Our little Punkernoodles are growing up fast.
Punkernoodle 2 is running wild. She has this strut she does, sort of a waddle-like trot that kicks in when she’s feeling like showing a little attitude. Like when she doesn’t want to give up her toothbrush to put it away, or she has a piece of chalk that she’s been sucking on and knows that I’m going to take it away, or when she’s trying to run ahead of me (Why do little kids always want to cut in front of you? I’m always tripping on them!) She’s learning new words every day. You just point at something and tell her the word a couple of times and she repeats it back to you. Her language skills are exploding. I love it. Her mind is so powerful at this age. The learning that they do is so far off the charts. I just try to imagine what it would be like to take it all in and learn everything at once as an adult. Impossible!
Punkernoodle 1 is at a different place. It was amazing to see her break out of her shy mold the other night when we had a neighborhood block party for National Night Out. A couple of neighbor girls who are 7 and 6 decided they wanted to play with her and take her under their wings. It was the first time she got to play with big girls. She ate it up.
They all went on their bikes to the next street over (I went along too) where the folks over there had rented an inflatable obstacle course. At almost 3, Punkernoodle1 was by far the smallest kid bouncing through. She couldn’t have done it without her new friends helping her along. They encouraged her, they shouted her name, they told the flying-missile boys who were shooting all over the place to watch out for her. They pushed her up over a climbing wall, they dragged her under a tunnel and, most importantly, they talked her through it. She loved it. It was such a neat experience to watch her figure out what to say. It was obvious she was “trying to be cool.” At one point later, when they came over to see the playhouse I had mostly built (that’s another story), Punkernoodle 1, trying to talk big, asked the girls “do you want some food?” One of the girls said “No! We just ate” in that big-girl don’t-be-silly way. (We had all just eaten as part of the block party). Trying to be fast on her feet, Punkernoodle 1 said, “No, not you, Ginger (our dog).” I loved that she tried to play it cool like that.
The kids are having a blast in the (finally) heat of summer. They’ve been to the best toddler summer spot in Seattle – the Greenlake wading pool – a few times, most recently with an inflatable taxi we bought despite our better judgment and the knowledge that it was made in China and probably covered with toxic chemicals. It’s hard to say no when all the other kids are floating on giant dolphins, boats and turtles. Punkernoodle 2 spends most of her at-home time in just her diaper, waddling around in a cute new hot-pink Fuzzi Bunz with that sweet little strut. She’d rather be naked by a longshot. Like I said – smart girl.