It's Ok you can be honest.

The McFam was out in the yard yesterday afternoon. Caroline's been outside before, in fact, she loves being outside. Sometimes she will walk to the front door and bang on it looking back at me with a pleading little glance.

Until yesterday “outside” has consisted of being carried to and from the car, riding in her stroller, or walking around the yard in the arms of an adult. The only exception was the one time we put her into a pile of leaves for a photo op while we were raking this fall, but it doesn’t technically count because she put leaves into her mouth approximately 20 times in the 3 minutes it took to snap the photo after which we quickly concluded the fun with fall leaves photo op.

So yesterday was her first real chance to explore outside solo. The spring earth is still soft and incredibly uneven, so her toddler steps were precarious and at one point were just a never-ending circle, but she LOVED it. She loved it so much she didn’t even notice the little Red Sox hat she was sporting. She and Steve tossed a ball back and forth, he put her over his shoulder and ran around the yard with her asking “where’s Caroline? Caroline, where are you?” and I chased her in an “I’m gonna get you” kind of way both of which resulted in cascades of laughter. It won’t be long we know before she takes off running back there, truly solo, seeking out ants or lucky four leaf clovers, or playing in her sand box.

As I was finishing up Operation Remove Hosta, (they took over the yard last year in a not so nice way, so we are starting fresh) she stood on the edge of the patio and ran her hands through the freshly turned soil. At first it was a tentative poking with her pointer finger, then a smoothing out motion across the top, and then an all out dig and squeeze fest. Clearly the afternoon ended with a stop at the kitchen sink for handwashing. Lucky for us, she loves this almost as much as being outside.

Steve got her ready for bed while I cleaned up from her bath and the tired little munchkin dispelled all her remaining energy reserves laughing with Daddy. A book, some snuggling, and she was off to bed. We both snuck a peak last night when we ourselves turned in and found her lying on her back, under her blanket, her head turned slightly, pouty lip perfectly pouted and looking absolutely angelic. I love the bedtime sneak peak and head tousle.

This morning the angel turned into demanding diva, something that seems to be happening more and more (picture falling to her knees with her head on the ground). We are learning to deal with it. I find that an effective method for now is to try to ignore the drama because she seems to recover pretty quickly on her own. When she calms down we redirect her. Breakfast called for an outright refusal to put on her bib, a milk cup toss, and a total grumpus until I said, “would you like a banana?” Yes, she would. I peeled it, handed it to her, and she ravenously attacked it. I usually play with her and ask her for a bite, but this morning she was not in a sharing mood because my request and open mouth were met with head shaking and furrowed brow. She shared later, so all was forgiven. She enjoyed some TJ French Toast this morning. I decided to up the wow factor and let her try syrup. I poured some in a ramekin for her and dipped a piece lightly for her. Steve came down a bit later and discovered his daughter dipping solo, “she dips???” I don’t quite get the whole ravenous bit, she had the best dinner she has eaten all week; TJ spinach and ricotta ravioli, hummus which she ate by the spoonful from her fav toddler spoon, and fresh strawberries. Perhaps she is in a growth spurt or am I just fooling myself? I have a diva don’t I?


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