Following her lead

How quickly the seasons turn. One moment, she's in her crib. The next, she's in her toddler bed (or floor futon or Mama & Dad's bed). Or going from no fluoride toothpaste to with fluoride, including learning how to not swallow toothpaste, as well as spit and rinse. And now, her carseat is front-facing, so she can finally stretch her legs out without her knees bent and pressed up against the sides of her seat or up to her chest. Most recently, N. surprised us by *finally* giving up the bottle. Some folks might cringe at the thought of their kid still on the bottle past one year old. I tried various cups for a while, then gave up as it was too much pressure.  Strangely enough, she would be okay with drinking milk in the afternoon from her cup, but not in the morning and definitely not in the evening. I was concerned when she turned one, then one-and-a-half, then two . . . because she wasn't completely off the bottle yet. Suddenly, it's been one cup of milk after another for the past couple of days. We dare not do the happy dance and point it out to her for fear of jinxing the situation. But it's taught me an important lesson -- things happen when they're supposed to. Books, doctors, grandparents, other parents can be your guides, but our child is our best one. All we have to do is follow her lead. 

My mom and auntie insist that I, along with my cousins, were all potty trained by two. For N., we've had the potty out, and I have stickers in a jar. We read the books and watch the videos. Not happening just yet. In fact, N. is so aware of her bodily functions, it disgusts her to have to poo. She's not constipated. She just dislikes the feeling of having to excrete. So we're all for the no pressure potty learning. No timers, no forced sitting.  If she wants to sit on the potty, she can. If she doesn't, that's okay too. When she's ready, she'll let us know. All we have to do is follow her lead. 

Timing certainly is everything. Whether it's the right job, the right relationship, or the right circumstance. We want for ourselves to explore, discover, learn and develop our own understanding as we happen upon opportunities. Our kids deserve the same respect -- to explore, discover, learn and develop their own understanding as we work to create opportunities for them. 

All we have to do is follow their lead. 


Do you remember . . .

Last month was full of memories -- making them, reminiscing, and recording them. A milestone birthday for our daughter, N. (2), surprised our Mother Goose-rhyme-lovin' gal with a getaway to Storybook Land -- basically a toddler-friendly sculpture park where nursery rhymes come alive, followed by a casual celebration at a local sprayground, complete with bagels, cream cheese, lox, fruit, & birthday cake . . . lola, grandma, grandpa, ninang, ninong, ates, & kuya too!

The end of August marked six years since my Dad died from cancer. Sometimes seems just like yesterday. Otherwise, seems like a while ago. I just heartfully regret that he didn't have a chance to meet N. I recall my childhood in the home where I grew up on Nunda Avenue, remember what it was like to be around my Dad in that house. Weekend barbecues after his tennis games, coming home after work to water the vegetables in the backyard garden lined with a stone path, taking out an entire wall to create a larger livingroom area. That contented sadness manages to overwhelm me at Sunday service during the meditation segment. Church music lulls me deep into my emotional bed that I tend to keep guarded, not on purpose, only because life gets busy. As I keep N. from getting too fussy in the three-foot pew space, my eyes well up, and my tears remain bottled . . . and I hope for a cheesy Hallmark movie in the evening, so that I can finally release. 

The best release happens to be when it comes out of the blue. The uncontrollable laughter turns into unstoppable tears which turn into bellyaching laughter and more tears. My unexpected release happened upon me during my cousin Kat's visit. Kat graciously accepted our invitation to keep N. and me company while A. was abroad in Amsterdam for work. With her own family and school age kids in Georgia, it'd been a while since Kat and I had some time to just kick back and be. But every night, once N. was in dreamland, I actually had the pleasure of enjoying a meal by candlelight, with wine & dessert, followed by a movie! Kat's stay made for some much needed girly time, which included sharing her artful skill of the selfie.

What's wonderful about memories is, we can keep them forever. 

To a blessed rest of the Summer (it ain't over yet)!