Portrait of Play, Week 49


Winnie might just be the happiest human I have ever met. She is so social and definitely gets her energy from interactions with others. While I was watching them, anytime I caught Winnie’s eye or she saw me taking her picture, she would look up at me with the biggest smile and crawl over to me. Charlotte worked quietly while Winnie worked around her loudly, “ba, ba, ba-ing” all over the kitchen, trying out different volumes and pitches while spilling colored pencils and markers all over the floor. Cabinet doors (which I bumped to the top of James’ finish the house priority list recently) will soon take that thrill away from Winnie. Meanwhile, Charlotte gets a year-old mini candy cane each time she cleans them all up for me. Play kitchens are probably Charlotte’s favorite prop for imaginative play. If we had more space, I’d love to give her a whole set up, but the refrigerator that was her dad’s growing up works just as well, complete with food items with now vintage labels. Charlotte asked to get out the play dough and proceeded to to make a play dough sandwich while sucking on the front of her turtleneck until it was soaked through. She’s always got something in her mouth these days, so much that I even had to look up if there were still molars that she could get (nope). Of course, Winnie is putting everything in her mouth these days as well…her one bottom tooth is waiting patiently for its partner to show up. She continued grabbing things, putting them in her mouth, throwing them on the floor, and looking at me to engage. I had to work to get Charlotte to engage as a baby. Charlotte and I are both prone to getting lost in our head space, and I have to be intentional about engaging. I rely on the outgoing nature of others to initiate (and sustain) communication, and Winnie does that for me. The way I respond to her is so different than how I respond to Charlotte. Nature affecting nurture affecting nature. I like how Charlotte’s admiration and affection have to be carefully earned, while Winnie exudes adoration for you (making you feel like you’re her favorite person in the world). It’s got me thinking a lot about how I will nurture and celebrate their differences as they grow more into themselves and very possibly more different from one another without defining them by their differences. I don’t suppose it’s an easy endeavor.




















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