Mary Beth Writes

Yesterday Dr. Angel Fairy "healed" dollhouse beings with cupcakes sprinkles.

...

This afternoon is sunny and 70 degrees. I guess this is why we are leaving here to go somewhere else? Oh, the irony of leaving the Midwest in May.

We are leaving in the next few days for a road trip to New Mexico. The theme of this vacation will be (da-dum, da-dum) “Destination Today.” Which says we learned some things two years ago when we drove and drove and drove to eastern Canada. And then drove and drove and drove coming back. Too much driving, not enough stopping.

This time we aim to have amazing adventures seeing beautiful places, and also to have a lot of good moments along the way. Like this: One of my favorite moments from traveling in Italy with our kids was trying to find a bandaid in Rome.  

I won’t be posting on this website while we’re gone but I will try to put things on Instagram. MBDanielson. AKA https://www.instagram.com/mbdanielson/

Why New Mexico?  Because it’s gorgeous, different, evocative, and a place where they worked hard at Covid protocols. Glad to spend our money there.

Our granddaughter is 4 and we love her to the moon and back. We used to read to her right after lunch but the past few weeks this has turned into playing virtual dollhouse. We have the dollhouse Len built for our youngest, with her help and input, when she was around eight. It is not a finely crafted dollhouse for posterity. It is made from thin plywood with a lot of whatever paint we had in the basement back then. The kids loved it and decorated it then and our little grandkid loves it now.

It’s not easy to play dollhouse virtually. Usually Len is the cameraman; he moves the phone around to catch whatever we are doing. Some of the characters we have appeal to her so much that they have names and personalities. A plastic wind-up holiday decoration angel I bought at Goodwill in the 90’s is Angel Fairy, and she is Mighty. Several tiny dolls have our kid’s name, which I think is interesting. There is a baby-sized princess with her name, plus a kid-looking doll in a blue dress who is also her. There are also two dolls in overalls that she calls, “the boys across the street.”

We have a lot of doll furniture plus the random tiny stuff a house accumulates. When we pull out something new, she immediately wants it. “Can I have that next time you come here, Grandma?”

We were in Chicago on Saturday and while there she pulled her ponytail out, handed me the hair elastic which I put in my pocket and then we both forgot it. Today I showed it to her and she was aghast. Can I bring it back to her next time we are together? Of course. So, then we used the elastic to (her idea) become a slingshot to send “the boys across the street” to the ceiling.

I’m still laughing but I think this small child is neither materialist nor greedy. She is not asking for everything because she wants everything.

She doesn’t have words for this yet and maybe I don’t either – but I am seeing a person waking up to power. She has a big vocabulary for a little kid; she can be loud or nutty or uncooperative and yes, she can be a headache for her parents. She can tell Len and I she doesn’t want a story; she wants to play dollhouse. She can watch the little dolls do this and do that.

A few months ago, I had to make up all of the action. Now I can ask her what should happen next, and she has ideas. “Send the boys to the ceiling!”

This is the tender age at which many of us were scolded to not be selfish, to not to ask for things, to not to tell our parents or grandparents or other adults that they should do this or that.

I think I am observing the nuts and bolts of personality development here, of empowerment, of becoming exactly who one is once they possess language. she can say what she sees and  recognizes. She says what she wants or doesn't want.  She is hardly ever bored or neutral, this power is too new. 

Isn't this cool?!

Plus, if we feel shy and unempowered, maybe we need to play dollhouse by ourselves. Maybe we need to decide exactly where we want “the boys across the street” to go.

 

Comments

Love the kid stories. There is nothing better than Grandkids. Have a wonderful trip!

Safe trip!!!!

Have a wonderful and safe trip!

Here's to our mutual weeks of adventure post vaccination! I am giddy from driving. Youngest and I just hit Spokane. Will be at daughter's home tomorrow. Yahoo!

I hope you and Len have a trip that creates a whole lot of great memories. Your granddaughter sounds like a mover and shaker!

I love that you are seeing your granddaughter as who she really is, and truly appreciating her, rather than seeing her as a project to complete, attempting to squeeze her into this or that box. Appreciating kids for who they are means they have surprises for us every day, and is so much more fun and relaxing than trying to change them:)

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Happy Birthday to Len

11/30/2022 

Today is Len’s birthday. I told him this morning I might write about him but I would let him read whatever I said first. He said not to run it past him, he’d like the surprise of reading it when you all do. Let’s see what I come up with.

1. This is cute. Len was born in Chicago’s Passavant Memorial Hospital which was the grandparent hospital to Northwestern’s Prentice Women’s Hospital - where two of our grandkids were born.

Stories, Q Club, Us

The photo is not by Len or me, its from I Love Canada on FB. I've seen a sky like that just once. 

11/21/2022

Last week I read two books about young people who left their homes. They experienced some good and too many rough experiences and they couldn’t go back until they figured out how to not be who they used to be. Both novels knocked my socks off.

The People You Keep by Allison Larkin

Covid Diary #979 - Still Paying Attention?

11/17/2022

Yes, it’s been 979 days since Friday the 13th, March 2020, when everything changed.

Last Saturday one of our kids visited for several hours with their kids. It was fun though our kid looked tired. They said they’d taken a Covid test that morning and it was negative. They figured it was the wine and rich foods they’d shared the evening before with friends at the end of a very busy week.

Next Day - What Are You Seeing?

11/9/2022

It was a late night last night, wasn’t it? Len worked at a polling place 6:30 AM until 10:30 PM. He said the actual experience is a lot like working retail (which he has not done since he was 22). Stand up most of the time, pleasantly say the same thing over and over. Wonder if lunch is soon.  

Professional reporters and pundits are talking a lot about “what just happened”, but heck, we are noticing interesting things, too.  Let’s talk about what We The People saw and heard and are watching now.

Here are some things catching my attention.

Election Day

11/8/2022 

So many times I’ve thought things were going to be okay, and then they weren’t. My dad had that heart attack and the kid who was MB back then told herself to not overthink the drama because things always turn out more or less okay. Then the next day he died.

We lost a pregnancy far enough along that we had a name picked out and a crib in which to put that child. For a week I had all the misery and cramps that go with miscarrying and I still thought somehow it was going to work out okay.

That Beep-Beep-Beeping Moment.

In spring Len got a $100 traffic ticket when he turned right at a corner we’ve been turning right at for seven years. However, construction had started and there were orange barrels and cones everywhere – plus a small sign NOT facing the street Len was on, telling drivers to not turn there.

Len went back later that day and took photos. Len called the city to mention that if they posted a sign that actually faced the traffic, the city could save the cost of the cop parked there ticketing drivers.

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