Real conversations are what are making us stop and think about how far weâ€™ve come these days. â€œNo milk, thank you. Outside, please? Outside?â€ Owlet says when we offer her a drink. She is starting to do that singsong â€œreading alongâ€ thing when we read her stories, and wordless â€œsinging alongâ€ with music in the car, shaping the sounds of the lyrics without actually saying the precise words themselves. â€œTight,â€ she reminds me when I unbuckle her from her seat in the car, squeezing her stuffed rabbit in her arms, promising me that sheâ€™ll not drop it or lose with while weâ€™re out. â€œSqueeeeeeeze!â€ she says suddenly when sheâ€™s sitting on my lap to get her shoes on, catching my arms and pulling them around her so I can give her a hug.
This month produced the first unprompted â€œI love you, Mummyâ€ (and only the second time sheâ€™d said it ever). One weekend morning, she wandered up to me and leaned her head on my knee (not easy, as I was cross-legged on the settee so she had to bend at the waist to get to the proper level) and said, â€œI love you, Mummy.â€ Then she stood up and wandered off again. HRH looked at me and said, â€œAnd if anything was wrong, all is now forgiven!â€
She had her first visit to a farm when we spent Victoria Day weekend with my parents. Here is a summary of the day:
PONIES ARE AWESOME.
No, wait; TRACTORS ARE AWESOME.
Why are we leaving the farm? Why are you taking me away from my FAVOURITEST THINGS EVER?
In other words, it was an enormous success. There were three vintage and antique tractors that she could climb on, and she had great fun doing that. She went for a tractor-drawn wagon ride around the farm, and we saw turkeys, rabbits, chickens, and goats. â€œGoats! Goats!â€ she kept telling people. She even took the farmerâ€™s hand and tried to get him to come over to see the goats, as if he was unfamiliar with his own livestock. While we were there, Sparky rode a pony for the first time, and she was fascinated. She had to think about it for a bit and watch other people before asking, â€œPoheys? Poheys? Neigh neigh?â€ So we gave her a ride, too, and she sat there very proudly while being led around the paddock. At the third corner, she looked at the spectators and said very primly, â€œYeehaw.â€ She just about killed everyone.
While we were visiting my parents, Owlet also had her first real large playground experience. (Because I keep my kids locked up, you know. Actually, there just arenâ€™t very many around us.) Sheâ€™s at a great age to watch the other kids and figure out what to do that way. She had some fun with the swings, seriously considered the climbing wall, and entertained herself by picking up handfuls of the hot, fine sand and dumping them into my hands, until she decided that pouring it into my shoes was more fun. She did the small slide a couple of times with her Granddad helping her, then decided she wanted to do the big slide, thank you very much. So I got her up there through the climbing structure while Granddad waited at the bottom. Except sheâ€™s not heavy enough to keep up her momentum, and she stopped halfway down! In the end she compromised on the curved slide with Sparky, and had a wonderful time. Appropriately, when it was time to go, we told her she could go down the slide â€œonce more for the Queen,â€ as it was Victoria Day. After that we went down to the lakeside and sat on the rocks, throwing stones into the breakers of Lake Ontario. This was the best thing ever. (Tractors? What tractors? There are rocks here. And water.)
She really enjoyed her hour exploring the new daycare last week. She was a little unsure of the toys that made noise â€“ I think we have all of one toy that makes noise when you press buttons, and it is mercifully very quiet â€“ but she was very interested in all the different play stations, and already has her own little hook and cubby with her name on them, all ready for when it opens at the beginning of August.
She loves exploring her environment. Dandelions were her biggest thing this past month. She picked them on walks, and on the way to meet Sparky after school, carrying handfuls of them and trying to blow dandelion clocks. Or rather, weâ€™re working on actually blowing on them instead of snorting them too close to the nose and ending up with a sputtering toddler. We had some terrific rainstorms this past month, too, and she became fascinated by puddles, particularly in combination with her beloved sticks, rocks, and pinecones, stirring them up or dropping them in to see what happens. HRH built a proper sandbox this past weekend, because Owlet plunked herself in the garden and started piling dirt on her legs one day. We put veggies in the garden right after that, so the sandbox will hopefully redirect her enthusiastic digging efforts.
She just invented a little game that she finds hilarious. You have to sit on her bench by the window at one end of the bookcase while she wedges herself into the corner between the wall and the other end of the bookcase and clears her throat. Then you count aloud, â€œOne, two, THREE!â€ and both of you pop out to look at one another around the bookcase, and she giggles wildly. Then she sobers, looks at you seriously, holds up a finger or two, and says, â€œTimes?â€ which means, â€œCan we do this again?â€
All of us are having fun with her. Sheâ€™s of an age where she can romp with Sparky now, who isnâ€™t exactly the most dexterous of kids at the best of times, so sometimes he accidentally bounces her off corners or furniture because theyâ€™re going too fast or cut a corner too closely. But they play together with various toys and pillows, and hug one another, and share books, too. It’s so much fun to see them together.