Wednesday, March 29, 2006
This time, it's been fun to watch the boys gradually warm up to each other. To explain to Finney that Will is his cousin. To point out that Will's dad, Eric, is Papa John's older brother. He smiles and nods, but doesn't seem overly impressed.
But what clearly blew his little-boy mind is when he discovered that he and Will, as sons of brothers, have -- brace yourself -- the SAME....LAST....NAME.
That one stopped him in his tracks.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Begins to feel a little woozy, a little weird
Monday, March 27, 2006
Friday, March 24, 2006
(Quick aside: Have you ever had to answer this question every week: "But why did Anakin turn into Darth Vader?"* It's an answer as loaded and complex as Truman Capote, one filled with subtle shades of giving in to the dark side, embracing his anger and hatred instead of following the nobility and honor of the Jedi order, and not finish his vegetables at dinner, by the way, depending on the mood I'm in when asked.)
To make matters worse, the sun came out yesterday in a full springtime blaze, beckoning us to walk to the park. Within minutes of Finn scaling the jungle gym I knew we weren't quite ready, as his still sickly lungs caused his little body to convulse in coughing-fit spasms. We quickly retreated, defeated, back to the loft, where we settled back into Day 6 of Getting Better.
Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the weekend.
* Finn asks this question repeatedly because, 1) he's three, and the three-year-old rule book clearly states that all questions directed to your mother must be posed a number of times equal to the number of minutes she was in labor with you, and 2) although we've allowed him to see, with a parental chaperone with him on the couch at all times, the original Star Wars (Part IV) in its totality and parts of V, VI, I, and even II (he tells us to forward past the scary parts, like when Darth Maul fights with his double-sided light saber or when Hayden Christiansen, bless his pouty lips, tries to act too much), we've deemed part III to be much too violent and graphic and will probably hold off on letting him view it until he's about 26.
What this means, unfortunately, is that his narrative cycle is completely fractured because he's never seen for himself how/why Anakin becomes Darth Vader. We keep hoping our descriptions of the metamorphosis from dark to light, from good to evil, will suffice, but his curiosity keeps this subject close enough that we discuss it constantly. He also wants to know if Darth Vader gets sick, which makes me giggle because I imagine Mommy Vader leaning over her boy, feeling his masked forehead for a fever, then trying to somehow fit the dropper full of bubblegum-flavored antibiotics through his sleek mask into his pie hole.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Baby Shea's coughing like a barking seal and sleeping like a newborn, in maddening little two/three-hour stretches.
The top shelf of the fridge is filled with prescription meds and plunger droppers, while Finn's magic eye drops are nearby on the countertop. John and I have been gathering everything within Finn's reach to be laundered in extra hot water or wiped down with antibacterial solution. He's extremely contagious and won't be back to school for many days.
It's gonna be a loooooooooonnnnnngggggggggg week.
Monday, March 20, 2006
(I, however, beg to differ.)
She'll be glad to hear, then, that Finn said this to me last week:
"Mom, I'm going to fire you."
(Don't be too indignant on my behalf about this, by the way. Twenty minutes later, he told me, "You're the best, best, best Mom." I'm quite used to the bipolar party that is a three year old's emotional landscape by now.)
I've got to admit, though: The Donald would probably admire the little guy's fortitude.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Some of my favorite blogs were nominated in various categories, including Loobylu, PostSecret, Finslippy, kottke.org, and, of course, the Mother of all mother blogs, Dooce. Some of them won and some of them didn't, but each speaks to a different part of my personal interest bank. I'm excited now to check out some of the other nominees and winners in whatever spare time I can carve out in the wee hours of the night.
Have you started a blog yet? No, I don't get kickbacks from any secret blogging agency for recruiting new bloggers, I'm just a devotee who's sold on the wave of self publishing that's giving a voice to the masses. Plus, the whole process just appeals to the family historian/scrapbooker in me; I'm hoping this blog is a great gift for my kids one day--to see what life, and they, were like when we were all younger.
Creating a blog is easy, it's free, and it's a fun way to stay in touch with family, share recipes, chronicle your family history, share a bit of your culture, or just write about things you love and want to buy. It can be whatever you want it to be.
Let me know your new blog address once you get set up so I can stay in touch with you, too.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006
I was always so grateful for these regular maternal noteswapping sessions because they showed me that, although parenting brings many of the same challenges and rewards for moms and dads, every kid is vastly different. Comparing children is inherently problematic, as it repeatedly boils down to the old apples-to-oranges paradigm. Some of the things that were hard for Finn, for example (sleeping through the night and coming out of his shell in social situations), were much easier for other kids. Other things (learning to speak and communicate his needs) were easier for him, while other kids struggled in speechless frustration.
Certain things, though, like bath time, I simply took for granted as being neutral: not hard, not easy, just there. Finn never really complained at bath time, nor did he ever really seem to relish it. It was more of a mechanical stop on the route between dinnertime and bedtime, one that didn't usually elicit very much of a response. Rarely a fight, but rarely a party. I was sometimes even a little disappointed that Finn didn't act like one of those babies on the Johnson & Johnson commercials who, while being bathed in a sink full of bubbles, splashed and squealed and smiled as every pore filled with sheer, slippery joy. He acted more like he was in a jacuzzi and it was time to unwind after a long day of negotiating plea bargains. Maybe he'd push a toy boat around the tub or chew on a plastic lobster, but if there were no toys there were no complaints.
It wasn't until I heard from a couple of friends how vehemently their kids hated their daily baths--some with such intensity that their screaming and often violent protests suggested they were being rinsed with molten lava instead of warm bathwater--that I realized that I had dodged the bath bullet. But now that I have a second child--a very different child from the first, mind you--I'm reminded about the old comparison trap as I've discovered that the bath-hater bullet comes in an inverse--and, I'd argue, as challenging--form: the zealous bath lover.
(If you're reading this at home and are about to run a bath, by the way, I feel compelled to warn you to first make sure the bathroom door is fully closed before you read any further because the second the water hits the bottom of the empty tub, suggesting with its splash that it's about to fill it up, baby Shea will come crawling towards it at full speed from whatever crib, car seat or high chair she may be sleeping or sitting in.)
The girl's just loca-crazy-nutsy for baths.
And it's not a girly, Esther Williams/Doris Day bath love, either--nothing like the Go Go's Beauty and the Beat album cover; she's not luxuriating in a pampering pool of Calgon bubbles. The girl's there to throw down; to splash and squeal; to hurl herself at toys at the other end of the tub that must be played with immediately; to stand up and sit back down 23 times each minute; to dunk her face, accidentally, while reaching for toys, choke on the water intake, cough it off, and then do it again a minute later; and to scream, writhe, arch and howl in protest when we inevitably have to take her out of the tub. (By which time, of course, whoever's bathing her is drenched from head to toe and exhausted from trying to keep her from inadvertently knocking herself unconscious from her indefatigable bathtime play.)
The flip side of this, of course, means that she barely notices when I pour ENTIRE VATS of water over her head to rinse the shampoo from her hair. I babysat on a pretty regular basis during my adolescence and have given plenty of children baths in my lifetime, but I've never seen so much of a waterbug at such an early age. She loves it so much so that, even if she's had a bath in the morning and I'm getting ready to give Finn his evening bath, she'll hurl charges of favoritism at me and try to crawl her way into the tub with her brother to even the apparently unjust score.
Usually, I indulge her. But lately bathing both kids at the same time has been like wrestling a pig in a mudbath while giving a lecture on phonics. (Finn, as you might be able to detect in these photos, adores his foam alphabet and spells his favorite names and words with them on the tile wall during his baths these days. Sometimes, we'll spell slang words or even turn the "Z" on its side to pretend it's a second "N" so he can spell his name. Yeah, that's about how crazy he gets in the bath.)
And so it goes: At least in the bathtub, my little apple and my little orange couldn't be more different.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Once I showed her the basics--this setting allows you to take pictures, while this setting displays what you took--she quickly got the knack of things and was off and shooting. I was so pleased at her interest and immediate prowess that I started filling out my Christmas 2006 Gift Idea List in my mind, starting with a basic digital camera for the little five-year-old after my own heart.
While we were saying our thank-yous and goodbyes for the day I promised to show Daisy her photographs the next time I saw her, after I had a chance to print them out.
Cari, you see, Daisy's mother and my dear friend since we were 10 years old, is one of the best homemakers I know and is gifted beyond belief in decorating, sewing, party throwing, cleaning, organizing, reorganizing, cooking, juggling three kids without breaking a sweat, and most domestic things that perplex and vex me to no end, but she still hasn't mastered e-mail. And my blog? That's just something she snickers at for wasting the time I should be spending cleaning and redecorating my house, after handstitching new linens for the kids' beds and whipping up a six-course meal--with dessert!--in less than 20 minutes. Go figure. (You can already detect the distinct ying and yang in our enduring friendship, can't you?)
When I got home, I half expected to find a memory card full of random floorboards and sidewalks, of blurry faces and overexposed places, which I would simply delete into the great digital trash can in the sky. What I discovered, however, showed great promise and range, and I'm thinking Christmas needs to come a little sooner than usual for my favorite little blond flower.
Here, then, is a sampling of Daisy's first digital photoshoot.
Yeah, she's still in preschool.
Monday, March 06, 2006
As one could expect, once he tried it he was hooked. Twists, belly flops, bottom bounces, tandem springing--you name it, they did it, over and over again, giggling all the while. The two pals jumped their hearts out for what seemed like hours, reminding me once again just how deep the stunning energy reserves of kids extend. And before long, the once shy and reserved landlubber was trying to talk Daisy away from her Yoohoo and back up and into the trampoline for another go.