About four years ago a tiny little baby arrived into our lives.
She was the delicate preemie newborn daughter of our neighbours. After her arrival on the planet, Little One spent several months in hospital receiving special care in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Finally, she arrived home to our neighbourhood.
We were wide-eyed and slack jawed in disbelief at the beauty of this miniature wee person. We were in love. Little One loved my husband best. She instantly stopped fussing for him as soon as he picked her up. She'd snuggled up and sleep in his arms ever so contentedly. However, I suspect sleeping was a self-defense mechanism. Husband didn't sing lullabies to Little One. He sang a variety of Rolling Stones, Steppenwolf and Led Zeppelin tunes to her. You'd not want hear his renditions and me thinks neither did she.
Little One's mother was more than gracious about sharing her tiny daughter with us. So, we had many blissful hours of time with Little One.
Then, economics required that the family move away. It was horrible for us. We really missed Little One.
One day this week past there was a definitive knock on our front door and ta da! guess who was standing there -- and from the second she came in the house it was like old times -- a play date.
First, she had a juice box and then examined the old toy box to see if all was in order. Phew! We passed the test.
Soon she tired of looking at her old babyhood toys and was pleased when she found some Dora the Explorer kidz cards. So, Husband and Little One played Go Fish! Crazy Eights and a couple of games that Little One made up as the games progressed. (Little One has an astonishing vocabulary and counts to 20!)
After cards Husband and Little One had their traditional breakfast. Eggs (poached, of course)and toast with lots of jam. Energy renewed it was time to play again.
Husband patiently played Paper Doll game. He endlessly used the spinner as they made a game of finding which clothes the paper dolls needed to dress-up for their various adventures. While the directions on the box suggest the first player to collect a top, bottoms, shoes, hat, bag and appropriate hobby is the winner. It wasn't like that the other day. Rather, it was a show of Little One's leadership skills. She told Husband what to put on the dolls at every move. He was amazingly good-natured about the whole thing.
Mind you, at least once I heard him say under his breath, "you're sure a bossy little girl."
To his immense relief Little One did finally tire of the Paper Doll Game. But she is not a child that naps.
After Paper Doll Game it was time to colour. A lot of pages got coloured in our jumbo colouring book. Me thinks Husband would have been thrilled if we'd been the proud owners of a colouring book with a lot less pages.
Little One saved the best for last. She found an old plastic chess set. (It has a lot of missing pieces). To our amazement Little One knew that the pieces needed to go on the board in some sort of special order and she asked Husband to do that for them. He did.
That was the last moment that anything like a traditional chess game was seen or heard. This was definitely Chess Mutation. There were determinate rules. But guess who made the rules? She also governed the movement of the pieces and it was all about the knights.
Little One insisted that Husband be the sound guy. He was charged with making appropriate neighs, whinnies and snorts as Little One directed, "This is a Mommy horse and she is going to visit her baby horse." "This horse wants to go and be with her friend."
There was a lot of horseplay.
Husband patiently did as he was told, although there was unmistakable mischief in some of the horse sounds.
After all that play time, Little One's daddy came to fetch her and take her back over to Grandpa's place.
A few minutes later I saw Little One on her trike, rapidly peddling down the street, her grandpa running along beside her.
Husband didn't get to see Little One taking grandpa out for a fitness run. By that time, Husband was sound asleep. He needed a nap.