Today you are 52 months old.
The main event this past month was our trip to the lake. We got to spend almost a week there, with Grandpa, Grannie, Auntie Sara and your cousins, and various other day-visitors. It was a really excellent trip. I was a little worried (okay, kind of terrified) that your recent spate of accident-proneness would carry forward to the lake, where tiny mishaps such as falling down can actually lead to major injuries or fatal drowning, but NO! You fared just fine, with not even ONE incident of falling in the lake. I have to take some credit for this, since I devoted some time and energy before the trip into devising a few simple rules that I knew would work for you:
- Visual reminders on both doors of the cabin to help you remember to put your lifejacket on when going outside
- Using painter’s tape to mark boundaries which you were not to cross without a grown-up accompanying you
These both worked really well, and you were quite well-behaved and stuck to the rules, which in no way prevented you from having an excellent time at the lake. You were in swimming nearly every day, and apart from your inflexible need to have me get in the water to help YOU get in the water, you really had no need of my assistance or presence once you were in. You spent a lot of time “rescuing” toy boats or other floating items that you asked people to throw in the lake for you (yes, basically a glorified game of Fetch). I was very proud and happy to see how comfortable you were in the water and how much you enjoyed it. I have many years of happy memories of my own ‘water-baby’ days at the cabin, so it’s pretty neat to watch you experience the same thing.
Meanwhile, the three other adults in the cabin tried to persuade me that I was being too harsh. “It’s the cabin!” “She’s on vacation!” “We didn’t think you were SERIOUS about not giving her dessert!” But serious I was, and I didn’t waver for an instant. “If I hadn’t specifically told her she couldn’t have dessert without eating dinner, MAYBE I could give her some, but now that I’ve said it I can’t go back on it,” I told them, and left the room full of disapproving clucks and sighs to go comfort you.
Well, next thing I knew your two cousins were in the room too. “Don’t worry, Gwen, we won’t have dessert either,” they said in an amazing show of solidarity. My sister cut up some apple slices for the kids to share, Gwen sniffled her way back into the common room, and there was no further mention of dessert.
The next night we had chicken fajitas. Not a food you’ve had before, but made of ingredients – chicken, salsa, cheese, tortillas – that you like. Once again, you refused to eat even one bite. Once again, I made the threat about dessert and it fell on deaf ears. This time I got a little bit wiser, and I put your plate aside when all the others were tidied up after the meal. When dessert time came around, you asked for your share, and this time I had a backup plan – I told you that if you ate your (now cold) dinner, you could have dessert. Well, what do you know – you sat down and ate it! The other adults, now having a much better picture of your day-to-day eating habits, were much more sympathetic to me this time, and the other kids made no heroic offers to sacrifice their desserts on your behalf.