Let’s all get Naked and be Frogs

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Nothing takes me back to when I was raising my kids as hearing stories about my grandkids. My oldest granddaughter, Avery, is two and a half. My daughter, Whitney, was babysitting Avery a few days ago while her mom (my daughter, Amber) was at work.

“Avery was hilarious today! She is so smart,” Whitney said, as she related the events of the day to me that evening.

Whitney proceeded to explain that she just loves the way Avery sees the world. While her auntie was working in the kitchen, Avery had used the potty and announced it to Whitney. At this point in potty-training, the Whitney praised her niece for a job well done.

“I made water!” Avery proudly announced. Whitney clapped.

“I can make more,” Avery advised. She looked up at Whitney as if worried she had not made enough “water.” I am sure Whitney advised her that whatever amount of “water” she produced is sufficient as long as it goes into the potty.

Whitney attempted to go back to what she was doing in the kitchen. It wasn’t long before Avery chose that day to figure out how to get past the childproof locks in the kitchen.

At this point, Whitney decided to distract the toddler and she put an educational video on the television and made a blanket fort with chairs and a big blanket. Blanket forts are something Avery loves.

What can be better than watching your favorite show from within a blanket fort?

Avery appeared to enjoy the fort television thing for a while, but soon she was calling for her auntie again.

After seeing what Avery had done to her blanket fort, Whitney later told me, “I did not know this until today, but apparently blanket forts come with new options that were not available when I was a kid.”

Avery had inverted the blanket so that the blanket went up the backs of the chairs.

“What is this, Avery?” Whitney asked.

“Bathtub.”

“Oh, and what are you doing now? What is that?” Whitney asked as she saw that Avery was busily gather tufts of the blankets around her legs.

“Bubbles.”

“Oh.”

Avery invited her auntie to join her in the blanket “bathtub.” Whitney gingerly climbed in and sat down.

“You want bubbles?” Avery asked.

“Sure.”

Avery went about tufting up blanket “bubbles” around Whitney’s legs.

Whitney said she eventually had to get other things done, so she left the blanket bathtub. Apparently, Avery had moved on to get other things done, as well. When Whitney turned around, Avery had stripped down naked and was hopping around the house on all fours.

Naturally, Whitney asked, “Avery, what are you doing?”

Avery advised Whitney she was a frog.

“Why did you take off your clothes?”

The answer was obvious. Frogs don’t wear clothes. Duh.

“Okay,” Whitney later told me. “I get that use of toddler logic.”

However, a few moments later, naked “Frog/Avery” had used one of the chairs of the fort/bathtub and managed to wedge herself beneath one and pull things around her to make a secure hidey-hole.

“What is this?” Whitney asked.

“Frog kennel,” Avery said.

Whitney told me, “Of all the amazing things her imagination came up with that day – I think ‘frog kennel’ impressed me the most.”

I think about the sheer bliss with which my granddaughters live every day. It had occurred to me when my children were little, but the older I get, the more the passage of time mystifies me with its savage grace and effortless beauty.

Sheer bliss and a sense of adventure can bleed out of you over the course of years. Children and funny pets can bring back that sense of childhood wonder and bliss. I think of how a song or a scent can trigger powerful memories. My children and grandchildren do that for me – they bring back my childhood.

We all need that bliss. In a sense, I guess we all need to get naked and be frogs every once in a while.

Thanks for the life lesson, Avery.