Back to the Start

Our second child is nothing if not confident. I don’t know where she gets it from — certainly not from emulating me. It’s like she was born knowing who she is, and being completely happy with that.

Recent example: Erick took the girls out on Saturday morning and had to cram them all into a small bathroom to change Georgia’s diaper. He set Campbell up on a table where she could see herself in the mirror, thinking that would keep her occupied. Did it ever! According to Erick, Campbell looked at herself in the mirror like she’d never seen herself before, gasped with pleasure, and said, “Daddy, I’m so PRETTY!”

And then this morning I took Campbell and Georgia to Open Gym. Open Gym is a great little thing that Middlebury does during the winter months: they open up the town gym (basically an old high school gymnasium) two mornings a week to preschoolers. There’s a closet filled with mats, hula hoops, basketballs, and toy cars for the kids to play with. It’s as close as you can get to an indoor playground, which is essential when the weather is blah.

Today at Open Gym, Campbell spotted a scooter; not just any scooter, but a PINK BARBIE SCOOTER. It looked kind of like this:

And because she is so confident and determined, and because that scooter was just so PINK and alluring, she hopped right on. Campbell is two years old, a SMALL two years old; the handlebars were about even with her head.  But she grabbed on, and because she’d never scootered before, she started wiggling her butt around to make it move. Obviously, that didn’t work very well, so I tried to teach her how to push off with her foot and then pick it up so she could zoom.

It’s kind of a hard concept to master, but after a couple tries she got it! She’d push with her foot and lift it up just at the right time.

The only problem was that she was moving backwards.

And that, I couldn’t help her with. I was able to teach her how to move, but I couldn’t teach her how to go in the right direction.

But here’s the thing: she didn’t care. It didn’t matter to Campbell that she was putting in all this effort just to move backwards. She just wanted to MOVE, and any direction was the “right direction.” She was really, really pleased with herself. So Georgia and I applauded and cheered, and it was a fun little morning.

I think there are some lessons in there about life, and motherhood. (But right now I have to hunt down our “1” candle, because Georgia turns 1 tomorrow. We have a 2, two 3s, and a 4. I know we had a 1, because we used it twice in the past, but of course I can’t find it now. Fate of the third child.)

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