My girls are nearly three years old now, and thankfully I can see signs of maturing emotions (or as mature as a toddler can be.).
Halle has had her little loves, for awhile now. First it was the matchbox car she wouldn’t go to sleep without clutching in her little fist, then it was the gruesome insect flashcards (how she could possibly sleep while snuggled up to a picture of a Periplaneta americana is beyond me), and then a fistful of crayons.
Then she seemed able to do without her sleeptime snugglebuddies, but would wake up at the crack of dawn weeping for Diego or The Wiggles.
And then my husband let the girls play with the markers.
Right before bedtime.
Oh. My. God. The heartrending screams, sobs and wails that came from that child grieving the loss of her beloved sweeties was unbelievable! The poor little mite cried herself to sleep that night. We were cuddling her, of course, but she didn’t give a rat’s patootie about us, she was utterly bereft of what mattered most to her at that moment – her precious, her markers.
And at daybreak, she popped up like a jack-in-the-box shrieking for her markers.
Being a wise mama, I gave them to her.
Unfortunately, her sister Zanna liked putting the caps in her mouth, which was a definite no-no.
So off we went to the dollar store where I bought a 16-pack of Crayola pipsqueaks. The caps were big enough to not be easily put in Zanna’s mouth, and there were enough for them to share.
Halle, remarkably, took responsibility for the care and well-being of the markers. She carefully capped them after use (after I explained that uncapped ones would dry out and become fodder for the Garbage Fairy), and would tote them around in a little basket. If any spilled out, she would lovingly place them back in their mobile transport. When she wanted to play with something else, she would either carefully place the basket in a safe place, or announce that she was “Done Markers” and hand either myself or my husband the basket to be put away on a shelf.
We were shocked at how responsible she was.
Another acquisition from the dollar store was a tiny fishbowl with two teensy fish that would dance around in the water after the base was switched on.
Perhaps that was a mistake.
The girls clamored, whined and cried to get closer to the fish (I kept them in the kitchen within sight but out of reach). Eventually I caved and put the fishbowl on a table and warned the girls not to touch the fish, the bowl or the base, OR the water, or back into the kitchen the fishies would go.
They love those fish. They can hardly restrain themselves from grabbing them, but so far they’re doing pretty good. When they have enough, they tell me the fish are sleepy and I should put them back in the kitchen for their nap (the fishies’ nap, not the girls’.)
Another love that Zanna has is for ducks.
She has been Queen of the ducks since we lived in South Florida. There were a huge mob of ducks that roamed the complex grounds and everytime they saw Zanna they would follow our stroller as she waved to her loyal subjects, vibrating with excitement and joy at the sight of all those ducks.
These days, up north in New Jersey, she has to make do with a fleet of rubber duckies. She insists on having at least one duck with her in the car, and ready access to the others at home. That is one of the few things she and Halle will fight over: custody of the ducks. We have about 21 ducks at home. Rubber ones, felt puppet ones made by their Bubbe, plastic windup ones, cloth and wooden pull-toy ones, and plush dolls.
By the way, for any friends and family reading this blog, that was not a hint to buy her more ducks. We’ve got quite enough, thank you very much!