R is growing into such a delightful, funny little girl. Last night, after watching yet another episode of Dora in which the bilingual tot jumps into the book she’s reading, accompanied as always by her primate friend Boots, she selected The Polar Express as her bedtime story.
When I got to the part about the kids all singing and drinking hot chocolate, R stopped me for a moment.
“Mommy, I want to jump into the book!” she said enthusiastically.
“Like Dora?” I asked.
“Yeah. I want Mommy to come too and Daddy to come too and me to come too. We all go together.”
“That sounds like fun! I’d like to jump into the book,” I told her truthfully.
“Okay. Maybe later.”
And we went back to reading. We started a Christmas list too, which thankfully includes several items already purchased for her by me or others (Barbie Island Princess! Strawberry Shortcake!), but also several items that I’m not exactly sure what she means – Christmas trap? Flowers – pink blue green red yellow orange purple? But now is as good a time as any to start teaching her that she can’t get everything she wants.
She’s growing into a wonderful helper, too. I had to bake a cake today for a colleague’s birthday, and R joyfully measured out flour and cocoa powder and vegetable oil, covering herself – and the kitchen – in every ingredient she touched. But she also happily sprayed down and wiped the countertops when the cake was in the oven, cleaning up her own mess. I rewarded her with the spoon to lick, watching her take a lick, then offer me a taste, back and forth until all the batter was gone – or on her face.
She still has her moments – if she is denied something she lashes out with an immediate tantrum or even an angry, outstretched arm met to injure the offender. I fear that temper was inherited too honestly from her mother. But after a few moments in time out, she will apologize, and mean it. Last night, after a time out she told me she was sorry for hitting me. And a few moments later, after we’d moved on and begun cooking, she grabbed my face and told me that she was really sorry, that she didn’t mean to hurt me. That she loved me very much.
Before that, I’d suspected that her apologies were rote and simply came because they were required. Now I’m starting to think that she might actually get it. She might actually understand that other people have feelings too. And this is a remarkable thing to watch.