Ella has well entered the more observant, discovery phase. If she sees her cousins doing something, it's not long before she's mimicking them. She grabs the PS4 controller or the remote and immediately starts pressing buttons and looking at the TV waiting for something to happen. She'll drop a block, see it roll on the floor, and try to recreate the event. She knows loading/unloading the dishwasher routine and helps me load the laundry in the washer. This is a fun phase to watch her go through, but with discovery can come tested patience and unexpected clean-ups. And these are two things that can get that little internal twinge of needing order to freak out.
Ella's recently discovered that if she tips her sippy cup at the right angle and presses the spout on the table, big water droplets will come out. And this kid loves water. I've found her plenty of times sitting on the floor or standing at a side table tipping her sippy cup upside down and playing with any water that comes out. And I, of course, nearly every time remind her that sippy cups are for drinking, not playing.
And so this morning when I found her getting herself into some water fun, I was right there behind her, towel in hand, ready to clean up. And I stopped myself. What I saw as a little spilled water on a coffee table, Ella saw as a moment of discovery that was bringing her true joy. It wasn't hurting anything and we had no where to be, so I sat down with her and played.
As a mom, I try to savor these particular moments. I try to catch myself when my immediate thought is, go grab the towel, because I've found these are the moments Ella cherishes as a little 15-month-old. Organized activities haven't (so far) brought out that same reaction. It's when she's making things happen and seeing things happen on her own that brings out the most laughs and (excited) screams.
So I'll sit back and enjoy this phase. I know it will pass with a blink of an eye. She'll grow up, learn, and move on to those organized activities that will bring out new discovery and excitement. But for now, a lot of joy is found in the unexpected cleanups.