On Mother’s Day

I’m overdue in updating here, due to the usual combination of explanations and excuses, but it has been a good couple of months. There’s been a lot of drawing (at home and at work), a not-insignificant amount of furniture shopping, evenings playing and learning about Minecraft, playing with friends, eating the first cherries of the season. We’ve introduced her to the calculator, but perhaps more significantly, she has started reading a few words here and there. Not just the words she already recognizes — such as certain search sites or her own name — but words she looks at and figures out. A couple of weeks ago, drawing on maps I’d made of our in-need-of-help yard, she recognized the word “rocks.” Yesterday at a shop, she recognized the word “stop” on a sign that was neither red nor octagonal.

We’ve been working on it, Devin especially, with a puzzle Laurel got for her birthday with the 50 states that only fits together in the way the actual 50 states do, so he helps her find the pieces by shape and by the names of the states. She finds it frustrating, but he helps her stick with it (and now she’s started doing things like eating her morning toast until it’s the shape of a state and then saying, “Look, Mama, it’s Nevada!”). We do the same with books at bedtime, random words around the house. It’s coming along. We know she’s going to love reading once she learns how, so it’s sometimes tough for us to be patient, eager to have her join us in the world of written words. Even if it means being slightly more careful about what we leave lying around the house.

As mentioned, drawing is a big deal right now. Sometimes it’s representational; sometimes it’s a series of multicolored scribbles meant to represent different cuisines, but every day she wants to draw something new.

In the spirit of home improvement, we’ve been to several furniture stores looking for the perfect couch, and Laurel has enjoyed trying out all the different beds, sofas, chairs, and so on (and has not at all enjoyed being pulled away from them). We’ve also been to the local garden center a few times, looking for plants for our garden, which she likes so long as we don’t spend too long looking at any single thing (or, worse, anything she finds boring). There are moments I flash back to how bored I was in the fabric store with my mom when I was a kid. :)

This week was Bike to Work Day, which Devin did, with Laurel in her kid seat between the handlebars. She loved it.

Here are some random moments I’ve shared elsewhere on the Internet in the past couple of months:

* Recently in the car, the Cure’s “Lovesong” came on, so I sang it to Laurel. Today I started singing the chorus to her: “However far away, I will always love you. However long I stay, I will always love you. Whatever words I say, I will always love you.” She stopped eating breakfast and reached out her jam-covered arms, asking for a hug.

* So far, Laurel’s nightmares seem to involve doors closing (on a trolley, on an elevator) and getting separated from Devin because of that. She just had one of them. Poor kiddo.

* Laurel had a heck of a fever dream this afternoon. When she woke up, she said sheep were growing in her bed and pooping in her hair.

* This morning, as I was waking her up, Laurel asked, “Where are we going today?”
“School and work,” I said.
“I wish you said something else,” she said.
“What do you wish I said?”
“The zoo,” she said.

* On the couch, watching videos of space launches, waiting for the shops to open so we can run errands. I’m occasionally getting kisses from Laurel’s toy dinosaurs, who are dancing and flying and then using her socks as sleeping bags.

* Last night coming home, Laurel said, “Mommy, let’s play hide-and-seek in my room! I’m going to hide under the covers, and you find me!” The woman sitting next to us on BART was trying not to laugh.

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