Ice Cream is Brain Food

Lillian and I have been pretty frustrated with Maddie.  She hasn’t been communicating as clearly and with the same sophistication as the other kids her age.  She says the bare minimum required to get the job done.  Usually she can get what she wants with one word and a finger pointing in a particular direction.

Today, Maddie noticed that Lillian brought ice cream home from the store.  She’d been excited about it from the moment the ice cream came in the house until after she cleaned her plate for dinner.  (Which is another story, she never does that.)  Finally, ice cream time was upon us, and I
started scooping the stuff into bowls.

Lillian told Maddie that she wouldn’t get any ice cream until she was positioned correctly in the high-chair.  Maddie quickly climbed up into the high-chair, turned around to sit forward, and twisted left and right looking around, asking, “Where’s the bib?  Where’s the bib?!

She said it clear as day.  I’ve never heard her say “where” or “bib” before.  Much less composed into a grammatically correct sentence.

It’s been said before, but it’s still true: ice cream makes Maddie smart.

Emergency Update

Emergency Update:  I’m not ready to update my online album yet, but this picture needed to be posted!  Note that this picture wasn’t staged, but it also isn’t what it looks like.  Aaron isn’t emerging from the blanket.  He can’t go forward yet.  He’s backing into it.  🙂

Aaron Uncovered

Better World

I recently moved this web site to a new hosting company so that I could play with some server-side features.  It’s been a great deal of fun getting some perl scripts to work, and setting up a couple of cron jobs.  Getting that working for the first time gives a sense of accomplishment.  For a moment, I feel like, “yeah, now this web site is turning into something.  Now here’s a useful record of this time in my life.”

Then I come to my senses.  As much as I enjoy this web site, it isn’t my gift to posterity.

We just watched The Life of David Gale.  I liked it.  David said of someone, “She left the world a better place.  It’s a small thing, but very difficult.”  That made me think.

As much as I like to tinker, write program, and play with this web site, in perspective they’re not my life’s work.  My children are it.  Everything takes a back seat to making the world a better place for them, and raising them to enjoy living harmoniously in it.  I don’t know if I’ll succeed.  But I do think they’ll be here longer than this blog, so I better do my best.

Bye Bye Train

We took the family to the company picnic today.  It was progressing nicely enough until we took Maddie to the crafts table.  At the crafts table, kids could paint on fans or glue sparklies onto blank photo frames.  I first offered Maddie a fan, but she wasn’t interesting in painting.  So I grabbed one of the blank frames and handed it to Maddie.  It was pliable, and she liked that.  But I couldn’t convince her to start decorating it.

When I tried to show her what to do and applied some glue and a sparklie to the frame, Maddie lost it.  She had a total meltdown.  She threw herself onto the dirt, and start squirming and kicking and crying.  She smeared face paint all over.  She became mud girl.  We eventually left without saying good bye to anybody, Maddie screaming and twisting in my arms the whole way.  It was too humiliating.

We were all in a bad mood, and it was a long hike back to the car.  Lillian offered to go get the car, but I was having none of that.  She wasn’t leaving me with the kids.  Oh, no.  I got the car.

When I came back with the car, Lillian had cleaned up
Maddie’s face.  Maddie was looking back into the park at a trolly car, and said “Byebye train,” happily.  She was in a good mood again.  Like the meltdown never happened.  We couldn’t friggin’ believe it.

A Taste for Literature

Maddie’s really been devouring her books lately.  “Really” as in, “literally.”

Lillian came in to wake Maddie up from her nap, only to discover the room littered with pages of one of Maddie’s board books.  Some of the pages had bites taken out.  And some of the litter was sopping wet gobs of pulp.

Backin’ Up

For the past few days, we’ve been waking up to Aaron cooing in the mornings.  It’s been pretty nice.  The sound of a baby delighting in his toys and surroundings is a pleasant way to start the day.

This morning, we woke up to the sounds of a frustrated baby.  These weren’t the familiar sounds of a child content with the world.  Oh, no, these were the sounds of a victim of some Dantean torture device.

I groggily made my way to his room, and opened the door to see what was the fuss.  Aaron was on his tummy, and had backed-up to the foot of the crib, and was busily squashing himself against the railing at his feet.  He was looking at the other end of the crib with great concern.

I looked at the other end, and soon realized from what he was fleeing.  Toys.  His favorite toys.  He wasn’t intentionally backing away.  He was trying to crawl to them.  It’s just that he hasn’t learned “forward” yet.  Both he and Maddie seem to have learned “reverse” first.  And until they learn forward, every time they try to approach their toys, they end up backing away, and
getting more and more frustrated.

Maddie Accidents

(This article is not ready to be publised.)  Not only can I envision her toppling down the play structure,  (And Rosie advises to have a glass of milk available to put baby’s knocked out teeth.) Maddie also like to step on rolling balls.  (Where I can envision the little concussion inducing back flip.)

A Private Matter

I gladly offer this allusion.  Verily all signs emit clear
tales.  Obscurity must yield.  Thankfully omit details? 
Absolutely yes!

Demanding Choice

Axiom the first: When this house is peaceful, you know somebody is stewing in poo.

Earlier this week, is was colder than usual outside.  So we decided to change Maddie’s shirt from a short sleeve one to a long sleeve one.  She was wearing pink pants, and the new long sleeve shirt was a gray one with a purple decal.  When I motioned to put the gray shirt on her, she freaked.  She absolutely refused, and she ran away.  I went after her, and she ran to her chest of drawers and tried to pull the whole darn thing down on top of her.  Seemed she’d rather die than go to preschool dressed in that.

So I go to gather her at the chest of drawers, and I realize, she’s not trying pull it over.  She’s tugging at one of the upper drawers.  So I open it for her, and lift her up so she could see into it.  She’d never seen the contents of the upper drawers before.

She takes about 5 seconds fiddling around in the drawer, and pulls out a different appropriate shirt, and motions to me, here.  It was fine by me, as long as she wears something and I can take her to school.

We’d never let Maddie choose her own clothes before.  But apparently some things aren’t up to us.  Maddie’s decided that she gets veto power.  And that’s that.

Daddy Abuse

Top few items from our latest shopping trip to Target.  (I think it speaks volumes.)

  • Diapers, size 3
  • Diapers, size 4
  • Diapers, size 5
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tylenol

My children don’t look anything like me. Which is fine, by all accounts. They’re real cuties the way they are. The trouble comes when my wife and I come to a disagreement on something.  Anything.

We’ll reach a certain point in the “frank exchange of ideas” where Lillian will look fondly at the children, and carefully explain to them one of the following:

    “Your daddy could be anybody!”
    “I’m gonna take you to your real daddy.”
    “That’s not what your real daddy would say.”