we are having such a blast with ridley. i remember LOVING this stage with elinor too. they are rapidly losing their babyish ways and really coming into their own. more play. more attitude. more personality. more interaction. more of all the wonderful. ridley copies everything. he can be such a ham. he has the happiest buddha-face grin. he laughs at all of his sister's jokes. he is a determined crawler and fearless cruiser. he likes to stand and show off his tap-dance moves. he can rock a fedora like sinatra (i am holding onto those first two pictures because if this kid ever signs a record deal, instant album cover). he eats food by the fistful. he's mischievous. he's flirtatious. he is the very best.
oh, mademoiselle elinor. these are the days that crack us up and make us crazy. she has been full of funny-isms (and i will share more of those later). she is TOO DARN SMART. she is witty. she is interesting. she is bright. she is effervescent. she is sensitive. she is complex. she is tough. she is hilarious. she is empathetic and kind. and she is just a cool kid.
what a joy to watch her grow. to develop preferences and opinions. to watch the world around her, absorb, analyze, communicate. childhood is a remarkable time. there are days that are a total delight and easy-breezy. we have fun. we play and learn and engage and laugh and converse. i instruct. she obeys. she is my sassy and amazing little sidekick. she asks to sit on my lap and read all the books. she helps me in the kitchen. she thanks me for playing with her and tells me she loves me sooooo much, just because she felt like being sweet. she requests her "floppy hat and book for making lists" as we walk out the door for a market run (that's my girl). she makes me smile and tickles me so and brings such fullness to our life. all is well.
and then, there are days that are a battle. her will against mine. elinor against the world. she uses her intelligence in all the wrong ways. she tries to manipulate. she pushes back. tests boundaries. she dodges. she negotiates. she willfully-knowingly-purposefully-whole-heartedly disobeys. it feels like one thing after another. on days like that, we feel like our entire existence is solely to act as disciplinarians. we have to be on it. stop what you are doing. you need to wait. patience. obedience first. be kind to others. that's not for you. be aware of your surroundings. take care of your things. maintain a helpful spirit. don't squish your brother. careful. be brave. sometimes, it is a no - sometimes, we don't get what we want EVEN if you ask nicely BUT you always have to ask nicely. ask Jesus for self-control. manners, my dear. i sound like a lunatic. i sound like a broken record. i sound like a total parent. and then, the day passes, the storm clouds dissipate, and normalcy returns. she is a handful. but with full hands come a full heart.