Life too complicated? Want to simplify? Spend your morning with a 2-year-old, or, failing that, a dog would work.
I pick granddaughter Simone up just before 9. I try the door, but it’s locked because she escapes. I ring the doorbell, hear the patter of small feet, see her beaming face coming at me through the side window. Has anyone ever been this happy to see me? Besides Jay’s dog Dallas?
“Let’s swim swim swim,” I say when I’m let in. I don’t know why the 3-thing. Simone loves it though, so I keep doing it.
“Swim swim swim,” she says clambering into her Dora the Explorer boots. “Bye-bye Mama, Baby,” she says, then once outside she says, excitedly, “Gia’s truck, Gia’s truck.”
Perhaps she loves my truck because she rides in a super-deluxe reclining car seat with dual drink holders for storing mini-Barbies. And I think her La-Z-Boy helps her ignore the fact that I bonk her head on the ceiling every time I put her in it.
All the way to the Y there are the most fascinating things to see. “School bus,” Simone says. “Where are you going school bus?” And a playground! Simone can’t say this word. It comes out “pay-boun”. So cute. She sees the Y. “Oh, ere-i-is!” she says. This is one of her first sentences and it’s a combo of “there it is” and “here it is” and she says it with such delight all of the adults in her life can’t help but say it the exact same way.
“House,” she calls the Y.
“Pool,” I say, knowing that doesn’t accurately describe the Y complex either.
But we’re pulling in now and she sees something else. “Police car,” she says, clearly. Simone’s papa is a policeman.
“Papa’s car,” I say.
“Yes,” she says, “Papa’s car.” Then she makes the sound of the siren.
We park, get out and she holds my hand in case “car coming”. And have you ever noticed how many interesting things there are in a parking lot? “Oh, birdies,” she says over the most impressive flock of seagulls. “Bicycle,” she says, and I see them gleaming silver in the sun. Simone hears a sound and looks up, points a tiny index finger. “Airplane,” she says, then she squeals, because it truly is an amazing sight.
We swim, then play in the Treehouse where we find a small stuffed Elmo that’s been left behind. “Mone’s Elmo,” Simone says and she is so in love with Elmo by the time we leave that he isn’t going to the lost and found. We visit Bamps (her great-grandfather) and she gets a cookie.
“Horsie in the barn,” she tells him, remembering that she saw a horse on his track last week. Then she looks around the room with wide eyes to discover so many horse statues. “Baby horsie, papa horsie, mama horsie.” She notices the horsies on my gates when we get to my place and her eyes grow huge again. “More horsies,” she says. We name them: the one on the left is Blackie and the one on the right is Sparks. She laughs. “Sparks,” she says. She likes that word.
We get out of Gia’s truck and run around on the green grass and Simone sees something else that is magical. “Butterfly,” she says, laughing. In the backyard we hear crunchy things in the wind, see numerous small yellow things falling and falling.
“Look Simone,” I say. “The leaves are coming down.” She runs to stand under them and looks up, saying, over and over, “Leaves are coming down.”
After coloring and peanut butter and bapes (grapes) and another bonk on the head we’re on our way back to Mone’s house and she’s chanting: “Horsie in the barn, horsie in the barn.”