Gabi loves leaves and flowers. She loves to pick them, touch them, keep them in her pockets and to give them to people, though she usually takes them back. It's been a long time since we've been able to put a flower arrangement within her reach unattended. She will smell and touch everything in the vase until it is all laying smooshed on the table. In the last few weeks, my mom has let Gabi have her very own little vases to put her flowers in. Gabi takes the flowers out and walks them around on a regular basis, but so far they've ended up back in the vase every time. Progress!
I know this is a totally normal part of childhood. I don't mind dusting dried, cracked leaf bits out of pants pockets that are newly washed and dried, or finding smooshed wilted flowers stuck to random things around the house. I imagine all the brain paths being created in her little head as her fingers feel the texture of a new flower she's never felt before. What's been hard is teaching her the difference between things she can pick and things she can't. Like our neighbors roses. Actually, it's the petals that Gabi so desperately wants to pluck off, one by one, and fill her special box with.
There is also a plant with long green leaves right outside of our door, in the space between our and our neighbor's walkway. Gabi loves to pull those leaves off by grabbing the tips and leaning backwards with all her might. These leaves are strong, and this causes them to break off about midway down, and this plant is starting to look downright abused. Because it is.
We have told Gabi over and over again to not pull those leaves. Yesterday, she not only pulled, but left the leaves all over the sidewalk.
Grandma: Gabi! You need to pick up those leaves!
Gabi ignores my mom.
Grandma: Gabi, when you leave those leaves out there like that, the men who do our gardening have to pick them up. It just creates more work for them, and that's not fair.
This caught Gabi's attention, and she promptly went outside and started picking all the leaves up.
Grandma, to me: Ah, look at her. She's very sympathetic when others are involved.
Gabi runs in the house and tosses the leaves all over the living room floor, and then promptly runs off. My mom and I look at each other and start laughing. Apparently she's not very sympathetic to all the work it causes for ME!
I often wish we lived out in the country where Gabi could roam free, plucking and dissecting flowers and leaves to her heart's content. Despite its limitations, the front lawn will have to do for now.