Wednesday, August 23, 2006

C's new favorite song

C has not yet fully explored all the CDs I gave him for his birthday, so it was not until this week he discovered this song. He loves it so much that I was trying to come up with other songs that reference money for him, but I deemed the obvious Pink Floyd and Dire Straits picks marginally inappropriate due to language. This one has subject matter issues, alas.

the name game

A enjoys the name game so much that she believes it is only common courtesy to say "thank you bo-bank you" and "welcome bo-belcome."

Friday, August 18, 2006

A's poem

Based on the view from our deck, A composed and recited this to herself over and over:

Crescent moon
Blue sky
Green trees

She's having a lot of fun with language. From the time she could talk, she intentionally played with words, and made up rhyming words, like "Paco-maco-paco-pie." She continues to make up words to rhyme with many of the things we say, and clearly sees it as a fun game. She can insert her own words in the name game correctly (more fluently than her father, I suspect).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

caught getting along :) Posted by Picasa

summertime... Posted by Picasa

telling time

Since we grew sick of C's constant questions about when things are going to happen, how long until this or that, and his requests to warn him 30, 15, and 5 minutes before bedtime, we've been teaching him to tell time. He's had the general gist of it for several months now, but in the past two weeks something clicked and he can tell time fluently. In addition to knowing the current time, he can calculate how many minutes to the next hour, etc. in his head. While very exciting, we're a bit perturbed- without secretly changing all the clocks in the house, we can no longer send him to bed early without his knowledge.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

book review

"We Help Daddy," by Mini Stein, is a Little Golden book from 1962. While caring for Benjy and Sue, who are about 4 and almost-2 respectively, Daddy is able to get more done than Dan and I could in a month of Saturdays. He fixes the attic door, weeds and waters the garden, trims the hedge, bathes the dog, paints the kitchen fence, and hangs a painting in the living room. Calculating best-case-scenarios for the times these things would take, and assuming that Benjy and Sue are able to manage all of their own physical needs without interrupting Daddy (even though Sue is pre-verbal), I can envision how all this MIGHT get done. But then they decide to build a birdhouse, collect and chop firewood, wash and polish the car, replace a knob on Benjy's dresser, and pull a nail out of the bathroom door. Finally, the poor kids get to eat supper, after which "we are very, very sleepy" (no doubt!) and they go to bed.

Based on my frustration with our task-completion time, Dan is convinced that I must have had this book as a child. I don't have any memory of it, but Pa Ingalls was pretty darn productive too, so perhaps my expectations are too high. Or have they sunk too low? We've needed to replace the knobs on A's dresser for about a month now; our garden is somewhat less of a Darwinian experiment than in past years, but it still doesn't look like our neighbors'; we're lucky if we get the kids bathed before they start to stink, much less the dog; and we've never built anything without having to re-cut at least one piece of wood that didn't fit the first time. We suspect, however, that Benjy and Sue's Daddy spent the last three months drunk every weekend, and Mommy has threatened to leave him if he doesn't take the kids and get this list done so she can bake cookies (we see her cheerily rolling out dough through the window in one scene) and make dinner in peace.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

trip to the museum

C's spending the week at Camp Oma and Opa, which (along with the heat wave) made the idea of a trip to the (air-conditioned) state museum somewhat more enticing because his need to discuss the attributes of every model of fire truck used since 1850 wouldn't be hampered by A's need to "walk by self, walk by self, walking, walking, walking." Perhaps, though, if he had been there, she would not have inexplicably screamed in terror when we walked in the door (maybe the mastadont skeleton got her down?) and remain frantic until I begrudging took her to the mind-numbingly-boring "Discovery Place," designed for little kids who have no toys at home, and read her a book. After that she perked up and spent aeons (or did it just feel that way?) dropping plastic fruit down plastic tubes until, not surprisingly, she got hungry.

The only place we're allowed to eat in the museum is in the cafe, which is on the fourth floor; while there presumably are staircases to reach it, I don't know where they are, so we were limited to escalators and elevators. I knew she hated elevators, so we took the escalator; or perhaps I should say escalatorS, because they are set up so each run stops midway between floors and you need to turn around to get the the next set, just as stairwells are often designed in public buildings. This meant that there were actually six escalators between us and the cafe, and by number two she was starting panic. When we finally reached our floor (after all of about 30 seconds), I caved into her demands and let her know that we would NOT go back down on the escalators, which she repeated the entire time she ate her snack. The carousel distracted her briefly- not that she would RIDE it of course, but she enjoyed watching it go around and around and around and around and why didn't I bring a book? and around and....

Finally she tired of the carousel, which meant, of course, we needed to return to the first floor. She liked the elevator about as much as the escalator. It must have been a horrid 20 seconds for her, because the whole REST of the time we were at the museum I heard nothing but "no more escalator. No more elevator. All done escalator elevator. Bye bye escalator elevator." This may have been annoying enough as mere background noise, but she generally demands confirmation following her every utterance so I needed to drone "that's right; no more elevators or escalators" continuously as well. Plus, in order to overcome the trauma of the experience, we had to go back to Discovery Place, and I had to hand her the orange to drop down the tube about 50 times, and occasionally vary my response to "that's right, the cabbage doesn't fit down the tube" when appropriate.

It was nearing naptime (well, not really, but I had to factor in the mile-long walk to the car since I'm too cheap to pay for parking, and the inevitability of being stuck behind a bus on the way home) so I said, "We need to leave in 10 minutes." She stops (holding asparagus and an apple), frowns, and says "Stay 15 minutes" before returning to her task. Luckily she can't tell time, because we were outta there in 5.