This extremely busy week has tired me out. It’s worth it–every day, there have been specific moments when I marveled at how Elena is growing, and I think that all the things we do together contribute to her development. I’ll illustrate with just one vignette from the beginning of the week.
According to Jenny, Elena’s become a planner. Her last thoughts before nap time often turn to ideas about what she’s going to do afterward. On Monday, she decided that she and I were going to go for a run after she woke up, which Jenny relayed to me when we spoke to each other on the phone. At some point Jenny also told Elena that they would go to the store and get a treat.
I got home later than I had hoped and was already tired, then we had some other things to do, and all of a sudden we were eating a late dinner and hadn’t gone for a run. Before dinner I told Elena that we could probably do one of the two things but not both. Then during dinner I had an idea. A seasonal ice cream stand is located near us, and I realized that if we ran one of our normal routes in the opposite direction we could make the run there a good distance. Elena was so happy to hear that we could go for a run and still go to the ice cream store, as she calls it.
We made it there right on schedule. Elena cheered me up the hills again, and needed even less prompting. She was motivated by the hope of ice cream. Jenny drove down and met us; she’s the one who suggested the treat, and I wouldn’t have been able to run back home very well after the treat. Elena behaved herself very well, whether it was standing in line, observing the other patrons while we ate, or taking our empty cups and licked-clean spoons to the trash can without us even asking her. My only fear is that she might assume that future runs will also include an ice cream stop. It might take her a few trips to flush that idea out of her system.