“Here, May-wee. Gots batgahwees.”
“So I see. Where did you get the batteries, Nigel?”
“But where did they come from?”
“Yes. I have one, two batteries. Did you find them on the floor?”
“Batgawees! Inna hand!”
“Yes, you put these batteries in my hand, didn’t you, lovie? And I guess I’ll never find out where they came from.”
Adam appears in the door.
“Hey, mom. Any idea why my calculator was under the dining room table?”
“Oh, I think maybe. Where was it supposed to be?”
“In my backpack.”
“Which was where?”
“In the front hall.”
“And where’s it supposed to be?”
“In my room. But, mom, I laid it down so the zips were all underneath and the frame was on top! The babies would have had to turn it over!!
I take his point. In that backpack, we have a calculus text (approx. 12 pounds), a chemistry text (10), biology (8), and English literature (8), plus assorted binders and educational paraphenalia. Shifting that thing when you weigh no more than 20 pounds yourself, would be no mean feat.
We check the front hall. Against all probability, the backpack lies belly-up. Having already learned the futility of trying to weasel information out of Nigel, I simply do the maternal and use this incident to remind Adam why his backpack is to proceed directly to his room after school. Adam, however, is curious, and decides (naively) to get to the bottom of this.
“Hey, Nigel. Did you open my backpack?”
“Yes, my backpack. Did you open it?”
“Did you turn it over?”
“It’s a heavy backpack. How did you turn it over?”
“Pack-pack! Turn-a heavy pack-pack ovah!”
“Yes. DID you turn it over?”
“Pack-pack! Turn it over?”
“Hey, mom? Mom? Is he dodging the question, or does he just not get it?”
Yeah. The $64,000 question.
“HELLO, IS THAT MARY P?” Ouch. Lordy, this woman is loud.
“Yes, it is.” I move the phone a couple inches away from my stricken ear.
“I GOT YOUR NAME FROM AN AD IN THE COMMUNITY CENTRE?”
“Ah, yes.” I pull the phone another couple inches out. A loud mother is pretty likely to have a loud child.
“MY BABY IS NINE MONTHS OLD.”
Another couple inches. And can I really deal with this volume for the next three years?
“I’LL NEED DAYCARE FOR LATE JUNE…”
My ears are still ringing. My arm is almost straight out. No, I can not.
“AND I WAS WONDERING IF YOU WOULD HAVE ANY SPACES?”
I suppose I could prop the phone against the back of the couch… Or, I could just…
“I’m sorry, I’m fully booked for at least a year.”
“OH, THAT’S TOO BAD! WELL, THANKS ANYWAY! I GUESS I’LL JUST KEEP ON PHONING AROUND.”
“Sorry about that. Good luck!”
Two o’clock. Naptime.
The house is tidy again, the floors clear, the table wiped down. The sun shines in through de-finger-printed windows, and the only sound in the room is the soft ticking of the clock, the ticketa-tack of the computer keys, and a low, gentle snore.
Yes. There is a child sleeping on the other couch. She shouldn’t be here. She was supposed to have been picked up between noon and twelve-thirty. They have a special outing planned. She was to be picked up right after lunch, so she could sleep in the car on the way to their outing. Her nap generally starts at 1:00.
Could I make sure she had a good lunch? (Of course. When don’t I?)
Oh, and could I have her in a fresh diaper, please? (Unnecessary even to ask. I always have them in fresh diapers when their parents are expected. I guess she thought all those fresh diapers baby’s been in every single afternoon for the past ten months have been one giant coincidence.)
I also always have them dressed in their outside gear if I know when the parent’s expected. Simpler for everyone. So don’t even ask.
Noon to twelve-thirty, I was told. But I know this mother. I put baby in a fresh diaper at 1:00. I put her in her outdoor gear at 1:15.
At 1:30, baby climbed up on the couch. And went directly to sleep.
I did not stop her. Mom wants baby to sleep in the car, she should arrive when she says she will.
She’s a lovely woman, smart, warm friendly, and completely in love with her child. I really like her. But she’s a terrible, terrible time manager. She always runs behind schedule. She’s reliably unreliable, so mostly I can work around the tardiness. Worse than the chronic lateness, though, is the poor communication. If you’re going to be late, you give a call. This has happened before, and there’s usually a long list of reasons why a call was impossible. I remain unconvinced. Anyone with a cell phone in a city can make a call at just about any time.
Why don’t I call her? She’s not at her desk. And it seems she doesn’t have her cell phone turned on…
I was just reading an organizational blog where I came across the idea that children sleep better in an uncluttered room. Well. I have never heard of such a notion, and am not quite sure what to make of it, but I am curious, so…
I’m looking for your input. What do you think? Does the state of a child’s room have any bearing on how they sleep?
Let’s take a poll! Answer, if you will, these two questions about your child (or for each of your children).
1. Is your child’s room neat or sloppy?
2. How does he/she sleep?
Emma and I are taking an ASL course. Emma found a Basic Signs book around the house, and – how’s this for random? – her friend Lina had the same book lying around her house, as well! The girls started memorizing their way through the books, but it didn’t take them long to realize that you can’t learn to speak a language by memorizing a dictionary.
We can now spell our names. Heck, we can spell anything! But spelling… Well, no one wants to do that as a regular thing.
“Hey, honey,” says mom, to dad who is driving, “I’m not sure I’ll have time to make D-I-N-N-E-R. How about we stop at M-C-D-O-N-A-L-D-S?”
“It’s not exactly on our way. How about S-U-B-W-A-Y?”
I’ve done it, you’ve done it. It’s good for emergencies, but efficient? Not so much. Emma and I have sufficient signed words that we can communicate the basics. We’d not starve, and we’d always be able to find the toilet. But it’s very, very basic. I figure we’re at the level of the average, oh, 19-month-old.
Nigel (who is now 26 months old) speaks English as I can only dream of speaking ASL. But 19-month-old Anna? Anna, who is at the “telegraphing” stage of language development?* She and I are probably at the same level in our respective new languages. Witness her skill…
My sweetie is home sick. Not really, really ghastly ill, just weak and tired. Anna, however, doesn’t see a sick man, she sees a warm lap.
“Up! Up! Up!”
He’s in a bit of a zone, and doesn’t register. Anna picks a board book from the floor.
He looks at her. “Yes, you have a book, don’t you?”
Yes, he is indeed a bit spacey today. Fatigue has fuddled his brain, made him a bit slow on the uptake. Anna gives him a sharp whap in the knee with the book. That should help him focus!
“Book! Book! Up! Up!”
“You want to come up? You want me to read you this book?”
“You sure are hard to resist, pumpkin. Here you go.” They snuggle in for yet another read of “Max and Ruby and the Rainy Day”.
Gee. How long do you think it’ll be before I’m doing so well in my second language?
* I just googled “speech development toddlers telegraphing” to find a good link to define “telegraphing” – and the first hit was my very own blog. Heh.
Here we have a sweet, quiet, apparently solemn little boy. Any guesses as to what he’s doing?
1. No, he’s not been sent to stand in the corner. This is not a punishment.
2. In fact, it’s entirely voluntary, and, appearances to the contrary, he’s quite happy.
3. He can continue this activity for up to an hour, occasionally a little more.
I leave it with you…
Karly guessed it, and ktdjrn found the cheat —
The boy is dancing. He requests music – specifically The Beatles – then stands immediately in front of a speaker, a solemn look on his face as he sways from side to side, staring into space.
He will do this for the entire length of the disk – so, an hour, hour and a quarter. It’s really quite amazing.
Sway, sway, solemnly sway…
Our first significant winter storm hit last night.
We got some snow overnight. Not a whole lot – about 10 cm, I think. (Just shy of four inches.) Enough to snarl and slow traffic, but not enough to close roads or schools.
It did mean, though, that I’d need to shovel before the parents arrived. The ploughs had been by in the night – bless them! – but the result is a metre-high bank separating sidewalk from the street. Can’t have people trying to scale that with a baby in their arms. So out I go —
— and my LORD, the wind. Straight out of the west. (North and west, or any combination thereof, are nasty, nasty winds.) By the time I’d hacked a narrow path through the bank, my fingertips were burning with cold and my face bright red. And not through exertion.
Came in and checked the weather icon on my laptop. Temperature, -22; winds gusting to 50km, making for a windchill of -35.*
Guess we’ll be staying in. Again. For the tenth straight day. That’s TWO SOLID WEEKS of being indoors. Housebound. With a two-year-old (sometimes two of them) and three 18-month-olds. Sigh.
In fact, the kids are managing just fine. The vast vistas of my small house suffice for their short legs. After pounding through the living room to the dining room, rounding the corner to the front hall so as to enter the living room and pound down to the dining room… After doing that, oh THREE HUNDRED TIMES in a morning, they’ve had lots and lots and lots of exercise.
But me? I have to get out. I think I’ll get Emma to mind the fort during afternoon naps, so I can get out, burn off some steam, get some fresh air and a little sunlight (assuming some happens). Yes, indeed. I’m going to SHOVEL THE DRIVE!!
You takes your entertainment where you finds it in this job.
* That’d be -8F, 31 mph, and -31F respectively.
The tots have made a bunch of Valentine crafts over the past week. I’ve sent home pink blobs of paint (fingerpaint on heart-shaped waxed paper), pink blobs of paper on pipecleaners (supposedly flowers), pink blobs of sparkles (because a craft isn’t a craft if there aren’t sparkles to eat!!) The kids have enjoyed themselves greatly, and the parents have graciously ooh-ed and ah-ed over their pink blobs.
Today is Valentine’s Day, though, and those gracious parents deserve something a little more festive and a little less amoebic. So – Valentine sun-catchers!
First you pick some old crayons in appropriate colours. We used red, pink, and yellow. Grate them onto wax paper. (They get filled with static, and cling like mad – to your hands, your shirt, the paper. They leap and dance when your hand nears. Very funny.)
Take a piece of wax paper. Ours were about six inches wide and the length of the roll. Place it on top of a section of newspaper on your kitchen counter. Fold the wax paper in half.
Sprinkle a little grated crayon onto half the wax paper. Don’t be too liberal in your sprinkling: too much crayon, and the light won’t shine through.
Fold the other half of the wax paper over the crayon bits. Cover with a sheet of newspaper. (This protects your iron from the wax of the paper, and from the wax should any seep out from between the two layers of waxed paper.)
Gently press with an iron set on delicate. If you simply press, the wax will melt in place. If you slide the iron around, the wax will swirl a bit. Totally up to you.
Voila! Festive melted crayon! (I know, I know, it’s very blob-like. Bear with me.)
Now for the frame. Cut yourself a heart from a piece of construction paper. Do it with the paper folded over, so you get two hearts. Then cut the centres out, so you get two heart-shaped frames:
Open the frames, and place one onto the wax paper-crayon-blob. Trace around the outside edge.
Cut the wax paper just inside the traced heart so you get a heart that fits the frame. Glue frames to the heart, one on each side.
Punch a hole through the heart, string with festive ribbon, and hang in a window! Ta-dah!!
Happy Valentine’s Day!