Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Party rules

Having a young child's birthday party at some fun public place other than home is a fairly popular idea... more things to do, avoid trashing your home, and there's just something about being in a public place that seems to be clearcut for children in regards to the rules of expected behavior.

Anyway, this party of a friend of Genevieve's was at a favorite playground, so the children thought it was fabulous. The party invitation said that gifts weren't necessary or some such thing. I look at all of the stuff our children have and I can understand a desire to not have even more of it. So, I didn't have the kids bring a gift beyond a card. Most everyone else brought gifts. *sigh* I wish that I could figure out what the rules are.

Halloween is tomorrow night. My wife and I are at our most unprepared state for all of the Halloween's that we've been together. Haven't taken stock of toys for handout, and no decorations or lights are up. At least the children will have costumes. Reesa will be a jack-o-lantern (daytime, at school) and a bunny (evening), and Genevieve will be a Pooh bear (and might change into Tigger if she can't keep the bear costume clean).

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Plan

Reesa is spending some time out of diapers. She likes that a lot, except that she refuses to have the BM on the toilet, or to talk about the BM in advance. So, we still also use diapers, though we now use disposable pull-ups. They are easy for her to use for the simple pee-pee stop.

One recent evening she asked me if she could wear her panties in the morning. Since that would be one of the weekday mornings with mommy, I told her that she probably would be able to once she had completed her morning poop. She said, "Oh," and that was all I heard from her on the subject.

The following morning, she woke up shortly after did, got some soy milk from me, and climbed into bed with mommy to snuggle. Between slurps, she softly announced to Marilee:

"The plan is to go poopy in my pull-up...and then, I will wear panties."

Mushroom policy

Regarding mushrooms in food entrees, our household policy is to neither confirm nor deny the presence of fungi, puffballs, morels, or mushrooms in any dish, casserole, soup or other conglomeration of served food. Genevieve is on record (if that is possible for a three-year old) as not wanting to have anything to do with mushrooms. We don’t have many problems with her and mushrooms, though I don’t know whether that has more to do with our policy or with the fact that we don’t use mushrooms in our dishes very often.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Box of clothes

Our girls are slightly younger than their girls cousins, Ellie and Gennie in Arizona, and Paris in New York. So when a generous box of hand-me-down clothing arrives, it seems to have a cachet of the exotic, clothing from a far-away land once worn by people they know. Almost anything associated with a cousin is "cool" and enticing, and the arrival of a box is met with excitement only exceeded by birthdays and dessert.

This week, a box arrived from Aunt Michelle in New York, with clothing once worn by Paris. Genevieve immediately wanted to check everything out. She was moved to dance in the red gingham dress, and will hardly ever be seen without her pink and white sandals. The LL Bean parka also fit. It isn't cold yet, so it was difficult to get too wild over it.

Tonight we had friends over -- a couple and their two children -- and had a good time talking over dinner, and the children played and hung out together. Afterward, Marilee laid down to help settle the children, and has disappeared from the scene. Falling asleep is an occupational hazard of parenting. This works okay tonight, as I can work on this entry while watching the Red Sox-Indians game.

Sleeping while putting the girls to bed has been made all the easier by the hand-me-down bunk bed obtained from a friend in Milwaukee. The bottom bunk is a full size bed, so Reesa easily has enough room for parent to cuddle next to her. The bunk bed is probably the favorite "toy" this week, especially by Reesa, who is gleefully announcing her proficiency on the ladder with shouts of, "Watch me, daddy! I climb down!"

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Paint, splash, leaf pile

We had some art time today at home. This was, as usual, well received by the children. Afterward, I filled the wading pool with water and the girls hopped in and cleaned off the paint. Then, drying off, getting dressed and jumping into leaf piles. That's what you can do when you have an October day in the mid-80's.

Genevieve is throwing a lot of tantrums lately, especially when out in public, and it's wearing me down. I chose not to go to a party this afternoon, and that was one of the factors in my decision. Ugh. She tries just about every angle on everything. Oh well, not much more to say on that. I'm trying to be patient but am not always successful in getting there.

I'm sure there are new developments for both of those kids, but it's not coming to me right now.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Giving away the bride

Marilee and I attended a wedding in Chicago today. Clarey was able to babysit the children, so everyone was happy—Clarey gets paid to enjoy playing with our children, our children like to hang out with Clarey, and the my wife and I get to attend a ceremony and reception party without having to manage the inexhaustible demands of two young kids.

I had tears come to my eyes when the bride and her father made their entrance into the church, and it had little to do with the bride. She is a fully capable adult marrying a very loving and nice man. My thoughts were on the father and the ceremonial act of escorting his daughter down the wedding aisle. It struck me as the finale of active fatherhood, a movement from father to grandfather. Perhaps if my daughters and I are fortunate and reach that event, I might view it in some other manner, such as with relief, or joy.

Undoubtedly. my mortality-tinged view is influenced by the death of my father earlier this month. With my daughters as young as they are, I am still looking forward to many more years of being an active dad. It’s difficult to contemplate retirement from that role, and it’s really tough to feel like my usefulness to my daughters will someday end. I suppose it won’t really end, but will rather evolve. Still, it’s all too easy to feel myself in the shoes of that father, walking his daughter up the aisle—I am in no hurry at all to reach that day.