Archive for October, 2006

Adjusting to daylight savings time and books

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

On Sunday night, Reid fell asleep at 7:15. I was very happy and Ken and I spent nearly two hours together awake. Last night, though, we took Reid up in anticipation of lights out at 7:15 and it was at least 8:10 when she fell asleep. This morning she awoke at 5:00 and, though I got her to stay in bed until 5:30, she never went back to sleep. Finally we got up and made oatmeal for us to eat, lunch for Daddy to take to the office (with three packages of rockets contributed by Reid but exchanged for chocolate bars by Mama who learned after sending them that they aren’t a favourite) and lunch for Mama to take to the office and, finally casserole for supper tonight. Reid even set the table for supper. We were quick as wink getting ready for work and daycare respectively and were out the door on time. As I buckled the last part of her car seat, Reid said she needed to go to the potty. I indulged in a silent scream (like that famous painting) and rushed her in to the bathroom where she needed a book read.

I started with the book I wanted to read:
* Sparkly Witch and Wizard – head shake
* Mickey’s Week – no Mickey
* On the Day You Were Born – no born
* Olivia’s Opposites – head shake
* Peak a Who? – no Peak a who (and no inflection)
* But not the Hippopotamus – head shake as soon as I picked the book up
* Does a Kangaroo have a mother, too? – no “dangaroo”
* Olivia Counts – head shake
* In the City: What is that Noise – Yes!
* Ou est maman? – no maman (good accent)
* Avec mon papa – no papa (again, good French)
* Joshua by the Sea – Yes
* Je Veux un kangourou – Success again
* “Cow book, Mama” – I love animals – Yes.

I didn’t have time to offer her Over in the Meadow but I bet she would have said “yes” to this final book.

I should say that Reid refused some of her favourites and even some that she insists I read even though they are from the top of my favourites list.

By the time we’d emptied the potty, Ken had given up sitting in the car and had come back in. At least I could report that it hadn’t been a false alarm.

When she was safely back in the car, I put all of our books back on the shelf and left the library books for just a couple more days of opportunity before they’re due. It’s obvious that we had too many books in the bathroom, eh? My defence is that Reid sometimes wants to grow roots on the potty and I can only read some books so often. (And, yes, we read to her in rooms other than the bathroom so that’s not why she wanted to stay.) Also, I’d brought the library books in so that we could look at them a couple more times.

In the end, Ken was late for work but there is a casserole in the fridge waiting to be cooked and Reid didn’t “go” in her chicken pants.

Jack o’lanterns, or the importance of not over-promising

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

It is a bad idea to carve your pumpkin too early or it will rot and look scarier than you want it to by Hallowe’en. It is an equally bad idea to delay buying until the evening of the Saturday before Hallowe’en. The Loblaws had only two orange (and two white) pumpkins and they were sad looking.  On Sunday when we went to the Superstore, they had none and I was doubting my harsh judgement of the Loblaws selection. I decided to drive by the fruit farm at Reid’s daycare even though I was pretty sure they closed for the season on Saturday. I’m so glad I was wrong! We got a fine pumpkin plus a cider-bottle shaped like a jack o’lantern. Next year, though, I’m not going to procrastinate. (I hope ;+)

In our house, the division of labour for carving pumpkins is set. Reid and I clean the seeds and other gunk from the inside and then Ken carves the face. To pass the time as we work, I ask Reid if she wants the eyes and nose to be circles, triangles, ovals, etc. Ken was busy cleaning up from supper and didn’t hear us, I guess, because when he started carving and I said Reid wanted oval eyes he gave he his Daddy-death-look. I don’t have an evil eye though I am a mother but he sure does! Apparently I have not procured the tools necessary to carve such fancy openings as circles and ovals. Fortunately for me, Reid wasn’t concerned that all of our planning was not able to be implemented. I’ll have to be careful what I’m promising when the delivering isn’t up to me. Ken did a good job of carving the pumpkin and Reid was pleased.

Now if only I can remember (and find) a candle.

Happy Hallowe’en!

Report from the Doctor’s office

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

We took Reid in for her two-year check up on Friday. We didn’t go in July because our doctor was on vacation and we didn’t go in August or September because I’d forgotten to renew Reid’s health card. Finally, it arrived and I scheduled the appointment. Only I was a couple of minutes late meeting Ken and Reid at the office and they took her in without seeing the card. Had I but known …

Ken said that Reid was happy in the waiting room but started to yell and cry when they got to the triage room. It was the same when I took her when she had her viral rash and flu. My psychoanalysis of this behaviour is that she still remembers her 18 month shots. But I should disclose that my training in psychoanalysis was limited to one or maybe two hours in first year psych :+) Whatever the reason, she was still upset and desperate to escape the examination room that they parked us in. A nurse came in to see if we could get Reid’s weighed since she’d been too wild at first. I held her and stood on the scale and then set her down and was weighed again. (I hate getting weighed, even in metric.) I pinned her to the bed and the nurse measured her length. When we got back to Ken, he said that the first nurse said “no” when he suggested that he hold Reid to be weighed but that they did get a length measurement. Poor kid pinned to the bed by mama for nothing :+(

Finally, it was our turn to see the doctor. Reid nursed throughout the exam, with only a brief pause when he looked in her eyes. Most of the exam was a series of questions for us. Does she learn at least one new word a week? I’ll say. More like one dozen a day, it seems. Does she eat most foods? Yep. Is she affectionate? You bet. And so on. The doctor said that Reid is in the 95th percentile for height and the 50th percentile for weight (which explains why her pants won’t stay up unless they high-waters, I guess).

Since Friday, Reid has been eating as though she is trying to bring her weight up to the level of her height. She ate so much curry on Saturday night that we thought she’d get a tummy ache. Chicken curry is one of her favourite meals but, wow! This morning, she insisted on trading me bowls of oatmeal (made from the rolled oats like mom does it) and when she finished what I’d served myself, asked for more. I’m glad I ate from her bowl quickly enough to finish. They’ll offer her breakfast at daycare and I bet she’ll eat again.

Princess Chicken

Monday, October 30th, 2006

There is a story on the back of Starbucks cups about how people speak of conquering mountains but really the mountain lets us climb to the peak in the end.

On Saturday morning as we left the house, Reid dressed as a princess for the Kindermusik party, Reid noticed the chicken costume in her stroller where I’d put it to take back to the store. She exclaimed (yes, exclaimed, not merely said), “Chicken doat” and wouldn’t wear her purple coat that Ken offered but insisted on the chicken coat. And so, Reid was a Princess Chicken for the Kindermusik class. I thought, for a moment, I won! And then I thought of that Starbucks cup and realized my mountain hadn’t changed (or at least not beacuse of me).

Reid was a hit at Kindermusik, both in her chicken coat and as a princess. She wore her tiara and “glass” slippers and carried her sceptre from Melissa and Peter and the kids with regal grace. There were cute pumpkins and frogs and Woody from Toy Story and also some other animals. My mama-heart went out to the lady who sat next to us whose son wouldn’t put on his costume, not even the hat. I told her about Reid wearing a dress-up dress rather than the costume I bought. I hope it helped as she seemed self-conscious that Malcolm wasn’t in costume. He is a generally shy kid, though, but sweet when he warms up.

After class, I changed Reid into jeans and a couple shirts, including her “Ghoul power” t-shirt, and she happily put her chicken coat back on. When we got to the Agricultural Museum, I said she needed her orange pants (the chicken legs and feet) for warmth, which was true. She put them on without a word. I felt like doing a victory dance. We got some good photos that I’ll send later and had fun seeing the animals and doing a couple of crafts. The oddest costume we saw was worn by one of the staff who had on pink pants, a pink shirt with two rows of four bottle nipples down the front, and a snout. We saw one other Old Navy chicken and some ladies in the colouring room asked where Reid’s costume was from. Wet and cold, at least Ken and I were, we headed to the car with Reid clutching the apple juice can we purchased about 90 minutes after arriving. I thought the allure of the can had to do with Daddy’s Coke cans but when I realized it was 12:15 and she wanted to nurse when we got to the car, I decided her tummy was probably rumbly, too. I guess the two jack o’lantern cookies at Kindermusik didn’t have enough stick-to-your-ribs power.

Reid fell asleep nursing and then Ken and I went to Lick’s for lunch. I braved the wind and rain to get our scrumptious hamburgers and fries and we pretended we were at a crowded (but quiet) restaurant and ate and talked. Kinda nice, actually.

Just before supper, I bundled Reid back into her chicken costume and we headed out before we left, though, Ken said “Are you going to get your picture taken?” To quote Homer Simpson , “D’oh” I said and as Reid started to pull off her chicken coat, I LIED and said, “No, we’re goung to buy a balloon”. Once we got to the grocery store, I had to come through with the balloon but Reid didn’t fuss in the portrait studio, at least. She was pretty reticent with her smiles, though. Her expression was sort of pleasant, in a humouring the child sort of way. But then the photographer brought out Dora and Reid smiled a real smile and so we left the portait studio for another month. I thought I was being organized and asked about an appointment for November to get Christmas card photos done. There were no morning slots for Saturday or Sunday for the last week of November or the first week of December. Yikes! It’ll be another before supper adventure, I guess.

Okay, gotta go. Have a great day!

Getting her message across

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

On Friday morning, Reid demonstrated how well she is able to get her message across. Daddy has to take breakfast bars for breakfast on Wednesdays and Fridays since he has French class in the morning and we’re not organized enough to eat before we leave. Daddy prefers All Bran bars but the time I let Reid have a piece, she looked at me like I was amusing myself by feeding her dirt (or something to that effect). When Reid asked for a one of Daddy’s bars, I told her she didn’t like that kind. She ran straight for the pantry to point and ask for one of the “red one bars” – breakfast bars with jam in them.

As she was climbing into the car, Reid noticed that Winnie the Pooh was – gasp! – sitting in her car seat. “My seat, Winnie Pooh,” she said, waving her hand. I commented that it was amazing what the toys that stay in our car do when we’re not there. I had better remember not to put them in her seat anymore because Reid was not impressed with poor Pooh bear.

A little voice in the dark

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

This morning just before five I heard Reid fussing and so I went into her room. As soon as I opened the door to that big, dark room I heard a wee, little voice say, “Nuk.” and then there was a pause and then, “Nuk.” again. I am so lucky that Reid is able to tell me what she needs and I am able to meet them. Nursing in the dark is still my favourite time, I think.

Sad news to share

Friday, October 27th, 2006

I’m usually much happier than this when I start to write a message but today I have to report that we had to put Mars down last night. Clio and Leo are wandering the house seeming a bit lost and, honestly, Ken and I are as well. Reid asks about “Marsh” but is satisfied with the answer that he had to go away.

Pulling herself together for a kiss

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

This morning, Ken and I teamed up to do horrible things to Reid. It all started when I insisted that she couldn’t go to daycare wearing only a turtleneck and tights, not even if the tights had pretty flowers in a row up each leg. Maybe if we lived in southwestern Ontario where it’s warm all year (despite the snow earlier this month :+), I might have let her but since we’re in cold Ottawa, I insisted on a jumper as well or a change to jeans. Well, while she was still complaining about the switch, I brushed her hair (oh, the inhumanity) and then her dad, who otherwise is a nice man, tried to put her warm purple coat on her instead of her preferred blue windbreaker. This final insult was too much. She was forced to result to bonelessness. And wailing. We’re experienced parents, though, and got her into the coat and I carried our little siren to the car. As I put her in her car seat, she pulled herself together for “tiss, Mama” and “hug, Mama” with only a little shudder-sob. I’m so glad she did.  Sometimes she is crying when she leaves and, while Ken says she is fine by daycare, my last view of her for nearly ten hours is of her in tears.

I never fully appreciated the trees on the farm

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Sure, I was grateful for the breezes in the summer when we didn’t have air conditioning and I appreciated the shade when mom made me play outside on sunny days (child cruelty practioner that she was) and I know I had fun jumping in leaves that were raked into a pile and kicking those that were just laying there waiting to make a crackly sound. I don’t think I appreciated them just *being* there until Reid came and I live in a house with a pretty young tree out front and none in the back. It’s sunny and 7 degrees this afternoon (warm enough you don’t need mittens). We’ll get Reid’s rake out for a bit on our wee front lawn and I’ll tell her about the good old days when I jumped in big piles of leaves.

No wait, that may not work as it just started to rain, despite the sun, say a little prayer for us that the rain will stop so we can play outside.

Update: Someone heard me. The rain stopped and Reid and I managed a respectable pile of leaves.

Buying costumes for Reid is getting to be like buying stuff for our cats

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Pointless. Thankless. That’s what it’s like to buy a toy for our cats. They like Boingos when they’re in the mood. They don’t like igloos, cute catprint mats to lay on even when they have catnip in them, or buttercup cat beds. Our cats will, if they are feeling indulgent, play with the Bite Bill (Gates) catnip toy and the triangles filled with catnip.

Reid, however, won’t wear the Hallowe’en costume I bought her. It’s so cute. A chicken from Old Navy. I took her to pick it out. She modelled it for Ken we got home, clucked a couple times and was fabulous. Then, I put it in the closet for a month. When I brought it out on Sunday, she was not impressed – in fact, she almost cried when I tried to put it on her. So I didn’t. Since then Ken and I have both tried on the hood of the jacket and Ken put the pants on his head. Reid was willing to put the pants on her head as well but wouldn’t let the jacket get near her. I think if I can’t convince her to put the jacket on tonight I will try and return the costume and someone who didn’t plan ahead like me and buy a costume seven weeks before Hallowe’en will be very lucky.

Reid has agreed she’ll wear her princess dress instead but she hasn’t put it back on. It probably won’t be warm enough without a coat and she’ll get it dirty at daycare but it’s not about me and what I want, right :+? We have a fleece bunny suit Grandma Joyce made last year when Reid balked at the adorable caterpillar costume I bought and which Reid wore only for photos and then under duress.  That could do us for the evening.  (If you’re wondering, last year she wore a black turtle-neck and black pants under a black net with spider webs on it wizard dress that I made from fabric I had in my basement.) I remember fondly Reid’s first Hallowe’en when she wore that pig costume and didn’t say a word about it! But I’m glad she has words and is her independent two-year old self. Maybe next year she’ll like the costume I buy. Oh, some of you are thinking I should give up on buying her costumes but you know I won’t :+)