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October 21, 2014

THE PUMPKIN PATCH 2014


For the love of Fall, we found ourselves at the pumpkin patch this past weekend. We picked through pallets of classic pumpkins and odd pumpkins and stemmed pumpkins and textured pumpkins before making a definite decision on which ones would fill our wagon. Madison’s toddler indecisiveness was surprisingly at bay as she confidently made her choices without hesitation. We ultimately came home with an assortment of small pumpkins and medium pumpkins, some orange and one cream and one green, which hug the hearth of our fireplace… the perfect spot for a milkshake after a day spent under the autumn sun.

October 14, 2014

AN EARLY START / TODDLER CHORES



She walks around the living room putting her toys back where they belong, or at least in their general vicinity, and with our supervision she feeds the fish she named Elsa. After dinner, she marches her plate across the kitchen and places it on the counter beside the sink and just before bed she puts her dirty clothes in the laundry basket tucked away in the corner of her closet and she’s done so for several weeks now.

We’re starting her young. Her mother and I want to teach her a little about responsibility and teamwork and the importance of working towards a reward all the while earning it in the process. At the end of a week where she successfully completed her chores more often than not, we hand her a dollar to put in her ceramic elephant bank occupying the corner of her dresser. Sometimes she puts it in her purse, a shiny bag of glitter with a zipper and a strap, before making the transfer to her bank.

Does she always listen? No. She’s three years old and anyone who has had the luxury of communicating with someone of her age knows listening is more of a challenge than the actual task given.  However, developing a routine and making it a habit has surprisingly come easy for her… except the putting her toys away part. She struggles with that one most of all, but every time I see her on her tip toes sliding a plate onto the counter without any prompting from us I feel a small sense of accomplishment.

If for every mistake we make along the way in parenting, for every time we lost our patience quicker than we anticipated, for every hasty decision made when we wished for a few more moments to deliberate, for everything we’re doing wrong those glimpses of truth that we’re doing something right makes it all worthwhile.

October 7, 2014

NOTED



She pressed one key then another and I listened as she discovered the sound each made as a result of the pressure she applied to them. She smiled as the song she created filled the room, a melody-less tune of questionable rhythm, the soundtrack of a three year old, music to my ears. Just as quickly as her tiny fingers danced over the black and white music maker, they stopped and she ran off to another task in another room leaving the keys vacant and alone.

I sat down in a chair much too small for my frame, with my knees nearly touching my chin. Like a giant surrounded by objects I’ve dwarfed, I pulled the miniature piano forward and placed my hands upon the keyboard resting them like I do on the home keys of my laptop, waiting for inspiration to encourage movement. Notes, like words, revealed themselves one at a time until the story was complete… until a quote I heard once before visited and lingered like an old friend.

“Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.” 
–Tom Lehrer

She ran back in the room pressing random keys as she passed, laughs interrupting whatever song she was singing, before she climbed onto my lap. We sat there, our combined weight threatening the limit of the tiny chair we occupied, creating a song with my right hand and her left. These are the moments our days consist of that I think I'll remember the most several years from now, little moments of clarity and truth that reiterate just how beautiful life can be when we play along.

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