Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring and surprises

The Greening has come, by which I mean the point in the spring when I first notice that the grass is green instead of dull (that's not a color, but it seems like it in late winter). Chloë noticed it too. "The grass is green now," she informed me yesterday. She also told me there are red flowers in our yard. What would I do without her news bulletins?

We spent a good part of the weekend outside. I worked on the garden and the girls drew with chalk, blew bubbles, slid down the slide and tried to ride Chloë's tricycle. Chloë can ride it but has trouble with corners and with getting stuck on the far end of our lawn. Maia can't reach the pedals but she doesn't stop trying. She's been so enamored of it that we decided to get Maia her own (shorter) tricycle for her birthday.

It arrived Friday, and I took Chloë into confidence about what was inside and told her she couldn't tell Maia because birthday presents should be secret. So far (as far as I know) she hasn't told Maia, which is frankly better than I expected. She has whispered to me in front of Maia, "We're keeping the tricycle a secret!" but that's not so bad and is utterly cute.

Saturday I took her shopping for Maia's birthday present. We've been talking about what Maia would like, and Chloë said she wanted to get her a stuffed cat and a stuffed duck and maybe another stuffed dog. I discouraged the dog, since Maia already has two and that's plenty, but we searched for a cat and a duck and at the second store (Toys R Us) found both. She picked out the ones she thought Maia would like and said, "I will carry them, since I picked them out." At the checkout line she told the cashier, "These are for my baby sister for her birthday. Because she likes my cat." The cashier thought she meant a real cat, but Chloë set her straight.

She carried the bag to the car, and when we arrived home carried the bag inside and retrieved the roll of wrapping paper so we could wrap them. "They will be all snuggly in there," she said as we crammed them together to get them to fit in the last remaining bit of wrapping paper. (There's another roll for the tricycle, if we decide to wrap it rather than assembling it ahead of time.) They just fit, and after Chloë selected a bow we put the present up on a shelf in her closet. She was so delightfully pleased to have gotten a present for her sister. I was so pleased my daughter is such a loving big sister.

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