Thursday, November 29, 2007

Loving Baby Time

Bwunny en Bwocks

A few of my baby's favorite things.

This morning we went for a walk, my baby and I. A girlfriend informed me of a bad throat ache so I took it upon myself to bring her some of Grandma's famous cure-all tea. It gave me a chance to walk with my girl without the usual rush involved in transporting the other girls to and from school. We met some friendly puppies along the way and investigated dropped rose hips all mushy on the ground. She informed me in her baby Dutch language that they were "bahx", that last part being a lovely guttural "g". She's progressing about the way I did: I turned everything from "ck" to "ch" into a guttural "g" in my journey to incorporate it into my regular vocal sounds.

I began the process of teaching her the difference in paths, a vital survival skill here in the Netherlands. She has a tendency to wander freely between foot path, bike path, and auto path and there is no better time than now to start the training as to which path her own two feet belong. As we walked down these paths and I repeatedly pulled her off of the red-paved bike path and either scolded her, scared her, or explained the differences in colors and their meaning I watched the grandmas walking their dogs eye me in curiosity. Actually, I understood their look quite clearly (as you may remember all emotions are betrayed quite clearly on the faces of the Dutch women, good or bad); they were giving me the look which said, "Oh, I remember those days . . . if only they had lasted a little longer." And for once I was not looking back at them challengingly and wishfully thinking they could trade places with me any moment they chose to step in. No, I was thoroughly enjoying every moment with my little toddler. She'll likely be my last and I am not going to let these little moments slip out from between my fingers so easily. Likely, no matter how hard I try to hang on to them I'll always be one of those grandmothers walking her dog on the frosty morns gazing at a young mother and wishing time hadn't run away with me so fast anyway.

Last night after I gave her a hug and kiss before turning out the light and closing the door she held her bunny (pictured above) up to me to land a goodnight kiss onto as well. When I gladly bestowed a precious mother's kiss on her bunny she held up her other favored bunny for another. After I'd kissed them both she delightedly tucked each under her arms and prepared to sleep with a huge smile on her face. I am glad those simplicities still mean so much to her. The older girls were just as charming in the things which gave them a smile before sleep, but these were more mature. Spider Monkey felt happiness with a bit of pride over the breakthrough of actually liking school and her school work. Squirrel Monkey was just thrilled that her dress that Grandma Nett made for her still fits and a new discovery was made: when sitting on the floor with it on she can spread it out in a large and beautiful circle of satin around her. Both of these are precious, but there is something so sweet about a baby taking joy in the mother's shared kisses with her snugglies.

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