Thursday, March 23, 2006

 

Depressing Bi-product of Crawling

I left Lexie in the living room last night and went to grab Rebekah’s pajamas. I returned and Lexie was in the kitchen, contently sitting there playing with a bib that had fallen off her highchair. I gave a quick second guess to where I had set her down and whether or not this was finally the moment I admit I have lost my mind, but then I noticed the dirty knees.

The depressing bi-product of crawling – the constant reminder of just how dirty your floors really are.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

 

Lexie Crawls

Mark the date – March 19 – Lexie started crawling.

She was a tough one to sign off in the ‘she is officially crawling’ check box. For the past week, she was making three or four movements that looked like crawling and certainly moved her forward, but she would stop and go back to being a cute little content sitting baby.

I was at my parents’ house and I kept saying she had to make five consecutive movements for it to count as truly crawling. Sure enough, Sunday morning, she decided she wanted a toy that was about four feet away, so she crawled to it. My dad counted the movements and there were 11, so I guess she is crawling.

It is interesting though. I think she considers crawling as a means to an end only. I remember the day Bekah learned to crawl, I felt like the day I brought her home from the hospital. With the one small realization that moving her legs and arms in opposition of each other would propel her forward, she was off. She crawled for the sake of crawling. She wanted to know what was around every nook and cranny that she could only gaze at in her pre-crawl days. I couldn’t keep her contained. We literally baby-proofed our house at nine pm on the day she started crawling.

As with many things, Lexie is different. Lexie favorite thing, seems to be to focus on the toy at hand or one of her family members, and sit perfectly satisfied. Lexie is a focused and deliberate crawler. She will crawl to get something she wants and then she sees no more need for crawling. I realize this may change after she gets a little better at crawling. For now, it can be somewhat jarring. She looks like she doesn’t know how to crawl yet. Then you leave the room for a second, come back and she is three feet from where you last saw her, playing with a different toy, still looking like she doesn’t know how to crawl yet.

I love babies.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

 

Are Parks the Next Anti-Bacterial Soap?

Over the past few years, I have listened with interest to the theory that anti-bacterial soaps are expediting the demise of the human race. The argument being that since anti-bacterial soaps kill germs before they get to our bodies, we don’t get any practice in fending them off. In short, our germs are becoming stronger and our immune systems are becoming weaker. Eventually, the germs will win and the earth will be left with just cockroaches and bacteria (and probably Cher and Madonna because they seem to have unworldly staying-power).

Flash forward to my recent contemplation of my childhood relationship with cars as compared to my girls’ relationship with cars. This line of thinking has plagued me since Sunday morning when Bekah decided the best hiding place was under our two-ton Dodge Dakota.

It occurred to me that my children will not grow up with the same fear of automobiles that I had. The reason is simple – our kids don’t play in the street anymore. (This might be different in other parts of the country, but I imagine this theme is true for any major metropolitan area). Many of my childhood memories are of riding my bike around the three block radius of my house. I know I spent many afternoons and evenings, with my neighborhood friends, playing aimlessly. Today we are too concerned with pedophiles and low SAT scores to let our children play aimlessly. Dear Abby tells us not to let them leave our sight until they are 8. By the time they are 8, there is ballet and soccer and piano and karate and scouts and church and softball and cheerleading and swimming. Children’s play is now organized and supervised. There isn’t much opportunity to worry about getting hit by a car.

That was a lot different when I was a kid. Back then, we had each heard the screech of brakes when we forgot to look both ways at least once in our life. And every year or two, someone at our school would get tagged by a car seriously enough to be hospitalized or worse. We fully understood how dangerous cars can be. I am not sure kids these days have the same exposure.

And just like our germs, cars are getting more dangerous. It is hard to believe that anything could be bigger than the 1976 Monte Carlo that I grew up with, but the Escalade that parks next to me every day at work makes that Monte Carlo look puny. And drivers are worse. In the 70’s and 80’s people didn’t talk on their cell phones, check their emails or watch their DVDs while they were driving. It was still ten years before the term ‘road rage’ was invented.

I suppose it is a good thing that our kids spend their time at parks and play dates and that most of their experience with cars comes from the five-point harness system in the booster seat they wear until they are nine.

If cars ever get smart and decide to take over the world (like some people think germs might), I do worry for the next generation. Parks have made them soft and vulnerable. I don’t know if they could handle it like we could.

Monday, March 13, 2006

 

Our Big Scare

Yesterday, we had the Solies over for brunch. After Dave’s delicious egg casserole, we decided to take the kids to the local park.

During the chaos of finding shoes and coats and getting everyone to the bathroom, we lost Bekah.

All four adults were combing the house, calling her name – she was nowhere to be found. Then we hear her faint voice say, “I’m hiding”. Jason looked a little surprised and said, “I think she is in the garage”. Sure enough, Dave went out to the garage and finally saw her little sneakers poking out from the front tire of the truck.

The initial shock, of course, is thinking through what might have happened if Dave didn’t realize his little girl was hiding under his huge truck and he drove away.

But the even bigger feeling of discomfort is to be reminded how unpredictable a small child’s behavior can be. I would have NEVER thought Rebekah would hide under the truck. First, she hates going into the garage because it is dark. Secondly, she hates getting dirty and it’s pretty dirty under that truck. She is also kind of scared of cars. Lastly (and probably most important in my mind), that is not how she plays hide and seek. When she plays hide and seek, she wants you to count while you hide with her.

We were reminded yesterday of how many decisions we make based on how we think our children will or will not act.

We let her stand beside us when we get Lexie out of the car seat because she never leaves our side.

We let the girls play out of our sight occasionally because Bekah is always gentle with Baby Lexie.

We don’t pay any attention to what is on the counter tops because Bekah never climbs up on them.

And before yesterday, we never locked the door to the garage because Bekah doesn’t go out there without one of us.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

 

Darma’s Daddy Is A Doggy Doctor

We went out with the Mortimers on Saturday. Dinner was slightly better than Thursday night. No injuries to report, but not a lot of adult conversation either. (Darma, by the way, was a little angel)

Afterward, Dave and Jeb stopped by Jeb’s office to get some information for Normandy. (Normandy has taken to peeing on the carpet whenever we give the girls a bath). Dave had Bekah with him. She was thrilled to visit a real life ‘doggy doctor’. She told me about it several times in the next few days.

I had dinner with Lisa last night. She told me that her husband, who works for the King County Fire Department, would like to take Bekah on a tour of the fire station and fire truck. When I told Bekah, she got so excited.

She gets to visit a vet’s office and a fire station. I feel like I am raising my daughter in an episode of Caillou – except that I cuss a lot more than Caillou’s mommy.

 

Top Four Signs You Might Be A Bad Mommy

4. You drop your baby’s pacifier in the parking lot and briefly lament the fact that the dog isn’t there to lick it clean before you put it back in her mouth.

3. Your two year old actually says this sentence, “I’ve had enough cookie dough, mommy”

2. You hear your baby fuss and realize you have forgotten which room you left her in.

1. Your reaction to your two year old’s tactic of swallowing her asparagus whole so she doesn’t have to chew it is one of pride and you wonder if you could ever get her to do it as a party trick.

 

Trouble at the T and T

Last week, Dave and I tried to take the girls to our favorite Chinese restaurant – T and T Seafood. It was a disaster.

As soon as we sat down, they served us the teapot full of hot tea. Dave had Bekah on his right and Lexie on his left (in a high chair). Dave poured himself a cup of the hot tea and showed it to Bekah. They talked about how hot it was and she smelled the steam. As they discussed how important it was for Bekah not to touch it, he set the cup to the left of himself. Lexie reached over with her almost alien-like arm length and stuck her little fist straight in the middle of the cup. Her instant reaction was to scream and pull her hand towards herself; spilling the hot tea down the front of her.

I saw the whole thing happen but it was too quick for me to do anything. I jumped up as she was pulling the cup towards herself and tried to pick her up, but she was strapped in the chair. Dave quickly unbuckled her and I stuck her fist in my glass of cold water. She was screaming, the chair was on the floor. Dave says in his loud voice, ‘what the hell just happened?’. I said, ‘you put the….’ But in that moment he figured it out and I stopped mid-sentence. I figured now was not the time to remind my husband that I don’t drink tea.

We should have aborted our mission then and there, but we didn’t. We kept plowing through dinner at the T and T. The waiter came and took our orders. I got walnut shrimp and he got sizzling pepper fish.

After the waiter left, I thought feeding Lexie might make her feel better. I got out her pears (which are the best restaurant food because of their color). Bekah started freaking out - screaming that she wanted Lexie’s food. The whole incident got her pretty wound up. So I gave her the pears to help keep her quiet. I dug around in the diaper bag and found some prunes.

If you are not familiar with prune baby food, just think chocolate sauce and you can envision the color and consistency. I gave Lexie a spoonful of prunes and she proceeded to spray spit them all over me and herself. I start mopping them up and Bekah starts to cry again.

We should have aborted our Chinese restaurant mission there, but still we forged ahead.

Suddenly, I hear sizzling and splattering oil behind me. The waiter walks up to our table with an extremely hot plate of pepper fish. He looks at our table, covered with spilt tea, puddles of water, piles of prune covered napkins and two open containers of pear and prune baby food. Dave looks at him, looks at our table and realizes his tactical error. The look of defeat on his face was heartbreaking.

Finally, we raised the white flag and ask him to bring us two boxes to go.

To expound on a theme from Ron’s retirement party… we definitely left that restaurant a bit worse off than we found it.

(Lexie’s hand turned out to be find. I thought for sure it would scald, but luckily, it did not).

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