He goes wherever he wants, these days. He stands up in the middle of the floor, walks across, and changes directions when something new catches his eye. If anyone feels like a little chase, he’s only too happy to run away. With a spotter, he can take the stairs, and with a little reminder he’ll even spin around to go feet first off of any elevated surface. Dangle dangle, little toes. Then grab the ground and sprint away.
From his little front room, he can creep up the step stool we painted in the summer. It’s the perfect spot to view the neighbors walking up and down the sidewalk, the garden growing in our front yard, and the HUG farm volunteers checking in on turnips in the right-of-way. He sings a song to them, and sometimes taps on the window.
Edie joins her brother to look out and to investigate the toys from his shelves. Seeing a big kid handling the treasures is a great provocation; he peers intently at pictures, or shape blocks, or animals she sets down. They talk together in a wiggly body language they both know by heart.
Every day his world is getting bigger, and it all starts in his own little room.
It’s really really fall now, and that means more indoor adventures. We have a great collection of favorite places now that we have lived in Tacoma for a few years, and the top favorite remains the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. These days, there aren’t very many places where kids can practice making their own choices and controlling themselves without worrying too much about mistakes. We love the Museum because it’s a safe place to take some risks and jump into exploring. It’s full of things to touch, press, spill, climb, splash, pour, drop, paint, squish, and pile up.
“I like painting and I like playing. And I like painting butterflies.” -Edie
Our recent visits included some great interactive community sculpture. Above, Edie investigates a jump set where kids have been rolling wheels through paint and down the slopes. We check out the tracks left behind by everyone’s wheels. In another room, a potter’s wheel provides a spinning surface for bull’s eye drawings. Edie admires rainbow collection and adds one of her own, while Rory manipulates the mirrors and light tables nearby.
Both kids work together on the dials and toggles in the cockpit. Rory throws a switch back and forth intently. Edie zooms in to count the numbers on a pressure valve.
Rory discovered a new friend inside this under-stairs cave. He pops back out to introduce me and add his board to the peg panel just outside.
Each of our favorite places around town invite us to engage and participate in a different way. The Museum always provokes us to see the world in a new way. It’s so hard to leave, and we can never wait to go back!
Walk to Playgroup with Mama. There it is! Water beads. It’s squishy. It’s wet. I want a pink one. Dump it out.
Play with toys. Play with a puzzle! What’s this one? What’s that? Hi Gabe! It’s circle time. Sit on a rug. Sit by myself, you sit over there. One drop of water, big rain! I like it. Dance time. No, do it by myself.
It’s yellow! It’s purple! On your face! In the sunshine!
It is a sunny day so I have to take Mama outside. We decide to walk around the Alaskan Reservoir which is right by our house. We climb up up up. Way up high! Hand please. There are some yummy plants here. They really not ready to eat yet but we will come back.
At the top of the hill we can see the Mountain and the hospital and all the steeples. I run around on the flat field and then I run down the hill. We come out on a grassy slope. Oh, park! Mama says we can walk on the grass so I am storming across the squishy grass in my boots. That is when I see a mushroom. Then another. And another! One two three seven eight! All them! When we are outside we don’t touch mushrooms unless we have our special mushroom knife. So I use my naturalist eyes. Here some! Here some. Different. More mushrooms. Little mushrooms. Brown.
There are more treasures in the grass. Mama! Yellow flowers! Pick okay! I fill up my hands with happy dandelions. Some are up the hill and some are down, so I hop like an Easter bunny to catch them all.
We are almost home. A big dog jumps up on his fence. Dog bark. Mama, dog is barking. That’s enough, dog.
Last night I went to Mimee and poppy’s house in Bremerton. I miss them a lot and every day I talk about visiting so finally Mama and I just went. We snuggled and talked and made pizza.
Today I came to some woods by the park. They are making a new spray ground so we can’t go in the park but the woods are full of squirrels, birds, and bumblebees.
Treasure box. Open it Mama. This. Cone. I put in. Close it. Help! Jump off. Where’s this come from? Birds. Up up up the hill.
We explore and climb. I stand above the diggers and watch the new park get built. We feel moss and bark and lichen, and I collect some cedar bark and soft sweet cedar feathers.
At the zoo, I peed in the potty and ate a big snack because I didn’t have very much breakfast. Not very many people are here yet, so I am just exploring on my own. I look in the windows at the fish and snakes, and I climb up on the mushroom and do my maniac laugh, with all my teeth showing and my eyeballs rolling back.
I run over to the sand pit and dig for a while. Other kids come and I crowd them to see what they are doing. Some of them have food so Irun over there and check it out. I almost get a mouthful of stranger rice before anyone can even stop me! Then I go see Mama for some more snacks. Fig bar and milk. I already ate all the melon.
I climb on my stoller and do more crazy laughs. I really want to stand on the back, but it’s a little tricky.
We drive across to the other climbers and I try them out. I check out a cool cave and some spinners the big kids get to. There are cool textures to walk on and steps and ledges and I just love the zoo, so I do a little dance!
Me and Iris are playing on the beach. I took my shoes off and the sand is on my feet. It’s warm. I sit down on the sand and poke my tools into it. Iris walks down into the water, and I try my feet in it too, but it’s pretty cold and I don’t like it when the boats drive by and make the waves so big.
I do some exploring. I check out Mimee’s chair and I find some little rocks and sticks. Mimee gives me goldfish crackers. Iris made a hole in the sand down to the wet part. She says “ick, ick, ick” and I copy her. Then I remember those goldfish.
We saw some guys with squids in a bucket. They are silvery and slippery with big eyes. The guys tell us they heard of Humboldt squid in Bremerton. Someone caught one, three feet long. Mama tells us Humboldts are moving North but she didn’t know they were already up in the Sound. It’s because the largest animals are messed up by the ocean getting warm and thick. When I’m big, it might not be safe to swim in some places, since big squids are mean.