Friday, November 11, 2016

review and reflect

Is it the end of the week already? Does anyone else feel like this week contained three years of history in it?

Snowdrop's school is closed today for parent teacher conferences and so immediately after my breakfast with Ed...

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... I go to the little one's home while her parents hurry off to school to get the lowdown on their child. That, of course, is for them to enjoy and feel proud about, but I will say this much -- all three teachers repeated again and again how happy, busy and joyful Snowdrop is.

During this Fall, the little one has spent a lot of time playing at the farmhouse in the afternoons. There are many reasons for it and she seems to love coming here. But this morning, I linger at her own home, curious to see what she likes to do there. And while at her house, I'm thinking -- it's time for a self release photo! They have the perfect set up for it and I used to do this all the time when Snowdrop was very little.

She enjoys it as much now.

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I see that she also loves to study her mommy's cookbooks, which amuses me no end because her mom did the exact same thing when she was a toddler: study carefully the food photos and give labels to whatever ingredients she recognized.

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Eventually, the fine (though increasingly cooler) weather beckons and I propose a walk. I don't think Snowdrop has ever turned down a walk. Shoes on, little girl!

Lately, Snowdrop has been intensely focused on babies -- her own photos and, too, the Duplo baby character in her Lego set. When I put on a Raffi song about "baby dear," she listens intently to the words that talk of comforting and loving a baby. Perhaps the sweetest phrase out of her mouth today come as I buckle her shoes and she snuggles into my shoulder and says -- "hi, Gaga dear!"

At the distant coffee shop -- which we haven't visited since school started -- she is so much older, more patient, more in control of her environment now.

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She remembers to go for the high chair even though it's been such a long time since we've been here.

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And of course, she knows how to coax a smile out of me as she waves her little finger and cajoles -- one more cookie please!

After our walk, we come back to the farmette. Again, she is only mildly interested in outdoor play on arrival. Very quickly, she heads for the house.

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What is she into these weeks? Have her interests shifted? Definitely. She loves her Duplo-lego set, of course, especially the one with the coffee shop, which has the little kids eating, would you believe it -- baguettes.

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But she is equally enthralled with trains and cars.

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And always, always, she'll listen for music to dance to. One favorite is the song about going to, as she says "ahah's farm" (aka "on our way to grandpa's farm").

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After this uniquely tumultuous week, I feel very much the need to take stock. Not only as to where Snowdrop is and what toys draw out her greatest creative interests, but, too, where we all are.

Winter is coming to the farmette. I pick up my first batch of spinach today from our farmers who deliver it to us all winter long. I'll be bringing in the annuals that I want to save tonight: we're finally expecting frost. And I'll be picking out books to read for the months ahead. And writing projects to return to. Like the squirrel that hoards nuts for the cold days before us, I hoard plans, ideas and thoughts.

Sometimes you have to shelve some rather antiquated stuff you've clung to for too long and find fresh directions. As I watch at this second Snowdrop manipulate an especially difficult (for her young hands) toy, I resist the temptation to insert myself into her play. You grow when you've experienced failure, not only success. The little one knows that instinctively. Me, I have to remind myself this basic truth every now and then.

Evening. Snowdrop is delighted to have Ed in the farmhouse. She doesn't know that he has now succumbed to what plagued me all week long -- the sniffles that a toddler passes on repeatedly when she first begins school. But Ed is Ed. I would have said -- go upstairs and sleep (for Ed, sleep cures most ailments). He doesn't do that. And the little girl is at his side, tickled to play "ahah's famrhouse" with him...

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... to have him read to her....

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Happy girl. Yes, I agree -- it's her defining characteristic.

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It's getting dark. I ask her if she wants to go out with ahah to close up the coop. Of course she does.

It's a chance to listen to the night here, to find the moon, to look up at the crab apple and in the shadows of the night -- find a birds' nest.

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Goodnight moon. Goodnight Snowdrop. Goodnight week. Hello a quiet evening.