So please indulge me as I now do exactly that, just a little bit. Because I seem to see Dash's personality emerging anew these days, and it's amazing. I don't know if this is how he'll be as he grows up, or if it's just another step along the way, but I love it. He was an active baby, always on the go, kicking hard from the very start. (And I mean the very start. Before he was even out, he'd take my breath away with the thumps.) He was the sort of toddler who's like a wind-up force of destruction: put him down and he was off, straight into the nearest thing he could pull down and take apart. He was a preschooler who couldn't be left alone with a non-board-book: he would just rip them up, because they were there and he could. His paintings at nursery school were huge swathes of black, his drawings were scribbles, his scissor skills lacked accuracy. In short, his fine motor skills had not yet caught up with his gross ones. Which is pretty much the norm for a boy of his age.
Then there was the valley of four-and-a-half, this time last year, when an ocean of self-consciousness swept over him and he was almost swallowed up by the embarassment and terror of just being, especially in public, and life was difficult for a while. This year he's emerging like that most cliched butterfly from a chrysalis, and contrary to everything I expected as I watched him grow, it seems that maybe here I have the bookish child I always not-so-secretly hoped for, after all.
He's still active - his favourite thing at the moment is to ride his bike round and round in ever decreasing circles, and he wants a Razor scooter for Christmas. But it seems his fingers have finally caught up with his imagination. He can happily spend ten minutes at a time (which is an age, for him - he runs on dog years, I think; except when in the bathroom, at which point endless aeons telescope into mere seconds as he stares into space and forgets why he's there) drawing a huge-armed person, or an intricate pattern, and colouring it in carefully, and even labelling it; or painstakingly writing a two-line story, asking at every word how it should be spelled.
[Sample story, intriguingly entitled "How the Hoverbike was Invented". "Once upon a time the scientist invented a new machine. It was a hoverbike." Brief, and to the point, if somewhat lacking in the detail I was so hoping for. Also, "How God Made the World: God made the world by the big bang." Fascinating stuff, from the child of two atheist agnostic ex-Catholics.
Related aside: Mabel came upstairs yesterday while I was getting dressed, turned on the bedside light, and announced, "God created the world!" I was a little startled. I came down to discover Dash had just written the above story, which explains it to some extent, but her let-there-be-light moment was entirely spontaneous. Spooky.]
Anyway. Today we went to the National Harbour, which was very nice, if a little more commercial than I was expecting, what with all the shops, and the frankly Vegas-esque feeling of the convention center, and we thought we might stay for the lighting of the tree. (We didn't, because they spent so long getting around to it that it was time to go home before they'd started. It was still very pretty, though.)
|Tree, pre-lighting; harbour; sunset.|
I love this kid. I can't wait to see what he does next.
(And while I'm at it, here are Mabel and her dad, for your further entertainment.