Wednesday, May 6, 2009

All About Annie

Jemma left this morning to spend two nights with Jason's parents.  They had requested some "just Jemma" time, and I'm taking advantage of having Annie here alone to do some special, unusual things with her.  She and I often struggle, probably because we're so alike, and I've been feeling lately like too many of my interactions with her are fraught with negativity.  She's seeking my attention, I'm distracted, we're clashing all day long.  So starting this morning, it's been all about Annie.  A partial list of things we did today:

-got ready together this morning, including lip gloss and chapstick
-school, with extra bonus playground time at the end
-went shopping for the treats we'll be serving at her very special Big Girls Only Tea Party she wanted to host tomorrow
-had a calm, conversational lunch together with plenty of time for all the stories from school
-went to the art museum, where we did a scavenger hunt and she won a prize
-spontaneously played at a new park she spied from the car on the way back
-ate dinner at Marie Catrib's and played tic-tac-toe while we waited for our food
-played outside
-took a bike ride
-practiced wearing her goggles in the tub during bathtime (her first swimming lesson was last night, and she's really into "practicing" being underwater with her goggles)

Wandering around the art museum today, holding her hand and scrutinizing the paintings, I took special notice of the fact that I need to do a better job of setting aside time to be with just Annie.  It was so awesome to be able to notice her, to be patient with her long, convoluted stories, and to really listen and be present for her all day long.  

Tomorrow, we are hosting a couple of her friends for a tea party, per Annie's request when I asked her what she'd like to do while Jemma's away.  Annie is so excited that she has already laid out all her dress-up outfits (in case other people want to wear them; she'll be wearing her wedding dress, OBVIOUSLY), set the sprinkles out on the counter, dragged me into the store to buy flowers (her idea), and made a stack of all the board games she and the girls might potentially play when they tire of drinking lemonade and eating "biscuits" (Lorna Doone shortbread cookies).  

I love experiencing her this way and seeing her so excited about being the center of attention.  And I do miss Jemma, but, man, the art museum with a two-year-old?  No, thank you.

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