Developmental Shifts


Is it developmental? step-mom asks me?  For her or for me, we laugh.

Its good to have your mom-person chat about what’s going on with you and Liza, her step-children.  We sometimes forget in the moment that a seismic shift is beginning to occur.  I felt needled by you all week.  You’d been nasty to your sister, whiny, sneaking away and eating garden foods not yet ripened.  You were curiously negative and dissatisfied.  Uneasy and a bit of a smarty pants about a science program we were watching.  I pulled away.  Observed.  Hey, I told you, all day today a dragonfly has been perched on the tip of my Prius’ antenna.  She flits away circles and returns.  Wanna see if its still there?

Look how bight orange it is.  You were excited too.  Why does she like it?  you asked. “What’s not to like.  A Prius is cool.  Hmmm, you consider.  Maybe she thinks its a good mate.  Yea, like she needs glasses on her forty eyes.  We giggle.  Why is she that color?  you ask.  Not sure.  Its pretty amazing.  Never saw one like it, I agree. I think her diet is orange food of some kind.  Interesting.  Then you skip off.  Where are you going?  To find what she  was eating.  My nature boy may have just needed some grandma time…or maybe it is developmental.  (6 1/2 and almost done with kindergarten.  You started reading this week and is amazed by it.

Liza, too.  Its spring and at 3 3/4 she is shifting.  I look at each paining and drawing I pick up from preschool before sorting into recycle, gift wrap or note card re-purposing stacks.  I watch for shifts in her thinking as seen in her representations.  I save one that represents a change.  This week she made many squares and rectangles at the easel.  Four lines meeting well at the corners.  Quite a feat.  A sun with radiating rays.  No people.  And her name in pen.  Lots of attention to her lines and placement.  Up until last month her balloon people were drawn upside down with mouths at the top, arms sticking out the sides and legs poking upward that could have been mistaken for a couple of hairs. Never seen this way of drawing people .  It was consistent and went on for about 6 months.  Now this.

And along with these paintings, “Grandma,” this morning in the car, “I am a bad guy.”  “I push out fire like this and make people get on fire.” (like a fire gun)  Hmm.  Is there someone else that likes to do that with you?  “Yes.  Me and Reese and Juma.”  Ahhh.  The wild and busy boys at preschool.  “But not my other friends.  We scare them.”  Hmmm. “I hope you remember to ask them if its okay to push out fire on them.” Grandma, that’s what teacher Max telled me.”  Good.

They have been dressing up (pics another time) in gowns, capes, tights and dancing and running and imagining all sorts of scenes.  Liza likes the silver knight suit and you like the princess dress.  “Oh , Grandpa.  Its fine.” You remind him.  He tells us we are going to take the dress up box to Echo cabin this summer for everyone to play dress up.

Even grandpa, I ask.  You lean over and tell me to find a tutu in grandpa’s size.


All the grand kids. The baby is home with step-mom.