On your mark, Get set, Go!!!
My child clearly has my competitive genes. She always wants to race--and I'm not just talking about running races in the backyard. If I ever need to get her to hurry up and hustle, I just need to tell her that I'm going to win, and she's racing down the hallway to the bathroom or the bedroom or wherever it is that I need her to go. I'm sure that a child development expert would discourage this behavior, but for now, it works!
So by now, everyone knows the story of how Ella told me that I had a growing in my tummy. Super sweet story, right? Well, now she tells me that she has a baby growing in her tummy. Again, perhaps a child psychologist would encourage me to correct her, but if this is her way of being involved in my pregnancy with me, I'm going to accept it. She has even named her baby "Kickie", and invites me to feel her kicks and talk to her tummy, the same way we encourage her to do with our new baby. And biologically-speaking, she's not "wrong", since she does indeed have eggs already. So as crazy as it sounds, I just envision myself speaking to my future grandchild--God willing--years and years and years from now.
My supervisor often asks what we played or pretended to be as a child, as this often correlates with the career choices that we ultimately pick. I played a lot of school, and sure enough, ended up working in Education. If the same holds true for Ella, she is going to be a party planner. She is constantly telling us that it is her birthday, or daddy's birthday, or my birthday, or her baby's birthday. She make-believe makes a cake, serves it, lights make-believe candles, and insists that we sing "Happy Birthday" to the guest of honor. It's rather endearing, and I do look forward to her excitement about her own birthday in September.
We are participating in swim lessons again this year. Ella had an awesome first day--she even acted as the model for the teacher for some of the activities. But when it came to jumping in--complete with the Humpty-Dumpty rhyme--she absolutely refused, claiming "I'm not ready!" whenever she got close. I'm proud of myself for finding what seemed to be the right balance between "encouraging" her without "pushing" her. She then spent the whole weekend practicing jumping into the water by jumping off our couch onto a blanket, wearing her swimsuit and reciting the rhyme each time. But it worked! Because she returned the next week with a brand new confidence and jumped right on in!
Would a Cookie Help?
My husband threw out his back a couple nights ago, and has been pretty uncomfortable ever since. The morning after it happened, I responded to Ella's request to snuggle with her in her bed. Remembering that Daddy had hurt his back the night before, she asked me how he was feeling. I told her that it still hurt him, and told her that we could ask him if he needed anything to help it. She jumped out of bed, tiptoed to our room, climbed up and asked him, in a whisper, what he needed. He responded that he would take some medicine when he got up, but that wasn't an acceptable answer for her. She then suggested, "Would a cookie help? I think Daddy, Mommy, and Ella should all eat a cookie to help Daddy feel better". Well okay, my sweet-toothed child, it's hard to say "no" to that sort of compassion--I guess we'll have cookies before breakfast!
That's just the tip of the iceberg. We were on vacation with my husband's family this week, and I swear that even her sentence structure improved during the time we were there! She's putting together complex thoughts and stories, and getting to be so brave and independent. It's truly remarkable to see. Even my mother-in-law assures me thar we are doing something right!
Today's blessing is being back in Arizona after a nice, but very tiring, week with my husband's family in Wisconsin. We really did have a nice time, and Ella loved playing with her cousins, but things are always a little tough with fourteen people in one house. Our flight got in late last night, so we spent the night and will take a nice, slos morning before our two-hour drive home. I'm also blessed that my dad is in town as part of his sabbatical, so we'll get to visit with him along the way.