Archive for February, 2007

Books we read, February 23rd

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

In the morning, we read Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton, or rather I sang it (to use the term loosely). There is a notice on the front cover that you can hear Davy Jones sing the story. We haven’t ever listened to it but I try to put it to a Monkees-ish tune. We also read Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom. Reid’s excitement every time we see the page where Daddy bear comes home is funny to see. She doesn’t remember when I was on mat leave and we used to wait eagerly the last half hour or so for Ken to come home. Or maybe she does. She often comments on how Mama bear stays home with Jesse but I go to work. It doesnt seem to bother her, she just notices the difference.

In the evening, we read:

  • Don’t Forget to Come Back! by Robie H. Harris about a little girl who is left with a babysitter (after many protests) and then has a nice evening. We may need to refer to this one if the stars ever align just right so that we find a babysitter. Reid doesn’t consider staying with relatives to be anything but a visit without Ken and I to interfere;
  • There’s Only One of Me! by Pat Hutchins, which was as good as I hoped, if a bit tongue-twisty as the little girl was her “half-brother’s half-sister” and her “stepfather’s stepdaughter” and each page contained all relationships that had been identified previously;
  • I started The Gift by Kristine L. Franklin but there were too many words for Reid and Ken kept making fun of the little boy’s name – Jimmy Joe;
  • Stephanie’s Ponytail by Robert Munsch, with which Reid really identifies. I will have to offer her Stephanie-style ponytails from now on; and
  • My Little Book of Sharing by Marjorie Decker.

The promise of books not yet read

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

I went to the library at lunch today to give them money so that they will let me renew some books. They have rules about maximum fines that seem arbitrary to a person with date deficiencies. In any case, since I was there, I picked up some books to read to Reid. One of the books, *There Is Only One Me* by Pat Hutchins, holds much promise to me. It starts, “I am my mother’s daughter,” on the next page it reads, “I am my sister’s sister. (And I am my mother’s daughter).” Based on these first pages, I can’t wait to read it to Reid. We have this sort of conversation often and the illustrations are pretty. Unfortunately, sometimes I am completely wrong about the books I think she will like.

A while ago, I chose a book about a garbage truck called, *I Stink* by Kate McMullan. I pulled it out every day or so for the three weeks that we had had it signed out but never succeeded in convincing Reid to let me read it to her. I was sure that it would be a winner. When we go somewhere, spotting a garbage truck is almost as good as seeing a school bus. Not so. Maybe I was too eager.

I think it’s time to begin setting the books aside again as we read them. We’re back in our rut.

Why, Mama?

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

We are, mercifully, hearing fewer no’s these days, especially no’s that were said on principle rather than because Reid actually didn’t want what was offered. Instead, Reid’s favourite word is now, “why”. Oh, we knew it was coming but it was a bit surprising how quickly the change came upon us. This morning went like this: While I was putting a ponytail holder in Reid’s hair, the holder broke. I told Reid that I’d need to get a different one.
Reid: “Why, Mama?”
Me: “Because this one broke.”
Reid: “Why, Mama?”
Me: “Maybe I pulled too hard.”
Reid: “Why, Mama?”
Me: “Your hair is very thick.”
Reid: “Why, Mama?”
Me: “Maybe is was poorly made.”
Reid: “Why, Mama?”
Me: “Do you want me the braid your hair or leave it”
Reid: “Braid.”
Me: thinking to myself – success!

And so it goes.

Books we read, February 22nd

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

In the morning we read Benny’s Bus and I Love You as Much by Laura Melmed. We have had this book for a long time and Reid first liked chewing on it, then naming the animals  and saying what sounds they made and later labelling what the mama’s and babies were called. I’m not sure at what point it is useful for a two-year-old to know that mama sheep are called ewes and their babies are lambs but if ever she is asked, Reid is ready. Today, it was like revisiting an old friend that we haven’t seen in a while.

This evening, we read Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. We have a copy of this as a board book, which I learned tonight is an abridged version. There are more not-mothers in the hardcover book. We also read Dr. Seuss’s ABC. Reid was excited to point out the letters that she recognized and I was happy to get into the Seussian rhythms.

When I was in university, Dr Seuss died and there were rumours that his widow had announced that once the extant books were sold, no more would be printed. I got quite a few sets of Dr Seuss/Beginner Books for Christmas that year. It’s nice to have someone to read them to again. I used to read to Melissa’s kids but haven’t done so since Reid was born. Oh, and you can buy Dr Seuss books at any bookstore. Author deaths are good for business, though.

Dinner for two

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Ken and Reid got home about 4:50 this afternoon and he had to leave for the museum at 5:30. Reid refused to come to supper when Ken went to the table at 5:15, instead choosing to watch more of Toopy and Binoo. Since we were short of time, we decided to let her stay and we served ourselves. No sooner had we got food on our plates than we heard an unusual noise from Reid. Ken and I both went running and Reid was all stiff and making her noise. Turned out that she was upset that we had gone ahead and started supper without her.  I’m not sure if it was outrage or hurt that we could bear to eat without her or what. She sat with me for a bit before leaving again to go play. Ken and I enjoyed a dinner for two and our first real chance to talk since Sunday.

After a bit, we noticed that Reid was being really quiet and we stood up to look through the window into the living room. There Reid was, building towers and arranging her wooden blocks. It was kind of magical, standing there with Ken, seeing her so independent and working quietly, concentrating so much that she didn’t hear me ask her about her tower.

And, if you were wondering, yes, I let her eat her chicken and beans later.

Books we read, February 21st

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Ken and I are tag-teaming through the book of poems entitled, Bear Hugs: Romantically Ridiculous Animal Rhymes by Karma Wilson. The rhymes are bouncy and fun but we generally read only three or four at a time. I’ve also been working through One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr Seuss. Reid enjoys it but there are many words and we have had a busy week with many interruptions. Before bed, we read Stephanie’s Ponytail by Robert Munsch and Shiny Dinah by Susan James.

Wednesday wonders

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007
Yesterday, when it was time to choose her clothes, Reid told Ken to do it. I can’t remember the last time either he or I were entrusted with this task. Ken’s comment as he handed me the clothes was, “This isn’t going to end well.” I agreed but decided to try anyway. All went well until I tried to put Reid’s shirt on her. Ken had chosen one I’ve suggested, extolled the virtues of and cajoled her to wear for a couple of weeks. It remained her drawer never-worn. Reid refused it but I countered with another shirt apparently even more abhorrent and she decided to wear the one he had chosen. Ken never said anything when he saw her after his shower and by then we were into the final rush to departure and I forgot to ask. I thought it was a day that would be full of wonders and it was.

I had a couple of conversations with fellows on my team that sure made *me* wonder. During one, the fellow was using acronyms related to application development with such sincerity and enthusiasm that I felt bad telling him that it was like he had started speaking Polish to me. I was kind of flattered that he thought I would understand but the wind whistled at the speed of the conversation going right over my head.  Later, I was looking at a Web page with another fellow and told him one of the colours was eye-popping shade. He opened the page code and said he could change it right then, what did I want. I said “lighter” and he asked for the six-digit code I preferred. When I was at a loss, he first suggested an alternate final letter that he next switched for a number when the effect was still not light enough. Again, I was flattered at his suggestion that I might know the necessary codes. On the bright side, I can find grammatical errors that they miss. (Not that you would think so based on these messages, I blame the errors on my thumbs).

After work, Reid wanted all of us to walk to get the mail together. She takes such joy in having both of take her places and so I shooed Ken out the door. As we walked, Ken reminded Reid that it was swimming night. The wonders wouldn’t cease. It was Wednesday and so swimming night! I hadn’t forgotten. (No surprises, there.)

Pancakes, who wants pancakes?

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Reid and I joined Melissa’s family and Aunty Amanda for “Pancake Tuesdsay” at Melissa’s church last night. As we drove there, Reid had told me that she wasn’t eating pancakes but since she was telling me that she wasn’t doing anything I wanted in response to my insistence on walking directly to the car instead of circumnavigating the parking lot as is her preference. As we got in the buffet line, I told her she needed to hand the lady her plate in order to her share of the pancakes. “No want pancakes, Mama,” she said and walked down the table to the melons that she spied at the other end. The church lady overseeing the melons was reluctant to give Reid four pieces until I pointed to the empty plate I held. So, Reid ate melons for supper. Some Mardi Gras partier she is, eh? I, of course, had pancakes, sausage and brown beans (even the anglo, Anglican churches have beans with pancakes here). I brought myself a couple pieces of watermelon, too, but Reid apprehended them. She nabbed a couple pieces of sausage from my plate as well.  I guess she was entitled.

Well, it’s reheated Aunt Karin-lasagna for supper tonight and so I’m looking forward to my evening meal. I hope you have something just as nice.

Learning phone manners

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Reid continues to enjoy talking on the cell phone while we are driving but she is still learning her phone manners. She doesn’t want to speak to just anyone at any given time, though. I will frequently go through a list of people before she hears the right one. It’s not always the same person who is chosen, either, and so I can’t just offer the person she spoke with last. Sometimes she asks to speak with Ken, even if we are only a few minutes from home but since she gets all sparkly-eyed when she hears his voice and she focuses on him, instead of chasing Clio while asking for Toopy and Binoo, I let her call him. Since Ken is not a fan of phones, it’s a mixed blessing but there you have it.

Reid insists on pulling the antena out, despite my assurances that it makes no difference. I think some people start talking well before Reid starts listening beacuse of the antena-fixing that must take place. When she says, “Hi” is usually when she starts listening. The main challenge I have is that Reid chooses which person she wants to speak with rather than which household. If the spouse or child of the “chosen one” answers, Reid will say “hi” and and maybe answer another question but then she disengages. I’m working at getting her to say, “May I speak with Person X, please” but that’s only starting to come. In the meantime, let me assure you (if you’re the “wrong” person) sometime, it isn’t you, it’s her. And I’m working on it.

And I’m wondering what it is that you talk about with Reid. I can see her expression changing, she smiles often and nods occasionally (sometimes when she talks to you, if she really wants to get her point across) but she doesn’t relay any messages or tell me anything. It’s like having a teenager I have to buckle into a child restraint. (That is government-speak for car seat. Aren’t you impressed? ;+)

Books we read, February 20th

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

In the morning, we read Busy Witch by Bettina Paterson and Mama Loves You by Caroline Stutson.

After our pancake supper, which involved no pancakes for Reid, we went back to Melissa’s for tea. While there we read Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell twice and also Mickey Mouse on the Ice (no author). It is always interesting me to note the differences in our book collections and to see what Reid chooses when she is there.