We went to Olivine’s final conference on the Blue Side of the Child Development Center. She will be there next year, but leaving a group of teachers she has been with for more than a year. A lot of growing up has happened in this time and her teachers have been with Paul, Henry, and so saying good-bye feels so final.The head teacher (who I adore and lives across the street) complimented her increased social skills, willingness to help others, active participation, and her imaginary play. She likes to play mom, baby, kitties, super heroes, and a whole bunch of other games that are made up with minimal props.Of course, this is related to her love of the felt board. She spent over an hour this morning setting it up and taking it apart with a continued story along the way. She insisted I “play” which is more of me listening to her tell stories. Here we are at the Pet Shop (she set up) and we are both buying kitties. Not the doggie. And we are also buying some “madageenes” to read about our pets. No fish and no birds. Empty cage. Wow. Our kitties are so cute. What will you name yours?
And she can wait for an answer or not. She is just so excited to dress the girls, add hair, and move the animals around.I am unable to fully attend or sit for very long (I am working on it) so as I wash dishes, make a snack, and tidy up she has taken the Pet Shop apart and set up the cafe. Insisting I come back over to see: Mommy, we are the cafe now. We brought books to read and kitties too. I ordered beers for you on the table (what??) but you are just going to start with lemonade like me. This is so fun. Oh it’s hot (she adds an umbrella) and look we are in the cafe with no shoes (adds shoes). At one point she even changes the outfit and says that’s okay mommy because these ladies only look straight ahead. They don’t turn their heads so you didn’t really see me. Plus, if you did, you would just see my bra!
Of course I am rolling over in laughter and snapping photos and she doesn’t understand any of this. She just wants me to play along. Add to the story. So I tell her the food is really slow in this cafe. Which gets her digging around for sandwiches or any food props.In the hunt, she does find drinks for the kitties who are also hot. She gives her kitty lemonade while making a lapping noise with her tongue and insists my kitty have the “bottle” because it looks like a baby. So I meow along and find myself impressed with her imagination.The last scene, she changed out, was us going camping. We are having a busy day or a busy summer, which I never quite figured out. But we have our kitties. I no longer have hair so a kitty sleeping on my head will have to do. She points out we have cozy slippers (those look like fins for the divers) since we are in the woods. It is night time and there isn’t enough room in the tent so you (me) are sleeping outside. I insist that I am fine outside as long as I have some tea and am promptly given a cup. She tells stories about how her kitty likes to dig for and find bones now, kind of like a dog but in the woods. Look the bone is in the tent! She propped the felt board up and even snuck the clouds and sun in the back, she whispered about how she had tucked them behind, because they go away at night.
Can I snap enough photos or invest in an audio recorder to possibly capture this all?
No but this blog is my spot to remember and smile and brag and record all these moments that make my life feel magical.
A year ago I was barely able to leave to teach. I had started packing up the room, not knowing if I would even return. I remember feeling so incredibly uncertain about where I would be. And yet Here I am: Home-with the gift of time and a little girl and a felt board. I feel so grateful for this space.