Warning: this post involves me talking about my little girl. So skip it if you do not want to read about that kind of thing today. I completely understand.
Piccolina is 2 1/2. Yesterday Mr. Peeveme went to his office to get some work done so I had her all to myself. She's very much a Daddy's girl so I love my time alone with her. We don't do anything special. Just hang out and play as I try to get some housework done. I don't need a lot of things to do or even toys to keep her occupied. Soapy-water in a bowl and some spoons as I wash dishes will keep her happily occupied as does: a coloring book as I fold laundry, a clean sponge and some water as I clean the bathroom, her hands on the vacuum under mine as we vacuum, skootching around my wet kitchen floor on a towel to dry it after I have mopped. I realize our time together sounds more like child labor than play time.
As a career mom I only have the weekend to run my errands and get the house clean (I use that word loosely...I think I mean "livable"). As a grand finally to the day we take a walk around our neighborhood. We marvel at each flower, butterfly, dog, squirrel and bench. We say "hi" to our neighbors. Each night before bed we make a tent out of two chairs and a sheet and read books for at least 1/2 hour. We only have about 12 books but she sequels with delight as we squeeze into the tent and she selects the evening's readings.
Our paried-down lifestyle is a conscious choice. I made an effort not to buy a lot of things since before she was born. We make it a conscious effort not to "do" lots of things either. I want her to learn to be happy and content without all the flash and fluff. We have gone to the zoo once. Given how "deprived" she is I thought it was going to blow her mind. She liked it but seems just as happy "helping" Nonna make homemade pasta.
I took her to the ballet once. Again, she liked it and I will take her again but going to the park is just a thrilling to her.
We go to the homes of other children her age and I'm blown away by how many toys they have. It seems like every child her age (and much younger) is in pre-school. dance lessons, art lessons and various structured activities. For a moment I feel bad for Piccolina...like she should have more....like I should buy her more....we should do more.
In the past few months she has taken to doing something that absolutely makes me cry with joy. She does it a few times a day and the joyous effect it has on me never diminishes.
She often stops what she is doing and with a face contorted by too-big of a smile she exclaims, "Mamma, I'm so happy.", and gives me a big hug. And I know I'm doing something right.
She did this yesterday as I was folding laundry and she was coloring (with a pen on blank paper).
Just wait until I give her a paper towel and let her clean the baseboards!
Tomorrow I will post the resolution to my III-part series "Passive Aggressive Co-worker".