|Day 27 of 31 at TWT!|
"Lunchables! I can eat it outSIDE!" Rainbow Girl bounces wildly against me as I lift her into her highchair, clutching her new favorite dinner. Sunbeams stream across her hair as the golden low sun wafts through the woods and across the backyards. "Bologna meat! It tastes good!" she declares, opening her mouth as wide as it can reach. "It's my fwavworite!"
"That's right! You're such a big girl, eating meat like a big girlie! You tried a new food and it tasted good!" Over the past week, she's finally decided (at several months past 2) to eat meat, and I still feel a deep sense of relief whenever she chooses it. "Meat makes you strong!"
The breeze ruffles our hair and tries to swipe our napkins as both girls chatter over the sounds of birds chirping, neighbor kids playing, and a few vehicles driving down the street. Some weight I didn't know I was carrying seems to be lifting from my back as I squint into the setting sun.
"Guess what we have for dessert?" Sweetie leans towards her little sister, jittery with excitement, once Rainbow has polished off all the bologna and most of the crackers. She's had a hard time keeping this secret for the past few hours. "While you were napping, the ice cream truck came! And I picked you out a special treat!"
|Our ice cream truck cruises through the neighborhood so fast it's notoriously hard to catch, so Sweetie was ecstatic when we managed to flag it down today, after several failed attempts already this spring!|
By the time I come back outside from grabbing our surprise desserts out of the freezer, Rainbow's legs are jutting straight out and her little fists are clenched in delight. "Heppa Kitty! Heppa Kitty!" she squeals as I hand her the bright package. "Can I eat it?!"
"Of course!" I open the wrapper and hand her the pink Hello Kitty bar, showing her how to hold the stick. She tentatively bends her mouth towards it and takes a small nibble, then keeps going. I realize we should get a bowl, spoon, and bib, but she looks so cute eating it off the stick!
|Enjoying the treat her sister picked out for her during our successful conquest of the ice cream truck!|
The sun sinks lower as I bite into my Creamsicle and Sweetie gleefully jabbers about her humongous Jolly Rancher Bomb Pop. Our neighbor waves as he grills burgers on his driveway, and the shouts of the neighborhood kids echo around us. I can't believe it's March! Some years we have snow still! It's chilly enough that Sweetie ends up asking for her sequined Elsa jacket before we're done, but it's still an unmistakeable taste of summer. Or at least, the assurance that summer is coming.
As I lift Rainbow out of her highchair, she announces, "I'm happy! ... because..." (long pause) "I like Heppa Kitty! I loooove Heppa Kitty!" In her patented snuggle gesture, she sticks up one elbow and buries her head in it.
I hug her a little tighter and whisper into her silky hair with a kiss, remembering all the times I ran out to the ice cream truck with my dad. "I'm happy you're happy, honey bun!"
One of our favorite Laurie songs pops into my head. It doesn't take much to make a party day now: just some beautiful weather and time together (of course, an ice cream truck surprise doesn't hurt!).