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    The Darndest Things {04/07}

    April 30, 2007 by Brandy Vencel

    30 April 2007: For the Birds
    We eat a lot of cereal around here, much as I have tried to kick the habit. This morning, I poured out the last edible parts of a box, but there were some significant crumbs in the bottom. Not being one to waste, I suggested to E. that he go outside and see if the robins would eat the leftovers. He put on his dad’s flip flops, and before he left he asked me if he could eat a little handful. “Sure!” I said.

    It seemed like it was taking quite a long time to finish the task. I looked out the window. There was E., watching the birds while feeding…himself.

    29 April 2007: The Perfect Evening
    Sometimes, as a parent, you just want to freeze time. This evening was one of those times. I don’t know what it was exactly. Was it the father and son practicing T-ball hits in the backyard, the son for the first time listening intently to his father’s insructions on sports? Was it the toddler, clinging to her father’s leg because she is terrified of the nearby squaking killdeer? Is the the baby, smiling sweetly as she (finally!) nurses in peace?

    Or was it later, on our long walk, with the girls giggling softly in their stroller and the boy going on ahead on his tricycle with a too-big helmet atop his head? Was it how everyone stopped to look at the bees on the roadside?

    28 April 2007: Early Days of T-ball
    At this point, we have had two T-ball practices and two T-ball games, which puts us about one-third of the way through the season. T-ball is practically a rite of passage in our area, and though the children are not mature enough to play an actual game, they sure provide the adults with entertainment. Here is a sampling:

    During the first game, almost every boy on the field ran to get the ball. They all collided, and no one seemed to have the ball, but they enjoyed a few moments of wrestling.

    Our son doesn’t run to first base. He walks. And once he is there, he likes to stay there and socialize with the coach instead of going to second base.

    Today during the game, one little boy ran to first just fine. When it was time for him to run to second, he decided to run after the ball that had just been hit instead, following it far into right field. All the coaches tried in vain to get that child’s attention. He didn’t get the ball, and as he was making his way back into the infield, he decided to stop and pick some flowers.

    This is the first time the kids played in a real baseball diamond with a real backstop. Instead of listening to their coach, the boys all began to climb the backstop. Not to brag, but our son definitely won the race for highest climber. We saw the coach reach out and pluck him off the metal fencing like an apple from a tree. Later on, we were searching the outfield. Where was E.? He was supposed to be playing left field, but where was he? Oh. There he was, with the opposing team, climbing the backstop again.

    And once, while he was playing, he left the field in the middle of the game because he got thirsty.

    24 April 2007: Attack of the Killdeer
    Our backyard is an offical safe haven for killdeers. We love that they have the courtesy to create their nests and lay those eggs right on the ground where all of us, no matter how little, can see what they are up to.

    It is too bad the killdeers do not offer the same sort of protection for my children.

    It all started yesterday, when A. was testing the bird to see how close to the nest she could get. I had warned her the bird would become angry, but she didn’t believe me. Well, that bird did get mad, and she started tweeting ferociously at A. This scared A. to pieces, and she began to run. Only she made the mistake of running towards the nest! That bird screeched and darted in front of A., tripping her and causing her to tumble into the dirt. There A. was, lying in a heap of tears and sobs, while I ran across the yard to rescue her. She was screaming, and all because that tiny bird was standing six inches away, loudly telling A. of her disapproval of all these goings on.

    Today, the bird let the 4-year-old have it! It was snack time, and I was calling the children in to the patio to eat. E. came running from the farthest corner in the most direct way, which freaked out the killdeer. She actually flew at him, real low to the ground! She swooped in front of him two or three times as he was running. He never stopped, if anything he sped up, but he was screaming and beginning to cry with fright!

    I really wanted to birdwatching to be a step towards raising my own little miniature naturalists. I’m not sure it’s working out as I planned.

    19 April 2007: Curiosity Killed the Nap
    It is now official: all of my children have done this. It creeps up on me around the age of three or four months, and it surprises me each time! I mentioned before that my children sleep on their tummies. What I didn’t mention is the phenomenon incurred when they acquire the ability to turn over. Take Q., who has now done this twice. She reaches that moment in sleep when it is most light. And then–gasp!–she is awake. Normally it would be just for a moment and then she would slip back into slumber, but her new eyesight abilities confound the process and she begins to slowly examine her surroundings. And then she looks up. What is there to see, exactly? The DREAD MOBILE. The mobile smiles down on her benevolently, calling to her, enticing her. And so she rolls over. But can she roll back? Most emphatically no!

    At first, being on her back is exciting. After all, the DREAD MOBILE is in full view now. But then she gets tired. I hear the first small cry, and think it is nothing. But no! The wailing begins! Mommy! I am turtle-like, stuck on my back, and I can only sleep on my tummy! Help me!!! And so I saunter into the back room and give her a little flip. But now she is too awake, and yet too tired. She can’t fall back asleep, but she can’t handle being awake. What do we do, oh what do we do? We don’t know.

    Usually, we wing it for a week or so. Then, we take that mobile down and hide it away, never to be seen again. And peace again settles on our little home.

    17 April 2007: E. the Naturopath
    Me: Did you do this?

    E.: I don’t know.

    Me: How can you not know? You either did it, or you didn’t do it.

    E.: I just don’t know.

    Me: Then I will ask Dad. I didn’t do it. A. couldn’t have done it. So if Dad didn’t do it, then I know that YOU did it, son.

    Si: I didn’t do it.

    Me: Then YOU did it, E.

    E.: Those walnuts aren’t working!

    Si: Did you just lie to Mom?

    E.: The walnuts–

    Si: Did you lie?

    Me: Wait. What do you mean the walnuts aren’t working?

    E.: They’re supposed to help you think better, and they just aren’t WORKING!

    Editor’s note: Walnuts are full of Omega-3, which promotes healthy brain development and function.

    16 April 2007: Speech Therapy
    Around the age of two, I begin working with my children on pronunciation. These are not formal lessons, but simply lessons that fit into our day as we talk or have a diaper change. A. pronounces “cup” as “bup.” Here was today’s attempt at correcting the problem:

    Me: Say cup.

    A.: Bup.

    Me: Ck. Ck. Ck.

    A.: Ck.

    Me: C–up.

    A.: C–Bup.

    Me: Not quite. Listen again. Ck. C–up.

    A.: Ck. C–UP!

    Me: Oh! Good job, little girl! That’s right! Cup!

    A.: Bup-ck! {and smiles in triumph, no less}

    14 April 2007: Starting Young
    Today, E. had his first meeting for T-ball. This was the meeting where the children met their coaches and teammates, and learned the necessary details for the season. But what was the main topic of conversation when E. came home? Check it out:

    E.: There was a girl there that I liked.

    Me: What did you like about her?

    E.: She looked cute.

    Me: {flustered} Why did you like her?

    E.: I was looking at her and she was looking at me. She was wearing purple pants with a bow.

    Me: So you liked her outfit?

    E.: She looked kind.

    Me: Oh.

    13 April 2007: Scared of Her Own Sheets
    When A. was just an infant, I brought a quilt with me everywhere we went. It was the back of the quilt that I found useful. A simple green and white stripe, the stripes were so small and close together that it could almost be mistaken for a solid light green if viewed from a distance. It was this quilt that I put down, bottom-facing-up, in the crib at Granddad and Granmama’s house. Why? Because A. was afraid of the bedsheets in that crib. They were busy. During one nap, she tortured herself by trying over and over to pick up the little tiny designs on the sheets.

    I recently changed A.’s sheets in her crib {yes, she’s still in a crib} here at home. She has two sheets. One is a solid green. The other is the same shade of solid green, but it also has some tiny paisleys floating about on it that are a simple purple color. She has used this sheet since she was moved to the crib from her bassinet at two months of age.

    But this particular time, she was horrified by said sheet! She watched me change the sheets, but it didn’t seem to matter. When I put her in her crib for naptime, she stood on her tiptoes in one corner of the crib, shrieking! She has now slept on this sheet about four times, including naps, and she is still resistant. Each time she gets into bed, I have to convince her that the sheets are safe.

    1 April 2007: No foolin’
    This morning at 6:30am, when all were sound asleep, Baby Q. awoke. Well, I’m not sure when she awoke, but 6:30 is when she woke me. I heard her gurgling and got up to check on her in her nearby crib. And there she was. On her back! She sleeps on her tummy, mind you, so I can only deduce that Baby Q. has learned to roll over!

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  • Reply Grace April 30, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    I can so picture E. sitting outside feeding himself and watching the birds! That is too funny! I miss those kids. Thanks for posting these. 🙂

  • Reply Kimbrah April 2, 2007 at 12:07 am

    It must be in the air! Elliott is rolling and “sitting”. I posted pictures over on my blog a few days ago.

    Go baby power!!!

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