a toddler’s delight…

For all of her short lifetime, whenever Bubby has found some reason to cry (assuming she isn’t being naughty), we’ve brought her a “lambie” (sheepskin with very soft wool) for comfort. It used to be a bigger lambie, but it’s now been ripped into several smaller pieces. No matter. As long as a lambie is delivered, she begins to calm down, while she cuddles on your shoulder. So, she has learned that there are actual objects that make you feel better, not just her parents or her nanny.

Not long after she learned to walk, if she found one of her sisters crying, she would observe them with a look of serious concern on her face, and perhaps offer a hug. But it didn’t take her long to figure out what her sisters really needed to cuddle up to, when they were upset. In Sadie’s case, it’s her stuffed horsey, and her own green lambie. Or just one of them, but both is better. In Emmie’s case, it’s a worn out baby doll named Amy. The doll is quite beat up, and though both her eyes used to open and close, one of them doesn’t work anymore, giving her a slightly crazy look. Nevertheless, that doll is what she wants when she’s upset.

Bub has this figured out, and it’s both funny AND absolutely precious to see her, especially from my vantage point of trying to calm down one of the crying children. Bubby will look, realize something’s wrong, and then run off (at ever faster speeds). Within a few minutes, she’ll be back, dragging the perfect comfort object. Since Sadie’s lambie is almost as big as Bub, it usually takes her two trips to retrieve them. Sadie and Emmie, depending on what they’re upset about, are not always receptive about the gift. If they’re crying because they can’t have something they want, they’ll likely push away the offering, but Bubby is never deterred, and the resident adult usually tells the kids to thank her, anyway.

Tonight, Emmie took a fall and wanted her dad, so I took Bubby off his hands, and then to distract her, Bea tried to get Bub to play with her. Most toddlers would have loved the idea of running and jumping on their older sister, at the first offer. But Bubby either didn’t hear, or wasn’t interested, watched Emmie with concern, and then turned to run out of the room. I quickly followed, because I happened to know that the baby doll, Amy, was on Em’s bunk. Bub’s not supposed to climb the ladder to Em’s bunk, though she does it anyway, whenever she thinks no one’s looking.

I’m not sure if she was making assumptions, or if Bub had seen me put the doll up there, but she knew it was on the bunk, and upon seeing me come in, did that “uhn uh” noise that means “I need that, and fast!”. Obviously, the situation was too desperate to climb up, when there’s a grownup standing by. I handed Amy to her, and she hurried back out of the room, carrying the baby doll (also, almost as big as she is) to the rescue of her dear sister. Emmie was very appreciative, this time, and I was deeply touched by Bub’s concern trumping an opportunity to play.

Of course, my delight over her thoughtfulness and cuteness were a little offset, when I found that she’d gotten into my room (yes, she’s able to reach my door handle, now), climbed up on my desk chair, and dumped some of my cookies on the floor. I wasn’t upset that my snacks were dropped, so much as that she could’ve busted something else, without realizing it.

But you know, such is life with a toddler in the house. Always a joy, often a trial. Boy, I’m going to miss my Bubby.

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