Millie was playing with the trains, Hazel was gnawing on some baby toys, and Josephine was playing in the dollhouse upstairs in our magical playroom. When miraculous moments like this come my way, when all three girls are fed, changed, happy, quiet, playing, I frantically try to get some sewing done, with an energy not unlike a puppy let off a leach at the park. But I got distracted. Jo has officially moved from what I've been referring to as "The Caterpillar Stage" to the "Butterfly Room," a reference to Toy Story 3 (which I've seen more times than anyone should. I can quote every. single. line.) Anyway, I was watching her play in the dollhouse, entirely immersed in her own world, completely unaware of anyone else. She was playing with a tiny hand-made baby bird and a small Cinderella doll. Cinderella was carrying the little bird in her arms up the stairs and putting it to bed. The little bird would call out, "Water, mama-Cinderella!" Cinderella-mama would respond, "Okay, baby bird." She'd deliver the water, give her baby bird a kiss, and tuck her in. Then Cindy would return and cheerfully say, "Good morning, baby bird!"
Watching my little girl re-enact our daily routines in such loving little ways brought tears to my eyes. It was also a bit illuminating. When she was unconsciously choosing the toys that would represent mama and Jo, she chose Cinderella for me, and a baby bird for her. She didn't choose a human baby, and that is so how she sees herself! She is always a puppy, a kitty, a baby mouse, baby bird or baby monkey all day long.
It brought home to me that when she sees adult behavior, its not necessarily her first reaction to want to do that. She doesn't see herself as a little person learning to be an adult. She's a baby bird, and mama is fundamentally different. It gives me more compassion and patience for her behavior, and reminds me to cherish her sweet imagination and innocence, and enjoy this sweet baby bird before she does grow up.