Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Narcissus is no longer smiling

For E, the birth of L and the advent of the era of television are the same thing. She began to watch one show per evening when M returned to work after L's birth and I was juggling evenings by myself with two children for the first time. One toddler show gave L just enough time to nurse, and E just enough time to calm her hyper self enough to eat dinner following its conclusion.
So E met Barney, and fell in love. And she sang his song. All The Time. "I love you/you love me/we're a happy family/with a great big hug/and a kiss from me to you/won't you say you love me, too." And she was so cute about it. The lyrics were always accompanied by actual, real hugs and kisses. Unmitigated toddler affection. But the best part was E's understanding of the first line of the song. Unlike the line you recognized, the one your brain is regrettably repeating on a loop right now, E sang "You love me/you love me..." Because she's two, so it is, of course, all about her. (This is the same kid who likes to say, "Mama, I'm your friend.") And her version just cracked me up.
But in the past month, something in E's understanding of sentence structure has really clicked. She no longer says, "Mama, sit in my lap?" She can now say, "Sit in your lap?" Gone are all the confused gender pronouns that marked her earlier conversations. And Barney's song is now begun conventionally, with the first-person.
I'm sure this marks a cognitive achievement, and yes, our little girl is growing up, and isn't the developing mind a little miracle, and all that. But her version was all I enjoyed about watching Barney. That chirpy purple twerp has nothing left to offer me. Pin It

An instant before bedtime

As I lift E into her crib I say, "Good night. I love you." She replies from mid-air, "I need a kiss, but on the top of my head. Because I have my lip-lotion on." Pin It

Round and round we go

Last week M was out of town for work so I was trying to perform our morning routines with only half our parenting resources. I had L in her bouncy seat in the middle of E's room so that the futility I was feeling at trying to get E in a diaper wasn't complete: L, at least, was being entertained. E noticed L's squeals and realized that with one act, she could score a double-whammy by both exasperating me further and turning up the decibals on her little sister's happy exclamations. So E started running in circles around L. The two of them were laughing so loudly that it sounded like we were hosting a party, albeit one at 6:30 in the morning. E finished her last lap and staggered to the floor. She had a big-eyed look of wonder on her face. She gestured vaguely toward the light hanging in the corner of her ceiling and said, "Look, Mama! The whole house is turning!" Pin It

Knee high to a medium grasshopper

One of my work friends is from Kentucky, even though he hasn't lived there in over 40 years. He has phrases I've never heard ever from anyone else. One of my favorites he uses to refer to his childhood: back when he was "knee high to a short grasshopper."

E has a lot of purple clothes, purple being the seasonal obsession, having chased away the blue. It's not shorts season yet, but all her purple pants are suddenly too short. Pants that looked fine last week. And of course she doesn't want any other color on her body. So she's wearing pants that are a little too short today, but it makes her happy because this way it's easier to appreciate her purple socks and purple Crocs.

(We measured her this morning, because I needed to justify my frustration with all of her laundry. And I was vindicated! She's grown an inch-and-a-half since her birthday two months ago.)

And L, my baby! She's cutting her two front teeth! Both bottom teeth have sliced open her gums. She'll be a lil biter soon. And true to form, she is handling this infinitely better than E handled even her most recent molars. L's been a little more congested, and a little more cuddly, and she always has her fist in her mouth now. But she's still sweet-tempered, just in a droolier form. Pin It