I was reminded of something very dear to me last weekend. It’s so important to let our children have an opportunity to lead US. So much time is spent (wasted) trying to get kids to do what we want them to do, dress how we want them to dress, play how we want them to play, act how we want them to act, smile | stand | sit how we want them to for our photos, for others, for our selves. I see so many people trying to control everything around them–including their children, spouses, family–and it is driving everyone crazy, including themselves.
Children are people too.
We visited the Detroit Zoo last weekend and I gave Wren the map and let her lead us for the day. Of course I had to say “no” to most of the ice cream stands and gift shops we walked past, but that’s about where I drew the line. Otherwise, we saw the animals that she wanted to see, we took the paths she wanted to take and we saw the penguins twice. Why not?
It’s so vital that we let our children have these kind of opportunities. How else do they learn to lead and feel confident in their choices? So what if we didn’t see the monkeys.
Phoebe Jane is 22 months old now. Oh, one, where are you going? You’re getting away from me too quickly. I just love this year from one to two. And of course there’s magic and wonder and all of the above in two to three, but there’s also a tiny bit of dread. Baby is going away. Toddler of two? Oh my.
Truth be told, a held a dear friend’s less-than-24-hours-old baby boy and Phoebe–while still tiny–is clearly NOT a baby anymore. She runs and jumps and climbs, talks more and more every day, is quick with a smile and giggle, loves to use the potty (!) and dance, kick the soccer ball and swing HIGH. Sometimes she’s like a train wreck. Often she’s a sweet snuggle, a wide-eyed ray of pure sunshine. We love you, darling little birdie.
Punzel’s Scandinavian: Magical, delightful, enchanting, strange. Wren and I had a date on a misty early August afternoon to Punzel’s and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. It’s gotten in my (wannabe Scandinavian) blood… with its nordic elves, trolls and fairies.
It beckons us to come back. To wander the gardens, to do a tour, to eat edible flowers, to buy more lovely nordic fairy tales or maybe just to escape somewhere that’s close, but feels far away. Odd and whimsical = perfect!
This little nordic fairy land is one part overgrown magical forest with trolls and legendary creatures, one part Scandinavian handicraft lover’s dream (I love you IKEA, but Punzel’s is the real deal) and one part THE very best selection of kids books around. The only problem is that some of the kids book prices are actually marked UP from the printed price, which as you know is even higher than the online price… but I digress.
Because, um, the pink, hand-carved and hand-painted horse got our attention! This turned into Wren’s little pocket treasure…
There are a lot of things at Punzel’s I just can’t explain. But through the eyes of an imaginative four year old, it’s just heavenly. Every time you turn around there’s another path to skip down, little carved creatures to see and giant toadstools to sit in. I mean, really, where does someone even find a huge fabricated toadstool like this?
But wait, there’s a bit more. There are heart-shaped ponds, waterfalls and rivers.
Funky sculptures hidden in the grasses.
And mossy swings to enjoy.
We’ll be back for their Fika, an edible flower luncheon in the “cave.” And probably to do some Christmas shopping for some special gifts for some little birdies I know… Thanks again, Punzel’s! Thanks for keeping it strange in the greater Buckley area.
Growing up big, strong and extra squirrely, these two little birdie loves of mine.
Big tree, little birdies
different tree, same little birdies
Time keeps marching (skipping, jumping) on with the little birdies. Just trying to keep up and savor this spirited, fleeting time…
This is usually my favorite time of summer: the Big Lake’s warmed up enough for some real swimming, the garden is big and green and the blueberries are ready for picking. For the last few years we’ve picked blueberries, but this year we haven’t picked any yet because it’s been cool and drizzly and the berries have been slow to ripen. Perfect weather for reading a new book instead, right?
Introducing Peter in Blueberry Land, one of our new favorites. Blogger, Writer, Mama, Gardener, Photographer Zane first turned us on to the enchanting books of Elsa Beskow last year with The Sun Egg. Beskow’s illustrations are beautiful and her stories are magical. I might just have to begin a new collection…
The book might have had me at one of the first scenes when Peter gets whisked off to Blueberry Land and the squirrels appear to carry the baskets for the children of Blueberry Land. Now that’s more like the kind of squirrel we need instead of the kind that eat all of our strawberries right when they’re almost ripe enough for human consumption. Or munch on our beautiful eggplant. I digress.
A little while later we’re introduced to Mrs. Cranberry and her little cranberry girls. This is one of Wren’s favorite images in the book. I particularly like their red shoes and rosy cheeks.
I won’t spoil the story for you; you’ll have to order it yourself. I actually picked up a lap-sized copy of it when Wren and I visited Punzel’s Scandinavian a couple weeks ago. I promise to write about it soon, but for now we’re off to read about Peter’s magical trip to Blueberry Land. Again.
I’m ba-ack. Sort of, well, I think. I’m making no promises. I almost forgot my login credentials, that’s how long I’ve been on blogging hiatus. It wasn’t intended, but it just kept going. And going. And going. And pretty soon, I was gone. No, I wasn’t even unplugged. I just wasn’t blogging. There were moments in the last few months that I stopped and thought, “I have to write about this, capture this.” But life goes on. I’ve got hundreds of photos and funny quotes, stories, insights, video clips from the last few months. I wonder, do I create a recap post, or just move on? Maybe a little of both…
Are you still here with me? Thanks for clicking in. And cheers to a wonderful summer, lovelies. I hope you’ve had some sandy toes.
It’s so exciting to see Wren begin to legibly and confidently write letters and show an interest in learning to read. She’s always loved books and wants to read a mountain of books every night before bed. After intense negotiations, we usually settle on three because that’s about all I can keep my eyes open for before she starts nudging me to stay awake.
We’re going to be starting the DISTAR reading method soon to capitalize on her interest in learning to read. I checked out Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons from our library and we’ll be jumping into it soon. Hopefully this will complement the Montessori pre-reading work she’s been doing in school. Wren and I are both excited. We’ll see how it goes. If she doesn’t enjoy the 20 minute lessons, I’ll set the book down and try again later. We’re not in a rush, but I wanted to strike while the iron’s hot, as they say. Here.we.go!
Any early reading advice, lovelies?