How can it be that you turn 20 today? Our little fairy tale Princess has grown into a lovely young woman. It sounds cliché to say, but the time has flown by so fast. It seems like yesterday that you were a wee one, pushing your own stroller around and learning to walk. Saying “doogie, doogie, doogie” as you puttered around the house. Everyone thought we let you watch reruns of Doogie Houser MD, but no. That was just how you warmed up your vocabulary building.
I was a little surprised to learn that not everyone shared my view. There was that time in your “moms time out” program. I had enrolled you so you could socialize with other kids (since I was the first of my friends to embark on this parenting journey). It was a co-op program, where the moms rotated as teacher aides. Once, when I was helping, all ten of you two year olds had been taken out to the park by the school. The hedge around the park made the one at our house look like a Japanese dwarf garden. About eight feet tall and three feet wide, the hedge was like a jungle.
I followed you as you meandered. If Winnie the Pooh and friends lived in the dwarf version, what would you find here?
“Ohhh. Mommie look. This is where the hippopotamus sleeps.”
“I see. Are there giraffes too little miss?”
“Yes, there are. Come I’ll show you.”
Slowly the other children heard you and peered inside the hedge from where they were playing on the grass.
“Where’s the giraffe?” said one little girl as she peeked her head inside.
“N says it’s in here,” replied a tiny boy with glasses who was already following you around. “She says there are hippos and elephants and bears. Come.”
I thought I was the best mom’s helper ever, encouraging the other two year olds to take part in your fanciful world. Then I heard the teacher’s voice.
“Everyone come out from there right now. Out I say.”
A little one peeped his head out while I was waiting in the wings of the shrubbery, feeling a bit like a two year old myself.
“Miss J. N sees zoo animals in here. She is showing them to us. Can we please play in here?”
Look out world.