Yesterday, while feeding Little M, I spent some time observing Big M. Let me set the scene: Big M is sitting at her Little Tikes table, eating mushroom soup and cheesy toast (her new go-to lunch) and watching The Land Before Time. (Oh yeah, I sometimes let her watch a movie while she eats her lunch … probably something else I said I would never do). I see her zoning in on Little Foot and Duckie’s antics, smiling here and there, shovelling soup into her mouth. She’s feeding herself (with a regular spoon), and she’s doing a great job.
She stops to ask, “Can I slurp this soup?” (She knows I have pretty strict slurping rules). “Sure,” I say, “slurping soup is allowed.” She slurps away, then stops for a chunk of cheezy toast. She shovels some more soup and I examine her further. She’s wearing some really cute pink cords (cinched in as far as they can go), a zebra shirt, and some grey and white grippy socks … and she put them all on herself. She wipes her face and hands with her cloth, then gobbles some more toast. Her pant cuffs are sneaking up to her ankles; she’s growing.
After her nap, I do some more observing. She plays … on her own … taking care of her “friends,” bringing them on trips, keeping them warm, feeding them. Suddenly she marches off to the kitchen to get some paper. She asks, “What would you like me to draw for you? A kitty? A puppy? A duck? A cow?” She “counts” each option on her fingers. I suggest a kitty. “What should we call him?” she asks, retrieving her markers. “Fluffy,” I offer. “Umm, I think Oscar is a good name for a kitty,” she responds, kindly brushing off my suggestion. Oscar is our cat who “moved away” (literally). She busies herself with her drawing, switching colours here and there, and adding a rainbow for the kitty because he would like that. Her picture complete, she “bends” it for me (i.e. folds) and delivers it across the living room. I ask her to tell me about what she drew, and she articulates clearly everything that is on her page. Of course, some of what she drew is unrecognizable, but I can see two shapes … one resembling what could be a cat’s head, attached to another shape that very well could be the cat’s body. She’s starting to draw “real” things.
In a few short hours (two were spent napping) of taking the time to really look at Big M, I cannot believe how much she has grown. She feeds herself, she washes herself, she dresses herself, she asks for permission, she does her business on the potty, she uses her imagination, she takes care of others, she thinks of others, and she is starting to draw recognizable things. She is growing SO MUCH in SO MANY WAYS. I couldn’t help but think of this quote, circulating on Facebook lately …
“Have you ever looked at your kids and had so much love and pride that it brought tears to your eyes??? I have and it’s amazing.”