Thursday, May 31, 2012

Your Margaret . . . Darn

Today at lunch, Margaret was a little recalcitrant and squirrely, because her grandmother had taken her swimming this morning which tires her out.  This is a good thing, because currently she is asleep in her room, and Ellie is in the living room like so:


And that’s a swaddle that happened AFTER she went to sleep, so she’s really out.  Good times. 

Anyway, Margaret was being somewhat challenging at lunch.

This is her coy “who me?  Butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth, and now that you mention it, I could demonstrate that fact to you if you wouldn’t mind giving me some butter and if you won’t I’m going to lunge across the table and grab it in handfuls” look.


So she did that, and as I was holding onto her arm which had the butter-covered hand attached to it, she yelled “No don’t do it that’s Mommy’s . . . your . . . Margaret.”  The end sort of trailed off as she realized that she was yelling at Mommy, and she subsided.  It was very cute.  And buttery.

Mommy’s Margaret

(No pictures, sorry).

Margaret has been building a sense of personal property, and not just the sense that everything is hers.  She expects us to recognize that if things are hers, they are hers, but there is a budding sense that if things belong to someone else, she can’t just do what she wants with them.

So that’s good.

Anyway, the other night we were over at Leo’s parents’ house, and Margaret was approaching the end of her rope, which means that she was entering a manic phase, where she does things she’s not supposed to and giggles like a fiend.  It’s just so much fun. 

She was carrying a coaster of a heavy and possibly breakable kind, and her grandfather suggested that she might not want to drop it.  So, of course, she did.  With extreme prejudice.  And he was going to pick her up and rough her up a bit over it (this is something that in general she likes, so how effective it was going to be as a deterrent, I’m not sure, but that’s a discussion for another day).

She yelled “No don’t do it!  That’s Mommy’s Margaret.”

I assume that she is used to hearing “No, don’t do it!  That is Mommy’s computer/paper/phone/lunch/baby/glass etc.”

And she’s used it on Leo a couple of times since then.  So apparently my property rights extend to her.  Good to know.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

More Smiles

I like the way Ellie’s smiles go all the way up to her eyes.  And sometimes beyond, because her cheeks still go up to her eyebrows. 

So here are some smiles.







Also, should you ever want to make her laugh, attack her forehead with her toes, or make ominous chomping motions with your hands toward her nose.  Gets her every time.  I think I’m going to give her a complex about her toes.  Oh well.

All the Fists

I have mentioned that Ellie has been pretty dedicated to getting her entire fist into her mouth, and that she has been working on grabbing things and putting them in her mouth (mooses most of all).

Well, tonight she decided to put ALL her skills together, and put her hand and my hand in her mouth ALL AT ONCE.


Close, but no cigar. 

Which is good, because it is the policy of this blog not to encourage children to smoke.  Oh, sure, maybe we talk about posing babies with beer bottles and pretzels and football games.  And maybe sometimes we even DO post pictures of babies holding beer bottles.  But not tobacco.  We draw a firm line somewhere.

I’m Not Tired! I’m Not Tired!

Another nap skipped, another late afternoon nap grabbed when it really wasn’t supposed to be.


But with a hat on, so that’s something.  And then when I woke her up, because I didn’t want her to nap at 5:30, she rode home with a glazed expression.


And then she refused to sleep for about 45 minutes tonight after we put her to bed.  The kid is a nut; there’s a lot I’d do for a nap, and she just WASTES them.

When we got home, though, it was pretty funny (in a sad and impossible sort of way) because everything we said was WRONG AND CRUEL.  For example, offering her milk was TERRIBLE because . . . well, because . . . just trust her, it was an inhumane violation of some charter of rights, where individuals are promised the right not to have people offer them milk and agree with them.  Ugh, the agreeing was almost worse than the milk offering.  And she was MAD about all of it.

I Feel for You

Ellie has begun to feel the stresses of being a younger sister.  She is not, like me, the younger sister to quite so many people, but on the other hand, her older sister is not so much older than her, which probably intensifies what she has to put up with.

Anyway, Margaret insisted on taking two Lego animals with her in the car this morning, and while we were in the car, she noticed the two Lego people that she had demanded at some earlier time.  These all, of course, needed to come in with us.  And she needed to go up the stairs “on myself,”* a maneuver that requires at least one free hand.

“Do you want Mommy to carry them?” I asked solicitously, never mind that I hadn’t wanted her to take the %$^&*@ things anyway.

“No,” she said.  “Ellie carry them” she said.  And she plunked them into Ellie’s car seat.


And so it begins.

* “On myself” is what she says instead of “by myself.”  I don’t know why. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Say What?

This evening, while Leo and Margaret played in the backyard, Ellie did tummy time, and I explained to her how the meter in Margaret’s Madeline books was faulty.

She seemed duly disgusted by this lapse.


And then she had a little think,


and decided to go on the attack.  Because if there’s one thing she won’t stand for, it’s faulty scansion. 


Monday, May 28, 2012

Another Nap Gone Awry

Saturday was another one of those days where Margaret really needed a nap, and didn’t get one (not for any lack of trying on her parents part.  We let her sit in her room, jabbering away and reading her books in the dark for two hours, and nothing).

But then you drive to the Goodwill and to Home Depot to replace the gas canister in your grill, and the kid goes out like a light.

So I carried her in from the car and put her on the couch.  One of her dreams is to nap on the couch.


It lasted all of 30 seconds. 


But she woke up happy.


We went out in the backyard briefly this evening (it’s hot, you see, and the bugs are getting to be a bit of a thing, and though they don’t seem to bite the children, it’s because they are all busy biting me instead, and pleased though I am that the small people are spared itchy mosquito bites, I’m not entirely happy about the means by which that is achieved).  Margaret wanted to play with the hose, because she loves the hose, but she was distracted by Ellie and flowers.  She loves picking flowers.


And they smell so nice too.


She could tell that Ellie needed one.


So she gave her one.


Ellie’s not sure what to think of it.


Or, you know, of what thinking is.  But she definitely has gnawing on her hand down pat.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fashion Forward

Margaret picked her clothes today.  And I think that she did a pretty good job (though I am trying to construct a wardrobe for her in which all the tops pretty much match all the bottoms, because that makes it easier for everyone).


I particularly like the way that the engineer’s hat coordinates with the penguin backpack to really tie the ensemble together.  But she decided that the hat wasn’t doing it for her, and dug out a headband.



Notice the unconscious posing and the plume of hair out the back. 

She stuck to the headband right up until naptime, though I’m not sure that she really gets what the point of it is.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Adventures in Napping

I think I am going to inaugurate a new series of posts, with the exciting theme “Places Margaret naps at 5ish instead of just NAPPING IN THE AFTERNOON IN HER BED, SILLY CHILD.”

This afternoon, after a morning spent running around the zoo offering unsolicited grooming advice to goats, she did not nap.

Until 5:15, in the backyard, when she came over and asked me to hold her on my lap.


And conked out.  Silly kid. 

Just Like Mommy

Margaret has taken to doing a lot of things like me, and she likes to note that Mommy has a baby and she has two baby dolls.   She notes these little congruencies, and often I see my own behaviors coming back at me, though usually with some bizarre modifications.  Here is her interpretation of feeding the baby, complete with dialogue and pictures:

My baby is hungry.  I need to give her milk.  Where is her bottle?

Oh, there it is.  Under the Lego box.

Put some milk in it, not Margaret milk, but special baby milk.

I sit on the mat, so I can give baby milk.


Drink, baby.

Margaret’s dinosaur is hungry too! [Notice careful around the neck carrying strategy.  Just like mommy.]


Dinosaurs like milk.



She then proceeded to bottle feed a giraffe, a bear, Queen Elizabeth, and the other baby. 

I like the think that I’m a little better at sticking to the program, I really do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Castle of Perseverance

(There are no castles in this post, but I was going to title it Perseverance, and there’s this medieval morality play called The Castle of Perseverance, and the hero is Humanum Genus, which is kind of like being named Human, and it’s late and I have a lot of knowledge that is going unused at the moment, and sometimes I like to take it out and air it a bit and make sure that the moths haven’t gotten in too badly.)

Anyway, Ellie is providing us with a model of perseverance.  She is certain that if she keeps trying hard enough, she will be able to cram her entire fist (perhaps both fists, because hey, a girl can dream, right?) into her mouth.




She’s just got to get the angles right.

And luckily for us, she had to take some breaks to grin, because grinning is the thing we do now.


Nap, Child, Nap

Margaret is nuts.  She needs sleep.  She wants sleep.  She goes into her room and sits in her bed – awake – for an hour and a half, talking, turning the pages of books, laughing, and having a grand old time. 

But not napping. 

And then when we drive 5 minutes from her grandmother’s house to our house at 4:45, what happens?


Can someone please explain to her that she is being VERY VERY SILLY?

A Rite of Passage

Those of you who are familiar with Costco may also be familiar with their hot dogs.  Once upon a time when I was a child, there were little hot dog carts outside Costcos, and you could get a hot dog and a can of pop for 35 cents.  And then they raised the price to 50 cents, and then a dollar, and now they’ve moved the hot dog cart to a food court indoors, and the drinks come out of a fountain and the whole thing costs $1.5o.*  Tempus fugit, and all that, but I really wish they wouldn’t.

Anyway, today, for the first time, Margaret enjoyed one of the “treats” of my childhood.  And here’s the thing about Costco hot dogs.  They’re not precisely bad, but they’re not exactly what you would call good, either.  But they’re awfully affordable, and convenient.  After eating one, however, you are aware of it for the rest of the day.




Her responses seem to me to mirror my ambivalence to the lunch.  But she was really excited to sit on the bench and have a coke.  (Which was really water, but from a fountain drink cup.  Do I look crazy enough to give my already unnapping child caffeine?)

*They’ve also added other options like pizza, and a somewhat terrifying “chicken bake” that is a long bready tube filled with chicken and cheese and bacon and Caesar salad dressing for reasons known only to God. I have not attempted any of the new items, because I am a traditionalist, and they look really scary.

Smiley Girl

There is no story here (although Ellie and her moose continue to get along famously).  But Ellie is almost 4 months old, and so is in that immobile smiley laughy phase where everything is wonderful and new and needs to go in her mouth RIGHT NOW so she keeps it open even when smiling, because you never know what might come along that needs to go in.

And pictures of happy babies induce smiles in others.






As Ordered

Just, for those of you who care, a brief glimpse into conversation with Margaret:

I not want my hair brushed!  Ouchy!  Stop, Mommy, stop.  You not do it more.  I YIKE tangles.

No, not that bow.  I want a red bow.  No, another red bow.  No, the big red bow.

I not want it in front.  I want pony tail.  Two pony tails.

No, no, no, no, I need a bow.  I need it in the back.  The big red one.

Now take picture to show Nana on computer, Mommy.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Funny Face

I’ve probably used that title before.  It’s not my fault that my children have funny faces.*

Anyway, here is Ellie, making faces at me.






That is all.

*Well, genetically speaking it’s probably half my fault, unless you’re going to make the assertion that Leo’s face (and the faces of all of Leo’s family) are funnier than my face and the faces of my family, which seems like an unnecessarily divisive sort of position to take.