Month: June 2006

Signs Of Summer

Two signs of summer. First, M. seems to have reached the perpetually skinned knee phase. Every 2-3 days, while we’re outside, she’ll decide to run down our driveway, which has a slight decline to it, catch her toes, and fall down, leaving her knees bloodied. She usually jumps up and looks at them, but a few times we’ve had some tears. We invested in some Elmo Band-Aids, so I think she might be doing it on purpose now. Reminds me of my pre-teen days, when I thought summers were a contest to see how many scabs you could get before school started again. Between sliding wounds from baseball, bike accidents, and regular summer wear-and-tear, my shins and knees usually looked pretty battered come August.

And then there’s the pool. My in-laws have one in their neighborhood. Last year we took M. over there 3-4 times. She was just getting comfortable being in the water with one of us when the summer ended. So far this year, we’ve already had her over three times. It’s again taken some time, but on our most recent trip Monday afternoon, she was starting to really get into it.

First, she has to take a lap around the pool deck. She marches around, cautiously eyeing the water, looking at everyone else there (there aren’t normally very many people at the pool), and talking to herself. I follow her, making sure she doesn’t jump in on her own while asking her, “Do you want to get in?” over-and-over. “No,” is her constant, curt response. After a few minutes of this, we try the baby pool, which she really hates for some reason. Finally, I pick her up, take her to the walk-in area of the big pool, and force her in with me. She immediately starts laughing nervously, as if she likes it but isn’t entire comfortable with the whole situation. We work our way into the water, slowly moving the water up her legs, to her booty, then up her back and finally stopping around her shoulders. She wraps her arms around my neck, her legs around my chest, and holds on tightly, afraid she might get disconnected and have to deal with this strange, deep water on her own. We spend about five minutes doing this and she’s ready to get out.

I give her a few minutes to watch the puddles she’s making, to take another lap, to say hi to mommy and Mimi and C., and then ask, “Do you want to get back in?”
“No.”
30 seconds later we’re doing the same thing, walking in from the shallow end, and working our way down the pool. This time she relaxes a little, letting me pull her around by her upper arms, keeping her head above the water, to give the impression that she’s swimming.
“Kick your legs!” And she laughs more than kicks, but makes an effort.
She waves at her mommy and Mimi and sister sitting poolside. She watches the kids tossing a ball around, stares at two girls playing Marco Polo. After another five minutes, she’s ready to get out.

This is when things change. After a few minutes outside the pool, she walks to the edge, looks at me, and says, “Back in! Back in!”
“You want to get back in?”
“Yeeeeeaaaah!” and she runs towards the steps.

This time I drag her from one end to the other by her arms. Then I flip her around, so I’m standing behind her with my hands under her stomach, supporting her so she “floats.” She squeals, kicks, slaps her hands on the water. As we make our laps, she yells at anyone who is near, “M. swimming! M. swimming!”

And that’s when all the whining she did that morning fades away and she again seems like the greatest kid in the history of kids. Summer is great.

Routines

I went back last weekend and skimmed a few of my posts from the first month or so of M.’s life. The constant lament was that I couldn’t get into a routine. Funny how things don’t change! I’m two weeks out of school and haven’t been able to get much accomplished. These damn newborns and their inability to take 2+ hour naps at the same time each day, along with their constant need for attention while awake! I still feel like the afternoons should be mine to read, do stuff around the house, run errands, work on blog posts. Then I end up holding C. the entire time that M. is down. Luckily, today both girls are down, at least for the time being. Perhaps I’ll get something of substance posted here and my desk cleaned off, finally. Wait. Is that C. I hear on the monitor? Damn.

By the way, some strange things going on with my disk usage for the blog. My Typepad account shows that I’m using over 200% of my allotment. Not sure what’s causing that, since it’s usually well below 50%. But I’m going back and deleting some attachments to old posts to see if that makes a difference. So if you’re searching through old stuff and files don’t load, that’s why. The text should all be there, though.
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<span style=”color:#222cff;”>Now playing: Ring of Fire by Social Distortion</span>

Vocabulary Of A Parent

The phrase I’ve been using way too much recently:

“M! Get your finger out of your nose!”

We were at the library Sunday, and I swear she was just standing around, finger in her nostril, almost the entire time. Since the other girls were at home, she made me look like Father of the Year again.

My exclusive, exhaustive look at the World Cup so far and what’s to come over the next two weeks will drop sometime Monday.

Guests And The Kids

We had several house guests over the past few days. Three, in fact, occupied our various beds and couches last night. As much fun as it is to entertain, there’s something about the quiet that descends upon a home after all the guests have left and the kids are in bed.

We took M. on her first real walk tonight. By ream walk, I mean she walked rather than rode in a stroller or wagon or some other device that was parent powered. It went about as well as could be expected for a 23 month old. Every 15 feet, she had to stop, squat, and remind us that there was grass in the yards we were strolling by. She only tripped and landed on her knees once, with only brief tears. And of course there was anger anytime we told her to stop or hold S.’s hand. She was fine if those were her choices, but when they were forced upon her, she wasn’t so down with them.

She keeps surprising us with her verbal skills. Monday night, my step-dad was reading her some books before bedtime. When it got to be about 10 after eight, I asked, “M., are you ready for bed?”
“No,” she said, which is her usual response. However, after a couple beats she added, “Not yet.” I love it when she busts out some phrase she’s never used with us in the proper context. Just for that, she got ten extra minutes before bedtime.

Her other funny verbal trick these days is how she greets me after naps or in the morning, if she wakes up in a good mood. I’ll open the door to her room, walk in, and greet her. She’ll smile, then just launch into a conversation. I’m not sure if it’s what she was thinking about when she left her dreams, or if it was the last thing she thought about before she went to sleep. Here are a few of her first words to me in recent days:
“Hi daddy! Daddy eyes blue! M. eyes blue! BabyC. eyes blue! Mommy eyes greeeeeen!” She was pretty proud of that one.
“Ampa and Mimi bye bye?” This was on Monday morning, after the in-laws had visited on Father’s Day for dinner.
“Go pooooool, yeah! Go bye bye in car to pool?” When I told her she was just going to get in her pool on the deck, she decided to throw a tantrum for awhile. Fun stuff.
Finally, one morning I went in and she pointed to the rails on each side of her bed. To the right, “No.” To the left, “No.” Then, towards the end of the bed where we have a footstool so she can climb down, “Yeeees!” Just showing off she knows the right way to go, I guess.

You can just feel the toddler questioning phase bubbling up inside her, waiting to explode in an orgy of “whys” and “how comes”.

Also, potty training is coming soon. My loyal readers are going to love those updates!

M.’s been watching a lot of World Cup action with me. She calls it “kickball,” which is funny in many ways.

C. just keeps eating and sleeping and growing. We were going to weigh her tonight, but she’s in the midst of an epic meltdown that we have no idea how to stop. Luckily, she still just has one bad patch a day, normally, so this may mean a pleasant evening of sleep for us. She’s also started smiling at us more, which is always a great time. Those first smiles that aren’t gas related are some of the finest moments in any parent’s life.

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