And now for some pictures.
Richard the younger and Kim threw a Halloween party for their friends’ and her sister’s kids and rented a bouncy house for while the grownups visited. Makes it easy to keep an eye on them all while keeping them happy. The costumes got shown off, with Hudson wriggling in and out of his several times.
We were warned before we left that Maddy has firm ideas and she does not allow her aunt to pick her up and not to be disappointed, that’s just how it was. So it didn’t feel quite so bad when I got in the car next to her at the airport when we arrived, hoping she would recognize us from our Skype chats, that she looked at me like how dare you and cried. When I offered her a flamingo fingerpuppet, she arched hard away and screamed inconsolably. A little bit of soft soothing singing? Okay, not so much. Time to focus elsewhere and let her have her space a moment.
She might not talk much but she understands plenty. So after lots of rounds of peek-a-boo after we got home that got her smiling, I asked her questions. Maddy? Do you want to…?
Do you want to…?
Do you want to…?
It wasn’t long before one of those questions was, Do you want to hold my hand? to go outside and inspect that newly-arisen bouncy house, and there was her arm reaching up towards mine. We walked out hand in hand.
Maddy? Do you want me to pick you up?
And she let me pick her up.
Do you want to go in the bouncy house? (Photo from the umpteenth go-round later.)
She wanted to try to climb in herself, but the entry leaked and sagged a little and made it hard to push off from. I helped her up.
And from there she let me pick her up quite a few times. Several of those times she asked for Ma Ma or Da Da and I took her straight to them.
She decided I was quite alright.
I kicked off my shoes and got in there with the kids for awhile.
After being bounced all over by the bigger kids, suddenly it was just Hudson in there with her (and me, but I was sitting down just then) and it became clear that Maddy had just hatched an idea. A personal challenge.
She stood up and walked careful step by uncertain step down one raised blue row that wobbled a little underneath her. Hudson bounced. She did not fall down this time when he did. I held still for her. On the other side of the wall the bigger kids were leaping onto and down the slide and it was a little like balancing on Jello.
She turned, wavered, almost fell but didn’t, and still staying in that one lane she walked back the other way faster. Then she turned at the end again without a flaw and without touching the walls and this time she ran joyfully back–she could do it! She could stay in the lane and stay upright! I mentioned it to Kim, who was just then coming over, so she could know why Maddy was so proud of herself and share in the moment.
Cousin Hayes (yes that Hayes, and he’s totally fine long since) is in the orange shirt. He and Hudson, three months apart, are best buddies.
What was amazing was how energetic Hudson was: he’d had a 103.5 fever and a trip to the doctor the day before, and the kids had warned us in case we wanted to cancel the trip.
Had it been anyone else, but no. I grinned, I don’t scare off that easy!
We’re both slightly under the weather today. We earned it, and we’d do it again any day any time.
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