Saturday, June 25, 2011

Land Of The Midnight Sun

We’re farther north than usual.  And here’s how I can tell.  It stays light for a very long time in the evenings.  I may notice a little more because my room doesn’t have curtains (well, it has one in the window facing the neighbor’s house, after an unfortunate experience when I was in high school with a shower and an entire 12-year-old boy’s baseball team practicing across the pasture), but it is still very light at night.

Here is my evidence:  a picture of a sleeping Margaret taken at 9:30 pm.


No flash.  There’s just that much light.

At Nana’s House, Everybody Works

Margaret wants to drive the tractor.  We’re not sure this is a good idea.


If she could talk a little better, she’d be saying “gas it up, Grandpa.”  But she can’t, so she just said “Ah!” emphatically.


And then when we wouldn’t let her drive the tractor (for no reason other than that her feet don’t reach the pedals), she tried to find other work to do.



She’s very helpful.

Summer Hiatus

I’ve been bad about this recently, which is, of course, unfair to my vast reading public.  My excuse is that at least half of my vast reading public is, in fact, getting to see Margaret in the flesh, and so doesn’t need to have the daily updates.  Also, they have a really slow internet connection, and I’ve had a cold.

Anyway, a little over a week ago, Margaret, Ron and I drove across the country.  I very carefully packed all sorts of interesting toys and books to amuse her as we drove.  Here she is in the latter half of Kansas, playing with an empty pop bottle.


We stopped with friends in Denver on the first night, and Margaret enjoyed playing with new toys.


She also enjoyed playing with the friends’ son in the park near their house.


Though this picture clearly says “Hey, Mom, how come HE gets to swing so high?”


We then continued on our way, and Margaret shamelessly texted while driving.


I’m just impressed that she knows that the screen shows up better in the shade than the sun.

Anyway, she’s a very good traveler, and I can face the return journey without too much fear and trepidation.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Margaret’s Toilette

(No, not like that).

Margaret has developed an interest in what is going on with her hair.  She likes hairbows.  Not enough to keep them in her hair, but she brings them to me, tries to put them on the top of her head, and then squawks at me to make them stay in for 30 seconds so she can tear them out all by herself.

Some mornings, I brush her hair while she’s eating because she is immobilized, and it makes it easier.

Some mornings, when I do that, she demands that I give her the hairbrush as well as her breakfast, because she likes to have everything she could possibly want within her reach.

And then she tries to brush her hair, though she gets the back of the brush more often than the front.

At the very end of this video, you can hear Margaret’s new word.  She has learned how to say “uh-oh,” though for her it doesn’t so much mean “whoops, oh dear, that was a mistake” so much as it means “did you see how far I threw that thing, Mom?”  I cut off a bit of it, because I was already in the process of stopping the camera when she said it, but it’s mostly there.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Morning In The Backyard

It was cool this morning.*  Margaret and I got back from taking Leo to work, and I gave her a choice: she could go in and have breakfast, or she could play in the backyard.

The wheels in her head turned visibly, which was very cute.  She knows what breakfast means, but she wanted to stay outside.  Outside won for a while.

She is perfecting her running




And she loves her soccer balls, but I begin to despair of explaining the rules to her.


Another place that she enjoys practicing her running is downhill on concrete, which is, as you know, the best place to practice.







And then, of course, she gets to the bottom of the hill and realizes that Mommy is cruel and unsympathetic, because the gate is shut.


Since I had made it so that she couldn’t play in the real traffic, she decided to check out the car.


And she knows that she’s not supposed to play under the car, you can tell.


It was at this point that I repeated the word “breakfast,” and she decided that that was a good idea.  Pausing only to inspect the propane tank,


and sit for a moment on the stairs,


and perhaps play a little on the stairs,


she went in to breakfast.


*I lie, you know.  It was 82, which is not cool, not at all.  But it has been in the high 90s, so 82 felt bearable.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Raising A Snob

We are.  I’m not sure whether to be proud or ashamed, but we’re definitely raising a snooty little girl.

Look, this is camembert.  What sort of decent, well-regulated baby chows down on a wedge of camembert?  I ask you.


Also, notice how she has the bangs down over her face and an expression of ennui. 


Of course, it may just be tiredness, or resignation at being photographed again, and it soon faded as she crammed the cheese in her mouth.


She also had the chance tonight to have – besides the camembert – a local Missouri goat cheese, handmade from milk produced on the farm where it is made, and given by goats that have lived a very pampered life, as well as some Jarlsberg.

She disdained the Jarlsberg. 

It as, as the link tells you, available in over 30,000 supermarkets in the US, and I’m tolerably certain that that was why she didn’t like it.  It’s a very mild cheese, comparatively, since it doesn’t taste like either moldy gym socks or pepper.  But Margaret – our budding snob – was in the mood for some strong flavors.  Last night she made inroads into our Stilton.    Goodness.


It turns out that when it’s approximately 185 degrees outside, and there is a gentle slope into the water, Margaret is very happy to go swimming.

We had tried to put her in the water last weekend, in a swimming pool, and though she didn’t really complain, exactly, she also didn’t really seem to be enjoying herself, since the moment she came near the edge, she started reaching frantically for it.

But on Monday, we went out to a lake, and she thought it was marvelous.  So marvelous, in fact, that she wanted to run deeper and deeper into the water, which was ever so much fun, as I hadn’t been expecting her to want to swim much, and so was only equipped for wading.

Luckily, after much walking up and down the beach on our part, we were rescued by a grandmother and a great-aunt, who were willing to turn themselves into a fence.  This intervention also meant that I could take some pictures, because strangely, I had not been particularly interested in the combination of my camera and the wriggly, attempting-to-plunge-into-deep-water baby.

Margaret appreciated it. 


In her corral, she got to try out splashing,


And she stood up for a bit,


But it wasn’t as exciting as she’d thought, because it somewhat curtailed her splashing opportunities.


I think that the upshot of this is that I will be taking her swimming more often this summer.  Outdoors.  In the heat.  Oh boy.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Also, Wardrobe Changes

I spent a lot of time trying to find shoes for Margaret to wear for this wedding, but apparently white patent leather Mary Janes sell out at Easter, and shoe stores don’t restock them even though kids’ feet keep growing all through the summer, and you can’t buy the shoes before Easter for a June wedding because SOMEONE’S feet keep growing at an amazing rate.

Not that I’m bitter or anything.

Anyway, I had decided that Margaret would wear white sandals to the wedding, and I thought that I had the final say on that.

But Margaret found other shoes.


They don’t match her dress AT ALL (besides, I need to wear them), but she’s committed to them.

So we’ll see.  It’s going to be a long day if she steals my shoes and insists on riding the rocking horse to the church.

Get Me To The Church On Time

Leo’s sister is getting married today, and Margaret and I have been discussing timetables for naps and things for weeks now.  It’s particularly important to figure out how long it will take us to get to the church, because her nap technically should end just about when the service starts, so we want her to have as much sleep as possible but still get there on time.  It’s problematic, you see?

Anyway, Margaret has thrown a monkey wrench in the works this morning by deciding to go by alternative transportation that we haven’t had time to time.


I tried to tell her that I wasn’t sure that rocking horse was the best method of transport, and she had a lot to say on the subject.

I’ll let you know what the upshot of our negotiations is.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Snuggly Bear

I would like to amend my contention in the previous post that Margaret’s requirements for happiness are milk, blueberries, and a hairbrush.  Apparently, she is equally enthused by an enormous stuffed bear, a bucket, and a cell phone.  (Uncles are good to hit up for cell phones, you know?)


Of course, it was also important to check if anyone was texting her.


And then check out the bear and make sure that he wasn’t making any aggressive moves; we went to the zoo yesterday, and Margaret saw the real bears, and I think she’s watching Bertie a little more carefully now.


As she should.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Blueberries, Milk, A Hairbrush, And You

Is what, I assume, Margaret says makes a perfect evening.  (We’ll come back to this.  I’m going to have a bit of a ramble here, but it circles back around to blueberries, milk, a hairbrush, me, and – most importantly – photographic documentation).

I’ll tell you what doesn’t make a perfect evening for Margaret – dinner at a barbeque place, even a nice, upscale-ish one, that doesn’t cater to her particular wants.

Leo’s brother Patrick is in town, because Leo’s sister is getting married this weekend (Helen’s in town too, but she doesn’t enter into this story, so you can feel free to ignore her).  We all went out to this restaurant.  We left a little late, but I figured that Margaret would be okay, because she had gotten up late, had a late nap, and in general given every impression of being a baby who had shifted her schedule by about an hour.

But when we got the the restaurant, nothing was making her happy.  She kept picking up her sippy cup full of water and trying to transfer it to the floor.  She wiggled and squirmed.  We ordered her mac and cheese as soon as we walked in the door, but even that wasn’t making her happy.

So when the food came, I bolted mine, and took her home.

When we came in, she squirmed out of my arms, ran over to the fridge and started banging her hand on the door.  I opened it, and she pointed and stretched and made adamant noises about her sippy cup.

She slurped her milk (we had been giving her water at the restaurant) and apparently that was the whole problem.

(And here’s where we return to the title of the post).

So I put her in her chair, and gave her milk and blueberries, which are guaranteed to soothe the savage Margaret.


See how soothed she looks?

And then I decided that I would take advantage of her immobility to brush her hair, since the fussing and the heat and the sunscreen and the mac and cheese that made it into her hair had combined to make it a bit bedraggled.

Margaret commandeered the brush.


She looked at it carefully, considering the possibilities.


And then she took a stab at brushing her hair. 


And didn’t quite get it.

Anyway, I let her down out of her chair after she finished eating, drinking, and primping, and she played happily for another half an hour.  So the moral is that we should not go out without milk, I guess.

Buy! Buy! Sell!

(Actually, I don’t know what you say when you’re on the phone with your broker, because I don’t have enough money to have a broker – or rather, I’m spending the money I could give to a broker on fripperies like paying down the student loans).

Anyway, Margaret was certainly having a Very Important conversation  on the “phone.”*


In the middle, though, she had a dropped call** and had to redial.


When she got her interlocutor back, she spoke firmly to them.


She is, however, of the opinion that that sort of thing needs some privacy, so she walked away from prying eyes.  And ears.


*Known to most of us as a orange teething ring, but let’s not quibble.  For Margaret, anything is a phone.  When she gets to her granparents’ house, she makes a beeline for the tv room and commandeers the remote to play the part of a phone. 

** Her parents are particularly cruel, and don’t get her a very good phone plan, sadly.  Partially because the plans available for orange teething rings are fairly limited.