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“Look, Grandma! When I do this, the chairs move around! They go over there!” Jet pointed to the other side of the room as she spread her arms and twirled.

“Does it make you dizzy?”

“Yes!” She entertained herself for several more minutes spinning until she tumbled to the floor. I debated trying to help her understand that the chairs didn’t actually move, but I didn’t want to spoil the fun. She’s growing too fast as it is.

We enjoyed some sunny walks this week thanks to an unusually warm spell. We found daffodils blooming in the yard as well as several spots where rabbits had eaten sprouting tulip leaves to the ground.   “Grandma doesn’t like those bad rabbits that eat her flowers!” Jet informed my next-door neighbor. He told her he felt the same way.

As we ventured out into the neighborhood, Jet was excited to see that many yards were littered with sticks that had fallen from a brisk wind the night before.   “I’m gonna get these for Papa! We can put them in the back yard behind the shed!” She had helped her grandpa in the yard last summer and fall but apparently remembered tree debris as something that made him deliriously happy. From her perspective, Papa loved sticks and the tree lawns were littered with his future delight.

Soon her little hands were full of twigs, so she put them down and filled her pockets with shorter pieces. When her gaze fixed on a hefty-looking branch I intervened: “That one is just too big for us.” I repeated it again while she considered her options.

Sticks for Papa

Sticks for Papa

Happily she saw the wisdom in my pronouncement and re-gathered her initial load. She trudged along happily, occasionally trading out an inferior selection for something a little more impressive.

Suddenly she looked at me with alarm. I recognized that look: the toilet was far, far away! I scooped her up in my arms. “Do you need to go potty?”

“Yes.” Her face scrunched up in the beginnings of a cry.

“It’s okay. We talked about this before we left the house… remember? You went potty first, but sometimes things like this happen. It’s okay. You can try to hold it, but if you can’t, it’s still okay.”

“I can hold onto it.”

“Okay. Let’s go home now. Don’t worry. It will be okay.”

Jet trudged forward. After a few minutes she put down one of her sticks, then another. Then she asked to be picked up again. “Carry me. Please?”

“I can’t sweetie. You’re just too heavy for me to carry.”

She let the rest of the sticks drop. “I’m gonna leave these right here. We can get them tomorrow.”

“Okay. You can leave them here.” I felt some small measure of guilt that we had dropped the sticks in a treeless yard. Jet soldiered forward with a determined look on her face and made no further complaint. Somehow she made it home with her accident-free record still intact.