|Day 10 of 31 at TWT!|
"Oh, thank you! Did you get Mommy's favorite mud?! I love it!" I giggle.
"I'm go back in the kitchen, okay?" Legs and arms flailing excitedly, she hop-toddles back inside the stick tent. She crouches down and looks around to find just the right patch of mud, those little fingers grab another handful, and she places it carefully onto her designated table-stump.
Grabbing her favorite knife-stick, she makes very deliberate cutting motions and declares, "I'm cutting a seed off! It has a seed! Like melon!"
Holding up the latest culinary-mud masterpiece, she toddles back to the door of the stick tent. "Mommy's favorite lettuce! How I like it? Try it!"
"Oh, it's delicious, thank you!"
"I'm go back in the kitchen, okay?" She flashes me her 'happy smile', twinkling eyes scrunched up like mine.
Back and forth, so busy, muttering to herself. "Another one for Mommy! Put it on the stump. I need another. Gonna find... that one." Preparing my favorite mud, bringing it out for me to try, and going back to make some more.
"Here's Mommy's favorite dirt I made for you! Mommy's favorite lettuce! How'd you like it? Try it! ... I'm go back in the kitchen! I got to make it, okay? Get another one. I'm make it for Mommy. I will cut that! I will make some more... Here's Mommy favorite dirt lettuce!"
Eventually, she decides to stop cooking and starts putting sticks and pieces of mud to bed. Crouching down at one edge of the stick tent, she nestles them meticulously in the leaves, announcing, "They're go nighty-night! ... NIGHTY-NIGHT!"
I'm amazed at how much she's grown up since we were here in the fall. Just a few months ago, she was content to explore: sitting on the stumps, walking in and out of the stick tent, demanding I come in, digging in the dirt, and banging on the stumps with sticks, with no imaginative layer. Now the activities are mostly the same, but her growing imagination has transformed them into a whole purposeful game.
In moments like this when her (quite bossy) big sister isn't initiating and directing the activities, I just marvel at everything she's learning and who she's becoming. What a miracle. <3
I remember one of the Daniel Tiger songs that she always requests because it has his mommy in it (her big sister is such a daddy's girl, but this one is 100% Mommy's!):