Saturday, May 31, 2008

Udder ruminations

"Cows have four tummies. I know that."

This comment from Genevieve came after we passed a cow statue on the way home from her pre-school. Reesa had asked about their yonies, but she really meant their udder, which Genevieve mispronounced as pudder, or something like that. And then the function of the udder in relation to milk was discussed, which of course led to tummies.

"Um hmm," I replied, preparing to build up to introducing the concept of ruminants, "cows have more than one stomach. I think they have five."

"Five, yeah, they have five tummies and that's were they keep their milk before it goes to their udders."

"Oh really? Where does their food go to after they've swallowed it?"

"Well, that goes there too."

Genevieve continued working out some numbers on the split between numbers of tummies for food and for milk, then decided that cow babies had to have their own tummies.

"There's three tummies for babies, and two for milk, and one for food. So that's, umm..." She started counting on her fingers...

"Yup. Five tummies!"

Friday, May 30, 2008

Remind, nag, scold

The four goals of childhood misbehavior are to gain attention, power, revenge, or to display inadequacy. Reesa is going all out on the first two. The symptoms of the first one--

How do you feel? --- Bothered, annoyed
What do you usually do? --- Remind, nag, scold
How does your child usually respond? --- Stops temporarily (or doesn't, in the case of Reesa). Later, misbehaves again.
Goal --- Attention

Yup, I'm right there with all of that. Just have to remind myself to get out of the cycle of responding on their terms, especially remind nag scold. I feel like that has become a subconscious negative mantra lately.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Grandmaman in town

One problem that I have as a blog writer is where to start when there could be so much to say. I'll try and get over that today and simply say that we recently hosted my mom at our house, and it was fabulous to have her with us (Thanks Mom!). It really is too bad that we can't see her every month--such is the price of living far from family.

Our family thanks Grandma for the gift of the swing set (not shown in above picture--I don't have a downloaded picture yet). Though there is some benefit to going out to a park for the big swings, it relieves some pressure (to get the children to run around and exercise) to have one in our own backyard.

One completely foreseeable result of its installation is that it provides me with a workout for my ability to tolerate my children's risk-taking.

"Oooo, she's not supposed to be doing that. Yeesh, wait, she's gonna bang into her sister, and... uuum, climbing that way--oooh, time for me to go in and watch the water boil."

Hey, I worry about that stuff, what can I say?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Photo by Betsy Haynes

You might be hearing more about Genevieve in the near future than Reesa. Not that Reesa doesn't have interesting and entertaining things to say, and not that she fails at being cute, and not that we don't love her. It's just that, lately, much of Reesa's communication has been less than eloquent.

Sometimes when she wears underpants, she doesn't urinate for over two and a half hours. For us parents, this is the danger zone in which she will get distracted by what she is doing and pee where ever she stands. So we will invite her to the bathroom, and when she refuses we offer her the choice between going pee-pee herself or putting on diapers.

"NOOOOO! I won't go pee-pee, and I won't wear pullups!"

Screaming, whining and shouting NOOO! are frequent fliers out of the mouth of Reesa these days, and for us parent it's a lot of trying to balance firmness with love and wondering if your even remotely on the right track when week after week it's the same behavior.

And do you know what?

Art and story by Genevieve
Click on art to see larger view

you see, there's this baby, and the baby runs away from his house and goes out into the mountains, and it's thundering and booming and raining, so this baby find another house and goes in and there's lots of things there like chairs and spoons and plates and...

who's this over on the other side of the mountain?

oh, that's the grandma. she's coming to visit over the mountain.

and is this the baby?

no, that's the neighbor. here's the baby.

what's this and this?

those are houses, and on top there are chimneys.

and then what happens?

and then the baby goes home, but then he goes out again, and do you know what?


they all die! yeah... except the baby, he was careful. and the grandma too. she was careful, so those two lived happily ever after.


Photo by Betsy Haynes

Our friends Pete and Amy were over last night. They taught Genevieve how to say thank you in several languages, including Estonian, which Pete said was pronounced, "spankmeplease." Genevieve thought that Pete was a "tricker."

Among other Pete tricks was insisting the Amy was taller than he was (on his knees!), and that Amy was made of cheese and couldn't take a bath because she would turn into yogurt. And then, he changed his mind and insisted that Amy was made of hydrocarbons, and so was he, and so was Genevieve. This was obvious nonsense to Genevieve, who knows a tricker when she sees one, and laughed in his face.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Wisconsin Cannonball

Whooo-a-whooooo! Make way for the momma train. After talking about it for the past two months, Genevieve gets her maiden voyage on the trail-a-bike, with Reesa trailing behind. Marilee found two used units on Craig's List, and decided the time had come to put this year's one parent-two child bicycle solution in place (the girls were too big to peacefully or comfortably share the trailer). First ride was mechanically successful, but a little too late in the day and long in the tooth, resulting in a popsicle kid.

For those of you reading this within a couple months of posting, I'll be placing the video version in the sidebar a day or two after the post, so look for it there.