Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday: third day at grandma's

We are to have a repeat of yesterday's glorious weather. It's wonderful to know this in advance -- to have the weather forecast in front of you telling you what you already guessed from looking outside: sunshine and pleasantly warm breezes -- a weather pattern I could live with for a long time!

Patterns are, of course, made to be broken. While the weather is keeping to its lovely predictability, my darling granddaughter decides to buck her run of perfectly late wake ups and begin her cooing noises closer to 7:30, rather than the 10-ish we're used to seeing.

She's up, Ed tells me, as if I can't hear her vocalizations myself.
No she's not. She's between sleep cycles. Shhh! Don't wake her!
But she's awake!
As if to demonstrate this, he goes down and stands by her crib and booms back up to me -- she's awake! And smiling!


Well, now she is...

Rather than disturb the patterns Snowdrop's parents have set in place for her (late bedtime, late wake up, like a rock star -- a friend commented!), I try to believe that she will go back to sleep still. I change her diaper, swaddle her again, then listen as she coos and gurgles in her crib. I let her do this for a while, hoping she'll revert to her old pattern.

She does. She flips her swaddled self this way and that and finally, the gurgles stop and she drifts off to sleep again.

I go outside, expecting nothing but that rich abundance of pre-summer growth -- deeply green, ready for a grand performance. Immediately something else catches my eye -- the most recently planted pot, the one with the pretty dahlia, the snapdragons, the alyssum is completely dug out. The plants lay scattered and broken. I try as best as I can to repair the damage, saving the dahlia flower for the breakfast table. Oh, animals!

But in truth, this year there is (thus far) little damage to the yard. Of course, once the blooms come, the chipmunks or rabbits pick and choose their salad fixings, but with established fields, for the most part, you would not notice their chomping. For now, I'm grateful that most of the pots remain vibrant and without a trace of animal damage.

My photo for today (two actually) is a bit of a cheat -- it's of a Gaura (beeblossoms) and of Heuchera (coral bells), but these are recent additions and so their bloom is earlier than that of its established cousins. Still, it's a promise of things to come throughout the fields.



By 8:30, I begin to wonder if Snowdrop will sleep long enough for us to have breakfast. I hustle Ed along, taking a photo before he even sits down, just in case I have to get right up again.


But, the little girl snoozes on, as if aware of the significance of this quiet, gentle meal for me. (You'll notice now the beginnings of the tearing out of the big window, as Ed prepares for the construction project.)


Finally, the girl wakes for real.


And yes, I have the new tub to try out: it's built to fit perfectly over a double kitchen sink, though I almost don't follow this suggestion because, unlike my own grandma, who always had to bathe me in the kitchen at the village house (right by the coal stove where she kept pots of water warm), I have it in my head that a bathroom is so much more fitting for the simple routine of bathing a baby. It seems odd to position her right next to the rack where the dishes are drying. Still, it is so convenient and such a perfect fit that, with the (Polish) wooden chef and his missus looking on, I place Snowdrop right there, as if she were a pot ready for a scrub down. A very happy pot!


Ed comes in now and takes over the camera...

(by Ed)

It is a delightful time: she has plenty of water to swoosh and splash.

The routines continue: I dress her, she eats and then announces in her own sweet way -- I'm ready for play!


Lots of play, grandma (after a good chomp on Sophie, the giraffe)!


Later, I cannot resist the brilliance outside and so she and I go out --  first to feed bread to the cheepers (yes, grandma, a rooster crows! I know that now!)...


... then to the great willow -- the one where my younger daughter got married last June. It's a blissful place of mixed grasses and dandelion puffs and clover leaves.


A moment that if I could, I would stretch to last a long long time.

And later, in the afternoon, Snowdrop and I have another adventure: we hit State Street -- that long set of blocks that links the university to the Capitol. I put her in her stroller and off we go, new shoes and all!


On a day like this, the Union Terrace, possibly Madison's finest outdoor space, is an obvious destination. It's time she experienced that burst of color by the lake waters!

(by a stranger)

What she also experiences is the burst of bright sunshine. To her chagrin. She prefers shade. Possibly all babies prefer shade. I oblige and steer the stroller toward the beautiful lake shore path -- one I used to bike daily to work when I lived in the condo.


She immediately dozes off in total bliss and does not wake up again until we're back on State Street, where I'm sure to keep her on the shady side of things.


This was a trip full of new elements to it and you know how it is after an adventure -- you're so happy to be home! Farmhouse isn't really home, but it's good enough! The girl is bouncy and chipper as can be -- ready to take on the world! And this is the time when I really hear her explosive laughter -- as if my silly words are the funniest thing she'd ever heard! Ever!


We come quickly to the evening -- typically her most tired time, where everything seems too big to take on. But, this is a girl who grows in leaps and bounds. Tonight, she sits in her bouncy chair right next to us and considers along with us whether the entrepreneurs on Shark Tank are deserving of investor support. Her demeanor says it all -- give it up, people. Move on to a new idea.


I  wake her, feed and swaddle her and put her down for her last night at the farmhouse.