“Bella!” I yell up the stairs. “Please come down here and pick up your toys, they’re going to be here any minute!” My friend from high school who was also my roommate in college is coming over in a half hour. She is bringing along her newborn daughter, Lisa. Of course, like any other time I have someone over, the house is a mess. It looks like a Little Bella tornado went tearing through it. Survivors are doubtful.
She doesn’t respond, so I call after her again, and finally she makes gallops down the stairs and starts to clean up her doll clothes. In between each pile she picks up she does a ballet move, swaying from one pile to the next.
“What are you doing Bella?” I ask.
“I’m practicing,” She sings.
“For what?” I ask, interested to see where she goes with this, since she isn’t having any sort of formal recital anytime in the near future.
“For my dance, mom! I’m going to dance for Lisa when she comes over!” she twirls around to the other side of the living room. “She’s going to love it!”
“I’m sure she will!” I tell her and go off into the kitchen to finish preparing our snacks.
Minutes later the doorbell rings and a have to run in order to get to the door before Little Bella. I’m working on teaching her stranger danger, and that includes the front door. Last week she opened the door for a delivery man, it was quite unnerving to see how quickly and easily she was able to open it up to someone she didn’t know.
I swing the door open and reveal my best friend, Trisha. We share the usual corny squeal and hug and I usher her into the house, where she carries in her baby in her cozy pink car seat and makes a big deal over Bella, swinging her around while Bella laughs her head off. Once Trisha puts Little Bella back down on the ground, Bella tentatively walks over to baby Lisa, she has been excited about Lisa, but she has never met a baby before, and is unsure what to expect of someone so little, tiny and fragile.
I bring out the snacks I prepared and Trisha and I catch up while I cuddle her beautiful baby girl. Little Bella sits to my side, quietly observing Lisa. Suddenly she pops up off the couch and announces that she has a special “predent”, her word for present, for Lisa.
“You do? That is just so sweet of you Miss Bella!” Trisha muses.
“Let’s see it, Lisa is watching,” I say. I watch Little Bella walk to the center of the room and start to twirl around the room and skips from one corner to the other, with a big smile on her face. She spins four more times around and gracefully gallops over to Lisa, stepping a little too close, too suddenly and stomps her feet for a finale. But what she doesn’t realize, is that that could startle baby Lisa and she runs away, frightened when Lisa lets out a cry. Trisha jumps up and assures me that she has Bella handled if I will rock Lisa. She would love a try at comforting a child Bella’s age, since Lisa will be that age before she knows it, and will have to settle things like this all the time.
I rock Lisa and try to soothe her cries. I can’t help thinking back to when Little Bella was this little, she always loved being rocked, in fact, she would do it all day long if she could. The only reason she’d take a break was because she fell asleep mid-rock. I hear the hushed tones of Trisha talking to Little Bella, telling her that everything is okay, and Lisa is fine. I hear the sound of Little Bella’s laugh and Trisha comes out looking triumphant. She succeeded in making her happy and fixing the situation. And Little Bella comes out smiling and sits down next to me, once again.
“I’m sorry Lisa!” Little Bella whispers to the now calm baby Lisa.
“I think she forgives you, in fact, I believe she would like to see your dance again…but quieter this time,” I tell her.
This sends her tiptoeing to the center of the room again and she quietly jumps and twirls, and very smartly does not stomp on the ground near the baby. Lisa kicks in my lap, and is without a tear. Little Bella is relieved, and Little Bella takes a bow.