About a week ago Linda's daughter was playing with a doll, cradling it in her arms like a baby, and she said to Linda, "This is my baby. I love babies! Mom, how can I get more babies?"
Linda explained to her that when she finds a boy that she really, really likes, in the future she can maybe have babies with that boy.
The daughter exclaimed loudly, "I know who I like! I like Zack**!" (Zack is her one-year-old brother)
Linda then explained to her that it can't be Zack - it would need to be someone who her daughter isn't related to.
The little girl quietened down to have a little think and after a while, said with certainty, "Well it will have to be [The Kid] then, he is the nicest boy I know!"
* her name is not really Linda, but I don't want to use her real name, so - Linda she is.
** and Zack isn't really Zack, but I don't want to use his real name either
I came to drop The Kid off at preschool one morning and they had a bunch of jigsaws laid out on one of the tables. I knelt down and together with The Kid we promptly started putting the jigsaws together, audibly delighted by the multitude of emergency vehicles printed on the jigsaws - fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, all such wonderful vehicles to make sounds to. (ie, Nee-naa-nee-naa-nee-naa! goes the fire truck.)
I was about to finish mine when I realised I had an audience of four preschoolers watching what I was doing. I smiled politely and said I would let them do the jigsaws now, they have probably wanted to put them together themselves; I then stood up and apologised to the teacher for having put one together like that, that they were probably meant for the children instead.
And the teacher laughed and said that actually, it is okay. It is good for children to see adults get so excited about solving puzzles. It models the behavior.
It then reminded me of a... swim teacher at our local swimming pool.
When I first saw her I was somewhat... stunned as I had never come across a swim teacher like that, but the more I see her at the swimming pool now, the more it is making sense to me.
You see, the lady is, how do I put it now... obese. I mean, really, really obese. She has a tiny head propped on top of this ship-like body and doubt that she has been able to see her lady bits in a very long time, not without the help of a mirror anyway.
But she teaches swimming, and runs aqua-gym classes.
She patiently swings her arms and lifts her legs to the tune of music whilst ladies in the water follow her lead, and it's showed me with much clarity that what that lady is doing is... modeling, and encouraging behavior.
I don't know the history of why she has ended up so obese to begin with, but what she is modeling now is that regardless of her body shape and the size of her swimming clothes, she belongs in that gym. It's not what she's done yesterday - the history of why she has become obese - but what she's doing today.
And it has also made me realise that it probably encourages other people of such varied body shapes and sizes to attend gym; it reinforces the normalcy of moving, and that a person doesn't already have to be in good shape to start attending gym classes.
And it's made me very grateful for whoever's hired her, because it's been a great decision.