Wednesday, November 26, 2014

little bunny foo-foo

Note: This story happened weeks ago, so for the sake of my sanity, please just enjoy the story, but do NOT remind Babs that said story exists. Otherwise, I will have to revisit the entire thing.

Are you familiar with Little Bunny Foo-Foo? Who goes hopping through the forest? Scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head? Well, the good fairy comes by and tells him to stop or else. After three chances Mr. Bunny has not improved his behavior, so the fairy turns him into a goon.

At first we didn't listen to the song because it scared Kiddo, what with the goon talk and all. But that drew Babs' attention to this scary story, and so we needed to listen to it. So when we were in the car without Kiddo (which happens a lot now that we're off to preschool every other day, while Kiddo's in school), we listened to the rhyme/song/ditty. Then we listened to it again. And again. And again.

After Babs had heard the story enough times to really know it, then she had to understand it. What's a goon? Why did the good fairy tell Little Bunny Foo-Foo to stop? What was he doing again? Why was that wrong?

Babs always wants the back story. She wonders about what motivates the characters. She wonders what happens next. She is never content to just hear a story, she has to know a story, to feel the story. Part of this process includes reading the story backwards, page by page. I find her probing question complicated, as I've always just accepted stories at face value. Babs is teaching me to consider more.

Her best question: What if the fairy gave him five chances?


I've started reading her chapter books. It turns out that she is more than ready. We recently finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then watched the movie (which is legendary in my husband's family, given a certain Aunt's love of the movie.) Babs had a hard time reconciling the differences. For example, in the book Charlie sees the other children leaving the factory, "fixed" from their naughtiness. Babs was disappointed not to see that in the movie. (She thinks there is another movie, and she is anxious to see that part.) I found the book to be so much better than the movie. There is a lot more Oompa-Loompa singing in the book, they have a lot more to say.

We've started a new book, and on the page that Babs was carefully pouring over (she can't read yet, but she knows all those letters become something), she noticed two words in italics. "It looks like there's some singing in here," she wisely pointed out.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

green bananas

Babs usually skips dinner. She sits with us, but will tell us how nasty the food is, or that she hates it. But rules are rules, and the rules of our house are that you have to eat dinner if you want something else to eat later. Her dinner often sits cold, waiting to be eaten just before bed in case she decides she needs a snack before she goes to bed. (But, if she likes dinner, she eats plenty.)

Last night she yet again did not eat dinner. Just before bed she really wanted to eat, so I showed her the dinner she did not eat. She managed to eat it, and then she got her desired banana.

I warned her, it's a little green... "That's okay, I only eat the inside of the banana."

Saturday, November 15, 2014

little empathy

The other day I watched my friend's baby. Except her baby is as much of a baby as my baby, meaning not so much. She is basically the same age as the Boy. When she realized that I was taking care of her, not her mom, and that we were at my house, not hers, she got very sad. So she cried.

The boy was amazing, and let me hold her without getting jealous. We read books, we played with toys, we went outside, nothing made her forget her sorrow. She would stop crying for a moment, then remember how bad things were, then start up again. She also would not let me put her down. Luckily she only really whine-cried, not full out screaming.

The Boy was confused by this constant sorrow, and crawled over to her, and gave her a hug. That made her even less happy, but it thrilled me to watch my little boy already recognize sadness, and know how we take care of it.

(Eventually I took them both downstairs and turned on the TV. Moments later she fell asleep on my lap, in what I refer to as 'protest sleep.')


Although the Boy acts in similar ways. Every so often I find someone to watch him so I don't have to wake him to pick up one of his sisters at school. He inevitably wakes up anyway while I'm gone, and then will not let go of whomever picks him up, and snuggles with them until I get home. Then he tells me the sad story of his sleep ending and someone else being there.

things our parents do for us

We had the sister missionaries over for dinner last night. As part of their spiritual message, they asked our children what their parents do that make them happy. Babs said that we play with her. (As infrequently as we can get away with, but yes, we play with her.) Kiddo answered without guile, "They give me chores. Helping out by doing chores makes me happy." Ironically, chores do not make her happy. (Do they make any one happy?) It is in fact the quickest route to tears and shouts of "it's not fair!" Even the easy chores, the actual fun chores, are hard and left undone without some encouragement. But she believes in her heart that she wants to do chores all day long. Except that she doesn't.


Today Babs shouted to me "It's not fair!" about some injustice of parenting. (I believe I wouldn't let her watch TV, after she'd already watched a bunch.) I looked her in the eye "Have I ever told you life was fair?" No. "Has Daddy?" No. "Did you learn it at preschool?" No. "Good. Because life isn't fair. I need you to know that." My follow-up thought, that I'm sure she's not ready for, is for us, that's a good thing, because we have a lot more than we deserve.


Kiddo lost her next tooth! I pulled it after the dentist said that her three current loose teeth were all ready to go (I haven't pulled the next two yet). She has a slight missing tooth lisp. This one does not have an immediate tooth following in, so there is actually a big gap, which I'm enjoying. She luckily doesn't think about it much, because the night I pulled it, she looked in the mirror and said "Oh, this is terrible. My smile is terrible." It's not. It's adorable.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

summer road trip to Edison

 This is Kiddo and her best friend when she was three. His mom, who is awesome, still calls her each year on her birthday. I try to call them too, but it's awkward because his birthday is four days after hers.

It's also awkward because despite being in the country for about four or five years now, her English is still slim. But it's okay, because all the people in her new neighborhood (she moved the same time we did) speak her same language. (Am I horrible that I'm not sure what language it is?)

We drove back to NJ to visit them this summer. She asks me to visit every summer... sometimes I don't make it. But this summer I did. It was a long day trip. I asked Kiddo to take a picture of us. Just before she clicked it I said "Wait - are our faces in the picture?" She assured me yes. And this is what we got: (faces, check. older women bellies, check.)
 So then I took a selfie. (Incidentally, one of Kiddo's first school project was to draw a "selfie," except she didn't know what it was, so she drew a full bodied portrait. Is is wrong to be glad that my kid doesn't know this term yet?)
What I love about this lady is that she has been my friend since the first day at the library and I showed her where the stroller/wheelchair door was. I love that we can barely communicate, but she wants me to hang out for hours (I have to believe she understands a lot of what I say, even if she can't express much). I love that she can laugh at herself. I love that she's an amazing cook. I love that despite her incredible skills in the kitchen, she's still impressed by my chocolate cookies I make. She loves my little blond children. And she makes this amazing duck sound that they love. NJ was an odd place, but I made some serious friends there.

I brought her some of those cookies, which was basically the only thing my kids ate there because they won't eat her amazing Indian food (although I tried what she made for the kids, and it was more than a little gross...). This meant that Kiddo threw up on the way home. It was an awful mess. Luckily both the little ones were sleeping when it happened so at least I could clean up in peace. And the exit we got off on also brought us to a museum of statues, so we saw these amazing statues as we looked for a place to park (pictures of my favorite).

Will we go again? Maybe next year...