Just a couple of examples of life with Little Mommy…
Sometimes I don’t give my kids enough credit
Recently Little Mommy and I were putting together a puzzle on the living room floor as bedtime approached. Mom was out of the house. Little Mommy is pretty good at puzzles for a 3-year old, but she’s not what I would consider a fast worker. I was beginning to wonder if we’d get finished by the time the bedtime rolled around. A few minutes before bedtime, however, we were leisurely, if not stresslessly, finishing up when the 2-year old came in and wanted to do a puzzle as well (to avoid perpetuating her nickname from the last post, let’s call her “Sprite”). I was not ready to start another marathon puzzle session with 2 minutes left before bedtime, so after a small moment of panic on both our parts we agreed to just have her show me how to put back the three pieces that fell out when she came over with the puzzle.
It was Sprite’s turn to shine. She could now show off how well she could do a puzzle. Coming on the heels of her sister’s success, this was a big-girl moment.
Sprite busily got to turning the puzzle piece this way and that, and back again (not because she was trying to fit the piece, but because that’s what you do with puzzle pieces). I gave her a few hints and she started to place a piece… but couldn’t quite get the pieces to lock. She was trying to slide them in, rather than place them down from the top. I gave her a little time to try to figure that out for herself, but Little Mommy couldn’t take the suspense.
Now, I should say here that historically speaking, this should be where Little Mommy grabs the piece out of Sprite’s hand and pushes everyone out of the way saying something to the effect of “I’ll show you how to do it!” She did in fact lean in and start to go for the piece. I was all poised to jump in and defend Sprite’s right to the piece when, in the calmest, most adult-sounding supportive voice I’ve ever heard escape her lips, Little Mommy said “You know, sometimes it helps me if I lift the piece up” while gently guiding Sprite’s hand in doing so.
Sprite’s reaction: no defensive jerking away and screaming… just “Oh! Thanks.” And the piece was successfully placed.
As I sat back in pleasant shock, I heard Little Mommy say “Good job!” and break into applause.
If I was a little faster in reacting on my assumptions at the crucial moment, I would have lost this little moment of happiness. Sometimes it pays to hang back.
Sprite, Mom, and I were at the dinner table tonight trying to get Sprite to enunciate her words more — or at least stop using nonsense syllables when she’s trying to communicate. She does have a huge vocabulary, so it’s frustrating when she decides just to start mumbling nonsense while asking us to do something. So with a hint of exasperation we say “Sprite, speak English!”
From the hallway bathroom comes Little Mommy’s voice: “I speak English!”
Mom: “Let me hear you. What can you say?”
“Okay! Uno, dos, tres, quattro…”
It’s a good thing I had finished my Iced Tea.