Next month my little Lydia will be 3. Can’t believe it. I find myself just watching her lately, her fluff of yellow hair capping her sweet face. As a baby she was permanently attached to me, nursing or just cuddling. She spends more time alone now coloring, reading, exploring. Love these recent photos I’ve snapped of her. Here she is after she feel asleep reading one of her favorite books:
Notice the backpack behind her. Small books, regardless the content, and her backpack are her favorite things right now. She’s holding Kaufman’s book of birds there, but she also loves my college edition of Virgil’s Aeneid. Philip’s parents sent Aidan a small yellow book of jokes and Lydia has also taken to that one. I’m embracing these moments with her as she’s emerging out of babyhood, finding her voice. The voice is big, the books are small. 🙂
Here she is snuggling one of Daisy’s puppies:
She can be clumsy with the puppies but we’re giving her a chance to practice a gentle touch. Today one of the puppies escaped from the box and Lydia scooped him up and put him back where he would be safe. I watched her confidence and tender care; I couldn’t help grinning.
I have no more babies in my house except for those puppies! I’ve been reviewing my preschool materials and thinking about how to create a joyful and Lydia-friendly environment here in the Cameron-Smith home. With my older 3, I honestly felt the preschool years zoomed by because, well, I had a preschooler in the house! I still have books I purchased that I never explored. I am so, so glad I can search for something in them for my Lydia.
Whatever I decide to do with her, I know I’ve transitioned away from an academic preschool focus to a more play-based one. I also believe that children at this age can learn a great deal just by participating with us in the ordinary happenings of life if we slow down and let them join in. This is hard. It’s a lot faster to do chores, cook, shop, and sort laundry if we send the kids off to play and do it ourselves. But I’m learning to surrender efficiency for the sake of a greater good. Today I let Lydia help me unload the dishwasher. She sorted all the flatware into the flatware tray, and enjoyed putting the kiddy dishes in the low cupboard where I keep them. What is she learning here? Sorting. Up & down (shelves). Small and big. Colors. Most significant, she learned that she’s an important member of the family and can help us keep the house in order.
Have a great day!