Such was the case with Natalie the other day, who was a very big helper in making her cake but became a little impatient as I was cleaning up. She wanted her cake to be finished right now and pestered me every seven seconds until I snapped and asked her to please find something else to do for a bit until I was ready to play with her. She whined, wanting to know what she could do, so I threw out a few ideas like, "play in your kitchen, or play in your room, or play with your babies, or…." and off she went. I returned to cleaning up our mess and spent a solid five - maybe even ten! - minutes on task without any small people interjecting. Then it occurred to me that I should see what she was up to. Imagine my delight when I looked across the bar to see this:
She had quietly and efficiently gotten three chairs, a shopping cart full of groceries and three babies from her room then brought them to the family room, where they were neatly arranged around the side table.
One baby per chair, food being spread out before them, with Natalie keeping up a running conversation the entire time. She was speaking quietly and sweetly, telling them how she would take care of them.
She 'sliced' their apples, carefully cuddled them and fed them. She started with her favorite baby,
and made sure to love her a little after she fed her.
Then baby apparently said she wanted some more, so Natalie carefully gave her another bite.
Not wanting to leave anyone out, Natalie put her favorite baby down and picked up her second favorite so that baby could have a little drink.
And that baby must be really shy, because as soon as I snapped the picture above, Natalie turned to me and said, "no more, Mommy. Dis baby not yike it, so you don't take her pitcher anymore. 'Tay?" I agreed, because I respect that momma bear instinct to protect your kids.
But when Natalie went to get something else from her room, I broke my promise so I could get a picture of the tablescape. I think there are tea parties in my near future.
And, just in case anyone thought I was being hard-hearted in asking her to play on her own, please know that this occurred immediately prior to me turning her loose:
My kids are semi-professional beater-lickers. She cleaned up a bit of perfectly purple cherry cake batter like it was her job. And please note the self-styled clip. I love my girl.