One of the things that I notice as the girls start to play together is that I am being excluded from their plays.*
They have developed, in our back yard, a strange system of exchange involving pebbles.
I don't know how much the pebbles are worth. For reasons that I can't fathom, some of the pebbles are worth more than others, but I see no reason for this. Perhaps if I were an anthropologist, I would be able to tease out the meanings of these lapidary economies, but I'm not, and I can't, and it's all a big mystery for me.
When I ask, they won't explain.
In fact, they greet my attempts at understanding with hooting derision. So I am going to take my rocks and go home.
*Hallelujah and rejoicing, on the one hand, and on the other, I am sad.
Yesterday afternoon, despite the fact that it was really, really cold (well, 45 degrees) both of my children insisted that they were going to play outside for an hour or so after we got home. But they needed snacks desperately, and they needed to eat them outside, and could I please get them, but not by going inside because they couldn't possibly go inside but they needed snacks now.
Luckily, I carry snacks in the car.
Anyway, they carried them off to the center of the lilac bush, and munched away on them.
I asked Margaret if she was in a fort, and she gave me a withering stare and informed me that they were fairies, and fairies lived in bowers, so this was a bower.
Later on, I asked if they were having fun in their bower, and she informed me (in similarly disdainful tones) that they were in their secret hideout, and were now pirates.
The weather (well, not today, but recently) has been nice and warm and pleasant.*
And so we have been in the back yard, because it's the best place ever. Margaret (sadly) has gotten too big for it, but Ellie loves it.
And since I am a loving parent, I try to steer her away from it, because it requires that I stand out in the yard and push, usually staring into the sun because she has decided that she prefers her pusher to be behind her rather than in front of her.
Apparently, I am a lazy parent.
Anyway, there has been an amazing revolution in swing technology at our household.
*Actually, the last few days have been raw and rainy and sometimes humid, and so I'm just pretending they never happened and thinking back fondly to Saturday, which was amazing.
I've noted Ellie's growing independence, and her desire to do everything by herself, whether she can or not. The flip side of that is that once she has amply demonstrated mastery of a certain skill (stairs, for example), it frequently loses its charm, and she decides that the old way was better.
Except now she has proved that she can do it, so I'm not so keen on the old way, and so we get series of pictures like this:
See my child confidently reaching out for help, certain that it will come?
Now see my child nearly falling, because I was doing my job (taking the picture) and she was not doing hers, which was getting herself down the stairs in one piece?
I'm pretty sure she thinks that there's something wrong with this.