Hello readers; this is a post from Mr. Forty-two Roads. You won't see any wonderful crafting or home-improvements here. Just a short story about the small one.
This Sunday, to give Anna a well-deserved little break, I took Lara to the park. Lara stops just about every 3 feet to explore some new found object; her latest craze is "c'hn," (acorns). She picks up three or four in her chubby little fingers, holds onto them as if they're a prized possession, until she spots a "yock" (rock), which always trumps acorns. Once she sees a rock, she insistently says, "dada, dada," with her hands out, waiting for me to take her acorn collection so she can enjoy her newfound rock. Very cute, but also makes getting to the park a day-long adventure. Thus, we've discovered the sometimes enforced joys of "shis," (shoulders). When offered shoulders, Lara rarely refuses. When she does, she usually waits until her feet are at my face level, and then, realizing she's about to be swept up far from all the wonderful things on the ground, she starts kicking... she can kick quite hard.
When we first started putting Lara on my shoulders, she was much smaller and less steady - so I would hold her up with one arm for safety. Now, she's gotten used to that, and if I try to lower my arms (you know, to let the blood circulate), she cranks and whines and yanks at my sleeve until I put both arms behind her, letting her ride in comfort on her shoulder armchair. At least now I put her to work - it's her job to tell us when the street lights turn green ("go!"). Anna likes this picture; she always comments that Lara and I always look so stern and serious whenever we're looking about.
That Sunday, when Lara and I finally got to the park, we discovered 3 other sets of daddy-toddler explorers. The dads and I joked about how our presence had changed the playground - immediately you could sense a laxity to the normal rules. There was a one-year old who couldn't leave Lara alone (really, can you blame him?), mesmerizedly watching her snack on some cereal ("shack," as she calls this snack). He reached up and tried to take some... "no no no no no no," was Lara's response. I asked his dad if his kid could handle the shredded oats; the dad was very nonchalant, so I asked Lara if she'd like to share. She grabbed a handful and triumphantly presented it to the other dad who fed one to his kid. Lara really liked this concept. She delicately plucked up a piece of cereal, leaned towards the little boy (still working vigorously on his first piece), and shoved a new "snack" into his mouth. The other dad and I had a good laugh, and decided Lara was just about ready to start working as a babysitter.