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    The Darndest Things {05/06}

    May 9, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    I believe we have officially recovered from our technical difficulties. Of course, in the meantime, I have lost my “flow,” so-to-speak. In an attempt to get back in the groove, I thought the most logical place to start {especially considering that it is already May 9th!} is this month’s Darndest Things list.

    Now, I know that “Darndest” implies that all of this is cute. And most of the time it is. But really, “Darndest Things” is a cute name for “Brandy’s Online Baby Book” {can I call it a baby book when the Boy is almost four??}, so sometimes, like today, part of the subject matter will be more on the serious side.


    30 May 2006: Klepto
    Well, E. has of late been in a habit of sneaking toys into his bed at naptime. I, of course, magnanimously overlook such offenses because they are such Great Fun for him. Well, this afternoon, when I turned back his bed, I found a hairclip I had been missing for a couple days. Apparently, toys aren’t the only thing he is taking into bed to entertain himself as he falls asleep! I guess I know where to look next time I’m missing something!


    29 May 2006: Little Bird
    I remember that when E. was an infant, someone gave me a journal that asked different questions to keep a mom from getting writer’s block. One of the questions was concerning nicknames. I hadn’t thought of if in that way before I read the question, but children do seem to aquire nicknames for various stages. Like when we used to call E. Senor Stinky Pants. Well, A.’s latest nickname is Bird. There are a variety of reasons. The most obvious is the way she opens her mouth for food: just like a baby bird! And she is like a grownup bird in that she is sure to flock to you and beg for food if you are eating something starchy. And we could probably get her to eat stale bread, too!


    23 May 2006: The Evolution of Bravery
    My son has been consistently timid around water. This has always been somewhat of a disappointment to me, considering the blistering heat of our summers. Being in a pool or running in sprinklers is about the only way a person in our area can bear to be outside in the middle of summer! Now that he is almost four, we have decided that swimming lessons are a must. Last night, we took him to his great grandma’s house for an introduction (she has a pool). It was actually quite cold, and he didn’t really want to get all the way in. Neither did the adults, so we decided not to force the issue. To our surprise, he played on the steps without any coercion! And to our great delight, he even spent time sitting with his feet in, kicking and splashing as high as he possibly could. This would never have happened last year. Previously, he had to be physically forced to even come near the water. Our boy is growing up a bit!


    20 May 2006: A Short Lesson on Life and Death
    This evening was my birthday party with our larger family. It, as is our tradition, took place at the home of my parents. It was a very exciting evening for the little boys of the family because there was a baby bird in the backyard that had just been pushed out of the nest. With excitement, the boys ran outside when they heard the news. I followed quickly behind, to supervise…and check it out for myself, of course.

    Our oldest nephew decided to enter the flower beds and chase the poor creature out. He had great success, and we were much impressed by its poor attempt to fly. And then it happened. My parents’ decrepit old dog, a dog that hasn’t killed anything worthwhile in a number of years, came quickly around the corner, and caught our poor baby bird in its mouth with one gulp. The dog proudly carried the dead bird to the porch, a gift to present to my parents. The women screamed. The boys fluttered with excitement. I ushered them inside while Granddad cleaned up the mess. It was almost time for dinner, and I had quite lost my appetite!


    19 May 2006: Mother’s Little Helper
    Today I caught Baby A. pretending to clean our living room tables with a burp cloth. She was very diligent and thorough.


    18 May 2006: Another First
    Tonight, Baby A. ate pizza for the first time. She even decided she likes Italian sausage.

    17 May 2006: Let’s Get Digital
    I am sure my father was baffled when {as a child} a neighbor and I took a large carboard box and fashioned it into…a personal computer. I am sure he was thinking about the fact that such contraptions had only recently begun to exist, and he had never even heard of such a thing when he was my age. I am sure of this, because that is how I feel when my son plays with his toy camera. It is a toy camera made to use film, but that is not how he plays with he. He “takes” the picture, and then always turns the camera around to “show” me what a great photo he took! This is digital play at its best…


    10 May 2006: Other People’s Kids
    I know this is supposed to be about my kids, but I couldn’t pass up relaying this one. Today is my birthday. While I was out, my nephew {5-years-old} called and sung to me on the answering machine. He sung “Happy Dirt-bay!!” What a doll…


    9 May 2006: Food Progress
    A. has gradually been increasing her food repertoire over the last couple of weeks. I am happy to announce that tomatoes {peeled, to make them easier to chew} and avacados are both fully integrated into her menu as of today. We have also been thrilled by her first successful attempts at self-feeding with a utensil. Her preference is to have us spear the bananas, hand her the fork, and let her put it into her mouth. It’s a pretty good system, and is offerring her some good practice at civilized eating.


    7 May 2006: When a Help Becomes a Crutch
    I’m not sure what parenting is if it is not a constant transition. Kids never arrive, and they don’t stay in one place as long as we adults do. What I mean to say is, there is always a ton of change going on. I remember last Sunday, and how I sat in our church’s Cry Room with A. and wondered if she was getting too old for this routine. I used to bring her to the Cry Room because we attended night church, which technically ended at her bedtime, and she was very tired and stayed peaceful when I rocked her. But now her bedtime is half-an-hour later, and here I am still visiting the Cry Room because she insists on being loud.

    Now, granted, I sometimes wonder if she understands me when I tell her to be quiet. She has never given me any reason to think that she understands. But tonight I had to come to the conclusion that she understands another thing, and that is that Making Lots of Noise is a sure ticket to a rocking chair!

    I was completely dismayed when she started acting up during Communion, but I was not about to flee to the Cry Room until I had partaken, so I simply shifted our seating arrangement a bit…at which moment she proceeded to turn around, look me in the eye, give me that Miss America smile, clap her hands, and rock her little body a bit, a sure sign of anticipating that rocking chair!

    And though I love to take my baby to the rocker and hold her during church service, this little act told me that she was old enough to learn to stay, that her actions were deliberate. So I suppose we now begin to try to teach her to stay put. Lesson one was tonight, where I held her in the rocking chair, but refused to rock!


    6 May 2006: Do Not Touch Strange Dogs!
    Like most Saturdays, E. spent the morning helping Dad mow the lawn and battle the weeds in our Wilderness of a backyard. And like most Saturdays, the gate to the Dog Bitebackyard was left open while they mowed. A dog wandered into our backyard, and E. followed it back out into the front yard. In his words he “just wanted to pet it very gently,” and the dog bit his leg! Thankfully, not with enough force to break the skin, and thankfully, only once. I was feeding A. inside, and shocked when E. entered the room apologizing all over the place for getting hurt and telling me that he thought a dog had bitten him! And so we had another close-call {not unlike last month’s shopping cart incident}, and I was reminded that we are all reliant upon the Lord’s constant mercy and protection.


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    1 Comment

  • Reply rebecca May 10, 2006 at 3:51 pm

    Oh my goodness! That looks like it could have been a vey bad bite, had the dog wanted to hurt E!

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