Saturday, March 15, 2008

Going Bonk; Getting Th-tuck.

First, Cora has a definite lisp. I worked so hard to try and introduce and properly say the "S" sound with her. Its cute now, but she probably won't want to sound that way on a job interview in twenty years. Perhaps I should wait before I make dire predictions. Shes just now using combined and conjugated words.

Probably more regular than multi-word utterances are going bonk and getting stuck. Through the luck of genetics and natural taste, she is thin. If she stands still and sucks in her gut you can count her ribs and her pants fall off. At her two year appointment, the doctor was concerned about her abnormal thinness. He also seemed surprised that a mother actually cooked. Cora is also tall. She got nannys and her uncles long legs. When she runs, she goes FAST. She also is a little aucward. Its hard to have a high center of gravity (so my Mom and brothers tell me) especially when accompanied by a weight that is disproportionately small. She goes bonk alot more than the average two year old. of course, being her mother perhaps I'm just noticing her bonks more... nevermind.

She also gets stuck. Long and lean body lead up to a head thats pretty normal sized. The rest of herself can squeeze through chair arms, tight doorways and under safety gates... Till she tries to pull the noggin through.

Todays greatest adventure started with a bonk, but it wasn't very severe. It only required one quick kiss to heal before the toddler (crocodile) tears ended, and the blanky search began. Cora likes to mull over bonks with puppy and blanky, even after shes been bandaged, iced or kissed. She went off to search, and I finished the laundry and went to follow her upstairs.

Well, it turns out she didn't try and find the blanky upstairs. She tried to find the blanky in dads office. Dads office is not openly visible from the laundry machine. Instead, Mom, being thoughtful about the large quantities of sharp tools, chemicals, soaps and cat boxes, dropped the eye hook on the door from that half of the basement to the child proofed half.

In the mist of folding laundry, my house started crying. It was bawling so hard that it took me a while to figure out where the sound was coming from. Not in her room, not in mine, not in the nursery or the bathroom, it was....

Right below me! Downstairs, the slatted door I had so thoughtfully locked was sobbing in distress, and upon hearing my voice, the doorknob began to twist and pull. I slipped the bolt and dropped to the floor as quickly as possible. Anyone who has colided with a two year old who HAS to have hugs NOW, knows that regardless of their fly wheight status, they pack a pretty powerful punch. Their soul is in merging as closely with your arms as possible.

After the second bout of tears in two minutes had ended, Cora announced gravely, "I was th-tuck." She hiccuped and hugged a bit more to rub in the awefulness of her situation then pulled back a bit. "Banky and puppy." Her pensive expression for the next five minutes of deep sighs and thumb sucking was only interupted by her occassional hand checks for her thinking companions.

I'd feel alot better if she hadn't sent me those very thoughtful glances. Why can I imagine being eighty and feeble bodied and getting paid back for this little accident?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Knock on Wood.

Today, I had a wonderful morning going about town with the toddler. We walked Locust and Hubbard streets. She helped me shop in the dollar store, selected some yarn, petted the stuffed dogs in the book store, and selected a balloon treat from the events store. We went down to the lake front, and strolled the boardwalk under the spring sun. We met some new and old friends.

I'm excessively lucky (insert article title) that she is a good helper. She says please and thank you. She knows to buy things (not just walk out of the store with them) and she is polite enough to avoid unwarranted contact with strangers, though she did panic an over friendly woman and accidentally bear hug the wrong pair of khaki legs. The expression on the mans face was priceless. Its not every day a strange child tries to hide their head in your....

Aside from the occasional (honest) mistake, there is a rhythm to our shopping. We don't stay in one place too long. We always discuss what store we are going into. We know that some places you can touch with your hands, and some places you just look with your eyes(insert post title). In fact, I have only one complaint. She is a bathroom addict.

It wouldn't be bad, except she doesn't actually use the potty in the bathrooms. She has just learned that the word "potty" gets her admitted to a new little room, with a newly shaped toilet in it. Today we used the potty (unsuccessfully) in Minnies, in the coffee shop, and in the dollar store. We almost used it in Pamida, but Mom was so sick of restrooms, she refused.

There is some magic rule about refusing to take your child to the restroom. It doesn't matter whether they are wearing training pants of a new dry diaper. In my case, and unknown to me, Cora was "going commando." Between thirty two billion (or four) previous potty trips, the velcro on the diaper tabs loosened. Long walks along the river front made the diaper pull and slip down her skinny little butt and legs. A five minute car ride later, standing in the lobby of our church, she tells me potty again. I watch in bewilderment as light brown sweatpants turn dark and moist.

Try greeting your preist holding a urine soaked toddler with your right arm, and a handful of pee in your left. The statement, "wait till you have kids" lacks the usual pomp and circumstance when used with a dedicated celebate. Cora flashed him a sideways smile as I wisked her into the bathroom. "Hi" she said, with errant blue eyes. I think she was loud enough to cover my muttered unchristian curses (insert post title).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One hour to get stuff done.

Immediately after refusing to eat half her lunch, Cora demanded pop. I ignored her, trying to get some work done. Then the pretty eyes, pulling of my hand and correct diction came out, "Pop-cown Pease" She said.

"Okay," Mom said. "But not NOW, in ONE HOUR." then in a moment of inspiration, "when the timer goes off." I went to the fridge, removed her handy timer, set it for one hour, and then magnetized it to a metal piece out of her reach. Last time mom said that, she pressed buttons on the stupid thing until it went off, turning a half hour into thirty minutes. First, she crabbed a bit. Then she brought me her paints. I whetted them and handed her paint brushes. Then she brought me colored pencils (mine) which i took away. Then she played happily with her paints for a bit.

At least I thought that was what she was doing. Sometime between doing that and staring outside, she decided to exit the house. This was not something I was worried about. Our French door is not a very cooperative slider, and its usually barred at the bottom with a wood board. A short while later, Cora brought me a handful of snow, and informed me rather gravely "Zar-ya out thide."

"Outside." I corrected absently. "out thide." she repeated.

Huh? My mind went, and i stood up and walked over to peer at the French doors. They were OPEN! Wow! Our little girl is so strong! My Cat is probably half way to Tahiti.

First, I try and close the door. This doesn't work. Evidently she wanted to take her paint brushes outside with her, and somehow dropped all of them into the slide ridges. I had to lift the door to unwedge the stupid brushes, while blocking the door, and darting furtive glances for my unfortunately tortie cat. Tortoise patterned cats have a natural spring and fall camouflage pattern. The last brush unjammed, I slid the door closed leaving the small child and visible kitty (Bombay) on one side.

Second, I do a quick 360 of the yard. No visible cat. Under the porch! I think. Last time the stupid cat got out, she was hiding under the porch. I try and crouch.

At six months gestation, crouch is not a word to describe how one gets ones face within a few inches of the ground to peer under a two foot tall structure. It gets my face about three and a half feet above the ground. However, standing back up, kneeling, then basically face planting into a snowbank gave me a great view. Just as i finish scanning the dark of under the porch for Zarya, my eyes catch a fleeting tail. I am back on my hands and knees just in time to see the cat wind its way through the six foot privacy fence by the garage.

Zarya I call. It pauses as I try and stumble back to my feet. Then it takes off again, just a little faster. Who can blame it? its spring! Its been sprung by that lotion obsessed small being, and the TRASH is so enticing smelling. This baby sits like a giant basketball right under my skin. As I waddle/bolt to the gate, I step on some exposed earth and realize I'm barefoot as mud squishes between my toes. Then Cora calls from behind as I try and jiggle the rusty bolt free. She is out on the deck again, and Bombay is peering around the corner.

I must have screamed, because Cora started to giggle, Bombay shrunk back into the house, and Zarya was staring toward me as i stumbled over the gate ledge. Fortunately, she stayed still long enough for me to scruff her. I dragged her up to my stooped form, cradled her under one arm, and muttering as many (non English) swearwords as I could give vent to. Cora gladly accompanied me back into the house too.

So much for working hard for an hour. The timer went off ten minutes later. I made the aforementioned popcorn, and Cora ate all of six pieces before collapsing on the couch. I made certain to close the screen. Its a little stickier than the french doors. I locked them both, and dropped the timber.

Tomorrow will be an exciting day. If my predictions hold true, Cora will figure out child safety locks, the locks on the French doors, and probably basic trig functions. Thats going to prove troublesome. I haven't used trig since high school.

The Masked Fridge Raider Strikes again

My daughter is a grazer. That means she eats little bits of food all day long, and doesn't do well with big meals. Its easy to keep some crackers in my purse or treats in the diaper bag, but its harder to remember while I'm busy with my chore lists.

No problem! Cora is independent to a fault. Only on tasks where I am absolutely necessary am I consulted, and then, only after her attempts have proved fruitless. She feels like grapes? No problem. Those are in the bottom drawer of the fridge. A slice of bread? The bag is accessible through a chair counter climb. Toast? The toaster (now unplugged) is conveniently located next to the (also unplugged) coffee maker. She feels like more milk?

I need to get a lock for my refridgerator.

Unfortunately, the little fridge raider is not adverse to trying new things. She actually LIKES tabasco sauce, straight out of the bottle. She loves the taste of lemon juice. She thinks that sour cream is yogurt, and that butter in a bucket or bar is a high calorie treat. My chocolate resources moved from the fridge shelf to a different location.

Grazers also tend to be healthy people. For instance, this morning the little girl consumed two large glasses of milk (some chocolate milk added) a cup of grapes, a quarter of an orange, three spoonfuls of oatmeal, three to four bites of bread, three to four bites of butter (consumed seperately and on the run from mom) and three and a half malted milk eggs. (Some stupid parent left them within reach.) I wouldn't feel so bad about the candy, except that she ate two of them at once when she thought I was going to take them away. Chipmunk girl strikes again!

Of greater interest than her usual fare are items you don't want her to find in the fridge; Yeserdays brick of tofu, Last weeks the egg, displayed to mom with a partial opening in the top of the shell and yolk still intact, and the week befores yogurt. The worst part is that a child lock isn't going to function very long. She already is testing the ones we have installed with a concentration I'm beginning to recognize. We have about two days left, before the toilet paper, (new) toothbrushes and bandaids are no longer safe. Perhaps I'd better invest the money on a theives mask and some non-toxic household cleaners.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why I didn't brush my teeth last night.

Amongst the Ideas that are taking a while to sink through my child's thick skull is the concept of trash. She will put things in the trash. These things are not limited to stuff that needs to get thrown out, and more than once I've had to retrieve toys from the kitchen bucket. Yesterdays incident was not so mild a result.

She discovered how to open her diaper pail. In the bathroom, I found her carefully grooming a used diaper with tooth brushes and toothpaste.

I did not brush my teeth last night because the idea of using a toothbrush covered in baby poop was relatively revolting. Cora didn't brush her teeth either.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Snowsuits and Slides

As the snow melts and re-freezes, the outside world becomes a structurally white crust with the plastic toys sticking through. Last evening, we bundled the family up and plodded outside to enjoy the fluffy dusting of snow. Our daughter rode a series of daddy fueled sled rides along the ridges until the energy source collapsed onto an exposed bench. Then she waddled around the yard licking snowflakes out of the air until she found her favorite outside toy, the slide!

Anyone who has ever seen a two year old in a snow suit knows that movement is limited to a small series of forced bends, that walking is more of a side to side waddle, and that the concept of stairs is almost impossible. Watching a small clothbound child attempt to climb up a slide with-out a capable opposable thumb to grab the handles, and to bend enough to sit is hilarious. The first attempt went surprisingly smoothly.

Bolstered by success, she rocked herself back up onto her snow boots and waddled around to the stairs. There she miss-stepped on the first rung and slid sideways. The third attempt, she got to the top of the ladder (two feet at most) lost her footing and slid feet first down the rungs. Fourth attempt, she managed to make it to the top. There her balance gave out as she bent at the waist, dumping her stomach onto the top of the slide. From there, her rocking to grab the handles tipped her penguin style down the slide part.

Does the small child give up? Not at all. I think she is delighted to discover new thrills with old toys. She loves the sudden indrawn breaths of Mom in the background, and usually turns with twinkling blue eyes as if to say, "Gotcha Mom!"

Snow, please snow, and cover the plastic "mom" torture device.