Friday, February 3, 2012


It's been a few days since I blogged, mostly because nothing momentous has been happening.  So today I'm writing about the simple, "normal" things we did.  There's joy in the small things too.

Judith's been all over the map (the map of the universe!) in her playing lately.  It's fun to watch.  Some highlights:
  • She's begun to narrate her life in the third person.  For example, she won't say, "I'm going to get out of the car."  She'll say, "And then she said, 'Mama, I'm going to get out of the car.' and her Mama said to her, 'OK, precious.'"  (At which point I am required to say whatever she just narrated me as saying!)  We think this might stem from her recent introduction to the old Rock and Bullwinkle cartoons, which are narrated in classic narrator style.  Wherever it came from, it's quite entertaining, and at least gives us a good idea of what her "preferred reality" is for the moment.
  • She's been enjoying the chalk board side of her easel because she can erase the chalk herself.  But instead limiting herself to an eraser, she's discovered that she can erase the chalk with her hands.  The first day she did this, she also experimented with "stamping" chalk handprints all over the furniture!  She was very proud of herself, but I'm afraid I had to veto her re-decorating ideas.  We've since established the guideline that handprints may be stamped only on paper.
chalky hands
  • I love that she incorporates the shows that she watches into her own play.  Today, as I worked outside in the yard, she was running around playing "Shaun the Sheep".  She ran in circles "baaing" frequently, and was picking grass for "Shirley" (another sheep from the show).  Now, I know that it's entirely possible that she'd play at being some animal or other even if she hadn't seen some on TV, but the specific things that she remembers and incorporates amaze me.  There's one episode where Shirley (who's the biggest sheep) is put on a diet.  And so Judith was instructing Shirley that she had to wait until all the grass was picked, and that she could only eat what Judith (Shaun) gave her.  Given that there's no talking in the show, I was pretty impressed how she put the action in her own words.  (Yes, I'm biased - but her imagination continues to astound me.)  As a fun side note, she was also noticing that the grass was growing back in places where we'd weeded it out before.  "Mama!  I keep picking and picking, but there's always more grass growing!"  (Umm, yes.  Grass tends to do that.)
I spent a good two hours working some of that lovely dirt into more of my garden.  I'm deciding to go all out this year, given that I've got an abundance of extraordinary soil to work with this year.  So I'm not limiting myself to the four raised beds, or even to the beds and the bottom of the terrace this year.  I ripped out an old (huge!) lavender plant, and now have a much larger space to work with (although tilling the soil is pretty back-breaking!).  I'm dreaming of lettuce (if I can keep the slugs away!), beets (I try them every year and they've only made it once), carrots (another favorite from the garden that I just can't get to grow!), and even potatoes!  That's in addition to the tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, and zucchini that I grow every year.  It's easy to dream now; it's even easy to actually plant all these things.  The difficulty will come when the weather turns hot, and I've got to keep everything alive!

the Joy:  As I said above, there's joy in the small stuff too.  There's joy in just spending time with my daughter, watching her grow, and observing her imagination at work.  There's joy in ripping out weeds and anticipating seeds sprouting and producing fruit (or veggies!).

Joy to you!