Friday, November 30, 2007

Plens and plens of open

Genevieve is beginning to read. Marilee reports that Genevieve noticed the Open sign on the local video store. Genevieve spelled it and asked what it said. Marilee asked her what the first two letters sounded like, and Genevieve responded, and then she sounded out the final two letters and put it together by herself and pronounced the word.

One word that Genevieve probably won’t be reading anytime soon is plens. Yes, plens, as in P-L-E-N-S. Pronounce it to sound like the first syllable in “plenty,” except add an “s” at the end. It is probably no mistake that it sounds like plenty, because in Genevieve’s version of English, it is synonymous with “plenty,” but can have alternate usage. An example of simple replacement would be:
ENGLISH – There will be plenty of classmates at the party.
GENEVIEVE – There will be plens of classmates at the party.
Plens more closely replaces contemporary usage of the word “lots.” For example:
ENGLISH – I have lots and lots of crayons in the bag.
GENEVIEVE – I have plens and plens of crayons in the bag.
She is very insistent on the existence of this word, has used it for the past year, and is very consistent in her proper utilization of it as discussed above. I’ve told her that other people may not understand it, and beyond that I don’t comment to her about it. I sort of like it.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Lucy the snowman

During the car ride after picking her up from daycare, Reesa was talking about Lucy, her “best friend.” I have no idea of Lucy is a real classmate or imaginary friend, but Reesa announced, “she hugs me, and cuddles me, and strokes me.”

Lucy sounds a lot like Hugo the Abominable Snowman: “I will hug him, and stroke him, and cuddle him, and sing to him, and call him George, duh.”

Genevieve asked Reesa if Lucy is a child or a grown-up, and Reesa said, “she’s a girl, not a grown-up.” And this is all in her soft, sweet voice—I wish that I had a recording of that conversation. Time to see if there’s a real Lucy in class. I’ll bring my camera in case there is a snowgirl sighting.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Finally, some Halloween

Above are some of the photos from Halloween. Genevieve started as Pooh Bear for her preschool, and wanted the more aggressive Tigger for the evening candy hunt. Reesa was the sweet pumpkin with her classmates, but by night transformed into a killer bunny so ferocious
that no photo of said bunny is fit to be published in this family-friendly journal. Following the successful hunt, much of the chocolate was transferred to Daddy's Disappearing Duffel.

Tomorrow will be another holiday, Thanksgiving. Genevieve thought it was a funny name for a holiday. If there are any photos worth posting, I should have them posted before the next holiday.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Car seat wrestling

Genevieve's current fixation is drawing cats. One fine sample is included here. Cats, cats, cats.

Reesa can reliably count to 10. She also knows that eleven is next, but after that it skips to eight and who knows where else.

We made sock puppets today, and then had a sock/finger puppet show. The concept of keeping one's head below the level of the table top (and the puppets above it) was a bit foreign for the kids, especially for Reesa. It was very cute. We all took turns handling the puppets and being audience members

Earlier in the day, Genevieve threw a nuclear meltdown tantrum at Quaker house, following the break of meeting during the social time. I carried her out to the car, strapped her into her five-point seat belt, locked the car and went back into the Meeting House. I was lucky in two ways--one is that she cannot yet get out of her seat belt by herself, and second that it was neither too warm or cold to leave her in car to run some of the energy out of her tantrum. I have been dealing with these tantrums for a couple of months now, mostly at pickup time at her preschool. I think the part I dislike the most is that she is large enough now that when she is flailing about it is actually something of a wrestling match to pin her and latch her into her car seat.

We are now starting pre-K assessments by our local school district for Genevieve. Part of that process is to fill out a developmental survey. Some of the questions ask for information about the detail in which the child can draw. Her drawing of two girls was one of the ones on my mind while answering the survey.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Little things

I once wrote a post about the nirvana that is synchronized napping. Yesterday there was no napping, and I don't want to recount the H-E-double-hockey-sticks I went through yesterday afternoon and evening. Enough said about yesterday.

Genevieve is putting out some interesting drawings. They make me smile. When I get some hardware back in place, I will have to share it on a future post.

Many thanks to Lois for giving me a three hour break this afternoon, and to Branda for bringing her kids out for a playdate. We all needed that. It's the little things that keep you going.

Tonight, I kept a more cool approach to Genevieve with her multiple times out of bed (only twice this evening). I didn't cuddle with her in bed. I couldn't afford to fall asleep early yet again, since tomorrow's a work day and the house had exploded into a scattering of dirty dishes, books, crayons and papers within the past 24 hours. One time I walked her back to bed, listened to her complaints about missing her lost stuffed animals Freddie and Madeleine, gave her my bear and told her that she was capable of calming herself to sleep. Doesn't always work, but this time it did.

Reesa is very interested in who is happy. "Are you happy Daddy? Is Ge-e-ieve happy? Dat man in da book is not happy."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Down the toilet

A couple of milestones today. First, Genevieve wrote her name without assistance. GENEVIEVE, all capital letters. It looked great. Next on the developmental list—remembering the existence of the numbers thirteen and fifteen.

For Reesa, it was the successful placement of a BM in the W.C. Yes, Reesa dropped her first “poopy in the potty.” This does not yet mean the end of an era; more likely, it signifies the beginning of the end. In the context of today, it hardly meant a thing. The landmark event occurred just prior to nap. Following nap, she wet her pants. Later in the evening, immediately upon hearing her sister announce that she needed to go the bathroom, Reesa declared the same intention. We were at the home of friends, and I asked Reesa to hold it until after her sister was done. That didn’t work, and this time it was more involved than a simple pee-pee. Hmm, now that I think about it, I think that a similar thing happened when we were toilet training Genevieve.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Solo daddy

Marilee left for a conference in Florida this morning, and I had the first of four solo daddy days. I am not typically a single parent, so there is some mental adjustment involved, but I think the biggest problem will be getting enough sleep. Especially when I fall asleep with one of the children at their bedtime and wake up after three hours. I don't get back to sleep very easily when that happens, which explains why I'm still awake at this hour.

Reesa woke from her nap this afternoon with a complaint of a sore right leg. Woke up her sister with her crying, and she just sat on the floor wailing and holding her leg and asking for ice. She tends to have these very specific body ache complaints that respond well to one dose of pain reliever. It reminds me of the body aches that I would have when I was young, especially in my legs. Not only do you have different aches and pains as a child (compared to an adult), but you experience pain in a different way. As and adult, I bang my shin, hop around, mutter some four-letter words under my breath, and a minute later I’m moving on, albeit with a limp. Kids bang their shin, and they either don’t notice it or it’s a five minute cry fest, complete with ice packs and demands for a bandage.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Evening of November Eighth

I arrive home after a day at work. Look in one of the three windows in our front door. I see Genevieve in the living room, in her underpants, wearing nothing else. I open the door, a little, and I can see Marilee and Reesa, also in the living room. Reesa comes running, decked out in a pink tu-tu. She wants a hug, to say hello, and she wants “up-eee.” Lately, she has wanted lots of “up-eee,” and I try to provide some to her each day. Sooner than I’ll know, she’ll feel heavy to pick up, and soon after that she won’t be interested in being picked up and held by her dad. So I enjoy it while I can, and as my back muscles allow.

Reesa likes to kiss. Sometimes, when I’m lying next to her on her bed while trying to settle her to sleep, she will say, “I love you soooo much!” And she will bring her head close to mine and say, “Dis is your cheek,” and kiss one cheek of mine. Then she will lean over to the other side of my face and say, “And dis is your udder cheek,” and kiss that one. And if she’s sleepy, she might start to settle down, and if she is not sleepy she will begin to recite all of the other body parts she can think of, pointing to each and every one as she calls out the name, and then chatter about something else if that gets boring. Anything to keep from falling asleep.

In the course of the early evening on this day, Genevieve will get dress in her red winter theme pajamas. She and her sister are playing “night-night.” As long as it’s happy play. Tonight, it is mostly happy.

We talked to aunt Michelle and cousin Paris. Dinner was a simple egg salad with crackers. Genevieve is adept at peeling the shell off of a hard boiled egg without mangling the egg too much. They eat well, and following dinner after I leave the room Genevieve gets her finger stuck in the high chair tray button. Marilee has to talk to Genevieve about why it took mommy or daddy so long to come help her. The reason is that she has screaming tantrums often enough now that we don’t immediately respond and that tantrums and screams of pain sound quite a bit alike.

They take a shower together. (Showers are a treat—mostly, they will take a bath together.) Then time to get out clothes for tomorrow, and storytime. I forget to get them to brush their teeth after their shower. We are too busy playing “rock.” Marilee finishes the storytime, and settles them down in bed while I get started on some housework. Soon, I’ll get under a comforter on our bed and draft this entry, find a picture, and post the entry. Brush and floss and go to sleep. Marilee is getting ready to go to Florida for five days, so we don't get time together. All-in-all, not too uncommon for an evening.