Thursday, August 12, 2004

Baseballs and Butterflies

"What do you want to be when you grow up, Olivia?" I asked my 2.5 yr. old daughter last week. Smiling, she replied, "A baseball." I paused, waiting for the word "player" to come out of her mouth next, but when it didn't I asked, "You mean you want to be a baseball player when you grow up?" "No, mommy," she said forcefully, "I want to be a baseball when I grow up." Barely able to keep from laughing I said, "Well Olivia, you will make one awesome baseball." She smiled, very satisfied and added, "And you will be a butterfly when you grow up, Mommy."

Of all of the things that Olivia and I do together -- tea parties, dress-up, painting, reading, bubble blowing, block towers, puzzles -- my favorite thing is to just sit down on the floor and talk to her. Olivia was an early talker and has quite the vocabulary. And I am continually amazed and astonished at the insights and thoughts she shares with me.

Yesterday, Dr. Olivia and Nurse Mommy were playing hospital with all of her stuffed animals. Dr. Olivia asked me to get the thermometer out of the medicine chest. With an air of urgency she placed it in the mouth of Tanny the Dog before proclaiming that Tanny was sick with a fever of 72.5 and the croup.

In the most Marlo Thomas-Free-To-Be-You-and-Me voice I could muster I said, "Olivia, you can be anything you want to be when you grow up, even a doctor." She stood up, put her hands on her hips and said emphatically, "No Mommy, I will be a baseball when I grow up. And you will be a butterfly."

I smiled and said, "Olivia honey, I don't know what either of us will be when we grow up, but I do know that I will still be your Mommy." Giggling, she put her little arms around my neck and said, "Good."

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