Sunday, October 12, 2014

New developmental stage: Canadian toddler

Despite her recent tendency to fly off the handle & vent like a volcano, after which she is as placid as a dollop of honey, my daughter really is fun to be with.

She is in the 2.5 year old phase of growing faster than she can adjust to, which means she is always misjudging and bumping her head into things. She is all eyes, and leads with her head sometimes. She rubbernecks, follows too closely, and likes to tuck her head under my chin. She's underfoot, so she's always apologizing when I trip over her: "Sorry, mommy!"

It's become an automatic response, so I think she really is a little Canadian. When she gets yoghurt on her cheek instead of her mouth, she says "Sorry, yoghurt!' When she brushes against the wall in a rush to get past, she says "Sorry, wall!"

It happens that

My daughter and I are looking at a photo book. I point at a photo of her grandfather and ask who it is. She says her nonsense filler phrase that she uses when she doesn't know: "Di di di." I'm not surprised she is starting to forget, and it makes me sad. And yet, she is not sad...and so I am conflicted.

Meanwhile, my wise old soul, my four year old, does remember, and will continue to announce, in a matter-of-fact manner, seven months later, that his grandfather has died. He recognizes being so blunt makes others sad, even though he's being as honest and open as he can be about the biggest lesson of his young life. I coach him, saying he could say instead that he misses his grandfather. His air of sophistication breaks down. He says, "I do...I do miss him." He turns away for a moment, taken by a surge of emotion.

This Thanksgiving weekend, the homecoming and family weekend, I'm thankful and sad. I think of my kids missing a grandfather - my daughter not remembering so well any more what she is missing, and my son, not always sure what to do about and how to express his feelings of loss.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


We catch our 2-year old pretending to be a cat, for her own amusement. It means she is silently fearless, creeping along the top of the couch, pausing to lie there, long limbs hanging.

We hear something, and it's meowing...

She slinks up behind you when you are standing, and then when you nearly trip over her, she laughs, and apologizes.

She can pounce too, wrapping her arms around you in a chokehold.

Its suits her, to be an unfathomable cat. She has an air of mystery, this one.