Thursday, October 29, 2009

Late-Night Craft Projects

I'm currently embroiled in a new crib-cover project for Charlotte's foot board. If you recall, that is the piece of bed that she chews to bits. We had a padded cover for it (also the topic of a post), but Charlotte has picked the cover open and is pulling out bits of polyester batting and sucking on the fluff.


At this point, I almost have to wonder if she has some weird form of pica, but I know that's not the case. Charlotte just investigates things with her mouth, like a horse, or puppy or...her mama. I did the same things when I was a kid. HOWEVER. I did not stick fluff up my nose, requiring a trip to the doctor's office. Dr. Chabot was very nice and efficient, and very carefully explained to Charlotte that noses are for smelling with and breathing with. NOTHING is to be stuck up there. I was just so happy that Charlotte's practice has weekend hours for urgent care, so that we called ahead and got an appointment within an hour, and paid a regular co-pay, rather than sitting in the emergency room for hours with the pig flu and huge co-copays and all that.

Charlotte was not suitably concerned by all this. That was on Saturday; by Tuesday she was telling me that she had fluff in her nose and that she needed to go to "dockta office." The fact that they have a fishtank, chalkboard and stickers apparently wins out over any trauma that pulling a small, bloody & mucusy piece of grossness out with mile-long tweezers may have caused. So now I am making a cover for the footboard of the bed that is just fabric. It never needed to be padded, it's not like Charlotte is a head-banger, just that's the only one we could find. There is a minor issue; two, really. One, I can't sew a straight seam and two, my sewing machine is in my sister's basement, along with any fabric I might have. I got creative - bought some fat quarters at Michael's and some iron-on fabric tape. We'll see how this works out.

In happier news, Charlotte is really enjoying the books she got for her birthday. She got three Mo Willems books, Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus, Knuffle Bunny, and Are You Ready To Play Outside? Her "auntie" got her several books, including Blueberry Girl and Crazy Hair, both poems by Neil Gaiman that were illustrated into childrens' books. Auntie Jen thought that Charlotte might be "too young for Neil," but wanted her to have them anyway. Charlotte surprised us all, and loves the two poem books. I guess she's about the age that really enjoys rhyming and predicting the future. It's some sort of developmental stage, I know that, I just can't remember if it's called anything in particular.

We read a zillion books a day in this house - new books, old books, library books, board books, everything. Matt reads 2 to 5 stories at bed time, I read a few before naptime, and a bunch more in between. So it's not surprising that she has books memorized, and that she repeats our tones and inflections. The stuff that sticks with her, though, can be pretty strange.

Charlotte will bring out a book and then read it out loud. The other day it was The Giving Tree. She opened it and said, "The Giving Tree, by Neil Gaiman." I laughed out loud at that. That is seriously funny, because I started imagining a version of The Giving Tree written by Neil Gaiman. You can bet that the tree eats the boy at the end, I'm just saying. Or at least tells him off in a rhyme.

Other favorites have been, "Goodnight, Moon, by Mo Willems," "The Mitten, by Neil Gaiman" and today's giggling moment, "The Bread Book, by Neil Gaiman." The Bread Book is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day which Charlotte loves for the pictures. Or, maybe not. "Ooh, recipes," she said.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Is this how Jane Fonda started? Because I'm okay with it, if that's the case.

Today's instance of hilarity ensuing had to do with my yoga mat. For some bizarre reason, possibly Sesame Street induced, Charlotte calls it an "octagon." Anyway, the last two days Charlotte has been very intrigued by the yoga mat, and asking me to unroll it so she can use it. Yesterday we did some Winnie the Pooh up-and-down excersizes, and she kept bending over and "go sideways." Today she turned into a tiny Aerobisize instructor:

"Up and down, Mama, up and down!"
"Do jumping! Jump, Mama!"

I showed her a few more things, some arm and neck stretches, hip twists, and up-to-the-sky stretches. This so delighted her that I actually had to roll up the yoga mat and put it away so that we could stop "stretchin'" and move on with our lives. My sister Nicole and my nephew G came over for a visit, and I told her about it. Nicole thought it sounded so funny that she wanted a demonstration. "Good luck with that," I said. Auntie Nicole spent the next five minutes at the whims of the tiny dictator.

"Onnie Nicole, uppa sky! Down, uppa sky!"
"Stretchin' you arms, Onnie, stretchin' you arms!"

Nicole then showed Charlotte a couple modified yoga moves (one is that you hold lay on your stomach and hold yourself up on your arms so that you look like a seal) that she used to do with her third-grade class, and Charlotte ate them up. Charlotte also started doing "fallin' down," which means lay on your back and breathe deeply. This is the point at which I realize that Charlotte must have seen a yoga class on TV somewhere and has taken it upon herself to teach us that we must all have quiet meditation at the end of our workout.

This is seriously one of the randomest funniest things that Charlotte has started doing in a list of random funny things - but there's this kind of creepy undercurrent of how just seeing something a couple times on TV has made this deep impression on her. I'm really struggling with making sure that she watches less TV vs. getting more work done vs. Charlotte begging to watch "mo dye-saur twain." It's probably the singlemost guilty conscience thing I have going on.

Well, that and all the goldfish crackers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Being the parent of a toddler is like being recruited to be in some piece of performance art. Charlotte has a very specific vision that is completely beyond me. This thought occurred to me today as I held a small decorative gourd in each hand, and Charlotte had a pumpkin bucket on each arm. "Now, hold it! Hold it!" she screamed, even though I was already holding the gourds. I tried to explain trick-or-treat to her again, but she just kept telling me to "Hold it!"

Then she ran off to cook something in her kitchen while singing the "I'm a T. Rex" song.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Terrible claws!

Well, I could have started this post with a burst of motherly guilt about not having handmade Charlotte's Halloween costume, and how it's not even that creative or ordered from a small Etsy shop, but that's all moot now. Because Charlotte LOVES her Old Navy 2T-3T tiger costumer. I mean, LOVES it. She said, "I have a costume! I like wear-a costume!"

I tried it on her today in order to buy us some post-nap, pre-grocery store trip time. And to make sure that I wouldn't have to exchange it, etc. I put it on her and told her it was a tiger. "It a costume," she corrected. Charlotte was impressed at the claws on her hands. "Terrible claws," she told me.

"Terrible claws?" I asked. "Terrible claws like Where the Wild Things Are? Or terrible claws like deinonychus*?"

"Like a dinosaur," Charlotte insisted. "I tyrannosaurus. T. Rex!" Then she roared and stomped around the living room and my heart grew three sizes too big. It's hard to be a Grinch about a cranky toddler, messy house, and more work to do when your kid is having such a great time. I'm not gonna post pictures yet, I'll save them for actual Halloween, but I did take some and show them to Charlotte. "That Charlotte in a costume! Tiger!"

* The other day on Dinosaur Train they talked about deinonychus, and how it means "terrible claw". And then yesterday I was reading her some dinosaur book and I pointed it out again, "That's deinonychus. Remember from Dinosaur Train? It means "terrible claw"." Charlotte said, "Gnashed it terrible teeth," which is a line from Where the Wild Things Are, and follows the line, "showed their terrible claws."

Friday, October 9, 2009

House of Germs!

Phew, the last three weeks have been crazy, and the last 10 days Charlotte has been sick. Not serious, but not fun for anyone either. A couple days after her birthday, Charlotte had her 2 year-old immunizations and the FluMist flu "shot." She had a fever, malaise, and one incident of vomiting. Poor kid. After she threw up and while Matt was cleaning her room and I was cleaning her, Charlotte said, "I spitting. I spitting, Mama."

"It's okay," I said. "You weren't spitting" - spitting is Not Allowed - "you threw up. It's okay, you were sick and you threw up."

"I spitting," she repeated. Clearly, she didn't really get what was going on. Luckily, we have a friend with a carpet cleaner, so it wasn't the worst thing in the world, but it was fairly traumatic all around.

Charlotte recovered from that in time to catch a totally DIFFERENT cold that I had, that involved a sore throat, stuffy head, and losing my voice. Now Charlotte is bossing me around in a nasal voice, and coughing when she should be napping. How is it that we have TWO erectile dysfunction pills clogging up my TV air waves, but no one has yet developed a safe and effective toddler decongestant? Priorities, people.

Lots of crazy developmental stuff right now. Charlotte's current obsessions include the new PBS show Dinosaur Train. There is nothing sly or jokey about this show - it is quite literally about a train for dinosaurs. It is like toddler crack. You know how Elmo is crack for one year olds? This is like that - but even more unexpected. After a couple episodes, Charlotte says to me, "That a brachiosaurus," and "Triceratops eat plants!" She found this little train that was attached to a play table, and the only train she has, and she brought it to me saying, "That Dinosaur Train. Dinosaur Train!" Charlotte got some dinosaurs for her birthday, and she was showing them to her baby doll, Judah (named by Charlotte!!). "That stegosaurus. Here triceratops. Triceratops eat plants. Plants inna garden!"

Negotiation has kicked in...she's been doing this for a while. "How 'bout Play-Doh, Mumma? How 'bout more book, Daddy?"

I'd love to post more, and I'm working to get back in the habit, but I gotta get some work done before midnight.