Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cat and Library

Our delights are simple but lasting, no further than our own backyard, the mead of which childhood memories are made. I love these summer days with my daughter, who everyday talks with me more and more. We have been communicating verbally all along, even since her birth (I could often tell by her cries what she wanted), but having her use full sentences now absolutely delights her daddy and me.

We've been making friends with our neighborhood stray cat, who now hails officially to the moniker "Baby Cat." We first met her a week ago, as we read some new library books on our bench in the front yard. Last night, as we helped Boppa with a sprinkler project, we met her again. So enchanted with her was little Katie that I decided to open one of the cans of tuna we have (we still have a few cans left over from the days before I discovered Costco white albacore tuna---the best quality tuna I've ever seen in a can and for a remarkable price). I brought out some tuna and a bowl of water and we watched Baby Cat eat. When Baby Cat retreated across the street for a moment to clean her face, Katie called, "Come back please. Come back, Cat" and "more petting" and "I love you, Cat." She also was saying, "Nice to meet you" (which she says to most new loves in her life).

When we came back inside, Kate was pretending to be Kate-y Cat. She wanted me to pet her head and she was using her hands like paws to clean her face. She also kept saying, "I like tuna. I like tuna." This is the third time that she has used her imagination to inhabit a persona other than her own. The first time was a week ago, when she---entirely on her own---pretended to be a character out of a favorite book (Princess Baby). She was quoting a couple of her lines and doing something Princess Baby does. Then a couple of mornings ago, she came up with the idea to be Winnie-the-Pooh, looking for honey. Again, she initiated it all. And last night, she pretended to be the cat. I saw something online that suggested that this sort of pretense play (a theory of mind type of thing) doesn't usually happen until age 4 or 5, but I am still investigating that... At any rate, watching her little mind in action is very, very cool.

Tonight we brought out some food to Baby Cat once again. Kate had waited patiently all day. As soon as Cat saw Katie from across the street, Cat came running. Cat seems at peace with her and her good little animal-loving heart. Tonight she recreated Cat's sharpening of her claws on the tree by sharpening them on Daddy's office door. She is so sweet.

We also had our first trip to the library a week ago on Monday. She loves it! I love being surrounded by books too....and the freedom to indulge in any whim or fancy I feel like without having to spend any money. I've been reading voraciously during Katie's sleep times (we're back to napping more now that our pace has slowed down a bit). I finished a Daphne du Maurier novel (I am obsessed with Hitchcock and everything he has ever documented as having read), and devoured a nonfiction work about San Francisco. I am also starting to collect ideas for all of our homemade Christmas gifts this year out of crafting books...

Today we returned for more we were walking through the children's section (we can't wait for fall storytimes there!), Kate exclaimed, "I like books!" She will fit in well with her daddy and me!

Good night for now, All!