Tuesday, May 21, 2013

If a Tree Falls in the Forest...

When she thinks no one is looking or listening, Alice is at her best.  Now, don't get me wrong.  By "best," I don't mean most well behaved or precocious.  I mean that she lets down her guard and follows her instincts and does whatever it is that seems like the most Alice thing to do at that moment.  It's almost always something she knows she shouldn't be doing, something that leaves a big mess, or something that results in my receiving emails about a subscription to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse YouTube channel that I am quite certain I never signed up for.

Due to a previous incident involving Crayola bath water coloring tablets, I make it a point to check on her after she's been messing around in the bathroom for more than 10 minutes.  (If you're interested in the previous incident that led to this policy, just visualize what Willy Wonka's murder scene might look like if it happened in my upstairs bathroom.)  I knock on the door, and depending on what she's doing inside, she sings out, "Don't come iiiiin!" (usually) or, "Come iiiiin!" (occasionally) as if she's in her office and I'm her secretary coming in to give her a message. Her answer, by the way, has nothing to do with whether she's finished going to the bathroom and everything to do with whether she's creating another disaster scene or not.


The other day I left some chopped up chocolate on the counter to use in a birthday cake for Matt. I ran upstairs to do something and came back down to find Alice, mouth and hands sticky and brown, holding a chunk of chocolate in her hand. "I was just testing to make sure it wasn't too hot," she explained. 

One of my favorite things to do is pause for a few minutes outside her bedroom door when I hear her in there at night or during (not so) quiet time.  The other night, as part of the ongoing torture that is sleep training a four-month-old, I found myself perched on the steps between Alice's room and Joanna's room at 1am.  I stayed long after Joanna had fussed herself to sleep though, because Alice had woken up and was on a roll, yakking (to herself? to her one hundred stuffed buddies that she must! sleep with every night? to an imaginary friend?) and I couldn't stop listening. 

Her monologue went something like this: 

"Everyone! WAIT!! Throw that to Diego! 
Lookkit! She's eating the gum! 
Ooooops! [Laughter] I forgot something! 
Remember when Dad throwed the snowball? Haha, that was funny. 
HEY! You knoooooow? I'm Alice. Yeah! [Peals of laughter; Squeals]  
That was funny. [More hysterical laughter] 
That was funny."

You may be wondering about the body art on display in these photos.  I have only a few comments to make on the matter:

1. Dry erase marker does come off of human skin with a decent amount of scrubbing.

2. It does not come off of walls or rugs with mere scrubbing.

3. Since, according to Alice, the marker got all over her body "by accident," I'm going to start an awareness campaign to prevent accidents like this from happening in the future. I think we can all agree that dry erase markers shouldn't be allowed to deface our young accidentally. 

4. This exact accident happened three separate times in two days. Isn't there some piece of old wisdom we could apply here? Oh yes, I think it goes like this: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice, put the markers up high out of reach, for goodness' sake."

Joanna's face registers disappointment, but she's taking detailed notes about pulling off stunts like these in a few years.

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