greening park.
After a loooong winter of peer discontentment, P is back in the game. He's accepting play dates and birthday invites. He's happy to see his friends again. (This follows the pattern laid in the last two years: P is tight with his friends. P travels to peerless Kansas and returns to NY rejecting all play dates (I think he gets out of practice and questions the point, but I could be wrong). Months of nothing follow until the seasons change and he slowly reintegrates. P becomes tight with his friends. P travels to Kansas... )
Desmond and Nini's 5th birthday party was fortunate enough to fall inside this grace period :) The party was fabulous fun filled with balloons and great friends. To top off the already amazing train cake there was even a, gasp, pinata! P was sooo psyched. Then he heard there would be blindfolding involved and swiftly removed himself from the ranks. "But Mama, if I can't see where I'm swinging I might hit myself in my head!" Hee-hee - so practical, this kid. Here he is, watching from the back:
After a round of rowdy hits everyone went blindfold free and P reinserted himself into the fray. When the pinata finally broke, the more knowledgeable kids scrambled along the floor while P and one of his friends each politely grabbed a singular item and proclaimed their excitement :) I told P it was a free for all and he did what he does best, scavenged. Even once the other kids had lost interest, P continued to comb the floor for lost suckers and dinosaurs :)
True to form, he finally became comfortable with the other kids as closing time neared and was pumped to play with them again once we left....
Last weekend we saw the most amazing show at the New Victory Theater! A small Swiss family, their patriarch having performed with the likes of Marcel Marceau, thrilled us with their enormous smiles and high wire acts. A typical three ring would be a bit of a sensory overload for P, but his love of tricks and acrobatics practically demands a diet of some circus fare.... Fortunately, the Dimitri family perfectly fits that bill.
Check them out here: There's even a tiny video to give you a better look. They played a huge array of acoustical instruments (good for easily overwhelmed ears, despite his inclination towards overwhelming Others with His sounds ;) that inspired P to no end and performed trick after trick that had P continually asking "could you do that mama? If you practiced a Lot, then you could do it, right?" He laughed at the two mimes, was mesmerized by the floating man, the twirling umbrella, the slowly drawn transitions. After only 20 minutes he leaned to me and asked "can we see this again, Mama? Soon?" It was, in a single word, Perfect.
Not thinking about Spring Break, P and I headed to see the Polar Bear last week. As we scooted through Central Park en route to the zoo we ran smack into an old friend of mine, in town for the week. She followed us to the zoo where we all fought the crowds to see the adorable penguins shimmy into the water, sprinkling bubble trails in their wake. Typically a photo frenzy opportunity for me :) my old chum occupied all available moments, leaving me photo free - sorry! But P and BB were truly there, photos or no, growing ever more annoyed at this new female presence, one who talked a lot, and Not to them :)
As we took a bathroom break, P had hit his own breaking point and instructed me to run away from my friend while she used the loo. And to Never, Ever stop again when I see someone I know :) We gracefully parted ways and wandered into the park to refill his empty cup. The large rock we settled on was littered with kids on break and swaths of crystal. P was pumped. Short of his hammer and chisel he tried knocking the crystals loose with a rock. It was too crumbly, so he tried lifting a large one to get to the "perfect" hammer rock:
Working another crystal patch:
We made plans to return to the location later in the week, with a chisel, thus freeing P to enjoy other rock based fun: jumping precariously close to the high edge. He ran about at the top, carefully walked the perimiter of a dirty puddle repeatedly (holding BB right over the puddle and chuckling) and then decided to descend the cliff. So down we went, around a bend, along a path and back up the other side of the outcropping. P was delighted. This, to him, was the ideal way to spend the day, screw old friends and their chatty ways :) So up down and around we went, over and over and over and over and over.... The top of the climb featured a solitary boulder upon which P perched, requesting a special photo for Uncle Ian (P's rock climbing inspiration and famously adored Unc):
It was a great day, one that we hated to give up - so we stayed well into the evening, watching the city get slower and darker and P's eyes get heavier :)
We're in a painting phase again. In fact, we just received a new order from Dick Blick :) And we haven't eaten at our table in two weeks due to the paint bottles and massive number of projects drying. The child has a very heavy hand and extends his typical aplomb for excess into his art - the paint piles its way onto the paper. Granted, this allows for his beautiful drip/swirl technique, but it also means the things don't dry for decades. At any rate, he is in heaven as he squirts :)
As I grabbed his empty bottles to rinse and recycle, P reminded me that "work" is all in the eye of the beholder. He was more than thrilled to while away the afternoon rinsing and mixing colors in the bathtub. In fact, he thought we should even use the non-empty bottles for the project :) (Just the week before, he, BB and I had enjoyed a rainy day of shredding. Of course, Imaginary BB was dangling from most of the paper as it went through the machine, eliciting screams from the monster and squeals from the child. The next day our neighbor's kid was called inside from stoop play to do his "shredding chore." He moaned to P and I that it was a Horrible chore - didn't earn him Anything - no stickers, no points, no screen time, Nothin'! P's head cocked sideways and I could see his little gears going. Hopefully, without muddling his life with stickers and bribery, he'll preserve his love of life for life's sake... :)
P has longed for an "older" playmate. He'd prefer a second mother or a consistently present Aunt or Uncle, but he'd take another kid - if they were old enough. I've been working on setting something up and it has finally fallen together - the skies have parted and sent us: Ella. Yes, P's other favorite nine year old, the image of sweetness that started his older kid addiction, is also named Ella, but her present life in Kansas prevents weekly playdates :) This Ella lives but two blocks away and visits us after school each Tuesday. She is sweet, attentive and Very mellow. Most of P's play revolves around running, jumping and wrestling, so she's a nice yin to that particular yang.
She takes her work as a mother's helper quite seriously and shadows P for an hour and a half, sharing, helping and giggling at his antics. Her mother (Malek's Waldorf teacher and just about the Sweetest woman alive - seriously, she's the type of adult that seems to honestly enjoy all things child. As P energetically relayed a story to her last Tuesday, his "S" accidentally got caught on his lips producing a nice spray. Even this elicited a look of delight. We Love this woman.) has obviously coached her on proper "mother's helper duties" and she looks questioningly my way each time P bounces towards me for help. Despite his reticence to rely on her for most things, she is still there as a primary pair of ears to his endless chatter, giving my head a lovely bit of quiet space as I prepare dinner. P is learning more and more about friendship, interacting (I can hear him attempting clearer pronunciation while she is here) and relying on others. And Ella's mom reports that the little girl loves her important position. Its a big mess of happiness here :)
The little man has been desperate to find flowers this spring. We're growing some on our fire escape, sporting some in our kitchen glasses and collecting them off of sidewalks (fallen, not picked - heaven forbid the child break a law :) P prizes magnolia blooms above all else, the three of us headed to the BBG the first pretty Sunday this spring for flower frolicking...
P gets a ride under the magnolia trees:
The cutest little girl scooted under a rope to play in the tulips. P was appalled - did she know there was a rope there??? :)
The gardens have lots of skinny spots to sneak through - which P Adores:
E gets in a cuddle, whenever, wherever he can :)
Then, as P played with imaginary BB in a small stream (BB was being repeatedly chucked into the swirling waters below :) we bumped into one of his old buddies, Washington. The two had a gay ol' time making a witch's brew (poisonous) from leaves, rocks and sticks. They stirred and cackled and cooperated until the gardens were closing and we all headed home....