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:)

Add new comment

CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

A-Z Barbara

Barbara 1/26/2023

A-Z means I’m writing short takes on random topics and I’m going in alphabetical order. I love this quote: “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”

That’s the spirit I’m pursuing: Undisciplined, irreverent, and original.

A-Z, Alaska

1/25/2023 

I’ve never been to Alaska. I’m sure I’d love it but going there is not a big dream for either Len or me.

However, this. When our son was around 12 he developed a crush on all things Alaskan. Kid who lives in a ranch house on a Midwestern cul-de-sac wants to get lost in tundra and mountains with moose and wolves. Yup.

At first he just talked, dreamed, read books, and watched shows about Alaska. Then, at 14 he got a part-time job as a janitor at a vet clinic and he kept that job until he went to college. It was a good fit for a kid not drawn to homework.

A to Z

1/25/2023

I am not exactly depressed, but I can whip up a pretty good glum at almost any moment. There have been about three sunny days since Thanksgiving, and four colds, and I’m feeling it. How about you?

We can’t even properly whine. Not with the Atmospheric Rivers of Doom in California, and tornadoes in the south. And all the other glum and hateful news.

Sara Kurtz & Healthcare by Zip Code? Really?

1/22/2023 

Many of you have been very generous in the past. Please think about making a donation to the GoFundMe account of Sara Kurtz. Donate here. 

Who is Sara? She’s a friend of my niece Susan.

Len Explains Fusion Energy

The photo is of Lisa Meitner. The BFF of one of our kids is (quite likely) a great grand niece of this amazing woman. 

...

MB: Len occasionally explains very complicated science things to me or our kids in such a way that we actually understand it. One of our kids asked him what the big deal was about fusion. Len wrote this and I thought some of you might like to read it.

Long live curious people and long live nerds. 

 

Almost. Two Years Later

1/6/2023 

 I remember where I was two years ago this afternoon. Do you?

I was writing. I knew I had another hour to just work by myself and I was happy about that. I love no interruptions.

Len was downstairs. I heard him turn on the TV. We NEVER watch TV during the day so it was weird when he called up to me, “You should come down here. Something’s happening.”

Tag Cloud

9/11 17 minutes 500 Words A-Z AARPtaxes AAUW abortion Acadia accident Accountable Advent aging Alaska anniversary antibiotics antlers apples appointments Arrows art Ashland August Augustine baby Badlands balance Baldwin Barbara Barkskins Beauty Becky Becoming Esther Berry birthday bistro BLM BookReport books boy scout Bread BrokenDays BuyAngry Cabeza de Vaca Cahokia calendars Canada canoe cat romance cats cello Chicago China Choosing Christmas cilantro Cinnabuns circus clouds Clowns clutter Colonialism comet ComfortZone CommonSense community consumerism Cops Corvid-19 Courage Covid-19 Crazy creditreport creosote CrimeShows DarkRiver death Debate December DecisionFatigue decluttering democracy dentist depression Destination Today Detroit Didion disasterprep dogs dollhouse Dreams Duty Easter eBay Eclipse election EmilyDickinson eschatology Esquipulas exit polls eyes Fable FairTrade family farmer Fata Morgana firealarm Fitness Five Flatbread Flexible flu Fort de Chartres frame Franc FrancGarcia friends frugal FrugalHacks Frugality frustration Ft.Ticonderoga fusion Galena Gannets Garden GarfieldParkConservatory Gaspe genius geode GeorgeFloyd gerrymandering ghosts gifts girls gorgons GovernorThompsonStatePark Graduation grandkids granola groceries Guatemala gum guns happiness HaveYouEver? hawks healthcare Healthinsurance hearings heart HelleKBerry heroes hike History home HomeRepair Honduras Hope hurricane impeachment Innkeeper Instincts integrity InternetPrivacy Interview InviteMe2Speak James Baldwin Jan 6 Janus JoyceAndrews Judy JulianofNorwich justice Karen Lamb LangstonHuges LaphamPeak laundry LeeLeeMcKnight lemming Len Light Lincoln Little Women LockedOut Loki loneliness LouisArmstrong Love Ludington Macaw macho Manitoulin MargaretFuller Maria Hamilton Marquette marriage Marsden Hartley masks Mayan MayaWorks meme Memories men Middlemarch MilesWallyDiego MindfulChickens Mistakes MLK moon Mother MothersDay mouser movies museums must-haves Mustapha Nancy Drew New Mexico New York City Nomadland OBUUC Ocotillo OnaJudge ordinary OscarRomero osprey Outside oximeter Parade mayhem PastorBettyRendon Paul Hessert PDQ Penny persimmon photos Pi Pies pineapples poetry Preaching privacy Protest QE2 Quern quest Questions Rabbit holes racism recipe recipes recommendations Remember RepresentationMatters Reruns responsetoKapenga Retirement rhubarb Ricky rime RitesofPassage Rosemary Ruether Roses Roti Ruth SamaritanWoman Sanctuary Sandhillcranes Santuario de Chimayo SaraKurtz SaraRodriguez sculpture Sermon ServantsoftheQuest sewing Shepherd Shontay ShortStory shoulder sick sickness Slower snow Social Security SofritoBandito solstice South Dakota SpaceShuttle spirituality spring square feet staining stele Stereotypes stories StoryStarts stress Survival swim taxes teenager thankgsgiving Thanksgiving TheBridge TheMaid ThePerpetualYou ThreeBillBoards Three Thing ThreeThings Three Things TidalBore TimeBeing toddler Tom tortillas Trains travel Traveler Tubing turtle Twilight Bark Tyrone Ukraine Ulysses Grant UnrelatedObservations Up North urgency vacation vaccine Valentines vanilla Vietnam vision VivianWokeUpDrowning vole volunteer WalkingAndSeeing Wampanaog war WarsanShire weather weaving Webs wedding whines WhyAttendChurch Wiley Willa WillaCather Wisteria
Ad Promotion