When Bella was a baby she called flowers Mamu... I can't really say where it came from - Tony and I used to think it was a combination of Flower and Mommy because she knew that I had painted the flowers on her bathroom wall.  We still laugh about the night when we had both girls in the tub.  They were about 1 1/2 years old.  Emma pointed to one of the flowers on the shower curtain and said "flow-wuh".  Belle smiled and clapped:  "Mamu!"

The funny part was that Amabelle was really amazing with her vocabulary - there weren't many words that proved a challenge to her.
"Flower" Tony guided

She has since mastered the word flower, and also regularly identifies iris', forsythia, tulips, roses... Bella still loves her flowers, but those little fingers frequently reach out to grab the pretty blooms, which she pets and cuddles to her cheek.  She loves to collect most anything, but pretty things make her very very happy.  I can see the physical strain that it takes her to not reach out and grab these things close to her.

On Friday, while Auntie Carole had Emma, Jack, and Alex outside playing in the garden, Amabelle uncharacteristically said she wanted to stay inside.  Being a totally lovely person, Auntie didn't push the issue at all... but then Daddy came home and dropped the hammer - as is sometimes want to happen.  And so Mean Ol' Daddy switched off the TV, ordered shoes on, and told or oldest that she should go outside and get some fresh air.

"But my friends aren't out there", she cried.
And then Daddy went soft and promised Amabelle a new friend if she went out to play.  Unbeknownst to Tony - Auntie had been waging her own private battle to save the great outdoors (or at least the 8 foot section that is gated in our front yard) for the past hour.  I image her running from boy to boy and encouraging them to be nice to the baby plants, No no, don't tear the leaves, don't sit on them! AH!  (It really is a difficult battle - I've seen it first hand and those plants don't stand a chance.)  Then out comes Amabelle with her Daddy - and they proceed to snap off an Iris for Belle to keep as her own.  Her own personal Mamu - A bribe for fresh air.

I didn't get to check with Auntie to see if this had any repercussions on the rest of the gang - did they revolt?  Insist on their own Mamu's?  I do know that shortly there after Auntie had to raise the white flag and bring the troops indoors for lunch - giving the flowers a chance to recuperate before they were descended upon again after dinner.

But Amabelle's flower?  It played outside, came up to tubs, took naps, and slept by her bedside.    She was so pleased with her personal flower.  Tony and I, in general, are 100% against the bribe - a gift for anything that we say is the rule.  And yet I know there are times when we both do it.  So was a fair trade for some fresh air?  It's hard to say, it would probably depend on the time of the month for me (if you know what I'm saying), but it sure did make our Amabelle happy.  And someday's that's worth quite a bit.

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