[Edited, kind of, cuz I posted the wrong draft.]
I asked Helena if she wanted some mango — we'd just returned from the park and some shops, and dinner was still an hour away. She stood still for a few seconds before replying "Mmm-mmmmmm-mmmm-mango!" in full smile, deciding that it was in fact a delightful idea.
Yesterday I left her at the kitchen table with her lunch and I went off to the bathroom. It had crossed my mind to warn J-F to keep his eyes and ears open for juice spills, now that Helena insists on drinking from a regular glass with a straw, ever since we lost the spillproof sippy cup (I don't understand the concept of the non-spillproof sippy cup — the spout is so conducive to pouring, dribble by deliberate dribble...), but I didn't. J-F hears her push her chair away from the table and watches her climb down and march determinedly to her room, emerging a moment later with one of her washcloths (stored conveniently at toddler height on the shelf of her change table). She returns to the kitchen and stands there. You can see the wheels turning. Helena heads to the cats' water bowls, dunks the washcloth, wrings it out, and turns back to kitchen table to wipe up the juice spill. Remarkable.
She hates getting sand in her sandals. Some days she insists on being carried from slide to swing so as to avoid walking across the sand herself. I admit it's not a pleasant sensation, but Helena's tolerance for it has reached breaking point. She sits at the entrance to the playground, instead of areas more conducive to sand play, filling her pail while blocking traffic. At times, the grit is unbearable, and everything must come to a stop while we remove her shoes to shake them out and brush off her feet now, whether we're sitting at the top of the slide, a line forming behind us, or walking across the middle of sand with no where to sit but in the sand.
My daughter is a tree hugger. Literally. But she hugs metal lampposts too.
Today she discovered the joy of puddles. That is, she's stumbled across them in the past and thought the splash factor amusing, but after this morning's rain there's puddles aplenty — in mid-splash she's already scoping the next site and plotting a path of puddle destruction.
This evening we were listening to some Nick Cave, and Helena enjoyed it immensely, doing her little boppy dance. Maybe it has something to do with the concert I attended when I was 3 months' pregnant with her.
Helena is home with me all week this week, because her grandmother's gone to the cottage; but I still have work to do. I'm sleeping little. As difficult as our arrangement is, I was quick in coming to rely on it.