One of the first books my parents read to Madeline at there house was the original Olivia by Ian Falconer. There is something magical about that book for Madeline and my mom in particular.
When Madeline had just turned two she knew many of the pages by heart and hearing a 2 year old 'read' Falconer's words is precious. To continue the theme, Madeline got this for Christmas from my parents.
For the first time she will play alone without trying to engage me. Because of the very small pieces (much too small for Lydia) Madeline plays with this house/pirate ship at the dining room table and she will play, alone, for 20 or 30 minutes at a time.
Although she has a lot of fun playing with it I really think I have more fun listening to her imagination at work.
On this particular day, Olivia was having chicken for dinner in her bedroom because her mother had sent her out of the kitchen for being a wild animal.
I just don't have the heart to tell her that serving a whole parrot isn't really that appetizing.