While watching the repair men fix my dad's sliding back doors (a rock got violent under the edger and smashed them up), we found all sorts of things that also caught our interest in the backyard. Salvatore found a praying mantis on his toys and we watched it dance and sway as it moved. Valentina yelled at every fly, worm and rollipolli she found. I killed one small spider that was hanging out on their slide but sent my dad to do the dirty work on the one the size of a quarter who was spinning a nasty web on the gate. A couple of blue jays on the grass and a huge flock of local green parrots flying overhead rounded out the adventure. Oh, and Valentina really missed the little cat because she kept calling for it and looking under the house.
She loves to go up and down the slide now all by herself. Truth is, we "accidentally" discovered she could do it by herself when she was 13 months old. She is less fearful than Salvatore at the same age. He learned to walk in the dead of winter and we were inside so much then. She has a totally different experience that she learned this spring and summer and wants to do everything her big brother can do, including tell stories that go on and on and on.