A moment in time

Published 10:35 pm Thursday, March 28, 2019

It’s not often I get to be a fly on the wall and observe my daughter without her noticing I’m there, but I recently had this opportunity one morning when her daycare group went outside to its play area.

The morning itself was also memorable for the fact that it went about as smoothly as possible for being the parent of an almost 3-year-old. No big spills or messes, she listened to what I said and did what I needed her to do when I needed her to do it.

But rather than third-person this story, I’ll share with you the stream-of-consciousness I wrote that morning.

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I dropped you off at daycare this morning, and you were so wonderful.

You came to my bed to wake me up, tell me you needed to be changed, and then asked me to find your pretty blue rock that you had left in your bed, and you were so happy when I found it.

You came to the couch and asked to watch the Octonauts and then snuggled next to me while watching, then you curled up in my lap.

Soon after, you asked for paint so you could paint a rock, but you got lost in the show for a bit and forgot that the paint, brushes and rock were all ready until I tried to move it. On the floor, you again sat in my lap.

Eventually we painted the rock. Even though we had different colors on the plate, you chose black, again, and we painted. You also took your scented markers and drew circles on both sides of the paper and gave it to me. “Here you go, Dada.”

Then when you thought you had hurt yourself, you went to the bathroom to grab a Band-Aid from the box and put it on, and shortly after you took it off. “Better,” you said.

You drank some apple juice, had some yogurt and we got you changed and dressed, then we watched our last show and you willingly went to put on your shoes and jacket when I asked you.

Then we went on the drive to daycare. “You too,” you said, when I told you that I loved you. And then when I said happy, you also said “Happy!”

We drove over the bridge and saw the water just before we got to your daycare. After I let you out of your car seat, you ran to the door and walked quickly to your class, where your teachers were about to take everyone outside. At first you didn’t want your ball, but after you put your jacket back on and went outside, you asked for the ball, and I brought it to you. You took it, and I said goodbye. Then you slowly walked away and followed the bubbles.

It felt like you were going to jump and reach them as they floated upward. I saw you clutch your soccer ball, not letting go even as you were chasing them. I watched you go into the playhouse and close the red shutters, then you went out and closed them again when someone opened them, and you went back into the playhouse.

You then moved about the play area, but you didn’t play with the others. You went to different parts of the fence and eventually made your way to the teeter-totter. At first you were there by yourself, still clutching your soccer ball in your left hand. You sat on it backwards, then another little boy came over. Another minute later, he pushed you. “Stop it,” I heard. He pushed you again. “Stop it!” The teacher was louder that time as she walked over. Other children surrounded the teeter-totter. He grabbed you from behind and pushed you one more time. “Stop!”

The teacher picked you up off the teeter-totter. She put you back on it, but not before I could hear you cry.

Tears were in my eyes too, watching you.