Friday, May 16, 2008

Exploring Food; And Mopping.

Once a child reaches a certain age, they decide to pour their drinks for themselves. This is good if they are 6 or 7 at the time, and can lift a gallon of milk without incident. Cora is 2, and weighs about the same as five gallons of milk. She can lift one the same way that I can bench press 100 pounds. It happens, but there is a tremor to the lift that makes it decidedly hard to pour accurately.

Milk is not the only liquid in my fridge though, which is why, yesterday when Cora traipsed into the living room carrying a small toy cup filled with a white substance, I was concerned. Some things are better left NOT drunk, especially when their expiration dates are several months old. The pleasant scent of almonds came with her.

Her toy sink was filled with the thick white substance. Good, I thought, if it doesn't smell spoiled it should be safe, but WHAT besides milk was in my fridge that was white. I didn't even have cleaning products that were white, nor carried the thickness of evaporated milk.

On the floor in the kitchen I found the missing link. A puddle, with traced footprints, and an open bottle of Non-dairy Armaretto Creamer. Ah ha! That explained the almond scent. Now what to do about the puddle.

A bucket and mop later, I learned the trouble of cleaning up something sweet stickly and slick. The kitchen became a danger zone, where people either slipped side ways or stuck and tripped over their feet. It smelled delicously almond-like though.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stored Up Stories #3; The heart necklace

History witnesses the passage of many famous pieces of jewelry, both real and fictional. The Maximilian emerald ring, the Star of Asia, the Hope Diamond and the Star of Africa are a few that spring to mind. There is also a fabulous necklace once owned by Marie Antoinette whose history is so shrouded in shadows and subterfuge its hard to determine its name or story.

In my house, none of these peculiar and fantastic gems mean nearly as much as the necklace my daughter currently wears. It is a simple piece of jewelry, composed of a faux leather lanyard, colored with sweat and orange juice, a pair of nickel beads, and a single pendant; Soap stone carved in the shape of a heart, all of 1/2 an inch in diameter.

It was an impromptu purchase at the rock shop in Allegan (a wonderful little place). It was inexpensive too. I didn't realize how important a purchase it was until bath time the first night home. Cora refused to remove it.

Its full import in her toddler mind came when (due to factors only a two year old can put jewelry through) the original heart pendant disappeared. She cried. She never cries when she breaks things. She doesn't even cry during magic blanket baths anymore. But she was quite distraught to see this little ornament ruined.

Yesterday I had the chance to stop by the rock shop and procure a similar stone pendant for her lanyard. The helpful owner even secured it with a more sturdy clasp. I again have a happy two year old with a favorite piece of jewelry.

Perhaps I'll let her wear it through the bath this time... It might get rid of the orange juice stains.

Stored Up Stories #2

Language is a curious thing. it developes in leaps and bounds. Tuesday was Coras big language day. She told me quite clearly "I love my Daddy Very Much." It was really cute, especially because she usually tells him she does not love him, to get him to horse around with her. Without effort, she has discovered that language is an art and a tool.

Communication is so little compared to what a two year old knows about the use and form of words. A witty girl of mine will occassionally "mis-label people". She will point to Daddy and say Mommy and vice versa, than grin when we correct her. She will giggle and tell me a flower smells poopy. She will meow to the cats in conversational tones.

Best of all, she demonstrated yesterday comprehension of a "general" word for specifics. Upon hearing me talk to Nanny about what we needed to buy at the grocery store, she interupted the list at "fresh fruit" to add her favorites. "Oranges, pease Mommy," a finger to her lips "grapes, too."

"Anything else you want?" Nanny asked. I was too busy smiling at her polite requests.

"Ananas" she said.

There are some general categories she can't quite figure out. She still calls all roundish shaped chips crackers and cookies by the generic "cookie". I'm not about to correct that one. When a ritz does what a chips ahoy is supposed to accomplish, a parent should turn a blind eye to the language issues.

Then there is the one problem I have that shows a child doesn't have to be able to say a word to epitomize it. Thanks to a curious turn of the english language, my husband turned to me one evening after our dinner was finished and Cora was pleasantly saturated with sour cream and tomato innards. "Are you gonna draw Cora a bath?" he asked.

"yes" I said, then lazily rose from the table. I noticed a curly haired flash take off toward the hallway. As I waddled down the hall, It occured to me that the curly haired flash had something blue in her hand. Interesting, I thought, there was nothing blue on the table.

Cora was in the bathroom already, but rather than stripping in her usual pre-bath celebration, she was kneeling on the floor, drawing on the bath tub with a bright blue crayon. "I draw bath!" she announced with all the pride of a true artist let loose.

Does anyone know how to clean crayon off of a bath tub? Can someone explain to my husband that I don't find it funny chasing a crayon armed literalist down the hallway after dinner?

Stored Up stories #1

Watching Cora is often an interesting way of looking in a mirror. She spent the weekend surprising us with her new behavior. Her attempts to undo the eye hook latch on the pantry and drop chain on the front door have become more aggressive. She moves chairs, puts them back and gets larger chairs. So far she is still a few inches off of unhooking them. Give her another week.

Then there was the dinner incident. She started spinning her spagetti around her fork. i didn't notice until i looked up to see pete staring at her face with a look of increduity. I should explain. He's not a spagetti spinner, and I switch between the various eating methods. Evidentally I was spinning my fork that dinner. its so awesome how quickly they learn some of the most unusual skills. Speaking of which, did i mention she can pick her own nose?

No really, I'm estatic. That was one of those Mom chores I didn't really appreciate.

Another dinner table lesson I will clearly regret was entirely my fault. In an attempt to convince my husband to play a certain board game with me, I turned up the cute eyes and pouted. After over ten years, my expression amuses rather than induces certain behavior from Pete. The small sponge at the end of the table watched enraptured though, and attempted to immitate my expression.

Unfortunately, I don't think the immuity I gave Pete through overuse extends to me. One cute pout like that and I'm liable to do something un-responsible as a parent. Lets hope Cora doesn't figure that out.

Yeah right. I give her a month tops.