We're at the grocery store, me and V. She needs more bubble bath. So I ask her, "Do you want Dora, Elmo, the Hulk, Cars, Mr. Bubble, Princesses, or Spiderman?" She looks at all her choices for a good minute. So many colors, so many options. I start to get impatient, "Which one, V?!" Finally she says, "But they're all so pretty!"
Never a good sleeper, for the longest time V nursed to sleep in our bed. Finally, at 28 months old, we'd nurse for a few minutes and then she'd get in her crib and sleep there for a few hours before coming to our bed. Now she goes to sleep in her own twin bed. We don't nurse until later, when she comes to our bed and she's too sleepy and cranky to keep her feelings in check. Our routine is this: read two books, get into bed with at least one of the books, arrange animals, lights off, R or I count to 100, then we leave her to fall asleep on her own. The counting really helps her get ready for the few hours of separation. I lay down on the bed to count and she hugs my arm, "I'll have you Mama," she says. I know she'd rather nurse, but I need a break. I need it to end sooner rather than later. It's difficult for the both of us.
Sitting at the table having lunch, V says, "Two plus two is four." She's been saying that for a while now, but then when you'd ask her what three plus two is (or anything else), she'd still say four. "That's right," I say, "but what's three plus two? Do you know?" "Yes," she says, and she thinks for a moment longer. "Five." "You're right, it's five. So then what's five plus two?" ... "Do you know?" "Yes," she says. She looks at one of her hands, fingers spread wide. "Seven," she announces. R and I look at each other, a little shocked. "Ok, well what's five minus three?" She thinks. "It's two." I look at her and think, I hope she's always this fearless with numbers.