This morning I woke up with one of the debilitating migraines that I get, the kind where my head and abdomen and scrunching themselves into tight little knots, making me feel like someone is stabbing my brain while I writhe around my bed wondering how long I have until the next bile-chucking date with my porcelain pal. (Here’s a fun fact: I suffer from abdominal migraines. According to the ER doctor who diagnosed me a few years go, while it’s generally only infants that suffer from this, it’s possible to get a migraine in any part of your body there’s a muscle.)
I’m feeling a bit better (thanks to being so very lucky to have a very helpful hubby and awesome step-mom get our busy, curious, and demanding little love bug out of the house), but I’m still not feeling top notch, so I will keep this mom’s week in review short and sweet sick. (If you missed last week’s first post in this series, you can find it here.)
Over the weekend Ziggity and her Daddy found the cutest little frog in our garden. After bringing him to show me (complete with the best “leaping” imitation I have ever seen), “Buddy” the frog was placed back in his spot in the garden. Z has repeatedly requested we check on him since then, asking for him by name. Sometimes we actually find him (he likes to hid in the coiled garden hose).
Being extremely fortunate to have generous family with a boat here, we often get to pop out on the ocean for a ride and some fishing (not as often as we’d like, though – life keeps putting these other responsible-human things on our to-do list). However, this past weekend we made it out both Saturday and Sunday.
Starting from when she was just a bladder-pounding gaffer in my expanding mansion of a belly, she been enjoying the rocking motion and fresh air of being out at sea. I always think how lucky this little squirt is to be growing up out here, a relationship with the ocean and all it’s magical beauty entwining itself with the person she’s becoming.
As Z grows, she becomes easier and easier to spend time with out on the deep. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still somewhat nerve wracking and exhausting to keep a wiggling, climbing, water-loving 25-lb toddler from going for a dip or finding fishing tackle, but it is getting better. Being sturdy on her feet, much more appropriately-sized for comfortable donning of her life jacket, and able to sit and enjoy snacks, toys and activities on her own in the cuddy, I can enjoy some (still short, but very sweet) moments without feeling like some sort of snake-wrestling circus performer.
As a bonus happenstance, we stayed longer than intended on the boat Saturday, but managed to make it just in time to catch the Pride Parade. This was Z’s first time watching a parade, and I was elated watching her in awe over the colourful and energetic display of happy people.
Now that my summer girls have gone home for the start of the new school year, we’ve welcomed a new youngster into our home who is much closer in age to my Z. At first I was prepared for a much more complicated situation with two toddlers all day, but our first week could not have gone better. In fact, I ended up not only enjoying myself tremendously, but I also ended up accomplishing more things during the day.
Because the little ones are a lot more content (and even enthusiastic about) helping me with what would otherwise be dull “chores” for those of us who recognize that work never ends and there are a multitude of leisurely things we could be doing instead, they make the work into an engaging and interesting learning experience for all of us. For example, pulling some prickles out of the lawn has been on my to-do list for a while now (about a year – not long, really, compared to some of my other ambitions) was positively thrilling for these little ones. Not only did I bring out a wheel barrel and shovel for them to build more of a concept about, but having a job of searching for something (in this case, prickles for me to pull) seems to be a riveting game for toddlers. I even found a glimmer of hope that my daughter could be more ept than myself about plants and horticulture, being that she quickly caught on to which green leafy lumps were daisies compared to thistles.
Being with these similarly-aged youngsters who are within my age-range specialty of an Early Childhood Educator, I’ve been enjoying having the chance to feel at least a little bit like I’m back in the classroom, working with these little explorers, facilitating experiencing that will help them to learn about their world and grow into confident, capable, thoughtful individuals. Setting up provocations for enquiry and expanding their understandings, based on the interests they show, while offering support in learning how to be a kind, patient and positive social-emotional being fills my soul. Sometimes I question whether I want to be done with early education as a career, but when I’m in it, it makes me feel so happy to contribute to raising the children who will be (and already are) such important characters in the story of our world.
Z has suddenly become quite insistent that we visit the farm up the road whenever we’re outside. She will head off towards the bumpy dirt road, pointing in the direction of the farm and exclaiming “An-moes! An-moes!” I believe this interest is stemming from the weekly visits to another local farm that we’ve been making to pick up our CSA produce boxes, where Z is ecstatic to see horses, rabbits, sheep and a cat.
Having the push to go for a walk and take in the fresh air and time in nature, wandering up our quaint little road through the trees, has been very positive for me. It’s also been another eye-opener for me to see how much Z has grown, insisting that she walk by her “self” (and actually making it a much longer distance that I thought she was able to).
Yesterday we made an off-island trip to Duncan with some baby-group friends to do a little shopping and go for a swim (our Salt Spring pool is lacking for the littles, to say the least). Ziggety had a blast bopping around the pool with her buddies. Since we hadn’t been to a pool like this one for many months, it was amazing for me to see how competent Z was in the water, moving around in the toddler-depths of her own accord without any trouble.
I didn’t take any pictures on this trip (thus the long-ago shot of one of Z’s first pool trips). At first I was somewhat dismayed about this, wanting to commemorate every moment with my all-too-fast growing daughter, but I’m realizing it doesn’t matter. Spending that quality time together without worrying about lighting, composition, and opening up my camera app leaves a lot more space for uninterrupted and engaged interactions – living in the moment – and makes these moments that much more special for having these images only embedded on the canvas of my own mind’s eye and those who we shared the time with.
Having said that, my memory works about as well as a bib on a toddler – it saves a small space of what a toddler’s clothes looked like before the meal, but sure as heck doesn’t cover as much as I’d like – so I will continue to snap savable memories of my munchkin’s journey. Don’t worry, the intense cuteness will not cease to grace my Instagram feed and blog posts.