The phrase that we used to hear a lot around here was “my do”. Now that we have a twenty-one month old, it’s “my whole do”. She’s not as satisfied with our offers of assistance, less pleased with our gentle redirections or even firmer “no’s”. She is extending that arc of comfortable distance from us. She looks back less frequently to make sure we are there. We love watching this happen – it is just as sweet and mysterious and challenging as it was the first go-round. If dinner is taking too long, she helps herself to a snack – gathering the cup, standing on tip-toe at the open cabinet to tilt out the raisins, portioning them out one by one, scooping up cup and milk and a towel (for neatness of course) and carrying them to her own table of choice. I catch her admiring her spread for a moment before indulging. I suspect it’s more about the act of doing than of actually partaking.
I love to see this confidence unfurl, this arc extending. But I also know from experience that the further they explore, the smaller they (my babies) look from where I sit.