Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ballerina Princess Vi

Miss ViolaMae, aka ViMae, aka Vi, is three years old today, and she's pretty excited about it. To her, it means she's a big girl now.

Some months ago, she decided she'd be potty trained when she was three (but not before, thank you). Over Memorial Day weekend she pretty much made the entire transition. At our house, she's been proudly self-sufficient with only a couple of accidents. As Peter points out, we may have acquired the last diaper we'll ever use in this house...until we need them ourselves.

Almost as big a deal as the potty training, she got to ride the carousel all by herself today. Our safety rules say kids must be 3 or older to ride alone, so until now she's always had a grownup standing next to her. It was a thrill for Peter to take her today (they went while I was driving Augie to preschool), and the nice thing is that she'll be just as excited when she returns with Mom, Dad, and Brother to share her new status.

We like to do a series of pre-birthday presents for both kids, partly as a way to freshen the daycare experience. This week's gifts have included a ballet/princess-style crown of flowers and a wand, more animals for the World's Largest Lego Zoo, and paints and paint brushes. We made cookies with pink sprinkles and held a tea party with the dolls. (Augie got a doll that he named Bob, who apparently plans a career as a Builder and who ViMae thinks she might marry.)

In our first couple of years together, Augie regularly made big demands on my attention. Not that I minded; I was (and am) head-over-heels for the guy. But we had all kinds of activities for which he wanted my undivided attention - and in which Vi didn't seem to care to participate. So instead, she spent lots of time with Pa. It was never all that one-sided; we always made a point of switching off so we could be sure to develop our relationships with both kids. And of course we do lots of things all together.

In the weeks and months, Vi and I have really deepened our relationship and have found all kinds of new things that we love doing together. She spends big parts of each day nestling with me as we read, color, do little crafty things, watch the eagle or loon camera, or just talk.

With no prompting from anyone, she emerged as a girlie-girl who loves pink, fairies, princesses, ballerinas, tutus, butterflies, etc. I never wanted to be guilty of nudging her in that direction, but now that she's gotten there on her own, I'm more than happy to indulge. (I heard a psychologist say that little girls go through a period in which the Princess helps them build their gender identity, and it's not really as insipid or threatening as it may seem)

And all the while, I'm praising her strength (she is an amazing climber and would be a good gymnast, I think) and her courage (she is fearless both physically and socially, so she holds her own even on a playground crowded with bigger kids). I'm not the only one to give her these messages, it's just that she and I seem to be finding more things that we like doing together, so I am finding new opportunities to give positive messages in my own way, in the context of our own relationship.

I find myself thinking of all sorts of new things we can do together to build on her interests. And suddenly I'm realizing, wow, it's about to be summer and we won't see her much, and next year she'll be in preschool three afternoons a week, and omigosh time is going by so quickly.....

I was saying that (about both kids) to my sister's husband yesterday, and he said, "Yes, and the year after that they'll be graduating from college." All I could think was, "I hope I'm around for a good long time yet, because there's so much for us to do together." I love you Viola Mae. Happy Birthday, Princess.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Presenting Mr. June

Excuse me, sir, do you work out? 

Seriously, if you're in a fire you want somebody strong enough to rescue you. So here's Will, a member of the St. Paul FD and the June photo in the firefighters' 2011 calendar.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Proof of spring

I keep waiting for the warm sun they promised this weekend, but instead we have cold, clouds, and periodic rain. Just to prove that we do have spring blossoms (everything blooming two weeks later than last year), here are a few pictures.

I love this columbine, which has self-seeded around the back yard but is no longer found anywhere near where I originally planted it. While its face is wonderfully cheerful, I love the curved little spurs just as much. 

The azaleas are especially wonderful this year, having withstood children playing, roofers roofing, and tree trimmers trimming all about them.

The lilacs looked a lot like this, though I never got a chance to photograph them. Instead, this and my header are from last year's bouquet.

Meanwhile, the bleeding hearts bloomed enthusiastically behind the ferns, heuchera, and sweet woodruff, but they sustained a lot of damage from all the aforementioned activity this year, so here's a picture from two years ago. I love this part of the garden in spring.


Related Posts with Thumbnails