Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This and That

A few months ago, after a morning filled with errands, Alice and I had a spare few minutes and I decided that it would be the perfect time for us to stop by Walgreens so she could get the flu shot.  We signed in at the Take Care Clinic, waited about 45 minutes, got the shot, bought a lollypop and called it a day.  Alice appeared unfazed, except for a few seconds after the shot, and we went about the rest of the day as usual.  

Now, mind you, this was months ago, and we hadn't spoken of it since.  For some reason though, over the past week or so, she has been wanting to talk about the flu shot, reviewing the particulars of the episode in excruciating detail and in chronological order. 

Every time we pass by Walgreens, I brace myself.  

"Mom, let's talk about the flu shot."

"Er, okay, what do you want to say about it?"

"No, you tell me." 

"Well, we walked into the drugstore and typed our names into the computer.  We had a while to wait, so we found some Disney Princess Band Aid boxes to play with. When it was our turn, the nurse called us into the room in the back. She asked you your name . . . " 

And so on. 

I can vary it a little every time, but she never lets me forget the grand finale, which I leave out every so often just for chuckles: 

"You forgot about the lollypop! Remember, then I got a lollypop?" 

"You did? Are you sure? I don't remember that."

"Yes, I did. A strawberry lollypop." 

"Hmm. Okay. If you say so."

When Alice was first born, she received a toddler-sized tutu and matching headband from a good family friend.  At the time, I couldn't imagine when she would be big enough to fit into it or appreciate it, but lo and behold, that tutu has become a staple in Alice's evening wear around here. Most nights, after dinner, when she is already half naked (usually bare-bottomed after her nap-time diaper has been discarded), she puts on the tutu and does a spectacular/manic dance routine to whatever music Matt has going.  The best part, though, is that while she's waggling her arms, rolling her head, and leaping across the floor, she intermittently yells "BALLERINA on the MOON!" I think it's cool that she doesn't just imagine herself to be a plain old ballerina, but rather a more daring astronaut-ballerina blend.

Do they make astronauts wear underpants?

Now that winter has arrived (in fits and starts), we've been parking in the garage to avoid having to scrape the ice and snow off our car in the mornings. We have a lot of stuff stored in there, and I'm used to parking on the street, so one day, after returning from an outing, I pulled in a little too far and just barely bumped into our deck umbrella that we have leaning against the wall.  It was no big deal, and I forgot about it after about five minutes.  Somebody else did not. The next time we were pulling into the garage, Matt was with us, and as he expertly stopped the car in just the right spot, Alice yelled from the back seat "Daaad, don't hit the umbrella like Mom did!" 


I guess I have to get used to having two eyes watching what I'm doing all day and a big mouth ready and willing to report on my mistakes.  I won't be making that particular mistake again anyways, since every time we pull into the garage now, Alice helpfully pipes up from the back, "Don't have an accident with the umbrella again, Mom! Remember, you hit the umbrella?"

Naptime has become something of a struggle for us lately. I think Alice can sense that I'm more desperate than ever to have some rest time in the afternoons and takes advantage of my less than energetic pre-nap story-song-wind-down routine.   More often than not these days, once I leave her room and go downstairs, the fun begins for her.  Usually, her delay tactics involve multiple very messy diapers in quick succession, which she knows I'll attend to (waiting until nap time to produce these is a cunning feat of physical control that I actually think is kind of impressive).  The other day, she let herself out of her room, found the iPad in my bedside table drawer, and helped herself to an hour an a half of Netflix programming while I was downstairs patting myself on the back that I had gotten her to nap that day.  Today, I could hear her shuffling around upstairs for a while, so when I went upstairs to put her back in her room I found the disaster photographed below.

I'm almost certain she was wearing clothing and a diaper when I left her. 

And that was just the beginning of the mess. Drawers were pulled out in Matt's and my bedroom, papers were strewn everywhere, bath toys were thrown all over the place, and clothes for the new baby were pulled out of their baskets and flung into far corners of the nursery. An hour-long battle of the wills over cleaning it all up ensued.  There was no nap today, but luckily, it's six fifteen and Matt is already reading her bedtime stories. 

Finally, I'll end this post with some advice I gleaned from a serendipitous morning Alice and I spent a few weeks ago:

You know those days when you're 35 weeks pregnant, you have a two-year-old to entertain keep out of mischief, it's too chilly for the park, and you already went to the Children's Museum that week (and the week before)?

Me too.

1. Pick an errand, any errand.  Set the bar low. This is not the time for Costco or Home Depot.  Once in the car, put your phone on airplane mode and hand it over to the tyrant in the back seat.

2. Stop at a Starbucks drive-through. Get yourself a coffee and throw a snack in the back. Something chewy that takes a long time to eat and uses up a lot of space in a toddler's mouth.

3. Run your errand. Pat yourself on the back for being productive.

4. Drive aimlessly in any direction in order to minimize the time you will have to kill at home before lunch and attempted nap time. Turn on Kosi 101.1, the Christmas carol station, and hum along while your two-year-old repeatedly yells "Is this Christmas?" from the back. Resist the urge to say yes.

5. This is the most important part: if at any point while you're driving, you happen to see a sign that reads "Big Time! Trampoline Fun Center," PULL OVER! Go inside!  Don't be turned off if the place is entirely empty except for a few teenage employees with wispy mustaches and one actual customer: another two-year-old accompanied by his disturbingly energetic father.  Befriend the dad with the awkward amount of enthusiasm for doing bear crawls and round-offs on trampolines and let him entertain your child.  On your way out, accept the free "blue-flavored" Flav-o-Ice that one pubescent employee hands to your daughter after you had just told a different pubescent employee that you didn't want one.  Let your kid happily suck on it and drip it all over the car on your way home.  Once home, hastily feed your child lunch and deposit her in the bed for a long, late nap, to end about 10 minutes before your husband/wife/life partner/paid staff gets home to take over.

Let me know how it goes!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Daddy's Girl

This girl can't get enough of her dad these days.

She talks about him all day long.

She saved half her cupcake from a birthday party the other day to share with him after work.

Every time she makes an art project, she holds it up proudly and says that it's for Daddy.


She is the perfect audience for his goofy antics, and I think he is grateful to have another person around who appreciates his silliness. We have a family schtick, usually carried out at the dinner table, that goes something like this:
Matt says something outlandish to Alice like, "Here is some delicious brussels sprout ice cream" [as he hands her a bowl of vanilla ice cream].
Alice looks at me, I look at her, and we both slowly shake our heads, roll our eyes, and adopt looks on our faces that say "Can you believe this guy?"

Then we all laugh. 

Alice had been asking a lot of questions about Matt's work, so one Saturday, when he had to swing by the office to pick up his laptop charger, he brought Alice along to check it out.

According to Matt, she walked in, took a look around, and exclaimed, "It's ama-a-a-zing!"

Later that week, I spent a whole car trip across town with Alice playing Name all the Things in Dad's Office. In case you ever want to play, it goes like this:

Me: Were there any computers?
Alice: Yes.
Me: Were there any windows?
Alice: Um, yes.
Me; Were there any pencils?
Alice: No.

And so on and so on.

She likes to pretend that we're part of the television show Dora the Explorer, and assigns us each a character from the show to play.

It inevitably starts with, "I'll be Dora [the adventurous and bilingual heroine]!"

And continues, "Daddy, you be Boots [a spunky little monkey, Dora's best friend]."

And ends, "Mommy, you can be Backpack [pretty much what you're imagining: a backpack Dora carries her stuff in]."

Not the most glamorous role, but better than Swiper the Fox who steals everything, I guess.  

Like I said, Alice loves her Daddy.

And I think the feeling is mutual.