Saturday, April 10, 2010

Children See, Children Do.

Which is why my eldest uses a napkin like her Nani, and poses with hands on hips like a miniature Chelsea or Gramma.  It also explains why I am loathed to show the girls movies with excessive teen angst, but happy to show them films with bad words and great deeds and hearts.  One of my sister in laws described it as strong female protagonists. 

Maybe thats why I'm not so worried about kissing or fighting with my husband in front of them.  I certainly don't mind breastfeeding with them around either.  My two daughters learn by seeing and doing so much, they can operate a laptop better than some of thier adult relatives. 

What I cannot figure out is why my eldest thinks clothing shopping is so much fun, and why she has such refined and peculiar fashion sense.  Would the relative responsible please step up and fork over some plastic?  I'm going to need it in about ten years when she enters the teens...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Museum Trip

I took all three children to the Kalamazoo Valley Museum yesterday.  Its mostly a science and technology museum with some small displays about collecting.  We listened to a video about how they reconstructed their mummies face.  We observed various aspects of how robots are created, and we explored natural phenomena.  Its facinating to share science with children.  It is also facinating to observe the children. 

Nyobi show attraction to words and art.  Cora likes mechanics and movement.  They both love the knights from the chess board.  Nyobi will stare in facination at displays and meander slowly.  Cora loves hands on, and is constantly moving and touching.  Anya thinks the stroller is only fun if its moving.  Then there are the random things you realize about the environment you live in. 

For instance, the collection displays that are panned out opposite a three story stair case are only worth looking at if you can press yourself against the railing above a gaping abyss, not if you are actually on the same level as them.  Similarly, two children always go in opposite directions.  Maybe that has something to do with magnetic fields. 

The fire alarm in the elevator is conveniently cute and located right at toddler eye level where as the number buttons are higher up and blank.  That, and the thrill children get from going round and round a parking garage is similar to their enjoyment of a roller coaster.   

All in all, we had a fun time, and learned some things too.  I will be opening my cliff side museum right after I figure out how to avoid liability for all the  parental heart attacks. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The "I Pooped" ballet

It started.  Three times now, Nyobi, who is not quite two exclaimed to the adult in charge "I Pooped".  On Monday she removed a wet diaper as well.  The delicate and fragerant ballet of potty training has begun.  This evening I will piroette up the stairs with the potty chair.  The magical padded big girl panties will leap off the shelves and out of the drawers like a few dozen sugar plum fairies and I will spend a messy week cleaning urine out of innumerable objects, hopefully the potty chair topping the list. 

My eldest is logical and straightforward, imagine it as the swan lake driven potty training situation.  Nyobi is a space cadet.  I have watched her get distracted by the noise the velcro on her shoes makes.  I expect this dance from diaper to throne to be filled with many Sleeping Beauty moments.  Here is to the second most frustrating lesson of childhood, just please plie over the toilet not the floor.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Modern Children.

Having just purchased a new laptop, the old one was shuffled off into the multi-use pile of computer refuse that every house with a tec nerd possesses.  Then the four year old pops up in front of us with big eyes and her "reasonable negotiating" face on.  She eyes the laptop enviously. 

"Can I use it?"  She asks. 

"It can be yours and your sisters."  We tell her. 


My four year old can plug in this laptop, turn it on, open the web browser, close out of extra stuff, use the bookmarks to find her web pages, and navigate a web page.  Cora can also distinguish when the laptop is asking her to type, and present it with letters.  That is pretty impressive.  Now if only she could put the letters in her name in the right order instead of signing things ROCA. 

We also got new phones.  They flip open and contain a mini-screen and a querty keyboard.  She explored mine yesterday and looks at me.  "These are really nice Mommy.  I think you need one more, for me." 

"What?"  I said. 

"One for Nyobi and I, so we can call people.  These are very so nice."  As she flips it closed like a professional texter, I realize that modern children have different envies than I did in my youth.

These modern children play digital paper dolls and want to instant message daddy.  They video chat with gramma and think that all phones have cameras on them.  I wonder how my grandchildren will think of communication and toys?

Do you hear that girls?  You will provide me with grandchildren.  Real ones please.  No virtual babies.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What nobody ever told me about Co-Sleeping

The hot topics on all the parenting blogs revolve around "natural parenting". And include concepts like natural diapers, organic baby formulas, the health benefits of prolonged breastfeeding and co-sleeping. My feeling for the first three are mildly ambivalent. Organic foods, diapers with smaller carbon footprints than something made of petroleum oil, are all rather personal choices. Co-sleeping however is dangerous! What if you roll over? What if baby falls down a crack? What if baby dies of SIDS right next to you and you go through the rest of your life convinced you suffocated your own child?

What if a meteor strikes your house while you sleep and your baby dies because it takes out your bedroom, but it somehow misses the nursery and the aliens institute a protective globe around the crib to keep the shrapnel and ensuing flames from harming your child, but he or she isn't there because you are a rotten parent and put them on the bed with you?

Unreasonable fears aside, I did not, per se, approve of co-sleeping. It seemed to me to be a great way to get extra snuggles, but create all sorts of separation issues later in life. My husband is such a sound sleeper, I was certain he wouldn't notice a screaming infant under his leg. It took me five minutes to wake him up to when we were having our first child, shaking him and yelling at him. So I went through life full of snotty superiority, especially when my single girlfriend told me her 2 year old still snuggled in bed with her.

Then Anya hit.

This child does not need alot of sleep. I think I need more than she does some days. She has serious separation issues, and has since birth. After trying for months to get her to settle into a normal baby pattern, my husband came up with a solution. He sleeps on the extra bed, and the third child sleeps in bed with me.
Suddenly I was sleeping! ME! I could close my eyes and sleep!

Oh yes, Co-sleeping is important. I've apologized to my girlfriend, and quit worrying about meteors, flopping on the baby and other crazy and obviously societal fears. Some children just need that extra love and touch. Parenting is part science but its also part instinct.

As for the Aliens. I'll just leave a note in the crib informing them where the baby they need to protect is located.