It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Mechanical Man

Arthur is one mechanically talented little dude. Yesterday he discovered our non-spill container of bubble stuff. This kind has a tray for the soap at the bottom, with a high domed lid that screws onto it. Three bubble wands fit into slots in this dome. Arthur was intrigued by this thing. He noted very quickly that it wouldn’t spill – most tots take this entirely for granted – and wanted to know How it Worked. In very short order he had the thing unscrewed and was investigating its innards. (It had very little soap in it, thankfully.) And, to my even greater surprise, he was able to put it back together! Wow.

Yesterday, we went for a walk, and when someone, noticing a fire hydrant for the first time, asked about it, Arthur interrupted my explanation to make a clarification: first the firemen have to unscrew the blue nut at the top, Mary, before the water will come out the sides. Now we all know! Thank you, Arthur!

We have an apple peeler at my place, one of those fancy-schmancy ones that screw onto the tabletop. Once it’s secured on the table, you impale an apple onto the prongs at one end of its central wand, then start to wind it towards the peeler/slicer/corer mechanism at the other end. When finished, the apple is – surprise – peeled, cored, and sliced. Sliced into a spiral slinky, actually, much to the children’s delight. We had apples for snack yesterday. Arthur was completely fascinated by this thing. He spent quite a bit of time, cranking away at the empty machine, just to watch the central wand move forward.

This morning, Arthur strides in and makes his way almost immediately to the kitchen, where he finds an apple on the counter. He trots out to see me in the dining room, holds up his apple, and says,

“Let’s sharpen this apple!”

June 17, 2005 Posted by | food, individuality, the things they say! | 6 Comments

Applause, applause

Sitting at the computer, listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rendition of “Voodoo Child”. If anyone other than Jimi Hendrix could do it, Stevie’s yer man…

I had been listening to a Bruce Cockburn disk, much mellower and more suitable for nap time one would think, but it had some live tracks, and even though I had it turned down really, really low, every time one of those tracks ended, the little lad who was supposed to be sleeping on the couch in the living room would burst into applause along with the rest of the fans. Next disk!

June 17, 2005 Posted by | Mischief | 7 Comments

Tough luck, indeed

The thread about non-meat eating children reminded me of a conversation that once occurred in my home, years ago. Picture a family meal, with mother, father, eldest daughter (then 4), and baby brother (then about a year). Baby sister wouldn’t make her appearance for another three years or so. It’s a standard meal: meat (pork chops), various vegetables, a basket of rolls.

Eldest daughter, who is past her no-meat phase, is nonetheless asking probing questions about meat in general. Where does it come from? she wants to know.
Mummy explains: animals.
Oh. That requires some mental digestion. After considering a moment, she pursues the matter: And this particular bit of meat in front of her? Which animal does it come from?
“Well, dear”, says mummy, hoping that we’re not about to plunge into a second, more substantial non-meat-eating phase, “that’s a pork chop. It used to be part of a pig.”
Another pregnant pause. Daddy chips in, solicitous of her feelings, “Does that bother you, sweetie?”

“Nnooo…” She pauses, considering the slice of pig on the plate in front of her. Then she lifts her head and says, quite matter-of-factly,

“Tough luck on the pig, though!”

June 17, 2005 Posted by | food, individuality, my kids | 4 Comments