While she was at kinder today, I went through some more boxes. I took out her toddler-sized kitchen plastic play set that has been tucked away since we packed it up, 5 months ago when we moved here.
I know she’d forgotten about it. When I lead her to the play area, and turned her around, she didn’t scream with excitement. Or clap excitedly. Her realisation was more of an increased dawning, so pleased but madly curious about all the odds and ends and rediscovery, that her outward excitement just had to wait. She had to explore, immediately.
I watched her move about ‘her kitchen.’ She turned nobs and dials like a master. She walked behind the ‘sink’ got a ‘pot,’ and with a ‘ladle’ started to spoon out some ‘soup’ into a ‘cup.’
Scoop, scoop, scoop she went. So expertly. She tipped it into the cup and handed it to me, telling me it was a bit hot. It took me hours to realise why she kept repeating this every time she handed me or Hubbie something to ‘eat’ tonight: I am constantly saying “Ouch! Hot!” every time she points at a pan or pot while I am cooking.
She is imitating me 🙂
She used to get frustrated with her kitchen play set, and start to throw things around: a plate here, a plastic fridge door there. She’d chew on the green knives and spoons, so much so that many have her teeth marks on them.
Now she moves about so comfortably. She packs her ‘cake,’ a ‘teapot’ and a cup, carefully into the fridge/pantry component of her kitchen. She adjusts them carefully, and then closes the door.
She is 3 and a half. Her maturity stuns me.
Later she sits with an activity book she is becoming re-acquainted with, after it was discovered after more of my earlier unpacking. It’s one of those ones where you add water to the thick cardboard paper, and watch it transform into colour as it hits the surface. She sits on the floor with a bowl of water next to her, diligently getting to work as she dips her finger in the bowl, and then moves it over the page, bringing the Finding Dory illustration to life.
She sits like that, for a while. Here was a girl who could barely stay focused on any one task for 5 minutes. And yet she does page after page, showing me her artwork in between, proudly smiling as I exclaim “did you do that?!”
A lot of it is kindergarten. Much of it is age too. And time must also play a factor. But I am flabbergasted, truly lost for words at the developmental progress, and the maturity that baby girl is displaying. Sure, she is still her cheeky self. Sure, there are times she will try to get away with more than she should. Sure, she still knows how to get a rise out of us.
But I can just see the difference. See this observational, particular, independent, creative and go-getting girl, developing.
And I couldn’t be prouder.
And sure, parenting is hard. Really, really hard at times.
But then it is amazing. Joyful. Unbelievably rewarding. It can have you feeling higher than a kite, falling to your knees in blessed wonder, and shedding tears of happiness and hilarity at once.
It is the best thing, EVER. And it’s because it is LOVE, manifested.
I love that description.
A child is LOVE, manifest. And watching that LOVE grow and develop into something beyond your wildest dreams…
Words cannot describe. Although I have done my best to. I will now stop.
Grateful, is an understatement of the highest magnitude.