We just got home from a week at the cottage; at a cottage, I should say, a place we (or more accurately, Blake's parents) rented for a week up on Georgian Bay. The cottage was right on the beach, and we spent a restful week playing in the water, sitting on the beach, eating corn and ice cream and making sand castles.
The first day we were there Cordelia started standing on her own, and she spent the rest of the week practicing; she can stay up for about twenty seconds before she plops down onto her bottom. As soon as we got home we set her up with Delphine's old push cart thing, and she loves to zoom around with it (although she can't steer yet — she goes in a straight line until she runs into something).
Delphine spent the week basking in all the attention from her Baba and Zaida, and conquering her fear of the water. She's scared of pretty much everything these days, so it was great for her to have an opportunity to confront something scary with the support of such tireless cheerleaders. And she did great — by the end of the week she was happily walking into the lake by herself, jumping over waves and playing in the water.
Blake and I had a nice week too, as you can imagine with two extra sets of hands around to help look after the girls. We both got lots of reading done, and we fit in a romantic walk on the beach and a nice dinner as well.
Delphine also went through a lot of books; I packed a couple of Pooh books, a Stella and Sam book and another library book with a watery theme. Unfortunately the cottage we rented came ready-stocked with some crappy kids books which, of course, Delphine loved. (I have heard from a couple of sources that children will naturally gravitate towards quality books, but Delphine certainly doesn't; some of her favourite books are garbage and I have to "lose" them because I can't bear to read them any more.) Among a whole selection of lousy books (and a couple of good ones; a Robert Munsch and some Arthur books) at the cottage were picture-book-length adaptations of Disney's Aladdin, Disney's The Little Mermaid and Disney's The Jungle Book. (Spotting a trend here?) You can't really fit an hour and a half of movie into thirty paragraphs, so there was a lot of "Suddenly!" and sentences like "Aladdin tricked the genie into taking them out of the cave on a magic carpet," or "It took a lot of tricks for Baloo and Bagheera to free Mowgli from the monkeys!" I don't remember the movies, but something tells me that's at least fifteen minutes of film and no small amount of characterisation and action squeezed into one lousy little sentence.
Delphine's favourite of those three was Aladdin. Her favourite character was the genie, and her favourite line, which she repeated all week, was "Proceed! Touch nothing but the lamp!' which is a pretty great sentence when uttered completely out of any context in a very gruff voice by a three-foot-tall girl. "Proceed! Touch nuffing but da lamp!"
The girls each had their own bedroom at the cottage, and the result of that was that they both slept better; Cordelia was sleeping until 6:30 instead of 5:30, and Delphine started sleeping until after seven! I am pretty excited about buying a house now.
All in all, the week at the cottage was a success — we expect we will do it again next year, even Blake who hates the great outdoors. We will probably try and get a nicer cottage next year; this one was kind of, um, retro.