Friday, November 30, 2012

a joke from kiddo

Kiddo shared with my the following joke this morning:
What did the bluebird say to the butterfly?
You look blue-tiful!

She then reported that Daddy makes jokes like that all the time. I'm not sure if she remembered a joke he told him, or made it up herself, but maybe she's starting to get it. (But if I considered yesterday's joke, maybe not.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

where's kiddo?

For what feels like the ump-teenth time (and with precision like that, you know I've counted correctly) Kiddo yelled from her room this morning: "Mom! Come find me! Pretend you can't find me!"

So I dutifully walked into her room, where it was immediately apparent that she was hiding under her covers. Then we did our little script:
Me: Where is Kiddo? I heard her just a moment ago...
(mostly silence)
Me: I guess I'd better find her. Is she in her doll house?
Kiddo (muffled by covers): No, I don't fit there!
Me: Is she hiding behind the bookcase?
Kiddo: I would never fit there!
Me: Maybe she's in her closet... No...
Me: Well, that was really tiring, I'll just lie down and rest on her bed, (intense giggling)
Me: Wait! This bed, it's giggling, and lumpy! what's wrong here!
Kiddo: It's me! You found me!
Then there's more laughing and tickling.

I was so tired of this game, but she ruined my pity party. After "finding" her today, her little head poked out of the covers and she gushed "This is my favorite game mom." So I suppose I'll be finding her tomorrow too.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

program participation (or Kiddo reads)

The other morning, the girls were in Babs' room. I walked in to find Kiddo reading this book to Babs. It was wonderful. Babs now frequently asks Kiddo to read to her.

I believe in letting kids who are not yet in school drive their own education. I will teach them things, but only when they show desire. Yet I pushed her into this. But only a little bit.

Kiddo came home at the end of preschool last year with a student evaluation. Among many things, it said that she could recognize her name, and those of many of her classmates. I put this with some other things I'd noticed, and decided to try to teach her how to read over the summer.

Her participation in my goal for her changed from day to day, meaning she's like all of us. Some days we would do the minimum daily work, other days she would read, and read, and read.

Since (pre)school started, I've let her do things at her own pace, although I still practice with her some days. She is becoming an independent reader, even if she doesn't recognize it.

Two Sundays before the primary program, she got assigned her part. In the initial practice, as each child's name was called, he or she came to the podium, repeated the sentence told to him or her by the leaders, then sat down. Unless the assignment was a talk, those children just came up, got the assignment paper, then sat back down. Kiddo was assigned a talk, but didn't understand that she was just supposed to come back down without saying anything. So she stood there, expectently, waiting for someone to tell her what to say. When no help came, she looked at her paper, and clearly read "I am blessed when I choose the right." By that point I got her attention, and had her sit down.

That week, I wrote her a five paragraph talk, which she read for the program. It may not have been written by herself, (I already had her write her own talk, she's not ready for that yet) but it was delivered as well as any of the older kids did, and better than many of them.

Disturbingly, I made her read it about four times to practice. But she recited it almost entirely from memory when the actual program came around.This recitation caused me no small amount of angst, because she had been cracking a joke about her talk for the last few days, and I was very worried it would make it into the talk. She kept to the script though.

As well as her own independent reading, she reads her verse in the scriptures with us each night.

She notices things written all the time. I am becoming aware that if I don't want her to read it, I need to write in cursive.

I am so proud of her.

Friday, November 9, 2012


 A few weeks ago Kiddo had a primary lesson on service. It seemed to really stick. The next Saturday, as we were outside (talking to our landlord I believe) she saw that our neighbors hadn't started raking their leaves, and decided she would help. She found her rake, and headed on over.

Well, you have to support a blossoming understanding of service, right? So my husband found his rake, and the two of them worked at it.

Most of the work by Kiddo stopped once there was a serious pile of leaves, but I was proud of her anyway.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

mad, mad

Babs has an very good understanding of mad. It's an emotion that she quickly identifies in others, and in herself. She is also quick to assign the emotion to her toys that may have "mad faces." In fact, while we were playing with a dress-up puzzle yesterday, she even dressed him in his "mad shirt," which was red. In her pretend play, people get made all the time.

The other night she was getting in major trouble (because she likes to throw cups of water on the floor, but only at dinner time). Babs was discussing with her daddy the end of her time out, and the conversation went something like this:

D: What did you do wrong?

B: I dun-no.

D: You threw water. We do not throw water.

B: We don't throw water. Then daddy gets MAD.

D: Yes, I am mad.
B: Then I get MAD. I MAD! My time-out is done. I need to wash my sticky hands!

Her fixation with being mad is always surprising to me. Perhaps because Kiddo had to teach herself what mad is. But Babs has always known, and seems to identify with it really well.

Here she is, not so mad.


For my birthday, my mother-in-law bought me tickets to see the musical Wicked. It was amazing, and I highly recommend it. She was supposed to be our babysitter for the event, but the hurricane kept her away, and we had to find someone else. We asked a newly married couple in our ward that know our kids (he's happy to quietly play with them at church), because we knew we'd be out pretty late, and it was a school night. The kids were very excited to have babysitters, and were thrilled to have someone new to tell all their stories too.

They played with them for a bit, then put them to bed. We had put their jammies on, and told the couple that when it was time, they should read them some stories, then put them in their beds. I told them that I assumed Kiddo would just go to her bed and put herself to sleep. I also said that Babs might be a bit harder. I suggested they could just put her in her crib, and close the door and let herself cry it out. But, I am quick to assure babysitters that they are the ones with my kids, so they should do whatever they can live with.

Babs tried multiple ploys to not go to bed. She informed them that her mommy wanted her to be up. She asked for a bandaid. She tried every excuse she could think of. They tag-teamed rocking her, and trying to get her to peacefully go down.

Which she eventually did, because she was asleep when we got home.

Our friends are good people.

Friday, November 2, 2012

some things about kiddo

During nap/rest time today, Kiddo was alone in her room talking to some of her imaginary people. Was she introducing herself to her class/ teaching? I don't know. I do know that she made an itemized list of 30 things about herself. Unfortunately I only managed to remember about 15 of them, and I am not able to list them in the order they came in. But I love these windows into her soul. (It's important to list the number before the item, because she did label each one.)

8. I have a lot of candy [from Halloween].
9. My mom doesn't think I should eat very much candy.
10. My dad thinks I should eat candy after three meals, breakfast, one; lunch, two; and three is dinner.
16. Most of my room is pink; it's my favorite color!
17. We'll be moving into a new house soon.
18. My parents want me to know that when we move we'll get a kitty-cat!
19. I have lots of books, stuffed animals, and toys that I don't want my little sister to touch.
21. When I grow up I want to be an artist. Not a firefighter, or an astronaut, but just an artist.
22. I love to paint. Not color in the lines, or crayon, or marker, just paint.
25. I have lots of dresses, two are matching with my sister, and one is a costume.
26. I have a Cinderella light with an "on-screw" that is very hard to turn.
27. I love being a girl.
29. We had a Halloween party at preschool today.
30. I have lots of dresses, shirts, and skirts. Sometimes my mom makes me wear leggings, pants, jeans or shorts.

Speaking of windows into her soul, Babs was teasing her this afternoon, as always. I tried to explain to Kiddo AGAIN that Babs was just teasing. (Specifically today, every time Kiddo tried to assert that she was the big sister, Babs would say no. Kiddo was so distressed that Babs wouldn't listen to her.) "She teases. That's what she does." I stressed.

"I don't tease," replied Kiddo solemnly.

And my heart reached out to her, without possibly having the words to express to her how deeply I understood her. I know she doesn't tease, and barely understands the concept. I know that this will be a (seemingly) never ending source of misunderstanding between her and her sister (because Babs loves to tease), and be a source of joy to her sister. And I get it, because it took me years to learn to tease (and more importantly, take a tease) myself. Yes, my little sincere one, I know, you don't tease.

Last night the girls were watching something on the computer, and my husband and I went downstairs to watch TV (they didn't follow us, it was strange). When we finally came upstairs again, there was Kiddo, bravely trying to watch her site while Babs was gleefully twisting her hair in knots. I told Babs, not for the first time, what an amazingly patient and good big sister she had. The typical child would have been whomped in that situation.


Halloween started early this year with our church's Fall Harvest/Trunk or Treat activity. It ended late with Kiddo's preschool party being held today, two days after halloween. In the middle we actually did some trick-or-treating. Given the option, Kiddo would continue the festivities, and attempted to throw a Halloween party tomorrow. I had to tell her that is not how parties work (not in this house any way) and convinced her to wait until her birthday.

We spent a lot of September, and some of October, discussing various costume ideas. I was adamant that we would make no costume decisions until after my birthday. After many ideas floated by Kiddo, once she found her old Snow White costume, she knew exactly what she wanted to be, and I spent an hour and half repairing the ripped tulle so it was ready. (Not to be confused with the second time, my husband and I tag teaming the mending of the gigantic rip across the front.) She was very excited to be a beautiful princess, because they are not scary and are nice, which is exactly what Kiddo wants from life. We tried to convince Babs to be a little witch, my husband even bought her a hat. But she told anyone and everyone that would listen that she was going to be Jessie. So the day before the party I bought her a Jessie hat, and the day of the party I made her some Jessie pants, and a braid for the hat. She was very, very excited.

I also invited a girl from Kiddo's school and her mom to the party. I may not have done that had I known what my ward party would be like. First, the lights in the gym were almost all off, so it was pretty dark (mood lighting I know). They announced that adults were encouraged to be in costumes, so I made my first costume in decades. (No pictures, sorry, but also no big deal. I sewed some leaves on my brown T-shirt and went as fall. I'll tell you what though, small kids loved it.) And, as announced, there were lots of adults in costumes, and many of them were pretty scary for little kids. No masks, of course, just dark face paint. How could I have expected this? The end result of the lights, noise, and costumes was that Kiddo shut down, and did not want to associate with any one. In fact, she spent about half the activity sitting out in the (well-lit, quiet) foyer with my husband, leaving me there with our potential new friends. Thank goodness for Babs, our little ambassador, who played all night with Kiddo's preschool friend. In fact, the two of them are now better friends than Kiddo and the girl.

Babs did take two breaks from playing. One was for a diaper change, and the other was when she found one of the five-year old boys who dressed as Woody. Babs spotted him, and yelled "WOODY!" then ran up to him and said, "It's me! Jessie!" The boy was not excited to see Jessie, and pulled his hat low over his face, as if this would hide him, and tried to get away. I really should have grabbed her, but it was so funny the way she was chasing him, yelling about how here she was, Jessie! But then he looked so uncomfortable I finally tried to convince her to stay at the table.

When we got the trunk-or-treat portion of the party, a small announcement was made. "It's raining." I assumed that would be followed by an announcement that we'd move it indoors, but no, they just let us know it was raining. In the 10 minutes we were outside it moved from a sincere sprinkle to thunder, lightening, and serious rain fall. So we yelled a brief goodbye to our visitors, strapped soaking wet children into our van and came home.

Compared to that, our Halloween was pretty tame. Preschool was still cancelled that day (see our hurricane event), so we just stayed home again. After bribing our children to eat some dinner, we layered them up with multiple undergarments, and they went trick-or-treating with their dad. They visited ten or so houses, and by then their small buckets were full, their daddy was tired of carrying Babs, and he brought them home. They LOVED it! (My husband was not as sour as this picture would lead you to believe. But I was pretty sure that asking him to take another picture would not lead to a happier face.)

And here they are, home with the loot!

Then two days later was the preschool party. They played fun music, decorated cookies, made crafts and dressed up. What a perfect day for Kiddo. And this holiday is finally past for another year.