One of the comments I received after my post about the fruit trees was that watching them grow and develop painstakingly slowly was like watching teenagers develop. This got me thinking about my girls and my garden, pretty much the two topics that dominate my thinking most days, and I think there are some clear similarities. With gardens, flower or vegetable, you watch and watch and watch and nothing much really happens. A little growth here and there, a new leaf, a tiny bud or vegetable appears, but it’s all pretty slow and steady. Then suddenly something happens (you have a warm, humid spell or apply a little extra fertiliser or just something inexplicable) and the plant goes berserk, growing like a weed, flowers everywhere and more produce than you know what to do with. It strikes me that it’s the same with children. And it seems both my girls have gone through one of these berserk phases recently.
Miss Good has always been a little poppet, a bit on the short side, slight and very light, but at the moment it seems like she’s all legs. Every time I put a pair of pants on her the gap between the bottom of them and the floor is getting bigger. It’s a good thing it’s Summer (TODAY!) and she can wear shorts and dresses, because she doesn’t have the waist to hold up the longer pants, think I’ll have to do something about fattening her up before the cooler weather hits again. I hear my mother coming out in me as I tell her I’m going to put a brick on her head to stop her growing too quickly.
It’s not just growth that’s been happening, though. She has also undergone what seems like quite a development leap as well. Her imaginative play has gotten so involved and varied, going from being a farmer, doctor, or hairdresser to building pretend camp sites, a shopping strip or desert islands complete with buried treasure. She has also started to want to play actual games, with rules that I can understand (I never really knew what the idea behind her early play was which she was constantly frustrated by). Her favourite game is hide and seek, which she has very nearly mastered. She knows she has to cover eyes and count to ten, then call out ‘Here I come, ready or not” and search for Baby Good and I. However when it’s her time to hide, she gets so excited about thinking of a good spot that she tells me where she’s going to hide before she leaves. If she has managed to hide without giving her spot away, there is a fine line between not finding her too quickly and taking too long so she starts yelling out ‘Here I am’. It may not be perfect, but I must say I am enjoying the game playing stage more than the seemingly random though repetitive acts of play that I found exceedingly dull of earlier months.
To me Baby Good still seems like a tiny new born, I easily forget just how small she was and how much she has already grown. And she is hardly the defenseless, dependent little bundle she once was. She now rolls and squirms all over the place, gone are the days when she stays where you put her. She is on the verge on sitting and has very nearly mastered it. Food has been introduced and she has taken to it with gusto and today the very first tooth appeared (which might explain the unsettled days and nights we’ve had lately). Still her favourite amusement is her crazy older sister and she will crane her neck around like an owl to try and see what Miss Two is doing. Her hands and feet are items of extreme curiosity and the pincer grip has been put into great use, picking up bits of food or griping onto my upper arm during a breastfeed (ouch!).
And just like the garden, sometimes I need a bit of distance to see all the growth and development that is taking place before my eyes. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be at home with them through these early years, one that I wish Mr Good could get to experience more and one I am very much going to miss once I go back to work myself.