The main thing my sister Pamela brings on her visits is time: time to read lots of books, time to have extended tea parties, time to go for walks, time to sing and tell stories, and time to play with puzzles and games. Granted, she’s a little tight for time when it comes to the whole business of Ella pooping on the potty, but that’s only fair.
Where I tend to rush through tasks, streamlining as I go, Mimi takes a breath and lets her niece take the lead. So during Pam’s visit, Daddy discovered that Ella is perfectly capable of dressing herself– she just needed the practice. And since my sister also happens to be a genius Reading Specialist, she took the time to help The Girlie with her ‘kuh’ sounds, encouraging her to cough to get that back-of-the-throat sound, then applying the skill to words and phrases. Which led to all of us trying to think of words that start with ‘c’ and ‘k’ to let her show off. One favorite phrase of Ella’s is ‘chamomile tea’ (it’s a long story involving a sick bunny and a cranky farmer), and where she used to say ‘tamomile tea’, she substituted the correct sound, to her great delight. Turns out she’s heard it right all along, and just didn’t know how to make the sound until Aunt Mimi gave her the keys.
So now she is strutting around the house in her backward pajamas repeating the phrase, ‘chamomile tea’ and looking so proud of herself. And we have Aunt Mimi to thank.