Friday, September 30, 2011

She’s Got Her Head On Straight

Margaret has been working on getting her clothes on All.  By.  Herself.  Thank.  You.  Kindly.

It’s not really working.  I mean, she has progressed to the point that she can actively and effectively hinder someone who is trying to get her dressed, if she has decided that the white t-shirt said person is trying to put her into doesn’t jive with her personal sense of style, and she understands the concept behind most types of clothes, but she’s not getting up and getting dressed by herself in the morning, more’s the pity.

She has, however, mastered* the top and the bottom ends of herself.  She can get shoes off – and sometimes back on – with the best of them, and as the following series of photos shows, she’s got the hat thing sorted.








So there’s still some work to be done, but she gets there eventually.  Mostly.  See?



*I use this word very loosely.  In fact, what I mean when I say mastered isn’t really so much mastered as started thinking about.

Mr. Wuffles*

Margaret has acquired a security object.  We tried and tried and tried to get her to attach herself to a green froggy thingy, but she wouldn’t.  We wanted her to attach to said green froggy thingy because it was light-weight, and we had several of them.  Also, it wasn’t some pink excrescence that we would be ashamed to be seen carrying, so that was a bonus.

But Margaret was having none of it.

She didn’t, to her credit, decide that she had to have some electric lavender giraffe or anything.  No, she found a stuffed dog that I’ve had for years, and decided that it was the best thing ever.


She sleeps with it, she carries it around, and when she’s upset, it calms her down.  All of this is wonderful, but it is completely irreplaceable.

You see, it was bought when my niece Hannah was born.  Hannah is now 8., and the company which made the dog is now defunct.  He was meant to go to her as a baby present, but somehow, he didn’t, and then the moment had passed, and he took up residence on the shelf next to my bulldog, Wince (short for Winston, obvs).  And there he languished, until Margaret decided that she had to have him.

Which is fine, but what will we do if he gets lost?**


*Not that I spend too much time at home alone with Margaret – who has many sterling qualities, but is not, at this particular moment, much of a conversationalist – but the dog’s full name is Rolf Wuffles, pronounced, as you may have imagined, WOOF-els.

**Research while writing this post has led me to the information that he is available on ebay, so I suppose that is an option. 

Child Labor Laws? What Child Labor Laws?

We’ve always felt that we were the sort of parents who were going to turn out self-sufficient children who weren’t used to being waited on hand and foot.  We thought this because we don’t make enough money to employ a staff for our home, and because we’re certainly not going to wait on our children had and foot.

It seems to be working in Margaret’s case.  She will wander around the kitchen and close cupboard and pantry doors for me.*  She sweeps things.  She cleans her own face and high-chair tray after a meal.  I mean, she doesn’t clean them well, but she certainly swipes a wet cloth over them. 

So I shouldn’t have been surprised when she tried her hand at yard work.

She found a fertilizer cart unattended.


So she took matters into her own hands.


She works hard.


Very hard.


Unfortunately, she couldn’t get the thing to move, so she had to let it be.


I wish she didn’t look quite so much like she expected me to do something about this problem.

*She also opens them for me when I don’t want them opened, and occasionally tries her hand at getting into the highly poisonous cleaning materials under the kitchen sink.  But I’ve foiled her there, because I keep the highly poisonous cleaning fluids in the bathroom cupboard, which is a pain to get into.  One step ahead, that’s what I am.

Margaret’s First Haircut*

Margaret has needed a haircut for a while.  She had a very wispy look, and it wasn’t helped by the fact that it is only in the last couple of weeks that she has been brought to tolerate the bow or the rubber band as a method of keeping her bangs out of her face.  But the worst part was the back, where she was growing something that looked a bit like a rat-tail, only without the grooming and definition that that implies.**

So I searched on the internet and interrogated my friends happened to remember that one of my friends had had a good experience at a kid’s haircutting place.  And off we went.

It was pretty impressive.  First, they had chairs like cars, which makes me think that my hairdressers are getting off pretty easy.  Do they provide activities for me?  No.

Second, they had televisions where the kid could watch a favorite show.  We were somewhat hampered by the fact that Margaret doesn’t have a favorite show, since she doesn’t watch television, but we decided that she could try out Mickey Mouse.  She didn’t seem to mind it.

Margaret took this process very seriously.


This seriousness is actually a good thing, I think, because it shows that she is aware that it is not always the best idea to let someone you don’t know wave pointy objects about your head.

So she kept a close eye on what was going on, via the mirror.


Occasionally taking time out, of course, to drive the car.


And sometimes experimenting with driving with her feet, because that’s a good skill to have, right?


Anyway, it went well, she didn’t scream too much, and her hair now looks like it is meant to do something.  It doesn’t always do it, mind you, but it looks like we mean it to do something, which is a step in the right direction, if you ask me.

*This isn’t technically Margaret’s first haircut, because her Aunt Char trimmed her up last March a bit at the back where it was beginning to look a smidge moth-eaten, but this was her first haircut not in someone’s kitchen.  Also her first haircut that was done without her being clutched to my chest, which meant that I could take pictures.  So for the purposes of this blog, this was her first haircut.  And anyone who has a problem with that can take it up with someone else.  Because I’m clearly very busy, which is why this explanatory footnote is going on far longer than it has nay business going, and has devolved into self-referential and narcissistic twaddle.

**Which is, just to be clear, not very much at all.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mommy’s Little Helper

One of the things that my job requires that I do is occasionally grade papers.  This is not, I have to say, my favorite part, so sometimes it gets put off.  And then sometimes I realize that I really have to get those papers back by today, because the excuses are beginning to sound like those offered by students, and that’s never good.

So then I sit down and spend the morning grading frantically so that they’ll be done before class.

In general, Margaret is pretty amenable to this plan, which is very nice, because although I can multitask with the best of them, I defy even the best of them to grade papers on university mission statements while singing the itsy-bitsy spider and dancing.  Can’t be done.

And sometimes, she wants to help, so we set her up with her own papers and colored pens.


She’s very careful to use purple instead of red (even though she has red) because studies have shown that students are upset by grading done in red ink.


She’s also very thoughtful.  She doesn’t want to commit herself to anything before she’s really pondered the matter.


But when she gets started, it has to be admitted that her commentary can be pretty scathing.  I mean, I’m a tough grader, but I rarely – even when I really want to – scribble all over a student’s paper and throw it on the floor. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

All The Single Ladies

Margaret loves dancing.

This led, inexorably, to Beyonce.  I’m not really sure how, but it did.  And she loved it.  So here are the videos.

This video is the last in the series (I took a number of them, because she loved the song so much that she made me play it 4 times before – mercifully – it was time to eat dinner).  With the music, there was a music video, and in the video, the dancers were, as Margaret notes, wearing rather impressive shoes.

Also, pigtails!  Cute!


People have expressed worry about how Margaret will react to the problem of sharing her mother with another small person.  I can see their point, but I generally think that she’ll be fine.  She’s a generally nice person, with an accommodating disposition, and she likes people, so I’m just going on the assumption that she’s not going to suffer too much.

I am, however, worried about the cat.  He doesn’t like people, he isn’t accommodating, and he isn’t nice.  And the new baby is going to take his bed away.


And when he’s angry, the claws come out.


Margaret finds the slide electrifying.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Go Speed Racer

But first, an aside.  I was going to put up a picture of the ultrasound yesterday that announced that this blog will soon be about two girls (I suppose that this second child might feel that it was my responsibility to create a blog just for her, but I think she’s going to have to learn to cope with the fact that a lot of her things will once have been Margaret’s, and she might as well start with the blog).  The reason I am not is that none of the pictures are anything recognizable, except the one that tells you that she is going to be a girl.*

However, she appears to have a spine, and a heart that does what it’s meant to, and a bladder, and a stomach and a brain with two halves.  So that’s good.

Anyway, Margaret has been much cuter, so I will talk about her now, with pictures.

We went to the grocery store the other day, and there was the most marvelous cart I have ever seen.  It was a bit smaller in capacity than a normal grocery cart, but much more maneuverable than those carts that have the car on the front for the kids.  This one had a car-type seat with steering wheels, facing forward, but up where the usual seat would be for a kid.  And Margaret loved it.


It strikes me, as I look at it, that I put her in the cart as if we were in England.  But it’s never too early to learn about right-hand drive, right?

Anyway, she had a great time, albeit a slightly blurry one.


*Also, perhaps this is not the most auspicious first mention on the blog.  Oh well.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oh Dear

I’ve always been afraid of having a girl.  Not because of the usual boy-related reasons to be afraid of having girls.  What gives me the heebie-jeebies is the thought that she could be one of those girls.  You know, the excessive pink-wearing, princess-gear demanding, interested in nothing but hair and makeup and shoes kind of girl.

And it’s striking fear in my heart, really it is.

Because I see signs.

Exhibit A: Wearing my shoes


Exhibit B: Wearing my shoes and then striking a pose.


Exhibit C: Carrying a purse everywhere


Exhibit D: Excessive interest in hairstyles:


See?  I find these developments disturbing.  Cute, but disturbing.  Clearly, as an antidote, I need to spend more time working on her dribbling (soccer, not drool) in the backyard.  She’s showing a tendency to only kick with her right foot, and that’s not a good habit to get into.