Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hail, The Conquering Hero (Heroine?)

For quite a while, we have been certain that if we pitted M against most babies her age, she'd win, particularly now that she's learned to make fists with the thumbs on the outside.*

We had not, however, considered her chances against other flora and fauna.**

But this afternoon, I watched an interesting scene unfold in front of me.

Having vanquished the wild purple-antlered moose, she turned to the rare turquoise elephant.

She began by putting in some nice twisting, really showing the elephant who was boss.

Then, having thoroughly crinkled his tummy, she turned her attentions to tickling him.***

Finally, she attempted the old tickle and gum him to death combo.

As the elephant was not submitting, she decided to finish him off with a body slam.

It just takes a minute to get all the way over.  Be patient.

Result: One squashed crinkly elephant.

When Leo got home, she decided to try to subdue the wild daddy.

She got him pinned, though he tried to get up.

She is, however, well aware that it is VERY HARD to sit up that way, so she didn't worry, and he eventually tired and gave in.

So she trod on his face, just to make sure that he understood that he had been vanquished.

And then she had some nice warm milk and went to bed.****

*I warned her most particularly about the dangers of hitting someone with the thumb inside the fist, and also pointed out that she wouldn't win any baby bare-knuckle boxing matches if she was punching in that sill fashion.  She seems to have heeded my warnings.

**Mostly fauna; I'm not sure how she'd do up against a wild daffodil, and I'm not sure we want to find out.

***She learned how to fight during her nightly roughhousing session with her father.  It's not my fault that she has come away with the impression that tickling is how you win fights.

****Must come up with tougher-sounding exit line. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Who Needs Me?

M has decided to be self-sufficient.*

Well, she's getting there.  It's a slow evolution.

Notice the fingers tentatively grasping the bottle.

Moving around it.

And finally grasping it firmly.

Also, the bottle was plastic, so she is in no danger of injuring herself with it, and she is not, as it appears, drinking bourbon.  She's not growing up quite that fast.

*Provided that we're using a very, very narrow definition of self-sufficient, that does not include acquiring food, cleaning self, dealing with shelter, or really any of the major life tasks except holding up her bottle ever so occasionally.  But still.


Apparently, M has been reading the blog as well as the child development books.  As soon as I post something about tubbiness and lack of exercise,* she takes steps.

Also, she seems shocked that I would have suggested that she was tubby.

She has embarked on a quite breathtaking regimen of crunches.  She seems to have decided that she wants to sit, and she's not going to use her arms unless forced.

Afterwards, she looks quite pleased with her efforts.

Also, in a brief digression into children's clothing, can someone enlighten me as to what exactly the people who designed this onesie were thinking?

Look at it.

 In what world are a giraffe and a lion best friends?  I mean, I understand that lions on children's clothing are not notable carnivorous, but it seems to me a bit weird that someone would decide to use this as a logo.  Why not a giraffe and a monkey?  They may not be particularly friendly in the wild, but at least they don't eat each other.

*I realize that there was the original post, but it was a few months ago, and I'm pretty sure that she didn't know how to read then.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Bear, However Hard He Tries Grows Tubby Without Exercise (Reprise)

First, a picture of the tubby bear.

Notice the thematic onesie.

Anyway, it has come to my attention (because I like spying on all of you, and so can check where people have been checking the blog from) that there have been a lot of one-off hits from various locations in which I know no one (like Korea and the Virgin Islands and a multitude of towns all across the US).  And if I look at the referring link, it is a Google search for the phrase "A bear no matter how hard he tries grows tubby without exercise."  This appears to be a bastardized version of the line from the poem, that has been reprinted in some monstrosity called "Pooh's Little Instruction Book" that not only appears to make up sayings of Winnie-the-Pooh, as if he were some enigmatic sage who went around asking people the sound of one hunnypot sitting* (which, if he'd had anything to do with it would have been a sort of echo-y squelch), but also can't correctly reproduce the things that A.A. Milne actually said.  And besides that, conflates the Edward Bear who worried about his tubbiness in the poems with Pooh himself.  It's enough to drive anyone spare. 

But since, in this post, I provided a link to the full text of the poem, and used the phrase "no matter" in some other context, people searching for that particular spurious Pooh-ism get to the post, find the link, and then find the text of the poem.

Yet there is a problem, and I must fix it.  The link I provided in the original post goes to a version of the poem that omits a verse, so I am inadvertently contributing to the fog of lies surrounding this simple poem.

In order to set the record straight, here is the complete text of the poem, copied directly out of the real, honest-to-goodness print copy of The World of Christopher Robin, which combines When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six (and not M's new version, but rather my old battered copy that I think I got for my 4th or 5th birthday.  Or perhaps my 6th, since then I would appreciate Now We Are Six.  And Clever as Clever, don't you think?).

Anyway, here it is:

Teddy Bear

A.A. Milne

A bear, however hard he tries,
Grows tubby without exercise.
Our Teddy Bear is short and fat
Which is not to be wondered at;
He gets what exercise he can
By falling off the ottoman,
But generally seems to lack
The energy to clamber back.

Now tubbiness is just the thing
Which gets a fellow wondering;
And Teddy worried lots about
The fact that he was rather stout.
He thought: "If only I were thin!
But how does anyone begin?"
He thought: "It isn't really fair
To grudge me exercise and air."

For many weeks he pressed in vain
His nose against the window-pane,
And envied those who walked about
Reducing their unwanted stout.
None of the people he could see
"Is quite" (he said) "as fat as me!"
Then with a still more moving sigh,
"I mean" (he said) "as fat as I."

Now Teddy, as was only right,
Slept in the ottoman at night
And with him crowded in as well
More animals than I can tell;
Not only these, but books and things,
Such as a kind relation brings ----
Old tales of "Once upon a time,"
And history retold in rhyme.

One night it happened that he took
A peep at an old picture-book,
Wherein he came across by chance
The picture of a King of France
(A stoutish man) and, down below,
These words: "King Louis So and So,
Nicknamed 'The Handsome' "! There he sat,
And (think of it!) the man was fat!

Our bear rejoiced like anything
To read about this famous King,
Nicknamed "The Handsome."  There he sat,
And certainly the man was fat.
Nicknamed "The Handsome."  Not a doubt
The man was definitely stout.
Why then, a bear (for all his tub)
Might yet be named "The Handsome Cub"!

"Might yet be named."  Or did he mean
That years ago he "might have been"?
For now he felt a slight misgiving:
"Is Louis So-and-So still living?
Fashions in beauty have a way
Of altering from day to day.
Is 'Handsome Louis' with us yet?
Unfortunately I forget."

Next morning (nose to window-pane)
The doubt occurred to him again.
One question hammered in his head:
"Is he alive or is he dead?"
Thus, nose to pane, he pondered; but,
The lattice window, loosely shut,
Swung open.  With one startled "Oh!"
Our Teddy disappeared below.

There happened to be passing by
A plump man with a twinkling eye,
Who, seeing Teddy in the street,
Raised him politely to his feet,
And murmured kindly in his ear
Soft words of comfort and of cheer:
"Well, well!"  "Allow me!"  "Not at all."
"Tut-tut! A very nasty fall."

Out Teddy answered not a word;
It's doubtful if he even heard.
Our bear could only look and look:
The stout man in the picture-book!
That "handsome" king---could this be he,
This man of adiposity?
"Impossible," he thought.  "But still,
No harm in asking.  Yes I will!"

"Are you," he said, "by any chance
His Majesty the King of France?"
The other answered, "I am that,"
Bowed stiffly, and removed his hat;
Then said, "Excuse me," with an air,
But is it Mr. Edward Bear?"
And Teddy, bending very low,
Replied politely, "Even so!"

They stood beneath the window there,
The King and Mr. Edward Bear,
And, handsome, if a trifle fat,
Talked carelessly of this and that . . .
Then said His Majesty, "Well, well,
I must get on," and rang the bell.
"Your bear, I think," he smiled.  "Good-day!"
And turned, and went upon his way.

A bear, however hard he tries,
Grows tubby without exercise.
Our Teddy Bear is short and fat,
Which is not to be wondered at.
But do you think it worries him
To know that he is far from slim?
No, just the other way about----
He's proud of being short and stout.

*Seriously, look at this gem, attributed to Pooh: "Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day."  Humph.  And then around the tree again so I can say humph again because this is so . . . so . . . well, I can't use the words on this blog.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Miss Grabby McGrabberpants

Rolling over is blase.  M is completely over it.  I mean, she'll still do it if she has to, but the new in thing is definitely grabbing things.

Or possibly trying to sit up.

But grabbing things is right up there at the top of the list of things that the well-connected baby is doing.*

She will wrap her hands around things that she wants,

and bring it to her mouth.

Notice how she's keeping a wary eye on it.  These objects can be tricky.

Sometimes the bringing to the mouth misses a little low, and the thing gets hung up in the labyrinth of the neck.

And sometimes it misses too high, and she smacks herself in the eye with it.

Of course, sometimes the hand to mouth movement is just right, and then everything is happy.

 And you can see the combination of grabbing things and sitting up.  When we put M on her back these days, she lifts her head up and does some pretty impressive crunches.

She's getting to where she can do two things at once - sitting and waving.

Of course, all this concentration on grabbing things does lead to a little bit of slippage in the sitting department.

*Also, anyone who's anyone indulges in this pastime with as little clothing in the way as possible. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Not Black Magic

Up until this point in M's life, we have been using the sling to lull her to sleep.  Or just to make her happy.  Because the sling is the best thing ever.  And imbued with some soporific black magic.*

But she has gotten big so quickly that she doesn't really fit in the sling in the ways that someone of her head-supporting level can sit in the sling.

So we have been trying the other side of the spectrum, giving her the pacifier that was baptized accidentally, in the hopes that it will make her more angelic.  She looks pretty angelic with it.

Also, look at those eyelashes.  They're amazing.

*See here and here

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why We Need Another Child*

M has a moose which she likes.  It's a very nice moose, with colored rings for her to grab, crinkly legs and hooves and scarf, and exceptionally chewable purple antlers (absolutely the last word in chewable antlers, believe me).

I have this feeling that it may be on its way to becoming her security moose.  Security as in security blanket, not as in security team.  First off, I don't think that M needs a security team (high-profile though she is) and second, even if she did, I would be unlikely to employ a mass-produced stuffed and chewable moose as a part of it.

Unless he happened to know karate.

At any rate, she is of him very fond, and can frequently be found trying chew him to bits (it is thus, I have decided, that she expresses love).  Notice how she's sizing up his leg for her next assault, calmly investigating where her as-yet nubby teeth will have the most effect.**

And although she likes her moose, I think she also regards him as definitively her property, and so is often merely calmly proprietary when they are together.

Sometimes, her efforts at nonchalance are in vain, and her real and honest excitement at the moose's presence show through.

Honestly, who could doubt this as a genuine portrait of a girl who loves her chewable moose?

*Really, it's just so said second child can say "My sister once bit a moose."  If you don't get it, watch this.

**She may also be reflecting on her leggy advantage over the moose, since his (hocks?  Do moose have hocks?  Are hocks even what I'm thinking of?) leggy regions are less developed than hers.  You may notice a bit of smugness lurking in her expression.

Leo and M Doing Work of Great Importance

In the past, Leo has frequently come home and done some work sitting at the dining room table.

We have moved the table, but the habit seems to die hard.

Also, M looked back down

thusly, and so I whistled at her to see if she would respond to that and lift her head.

She's not the only one that responds to a whistle.

I am, however, going to need to get my father to teach me his piercing two-fingered whistle.  All of his children - no matter how old or how long they've been out of his house - respond to that whistle in the "drop everything and come running" manner in which we were trained.  But every time I try that whistle, all I get is "pphhtt," which is a less carrying sort of sound.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Don't Mess With the Kid

This morning, M woke up from her nap with a greaser's hairdo and an outfit that only supported the impression.

(All right, so the pink blanket diminishes the impact.)

Clearly, steps have to be taken to bring out the toughness of her ensemble.

There, if that doesn't make her look more like a bad seed, I don't know what does.

But she wasn't particularly amused by it.

And begged me to remove it.

And so I took it out and left her to play in her newly constructed play area (formerly known as our dining room).

At the moment, her play area is mostly a track of blankets for her to roll down.  In the penultimate picture, you can see my feet holding her in place, since her new favorite pastime is rolling over.  I tried to catch her in the act, but at once that was what I wanted to take a picture of, she stopped.

Until, that is, I walked to the back door to let the cat out.  When I got back,

there she was, flipped.

I think her refusal to perform on demand bodes ill.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

Just some of my favorites.  Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Duck Face

You might think that that was a mean thing to call your daughter, and you'd be right, but . . . well, look at it.

She woke up from her morning nap apparently in the mood to practice making faces.

We had Mostly Smug But Still Slightly Ducky

Slightly Astonished

Not Amused By Your Antics, Mom

(Seriously, why does she look like she's looking over the top of a pair of glasses?  You can't disapprove of me, M.  I'm what's for dinner).

Well, Maybe A Bit Amused

Culminating in Half-Winking Giggles