I Smiled

Begin Again

IMG_9498But first, I cried… as I took the empty carseat out of my car. I cried as I opened the back door only to see leftovers from breakfast: his favorite fruit yesterday was not his favorite fruit today. In the living room, there was a basket of blocks meant to stay at Grandma’s house. My home was now silent. I had just returned from dropping him and his mama off at the airport. They don’t live here anymore.

But, I smiled.

Now, I have nothing but time to retrace the days of their visit. It had been over a month since I’d seen them. I was thrilled that they were coming and they were going to stay with me! I bought books, and toys, and little boy pajamas with cartoon characters on them. I set up a Pack-N-Play in my spare bedroom with a fresh new crib sheet. I pulled out…

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Sensory Play Gone Wild

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It started out perfect

A great way to play.

Daddy thought you’d like pushing your tractors

Through some rice in a tray.

It was  kind of fun.

You were enjoying this play

But then somehow…

Some of the rice got away!

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“It’s ok,” Grandma said,

“it won’t hurt a thing.”

And with that you gathered up some more

And gave it a good FLING!

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“No, No, No!” Grandma shrieked

That’s not what we do.

And just like that, you reached for

Handful, number two!

Well, Grandma put a stop

To this thing called “sensory play”

Then got out the broom and dustpan

And made you sweep the mess away.

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Well, later that day

Grandma had a change of heart

She got out the tray again and thought

We’ll give this “sensory play” thing another start.

But once again, within seconds

Or maybe a wee bit more

Handfuls of rice starting

Bouncing off the floor!

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This time, Grandma just studied

This act of simple joy.

The bouncing beads of rice

Seemed to be better than any toy!

You, finally, stood up

It seemed you were done with this explore.

But, oh no,  you weren’t satisfied

Until every last bit was on the floor.

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In fact, it seemed like all that rice

Had just been in your way.

What you really wanted was

To crawl inside that tray!

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Strawberry Fields, Forever!

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We’re going for a ride on a wagon, Little Man!

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I don’t want to go for a ride on a wagon.  I want to walk!

IMG_8585Look, there’s a tractor.  Remember the Barefoot Books song?  “Riding my tractor down a bumpy road.  In the trailer, there’s a heavy load…”  Remember that song?

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Yes, and the farmer goes over a bump and all the animals fall out!  I remember!

Don’t worry Little Man, we’ll hold on tight.

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And just like that, we’re here.  Look, there are strawberries everywhere!

You can help pick them and put them in our baskets.

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Yea, but look!  There goes another tractor!

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Ok, now what am I supposed to do?

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Hmmm, these taste just like the strawberries we have at home.

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Actually…they might be just a little bit better.

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I LOVE these strawberries!

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Ok, now what was I supposed to do?  I’m full.

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You’re supposed to stay here and help us pick berries to take home.

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Alright, but just for a little while, ok?

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There, that looks like enough.  See you later.

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Hey, where are you guys?

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Ah, there you are.

What?  We have to pick more?

I’m getting kind of tired you know.

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Well, finally!  You can carry the berries, ok?  I’ll just walk on ahead.

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Umm, excuse me!  You’re in my way!

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Nice shirt, though!

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Did you have a good time, little man?

Yea, but mom, I don’t want to ride on that wagon!

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But remember the tractor?

I remember the tractor!

Can’t we just walk?

Adventures Right Outside My Door

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The sun is out.  It’s a beautiful day.  Who says that a day’s event has to cost money?  Instead, you look at me and make the back up sound of a construction vehicle.  It’s “beep-beep-beep” but you make the sound with your mouth closed.

“Oh, you want to go to the construction site today?”  You nod, “Yes”.  It’s your favorite place right now; so many things to point to. So, that’s a plan.

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It’s a busy place this morning.  Lots of action.

“That’s a forklift, little man.  See how easy it is to lift things that are heavy?”

IMG_8408“Look at how high it can go!”

Oops!  Distracted by a siren…

IMG_8409Ambulance going by.

Now, back to the business of construction.

IMG_8410“Do you see those men way up high?  Hmmm, can’t tell what they’re doing but it must be important otherwise why would they be in that bucket?”

“Let’s go to the other side of the project and see what we can see.”

IMG_8411 You have the cutest little gasp!  You see a digger just like your’s!  Oh my gosh!

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And then a cement truck and another forklift.

Every machine is busy. AND LOUD!

You add to the noise by making your own motor sounds and that back up “Beep-Beep-Beep”.

As long as they kept busy, you were entertained.IMG_8415 IMG_8417

Placing a steel beam…welding…and then more heavy lifting…so much to look at…so much to see.

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It was hard to see through the fence and around the posts.

Sometimes, that frustrated you!

But pretty soon you could see the forklift carry away the heaviest load of all.

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And then you waved good-bye as it drove away.

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Time to head home, but with lots of stops to say good-bye for the day.

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One more look at the men up high.  Now, they’re doing something but we still can’t tell what.

Then we counted the number of floors so far.

And then we headed home.

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But not before we stopped to look at the motorcycle.

The best yet, though was when we walked up to a restaurant and you made the sign for “eat”.

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Now, that’s impressive.  “Mama and Daddy take you this restaurant, don’t they?”  And…you’re probably hungry.

Before we leave, we have to stop and see the fountain and touch the evergreens – it’s tradition.

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Then we turned the corner, the last stretch till we reach home, and what do we see?

IMG_8443IMG_8440 Window Washers!

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Well, what a day!

So, first we watched them from the outside…

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And then….we got to watch them from the inside!

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I mean, really!  Days with Grandma are full of adventure.  One would have thought I planned all of this.

Going To The Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

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It’s Auntie Friday and she wants to take you to the zoo.  Luckily, I got to tag along. Now, this is how a 20 month old takes on the zoo.

IMG_8264  First of all, you wanted out of your stroller. So, it was time to zip up the jacket.  It was a little chilly.  And then…

IMG_8265 IMG_8266 IMG_8268  You were off!  Like an uncaged animal.  🙂

So you had to be corralled.

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Ahh…that’s better.

Man, you look so big!  When did that happen?

Now, the zoo is full of animals but, truthfully, you were more interested in walking and climbing and taking on that big steering wheel.

IMG_8275 IMG_8276 IMG_8277  Who needs animals?

But, then there was a bird show and Auntie E knew that the show included an owl (hoo-hoo).  You would like that, right?

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You did, indeed, like the owl but there were sooooo many other birds…I mean, the show lasted a whole 15 minutes!  Really?  That was way too long to sit. So, luckily, Auntie E had brought along a snack.  With a few small outbursts and consuming most of your lunch, you made it through the show.

Now, it was time to actually check out the big animals, but you were already getting tired.  Still, we tried.

IMG_8304 IMG_8308 IMG_8307 Partly, you were trying to see and partly you were more interested in sleeping. Still, we made it to the giraffes.

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And that was that.  You were done.  It had been an hour after all!  Time to call it a day.

IMG_8311Maybe next time, we’ll actually make it into a building.  Oh little man, don’t grow up too fast.  We can take our time.

Time To Get Dirty!

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Time to plant some flowers, little man.

You can help.

At least, that’s the plan.

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I can dig, Grandma,

just like you.

You have a shovel

and I have one too.

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Oh, wait, this is a little path

that must be meant for me.

I can walk right through it.

Check this out Grandma.  Can you see?

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Do you see this fence

on the other side?

It doesn’t come down.

Trust me, I tried!

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Wait, I hear something.

What’s that going by?

That’s a helicopter, little man.

Wow, I wish I could fly.

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Ok, Grandma, I’m done with the dirt

and I’m getting kinda hot.

But, we have to water the flowers first.

Actually we have to water them a lot!

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Oh-oh, Grandma,

I don’t think I understood.

But, my  watering can is empty now.

Is that good?

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Can we be done now, Grandma

or is there more to do?

Here, I picked up this dirt

for you.

Rainy Days And Mondays

imageA cold and rainy Monday, do you want to hang around inside the house all day?  No. Me neither.  What to do, what to do!  There is this place; it’s called “Chasing Tales“.  It’s a giant playroom just for kids like you.  We’ve been there before.  The minute we pulled into the parking lot it starts; screaming joy from the back seat!

I open the door and the wiggling, squirming, twisting and turning starts.

“I have to pay.  We have to take our shoes off.”

Well, go fast, Grandma!

And you’re off.

So much to do.

You run from one area to another; touching, picking up, inspecting,

sometimes stopping to look at another child, briefly,

sometimes wanting to examine the very thing that someone else is playing with,

so you just take it.

They do the same to you as well.

Funny how kids your age don’t really care,

you just move on to the next thing to explore.

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Oh wait, there’s another room  It’s a giant gym! Running is easy: falling is no big deal.  There are things to climb, balls to carry and throw and kick, riding toys; lots of riding toys, slides, a little house with a door that you can open and close by yourself.  Ah, baby love!

The noise level is louder in this space, so first you just stand there and scream.

No one cares.

Scream to your hearts content.

Then you’re off:  riding, climbing, running, riding, climbing, running.

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And then you realized that you were tall enough to climb the biggest structure of all.

You have no fear.

Well, Grandma has a lifetime of fear, so the camera gets put away.

Oh my goodness, you are climbing up some high steps!

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Grandma has to climb too.  What?

imageWell,  you are not going to fall on my watch!

And after running around and around, back and forth from room to room,

exploring,

touching,

carrying,

throwing,

hitting (oops, sometimes it’s another little kid),

and climbing that structure again and again,

you stand outside of that little house and scream at a little girl, in your baby babble,

because she won’t open the door.

It was time to go home.

You didn’t complain.  You were tired.

Still, you jabbered from your carseat all the way back home.

And when we got home,  you slept…and so did Grandma.

Perfect rainy day!