Funny story

May 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

“I’m here to distinguish the bears from the penguins”
-Lil Wayne, Break Up
(via Snacks and Shit)

At first glance, one might think to oneself, “Bears and penguins? Why on earth would I need Lil Wayne to help me distinguish bears from penguins?”

As it so happens, I get this great email from daycare yesterday saying that, Yes, Indeed, there was a black bear on Finley golf course that afternoon, and all the children were immediately rushed inside as extra safety precautions as this black bear ambled quite close to the daycare center.

When we got home last night, I asked Lena about the bear, and she replied, “No, it was a penguin.”


If only there were a way to distinguish the two!


Parenting tips

March 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Aspen got a puppy recently.

And it’s been awesome.

Because I finally have someone to exchange parenting tips with!

For instance, last night, I was lamenting that Lena still wasn’t asleep, and Aspen suggested putting her in a crate with a rope toy! Replace “crate” with “crib” and “rope toy” with “stuffed giraffe”, and you’ve got yourself some great advice!

Yay peer group!

Compliments to the chef

March 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

Lena’s going to be an awesome dinner guest some day.

Last night, I made leftovers. I threw a bunch of leftover pasta in a pan, dumped in half a bag of frozen peas, stirred for about ten minutes, and dinner was served.

Subsequent conversation:
“This is a GREAT. DINNER. Mommy!”
“Thanks, Lena”
“I LOVE PEAS, Mommy.”
“I know you do, sweet pea.”
“Peas are, VEGETABLES, Mommy.”
“Yes they are, Lena.”
“It’s good to have VEGETABLES with DINNER, Mommy.”
“Okay Lena, yes it is, now stop talking and eat your food.”
“You made a REALLY GOOD DINNER, Mommy.”
“Thank you Lena.”
“Okay, Lena.”
“I LOVE PEAS, Mommy.”
“I know you do, Lena.”

I’ll leave it to you to decide whether my first statement was sarcastic or not.


December 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

I woke up before Lena this morning, snow does that to me. So when L woke up, I ran upstairs, picked her up, and said,
“Lena, let’s go look outside!”
“Is it raining?” she asked.
“No…” I saw, when we reach the window.
“It…TOWED!” (Lena can’t say S in front of consonants. It’s so cute.)
“Yep! It snowed!” (And it takes all self control for me not to mimic her.)
“It towed a LOT.” (She’s from North Carolina, cut her a break.)
“Mmmhmm,” I affirm.
That cracked me up, and then I said, “And Lena, guess who I found downstairs.” Referring, of course, to the fact that Pops is back from ASCB.
“My other Melman?” (We’ve lost a toy giraffe somewhere.)

Love this kid. I really do.

Some days

October 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

So I’m pretty convinced that being an adult is just like being a kid but with vastly more responsibilities. I’m also convinced that anything and everything you need to know in the world has already been covered in a kids book. These days, I’m drawing particular inspiration from Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, where at the end of the day, you just have to say, well, that’s that, some days are like that, and move on.

Move on. That’s been the key here.

So I’m not going to lie, I’ve been dreading today. Teacher work day, and hey, I’ll be honest, spending an entire day alone with a tantruming kid in the throes of the terrible twos is not the most fun thing in the world. Especially since she hasn’t been napping. I’ll admit it. I’ve never felt more like a babysitter than when my kid is standing in the bath, screaming, while I’m washing her hair, and I’m just thinking, please, someone come home, mom, dad, anyone, please save me from this.

But then, and this is completely how all 2 year olds don’t get abandoned by their parents on the side of the road, my child shows her angelic side. The cuddly side. The side that makes me just so happy and lucky to be a parent. <—HOLD ON TO THIS FEELING PLEASE, RACHAEL.

Today Lena has been a dream. I went into work a little in the morning, and my mom stayed home with Lena (thank you mom), and when I got home Lena POLITELY asked for me to make her another sandwich, which she proceeded to eat. We read books, we talked about dinosaurs, Lena correctly differentiated between a triceratops and a protoceratops (did I mention this kid surprises me every day?), jumped on the couch for a while, and then I put her in her crib to nap. Which she did. For two hours. And then she woke up. And asked politely for some milk and some pears. And we’ve been singing and dancing and playing ever since. And she’s even playing nicely by herself now while I’m typing this. (oops, now she wants me to sit on the couch and watch her jump off. Better oblige.)

Some days, Lena, some days.

I wanna be like you-ou-ou

September 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

Lena has picked up these charming habits from school since she’s moved up with the bigger kids.

Here are a few examples.

“Lena, would you like milk with dinner?”

“Lena, which color crayon do you want to use?”

Preschool: where kids learn surliness and general malaise.

The other thing that Lena is learning at daycare is how to stretch single syllable words into two syllables. A skill that most southerners have mastered with charm. Lena on the way home will be talking about her “blue hay-ouse” or how she “fell day-own”. Or if she can please have some “me-ilk”.

And holy crap if it isn’t the hardest thing for me to not want to drop everything and imitate her pint sized southern drawl. “Yes Lena, I would love to sit on that chay-er with you.”

Oh Lena, go on, you’re going to be fine. With your dark hair and your Southern accent. You’re going to be a strong one, I know it. I just hope that I’ll be able to keep up with you.

In the thick of it

July 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Alex has been gone the past month or so. I’m leaving in 10 days to go meet him, and we’re travelling to Stockholm and Copenhagen together, and then heading down to the south of France to hang out with the family for 2 weeks. Can you say Great European Vacation? Or “holiday” because Alex has somehow turned completely European in his time in Scotland.

I’ve been trying to find reasons to be angry at Alex overseas, but there aren’t really that many, so I have to settle on being happy when I get to video chat with him, and missing him the rest of the time.

Video chats. I don’t even have to tell Lena, but she knows that when we come home and I troop up to my room, she inevitably follows, excited to climb on the bed and say “Hello Al-ex” and offer him various accoutrement, her pacifier, her hairclip, her bear. Then she flops down on top of me and requests tickles, and if Alex and I try to talk about something, or Alex turns his head, or makes any sort of sudden movement Lena will yell out “ALEX WHAT ARE YOU DOING.”

So for some reason or another I decided to give Alex my angry face while talking, and Alex says, “Not to change the subject or anything, but Lena has changed so much in the short time I’ve been gone.”

Because you don’t really see it, being with her every day. If there’s a pause long enough for me to muddle through the general to-do list of the day, and my brain gets space enough to just process, I do find myself thinking to myself, where did all these complete sentences from? She doesn’t talk in choppy little commands anymore. She knows what everyone is doing around the house, she knows when things are out of place. She knows routines and remembers events. She has this amazing concept of past present and future.

I can’t even convey to you that Lena is funny. She just finds humor in things. She rhymes now, Popsy-wopsy and Nana-banana. She’s more adventurous in the bath, holding my hands and leaning her head back in the water, and she laughs in the way that makes you remember that too, you know? Like putting your head back in water that first time, and feeling (I really want to use the word ‘percolate’ for some reason) the water just surrounding you, and your hair fans out around you. Lena hides, then matter-of-factly answers when you ask where she is.

Alex said, albeit slightly toasted, “I used to tell people that I have this great girlfriend who has this great two-and-a-half year old at home, and now I tell them that I have this great girlfriend who has a two-and-a-half year old who is brilliant.”

Lena shines. She is so full of life and wonder. And she knows. She brings tears to my eyes, and pulls my face towards hers and says with such honest inquisition, “Mommy, you are happy?”

I mean, I thought she was cool like a couple of months ago. I really had no idea. Which is cool, right? Like I’m cherishing the moments and all, but Lena growing up is the coolest thing on the planet. She moved up a room in day care too. (Another entry for another day, my friend Charlie was right, Lena’s day care is incredible diverse, comparatively.) And today I had to bring a bathing suit and a towel, because she gets to play in the water.

My kid is growing up, she’s loving every minute of it, and she knows how to tell you.

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