Archive for October, 2006

Putting on her own clothes

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Reid is getting more and more proficient at undressing and dressing herself. As anyone who visited us at the Wheatley Provincial Park in July probably saw, she has long been able to peel off her pants and panties and, depending on how tight the neckline is, also her shirt. This skill was good for getting into her inflatable turtle pool in the summer and remains useful at bathtime and in the morning when her pyjamas need to come off. She is also pretty good at dressing her bottom hallf. Yesterday, she managed to get her socks on, with only one was twisted but she let me fix it, her panties on once I got the princess to the front and oriented properly in her hands, and then – in a flash – she got her pants on all by herself. She was able to get her shirt arranged with the pumpkin on the front but pulling it over her head is outside of the realm of possible for now.

This morning, she rejected my first three offerings but when I dropped off the last option, telling her she needed to choose from what she had, and went to dress myself she tackled tights on her own. She doesn’t have the gather-the-legs-all-up technique yet but I explained and demonstrated it and then let her pull them up. If the daycare can teach her to put her boots on, I’m up to the challenge of tights. At least by the time she is five. She stepped nicely into her skirt but then had to switch from the shirt I chose to another I’d offered her earlier. Ken’s comment about the clothing opinions was, “Reid, you’re becoming a woman.” I’d have said something but since he will wear pretty much anything I choose as long as it fits and keeps him warm, whereas I try several outfits on any given day, I could only give him a look that said, “Someday, you’ll get yours.” You know, a vague, empty threat look.

Have a great day.

Books, books, books

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

Reid is in a bit of a rut or, more accurately, she likes repetition. Lately, she has been wanting her cow book – a simple book about:
* Frank the Farmer, who plants lettuce even though there are apples in the trees and the lettuce are nearly full grown;
* Harriet the Hen, who gives her chicks a treat though there are no treats in evidence;
* Henry the Horse, who has a bee for a friend; and
* The pigs, who don’t have names and are accused of being dirty.

Daddy explains that pigs aren’t dirty but use mud to stay cool but who knows if Reid understands. There is an inaccuracy on every page and if I was just a touch more of a purist, I would give it away but then Reid would hound me asking for the “dow” book.

We have a more accurate book that has recently come up from the basement, where the books that were too old for Reid went, called “Who is on the farm?” It’s a beautifully illustrated, lift-the-flap book with accurate and informative text that describes what the male, female and young of each animal is called plus some fact. It’s good because we’re moving beyond mama cow, daddy cow – bull, and baby cow but there is no story line. She flips through the pages in various orders and more than once per “reading” while one of us reads the text or comments on the images. Then, she’ll come to the other parent for another read.  For a person trained as an historian, I’m really not keen on non-fiction. The sacrifices I make for Reid!

While we were at the Great Wolf Lodge, the Cub Club fellow read Robert Munsch’s “Mortimer”. Reid loved the “Cling, clang, rattle-bing-bang, Gonna make my noise all day” part and asked for it recently. I bought three of the Munschworks Treasuries before I was even pregnant (maybe I jinxed myself and it took longer to get pregnant because of the purchase, but I digress). I’ve read it to her the past number of nights. Last night, Ken asked if wasn’t there another story in the book that I could read. He must have blocked, “Murmel, Murmel, Murmel” from his mind because I read it Sunday night. Before I finished “Mortimer’, though, Reid was asking to nurse and so Ken will have to wait to hear “Something Good” until another night. It surprised me that the two (or maybe three) other stories in the collection were too old for her. I’d never really thought of it before since I can understand all of the Munsch books. :+)

This morning I read Reid “The True Story of Humpty Dumpty” which is new to the line-up and gives the backstory of Humpty as a nasty egg who convinces the kings horses and men to climb onto the wall from which *they* ultimately all fall to Humpty’s amusement. Once Humpty falls, they’re not eager to put him together again but they do. Then, I read “Once Upon a Time” which is also new and has scenes from fairy tales developing in the background. We need to read the traditional tales as she doesn’t know the allusions.

When it was Ken’s turn to read, he had to start with “Once Upon a Time” although he tried to convince her that they should choose something else since I’d just read it. Today’s Parent this month talked about toddlers as scientists who repeat experiments to be sure the results are valid. Maybe she also enjoys the differences in our delievery as our reading cadence and the voices are definitely different. Ken also tackled “Where’s My Hairy Toe?”, a good pre-Hallowe’en read, and “Mama Loves You”. Ken tried switching the “mama” references to “daddy” once but Reid corrected him each time. I do try to find more books about daddies, but as I’ve mentioned (I think) it seems that most books with daddies in them are about sons.

Egg Marketing Board – Watch Out

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

I’m thinking of offering Reid’s services to the Egg Marketing Board. On Sunday morning I was hurrying Reid through getting ready to go out for breakfast and told her she needed to get her clothes on so that we could go see Didi (the waitress she likes) for breakfast. Her response? “Reidie eggs.” Yes, my baby, you can have your two scrambled eggs – which she’ll eat even when they’ve gone cold. So, maybe you’ll see Reid on an “Eggs – get crackin’” advertisement.

I was going to write something funny about Blue’s Clues

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

But before I could I write, I had to confirm that the host’s name was Joe (and it had been Steve or vice versa). Now that I know that the host’s name is Joe, I can’t remember why I needed to know. Memory loss isn’t something I worry about for the future because I have no memory now. And that’s why I take so many photos and video clips.

I can tell you instead that Reid is a fan of Rolie Polie Olie, or at least she seems to enjoy watching it despite the fact that it’s the program I turn on when I pull, errr, I mean brush her hair in the morning. Now, when I ask if she wants to watch it she says, “Yes. No brusheem” as she heads for the couch. I haven’t learned to love Dora, though when Reid was sick I felt bad that we didn’t have any recorded for her to watch in her hour of need. We read some Pocoyo books this weekend and Reid was excited to watch one of the two episodes that Ken kept after the purge. We had many episodes that she wasn’t watching after being a Pocoyo addict for a while. I missed that little guy in his blue hat and pj-type suit. The humour plays well on two levels. Ken and Reid watch some show about a bunch of bugs that seems okay but I have enough shows of my own to follow and am not up on this one.

Adventures on a Sunday morning

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

After Kindermusik on Saturday, Reid and I went to the “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” at a nearby library. I had visions of fancy hats and little tea sets. Luckily, I didn’t share my expectations with Reid. She happily, with no-over-hyped expectation, made a headband-type hat. She glued circles of constuction paper (yellow, of course, plus others), cotton balls (cut in half by her cheap mother even though there was no cost involved), pipe cleaners twisted into fun shapes (also yellow) and crumpled up squares of tissue paper, crumpled by her very own hands, which in itself was a treat, to the band and then I fitted it to her head. At that point I noticed that I hadn’t put the glue on the side that Reid had decorated with markers. This oversight slipped right by her and I hope none of you will squeal on me. Glue is new to our craft reperatoire. Reid is funny when her fingers get stuck together or to whatever she is gluing – think dirty hands being held out imperiously to be cleaned. There was also a story time at 11:00, which we caught a bit of. I think Reid and I may have found a new place to hang out after Kindermusik to give Daddy some time to himself. We went through the drive-thru at McDonald’s for a hamburger happy meal. Reid really likes the hamburgers and they’re not (too) messy and the milk in the carton fun even when it isn’t chocolate. When I asked her if she wanted to bake with me on Sunday morning she said, “Hamurger” and so I am not exagerating when I say she really likes hamburgers (even the ones that are thick and juicy and homemade). No, I didn’t bake her hamburgers on Sunday but maybe one day …

Questions I am glad I don’t have to answer yet

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

On the way home from breaksfast last Sunday with Grandma Joyce and Uncle Roger, we drove by a “lady of the night”. Uncle Roger, who was driving, received a particularly friendly greeting. We laughed at how exactly a man in a car with his mother, a child and another woman might arrange to take her up on the offer. Then, I was thinking of how glad I am that I didn’t have to field any questions (yet) from Reid. Anyone with ideas of what to say should reply to this message as Reid is pretty observant and may ask any day.

It’s not that logic doesn’t work

Friday, October 20th, 2006

I was reminded this morning that it’s not that Reid rejects logic, it’s that she has trouble predicting things. We all slept in this morning and so getting ready was a scramble. As Reid was putting her boots on and I was holding her coat, I noticed that her hair was hanging loose about her face. I scooped her up as she decided she wanted to wear slippers instead, over her Daddy’s objections, and she sang her usual “No pony” song; okay, it isn’t a song but “whine” and “complain” are so negative. I don’t argue about the pony tail since the logical thing (in Ken’s mind) is to have Reid’s hair cut. I did let her choose between a pony tail and a braid though and didn’t gripe when she chose a braid and then changed her mind – I’m a model mother, don’t you think?

The logic that we needed for Reid to accept was that you can’t wear slippers outside on a rainy fall day. Ken tried appealing to her deference to authority by telling her “no, you must wear boots” but it turns out that she isn’t deferential. Surprised ;+? He tried appealing to her sense of logic – that she can’t walk outside with slippers on. Since she was concerned with her hair, she didn’t care about going outside. I let her put the slippers on and then waited til she was ready to walk out the door before reminding her that I’d have to carry her (which she hates) unless she puts her boots on. Success! She put them on without fussing but then I committed a grievous error and carried her part way down the sidewalk (remember we were late) and she yelled till I put her down, retraced her steps to the porch, called out “Reid doed it”, and walked to the car. I didn’t save anytime :+)

Back to daycare

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

We took Reid back to daycare on Wednesday morning. She climbed quickly out of her seat, gave Daddy an enthusiastic kiss and hurried across the parking lot, saying “Running” with a big smile on her face. I’m so glad that she is so adaptable and so glad that she enjoys daycare.

I’m pleased as well that the daycare people seem to have taught her to line her boots up with the toes pointing to the wall and then lean on the wall to balance as she put them on. Uncle Roger and Grandma Joyce noticed this habit when they were here. I hadn’t but once it was pointed out, I had to admit that the clever tactic wasn’t mine. If I had 15 toddlers to get outside at the same time, I may have thought of it but fortunately I don’t. It’s a good strategy to share with anyone who will need to help a small person into boots for the next 5 or 6 months like I will.

When Daddy is away

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

When Daddy is away, some routines change. I learned this when I was a kid with Dad on afternoons. I live this as an adult when Ken travels (which thankfully isn’t often) or when he has to go to the Cameron’s museum on Thursdsys or back to work (which never happened until recently but will be more frequent for a while). Before Reid came, I started a wonderful habit of going to Melissa’s to watch Ben on Thursday nights while the Sarah and Stephen were at swimming lessons. The night of the lessons changed eventually and Ben got big enough to attend his own lessons but still Melissa fed and entertained me. Even since Reid came and then started eating her own share of the food, we’ve been wlecome. We stay out a bit later than usual (it used to be way later but with daycare in the morning I have to be good) and Reid nurses in the car before we head home. Ever since she has been old enough to be nosy – and that was pretty young – she hasn’t been able to focus on nursing in the house. As we head into another winter of nursing in the car, I wish she wasn’t nosy like her dad ;+). Truthfully, I wish she *was* nosy like him because he isn’t very nosy.

Since Reid got sick before Ken left but close enough to the departure date that he couldn’t stay home with her and continued after he went, our Reid-Mama bonding time started earlier and was more intense even than anticipated. We hit a new routine quickly – meals at Reid’s little table (thanks again for that, Chris) and naps, sleeping, bathroom breaks and pretty much everything else together. Talking on the phone to Daddy just before bed (which was before supper Reno-time) was an important part of our day when we managed to connect. Whenever Reid played with a phone while Ken was away, she always said “Hello, Daddy” as soon as she picked up the receiver. By the time he came home she was asking me about him quite often. “Daddy had to go away for work” is a simple enough concept but she didn’t ask or understand why. That question will come.

Since he’s been back, Daddy has been the recipient of many cuddles and smiles. Monday night, when we was dog-tired from 12 hours of travelling and a time-change, she was laying on top of him kissing him and talking (and overwhelming him probably). Seemed like a good welcome home to me.

Guess who …

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

When Reid woke up on Sunday, I asked said, “Guess who is on the couch”. She knew it was Grandma Joyce and when asked, “Guess who is the basement,” she knew it was “Uncle Roge”. I was glad these things were true because (1) I wanted more adults in the house so that I could use the bathroom absolutley alone and (2) I had told her on Friday that they were coming and when they didn’t show up, she had many questions.

We went to Eddie’s for breakfast on Sunday (of course ;+) where Reid refused to sit in the highchair for the first time. She hasn’t used the tray at home for a while but she has insisted on both the chair and “lid” at the restaurant, even though she has to be a bit of a contortionist to get in and out. I’m glad, I guess, because she was bound to get stuck at some point but sad that she is less and less a baby. On the way home we stopped at the grocery store and Reid eventually decided she wanted to try out the mechanical cars, tractors, etc in the mall and so Uncle Roger took her, under strict orders not to put any money in. Ken and I make the appropriate noises and encourage her to join in and sometimes Ken will jiggle the vehicle but we don’t give up our loonies. Once, when Pam’s nephew Justin was visiting, he paid for a ride but he hasn’t been back and so Reid has forgotten the thrill of the vehicle moving on it’s own. Now I know it seems like I’m cheap but I learned from Melissa that I won’t have to listen to Reid whine when I don’t have money if I never hand over the loonie and she’ll always enjoy the “ride”.

Grandma Joyce and I took Reid to the park past the library after our nap since the sun was shining and the park has a cool swing. The highlight for all of us was, I think, the hill by the play structure. Maybe it was that Reid finally felt like running around after so many days of feeling crumby or maybe it was that she knows that sunny days are limited in the autumn or maybe it was that the hill seemed like a mountain to one who is as un-tall (short is an ugly word) as Reid but she ran up the hill giggling. I did what any self-respecting mother would do – I ran up after her to show her how to roll down the hill. She couldn’t be persuaded to put her arms up above her head and so rolled in an erratic manner but she did like rolling. After a particularly long roll, she tried to stand up and had a very concerned look on her face when she realized how dizzy she was. “Hep, Mama” she said as Grandma Joyce and I laughed since we had just discussed that we were surprised she wasn’t dizzy.

Reid skipped daycare on Monday to spend time with Uncle Roger and Grandma Joyce. Since it was a day for the cleaners to visit, Uncle Roger took Reid to the park when the ladies were supposed to be there. By 8:30, they were at the park. By 9:30, they were checking to see if the library was open (it wasn’t til 10) and they hit the grocery store and got home just as the cleaners were leaving. I’m not sure what else they did but Reid was playing happily when I got home.

Reid ditched daycare again Tuesday. In the afternoon, Reid took Grandma and Uncle Roger to the Agricultural Museum.  When they decided to go, it was spitting but by the time they got there, it was raining hard but since they’re farm-folk they persevered. When Ken and I got home, Reid reported that she had seen a “daddy cow” – and agreed that she knew it was really a “daddy cow bull” – and a mama cow, a mama pig with baby pigs (drinking mama milk), etc. She didn’t see any “grandma pigs”, though, and was amused by the question. I heard stories about playing in the basement and using the potty down there (a novelty, I guess) but I don’t have details. Maybe Uncle Roger will share some funny stories.

After a quick nurse, Ken and I left to go out for supper. Together. By ourselves. Alone with each other. Fabulous! When we told Reid, she got all choked up, umm, no she didn’t, she said “Bye, Daddy” and “Bye, Mama” in a carefree voice but was persuaded to give hugs and kisses. Ken had to go back to work after supper but the 75 minutes we had together were great!