Thursday, December 4, 2008

Life is a Beach

Tuesday evening, Cora and I picked up her room. We found the floor! We also located a book of creatures, some of which she petted and others that she pointed to with a false scream and hid behind me. One that left her staring in fascination was a crab.

We talked about crabs and where they live and what those big claws are for. I told her, "some day, we will go to a beach with crabs, and try and catch them."

The next morning, she came trouping out of her bedroom bleary eyed and dragging her back pack. She set it down with her blanket and doggy T, then went back to her room. When she re-appeared she had a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers which she thrust into her back pack.

"What are you doing honey?" I asked. "Why do you have your back pack?"

"We are going to the beach." she said. Then she looked out the window at the snow. "It's cold. No swim suit. I wear my boot."

Some day was evidently yesterday, because her insistence that we go to the beach continued until I explained the the crabs had gone south for the winter.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Crayon Marks and Supports

So, I have learned a new trick this evening. I can now include illustrations in my diatribates on my favorite subject. As you can see from my first illustration Cora learned a new trick today as well.

When we moved into this house, I could not understand why the closets in the childrens rooms had supports in the center of the shelves, nor could I understand how or why there were crayon marks everywhere. I thought, in my infinite (and pregnant with our first) wisdom, that these parents must have been terrible.

They were terrible parents, but that wasn't the issue. The supported shelves were an important functional part of making a place of small children to play. As you can see, Coras position explains the supports completely. It also explains why there were (and still are) crayon marks on the ceiling of the closet.

I'm still trying to figure out why there are pencil marks on the hallway wall that I painted last week, and washed this morning. I don't even know when she got a pencil. Maybe it was one of the cats.

I'll ask Cora. Her other new skill this week is telling little falsehoods. It will give her a chance to practice.
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Mushrooms for the Holidays

Cora has hard time remembering the difference between items. She mixes up sugar, salt and flour. She calls any white goop in the fridge sour cream, which means that pumpkin pie is topped with sour cream in her mind. Actually that sounds kind of good.

These mind switches resulted in some interesting names. she calls bananas blini's. She calls mac n' cheese simply cheese. After all, the mac part is relatively un important in her mind.

The most hilarious and well documented switch she makes is a bit obtuse. She mixes up mushrooms and shrimp. It might be the shr noise in both of them. She will ask for shrimp while holding a can of mushrooms, or ask for mushrooms when she sees the shrimp in the freezer.

I am tempted to make a dish with both of them in it, just to see what she does.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cleaning House

This weekend was devoted to cleaning up the girls rooms. With the holidays coming, it was time to go through the almost threes toys and remove the ones that were destroyed, not used and generally past her play level. This is not always an easy thing to do, especially with said two year old helping.

Whilst going through Coras toys I found a couple items that i thought could be happier with another child. One was a childs xylophone. The other was a set of plastic dominos. Remembering what she played with recently, I reluctantly put back the xylophone and put the dominos in the donate bin. At this time, Cora came to check on my progress. Seeing her dominos her eyes lit with excitement. "My dominos!"

"No honey, you don't play with those, we are going to give those to another child."

"NOOOO mommy! MY dominos." She grasps the bucket they are in with both small hands and hugs it to her chest possessively.

Pete steps in, "Cora come here!" I know precisely where this is going. My wonderful husband is backing up my decision. Cora WILL do as I say, and he is enforcing it. However, I have a brilliantly silly idea.

"Okay honey, if you want to keep the dominos you need to choose a different toy that you don't want to keep." I scan the pile of iffy toys that I've stacked next to the donation box. The xylophone hits my eyes. "How about this?" I ask. "Do you want to keep the dominos or this?"

She looks at the two items, and taps her lips with one finger in her classic thinking pose. "Okay." she says, turning back to the dominos.

"You want to give away the xylophone not the dominos?" I ask in surprise.

"Yeah Mom." she says vaguely.

She watched me put it in the car. I asked her again. "We're going to give it away right?"

"For another kid." she told me.

The second conversation occurred over the bin of toys I designated for Nyobi. She reached for one and said "Mine!"

"Yes." I said. "But you are too big for those toys. Why don't we give them to Nyobi? You can teach Nyobi how to play with them."

The silence that greated this comment worried me a bit. "I'll put them here on your shelf and you can give them to Nyobi to play with when she's ready." I finished. This plan, I was certain, would fail.

Which is why I was delighted this morning, when Cora reached over and grabbed the shape and color matching bucket and handed it to her sister. Then she helped me talk to Nyobi about colors and put the shapes in the right spaces. Nyobi loved it, and both girls played together.

For every "mine" incident, and hardbitten possessive incident in Coras child hood, I will always remember the ease with which she chose the dominos over the xylophone, and the joy she had showing Nyobi how to play with her old toys. It takes a special child to give like that.

Maybe some adults could take lessons from her. I know I can some days. Objects slowly creap up on me and start owning me instead of vice versa. Its time to reverse the rolls, and really decide what is important.

Anyone want an exceptionally selfless two year old who is currently trying to "cook" with my coffee creamer?

Just joking. I wouldn't trade her for the world. Especially not until after she's cleaned up the mess she just made.