|Some of the "guys" playing croquet|
Days with my daughter and her family are full of noise and bustle. The Bean is a very active toddler who starts the day slowly (like her grandmother) but once she's fully awake it's run, run, run until bedtime. We color, play with clay, take care of her dollies, and play elaborate games with her "guys," a collection of small plastic action figures and wooden dollhouse family members. They all have names and personalities. There's Guy Guy who's always, always crying and needs lots of attention. (I suspect that's an outgrowth of Baby Lily's entrance into the Bean's life as an infant in constant need of Mama's attention). There's Mama Teddy who, as the matriarch of the clan, takes care of everyone. She spends a lot of time in the dollhouse kitchen. Tito, New Guy, Dude and Nana hang out together and have adventures. There's also Caco, Mama Teddy's sidekick, Eday (Bean's pronunciation of her own name), and even a Baby Lily wrapped in a bright red bunting. In addition, there's a school bus full of little, squatty people collectively called the Mee-mos and a group of alien looking plastic fellows known as the Odgie Codgies. It took me weeks to remember everyone's name!
A model baby and cooperative one year old, Bean has entered the terrible twos with gusto. Cross her and she folds her little arms across her chest and glowers from under lowered brows. Her words are very distinct. "Okay Nini," has been replaced with, "I don't want to do dat," stated firmly and without compromise.
Her sister, Baby Lily is a chunky, happy little girl who thrives on bottles supplemented with cereal, bananas, and applesauce. At four and a half months she can sit up with a minimum of added support, rolls over if left on a blanket on the floor, and grins toothlessly more than she cries. Sleep is her nemesis. She catnaps for twenty minutes at a time, making caring for her a constant process. By the end of three and a half days, I'm pretty worn out and ready for some cottage downtime.
By contrast, the cottage is elaborately quiet. Everything is in its place. I waken naturally without baby soundtracks. I putter, I sit down often, I doze in my rocking chair. I take walks after lunch and read whole book chapters at a gulp. My tea is always hot. The hours not taken up by household chores or trips to the store are open and I'm free to fill them as I wish.
Some of my favorite hours are spent reading your posts. I may not visit as often as before but you all give me something to think about on the days I hold a bottle or hum a lullaby or stand at the sink washing endless dishes. Thanks for that.
|A quiet moment with Baby Lily|