Thursday, April 29, 2010

It's Time to Move the Shoes

We have a toy kitchen for the kids (my dad built it for Gage's second Christmas). Among the toy foods are these grapes, over there on the right. A few days ago Lila found a pair of kiddie scissors, cut the string that keeps the grapes together, and watched as they all spilled off like a handful of marbles. "Oh no, Lila!" I was surprised. (But I shouldn't have been. Lila is very impulsive and naively destructive with toys and books. Also, she's 2.) "So-wwwwwy!" she answered immediately. I sighed and gathered up the grapes, tried to figure out a way to restring them. "Lila. We do not use scissors with toys. Ever. The only thing we use scissors on is paper, and that's only when Mommy and Daddy say it's okay."
"Sowwy! Sowwy! Sowwy!"
"I don't want this to happen again."
"Okay. I won't."

Later that evening I was telling Mike about this, and I wanted to reinforce the lesson with Li, so I said, "Lila, what's the rule about scissors?"
"Throw your trash away!" she eagerly replied. I laughed because she had barely let me finish my question before pouncing on an answer.
"That's right, when we open a package with scissors we throw the trash away. But what about food--" This time I didn't even get to finish my sentence.
"When you peel a banana you throw it in the trash!" she had a little bit of a wild look in her eyes, like she was on a game show and knew that she had these questions. She could do this. "Like this!" she held up her hands and began miming peeling a banana. Then, with a little "Shoop!" sound she mimed throwing the peel away.
"Good, sweetie," I'm still laughing, because we're not at all talking about what I meant to be talking about. "But how about toy food and--"
"You don't eat it! You don't put it in your mouth!"

I guess there's a lot to know, even when you're two.

The game we've been playing lately: "Cindewella and the Fairy Goff-Muffer."

Lila is really starting to understand joking, which is way fun.

Every evening before bed we give the kids an option of having a mug (warmed milk with Carnation Instant Breakfast stirred in) or hot chocolate (warmed milk with Ovaltine stirred in). We give Gage about eight ounces, because he's skinny and could use some extra calories, and we give Lila about four ounces, because she never really drinks all of it but we don't want to exclude her from the routine.

Last night Mike calls from the kitchen: "Mug or hot chocolate?"
Gage: "Hot chocolate!"
Lila: "Mug!"
Me (in a high-pitched voice): "This is Lila. I want hot chocolate."
Mike: "Okay, two hot chocolates, coming up."
Lila (grinning): "No, I want a mug!"
Me (squeakily): "This is Lila. No matter what I say, I want hot chocolate."
Mike: "Hot chocolate. You've got it."
Lila (laughing): "No! A mug! A mug!"
Me (squeakily): "This is Lila. I'd like a coffee, please."
Mike: "Okay, a coffee and a hot chocolate."
Lila (cracking up): "No! Not coffee!"

She was laughing so hard, it was awesome.

I hope this newfound understanding of jokes helps her with her knock-knocks. Here's a typical Lila joke:

Lila: "Knock Knock."
Me: "Who's there?"
Lila: "Tree."
Me: "Tree who?"
Lila: "Why did you build a nest in me? Because you're a bird? And you build a nest?"
Me: "Ha, ha. That's a good one."

I really hope her joke-telling improves. I mean, I know she's young and all, but jokes about trees? And birds? Kind of last year. Somebody's got to tell her she needs some new material.

Mike and I were having an argument several days ago, which, thankfully, is not very common. But it was one of those times when we each interpreted a situation very differently, and we just kept trying to explain why our interpretation was the right one, and, sorry, but your interpretation is the not right one. We just kept going around in circles, and while we weren't yelling at each other or anything we weren't getting along either. And we were just saying the same things, for like five full minutes.

Gage finally came over to me and whispered something in my ear. I snorted with laughter and my anger immediately fell away. I looked at Mike, who looked even more defensive, as if I was betraying him by interrupting our argument to laugh.

"Gage has a good idea," I said to Mike. "He said, 'I think you should just stop talking about it.'"

Mike smiled, relieved, and we did just that.

I'm not above taking advice from a four-year-old.

Not when it's good advice.

Gage and I go tomorrow morning to register him for Kindergarten. I feel like I'm in a bit of a different dimension. (My baby!)

Josie is 'creeping' or 'army-crawling' now. What's that you say? She's only five months old? I know, it's crazy! She actually started doing this at the very end of four months. She plants her elbows down and drags her body behind her, and she gets wherever she wants to go. It's amazing, really. She's very determined. She gets into trouble, though, because she can move forward fairly easily but backward not at all. So she scoots until her head bumps into something, and then she's stuck. We spend a lot of time rescuing Josie.

I saw her do it for the first time about two weeks ago. I set her on a blanket on the floor, on her belly. I noted that one of Lila's shoes was nearby, but a good four feet away, so I didn't bother moving it. Less than a minute later I look at Jos and she's chewing on Lila's shoe! (I know, gross, right!?)

So you know what this means.

It's time to move the shoes.

Mike should be back at work in another month or so. Cross your fingers for us...or knock wood, or whatever it is you do for luck. Please. Thanks!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Unintentional Spring Cleaning

Well, it's been a rather miserable week. We're all sick (except the baby! Knock wood!) and it's taken a lot out of us. Poor Lila got it first (Monday), then it waterfalled day after day to Gage (Tuesday), me (Wednesday) and Mike (Thursday). Lila is better today (Friday), so I'm hoping we all waterfall back to health now.

Yesterday I took a sick day from work. In the afternoon when Lila and Josie were napping Gage settled on the couch to watch a movie (with some moaning and groaning just in case we forgot how sick he was) and Mike and I started cleaning the heck out of the house.

I'm something of a...saver. I don't like to get rid of things. Practically everything has sentimental value to me, and it's a problem. But...I don't like when the house looks cluttered, and the only solution to that is to get rid of extraneous stuff. A couple of times a year I turn heartless and throw away everything that's been collecting, all the stuff we don't need. I wish I could get into the habit of throwing it away daily, but it's hard. I'm working on it.

Like...I buy these HUGE packs of construction paper at Sam's Club. It's 700+ sheets of paper, all different colors. I buy this once every three months.

Because my kids go through 700+ sheets of construction paper.

Every three months.

Suffice it to say we have a lot of artwork in the house. The problem is, all of it is beautiful. All of it.

Anyway, back to yesterday afternon. We lifted furniture to sweep out the collected dust (and marbles, and socks, and books, and raisins) from the hardwood floors. We sneezed. We packed up winter clothes to put in the attic. We blew our noses. I filled two garbage bags to the brim with toys from Gage & Lila's room - toys to be rotated every couple of months. (A good solution to wanting less stuff in their room, but not wanting to throw / give away all of their toys. Yet.) We sneezed some more, and took cough medicine.

We vacuumed everything repeatedly (by the way, have I told you lately how much I love Dyson's long, long cord?) and then had to stop so Mike could fish a plastic quarter out of the vacuum hose. Of course.

I don't know what was driving my mad cleaning spree, but I was glad it was getting done. The more we worked the more energy we had to finish - I swear it was like a frenzy.

In the middle of my frantic, frazzled orders to Mike as we cleaned ("Throw it! Throw everything! Have no heart!") Mike looked at me and said, "Are we...Spring Cleaning?"


Yes, I guess that's what this is called.

In the evening, after everyone had baths and all the little ones were tucked into bed Mike and I put on a movie and got comfortable on the couch. Time to relax! Finally!

I was sleeping like a baby less than five minutes later.

Like this baby: