Tuesday, February 17, 2009

If I were King for just one day...

Molly and Finny were telling me weird story this evening about how a friend of theirs was trying to get Molly to stay on her bed and Finny to leave it. Apparently, she told the girls that she wanted to talk about big girl things, like math and the government. You know, things that six year olds know and little four year olds don't.

Funny though, because my girls reacted completely differently. Finny (who is four), insisted that she knew exactly what government was (this is her version of events...she then quickly added, "I don't know what government is, but what else could I say?"). Molly then said that she had no idea what government was. I am not sure how the bed issue resolved, but it sparked an interesting conversation.

We were lying in bed just now and Molly said, "you know, I think I do actually know what government is...isn't it a guy [eek!] who decides how things work in the city?" I explained there are different levels of governing, but essentially, yeah.

Molly thought for a moment, then came out with a TRAFFIC RANT. How funny. She said that if she were the government, she would change the road outside her school. At a certain intersection you can't go straight, you have to turn left. Molly harbours intense secret (till now) outrage at the inefficiency of the traffic pattern because, "usually we want to go straight." She mapped out the whole street scene using our feet as landmarks, lamenting the whole time how unfair it was to make people go the long way FOR NO REASON. It was intense, especially for her.

A future as a city planner...?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentimes

Before you mentally chastise me for spelling Valentine wrong, I will point out that this is how Molly still think the holiday is pronounced. She has even written the word out a few times, but it hasn't twigged that it is an "n" not an "m'. Although, upon further consideration, it sort of makes more sense Molly's way, since it is the time of Valens...you know, like Easter time or Christmas time? I don't know, it's late. Give me a break.

So, I knit the kids their own hearts. Each was as different from each other as the kids are themselves.

They liked them alright. The girls were kind about them, wearing them around their wrists and complimenting them. Lucas looked at me like I had taken leave of my senses, then promptly stashed his red heart in some dark location from which I have yet to unearth it. Fair enough, I guess. Today I bought a bunch of pussy willows and I am going to hang them from the branches. At least, the two I can find...

Plus, I got totally trumped in the knitted gift department, since my mom produced a doll for each kid, complete with two knitted outfits each and panties. Yes, you read that right.

Below is Rosie, Finny's doll, posing with doughnuts. I will get some good photographs of the dolls to post later. The only consolation is that Lukey hasn't warmed to his doll any more than to his heart. The kid hates knitters.

Valentine's Day was off to a rocky start yesterday morning due to some less than peaceful behaviour from our middle child...tears and whining about having to go to Molly's soccer game (normally the whining about soccer is left to Molly herself). So I dropped Finny off at my mom and dad's on the way to the game. She then puked her guts out for a couple of hours. So, yeah. Mother of the Year here. I was pretty crusty at the poor ill waif, who clearly was grumpy because she was SICK. Sorry Finny.

In honour of the day, I even made a hair heart (of sorts) for Molly's soccer game.

We came back to my parents and had Valentine's tea. There were even little sandwiches and jello cream. It was a treat, except for Finny, who turned a pronounced shade of green at the sight of food. Truthfully, she turns a slight shade of green at the sight of any food (ask Eric, he claims she is pickier than him...so, wow...). In fact, I made the girls popcorn for a movie today and Finny rolled her eyes and said, "Ugh, I don't like popcorn..." Seriously? Jeez. That actually might make her pickier than Eric.

Anyway, Finny was better by yesterday evening, recovering in time to hear Eric chew me out for giving him a Valentine's gift. What a jerk I am, right? Apparently, we have a firmly established inertia concerning gift-giving holidays, an unspoken agreement that I have callously flouted by giving a nice gift without any warning. The good news though is that one of us adhered to rule very nicely. Oh no, wait, I did get a handful of Cadbury cream eggs (I just read this out to Eric and his only response was, "are they not your very favourite?"...touche pussycat, touche).

Molly woke up this morning, ate a bagel, and lost her tooth. She was an even mix of traumatized and excited. You can probably read that on her face below.

I took that shot as she was handing me her tooth, after running into the kitchen lisping. The tooth kind of freaked her out. It had blood on it. She had already decided that she wanted to keep her first lost tooth, so we will have to work something out for the tooth fairy. I mean, the fairy isn't a non-profit or anything. She can't shell out cash when she doesn't get the goods.

The picture of her looking into the mirror is her seeing herself for the first time with a gap-toothed grin.

We popped down to Granville Island this afternoon and found out that every family and tourist currently in the Lower Mainland had the same idea. We got the last bag of frozen doughnuts from Lee's Donuts, picked up a Coco Loco and headed to the upstairs seating area. Then Molly got into her happy doughnut place.

She actually said, "Om...Om..." like she was in the middle of doughnut yoga or something...

Lukey enjoyed the view...

Finny figured out that she could look through the doughnuts. She asked me to take a picture. Sure.

Molly liked that, reproduced it and had a perfect execution. Her eye, as you can see, is right in the middle of the hole. Well done.

Never to be outdone, Lucas had to attempt the "hole peek picture". He took the bronze. By a lot. Plus, he ended up with a face covered in coconut shavings. He even got a crumb in his eye. Fail.

We walked over to the duck pond and fed the fowl. The girls were so into it.

As you will see below, Lukey went from unsure...then uncomfortable and then full retreat.

And then, we played. Some days are diamonds.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The joys of silent communication

Up until now, if Molly has wanted to express something to us, she has had to speak. Unlike some, we never "yuppied" up to baby sign language, so it's been talk or don't be understood. (Ask Lukey...the talking isn't so strong for the little guy. Today I learned that he can decently dribble a basketball but can't really say "dribble" or "basketball"...or his own name, for that matter. Have you met my son HeeHee?).

Lately, with the advent of school and Molly's wholehearted embracing of the written word, we have had little notes and lists and messages appearing on every flat surface of the house. In fact, last night when we came home from a delicious and leisurely dinner at Les Faux Bourgeois, the Magna Doodle was out on the table with a note ordering us to come upstairs immediately upon our return to hand out hugs.

I have seen her experimenting with fonts and typography. Here is her name, made into creatures:

I particularly like the use of legs to represent a double "L".

Molly's school bag is always crammed full of scraps of paper with letters on them. Last week, I stumbled upon a love note, meant for me. I think it's poetic. "Swet" is meant to be sweet, not sweaty as I initially feared.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rice Krispie Squares on a Winter's Day

Lukey and I shared a rice krispie square this afternoon. And by share, I mean that he ate it while I sat next to him. Then every once in a while he shoved a wet, mushy heel of square into my closed lips, mashing it around and before giving up again and eating it himself.

The Tooth Fairy is checking us out on Google Maps right now...

"Every tooth in a man's head is more valuable than a diamond." ~Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, 1605

This afternoon, Molly burst through the door with big news. Her two bottom teeth are loose. Apparently they were firmly affixed earlier in the day. She then bit into the rice crispy square I sent her for snack and voila...loose teeth. I experienced a brief twinge of guilt when I recalled my thought process while packing her lunch this morning...it went something like: "Man, that square Molly didn't eat on Friday is rock hard, but there's nothing wrong with it otherwise...hello Monday snack!" Oops. It was really hard.

She was thrilled. This has been a big topic of conversation in our house. From the time Molly was a tiny girl, she has asked me about what it is like to lose teeth and when it will happen. Not in a woohoo way. More like a flashback from those bad nightmares you get when all your teeth simultaneously crumble out of your mouth like old chalk way -- or am I the only one who gets that dream? Molly has a complicated relationship with aging. She would love to still be a baby and generally, any milestone that takes her further away from babyhood is viewed by Moll with suspicion. Couple that proclivity with the naturally scary prospect of disappearing teeth and we had all the ingredients for a girlhood paranoia.

But now most of her friends have lost a lot of teeth. She was starting to wonder if she would be walking down her wedding aisle with baby chompers. I think she is relieved.

I, on the other hand, almost burst into tears. Plus, loose teeth kinda give me the heebies. Anyone else?

Gap-toothed pictures to follow...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Barbies...must we?

Molly got invited to a sleepover birthday party recently. She was psyched to go, since it was the first overnight party ever...she's been on a couple of sleepovers, but just with kids we know here in the co-op. She could probably call our names anywhere inside the co-op gates and we would hear her, so going "off campus" is a different experience. The theme of the party was Barbie. Only problem? Molly doesn't own any Barbies. The invitation even said, "bring your favourite Barbie"...

Molly, to her credit, was very cool about the whole thing. She has two "Only Heart" dolls, which are much more like little girls rather than vinyl big-breasted ladies. The "Only Hearts" are actually covered in soft fuzz, so there isn't much mistaking them for Barbies. Nevertheless, when I suggested to her that she could take an "Only Heart" she was totally okay with that.

We went to the toy store to get the birthday girl a gift. While there choosing, I noticed that Barbies were on sale. Standing in front of the full wall of grinning, plastic, physiologically impossible dolls, I contemplated whether I should get one for Molly to take. I looked at her. She was also gazing up at the fortress of fake women. My eye fell on a ballerina Barbie that was actually sort of cute, clothed in a modest tutu, somehow athletic looking instead of tarty. I picked it up and asked Molly if she wanted it. She answered with a subdued, "Yes, please."

Later on in the store, she pulled me down to her level and offered a very sincere thanks for getting her the Barbie. She told me she was happy that she wouldn't be the only one without one. It made me wonder. Why hadn't she asked for one? Did she either not care that much, or did she not feel she could ask because she knew I wasn't keen on Barbie? And...how did I feel about it...

The Barbie we got was pretty tame. I hadn't seen Molly playing with it since the party and when I emptied out her overnight bag today, I found the Barbie tucked in the side, untouched since the sleepover. It seems that Barbie's first contact with Molly doesn't have her abruptly considering plastic surgery or trying to sneak out of the house in a thong. So, that's good. I was also happy that when I asked her what gift she wanted to take to the party, her answer was "Something crafty? Crafty is fun...". Still my wee girl...at least for now.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

E- Caught red handed

I had a great afternoon with Finny today. Because it was a sunny day, and not too cold, we decided to head out for a ride on our bikes. Last summer all the riding we did was in uncrowded areas with me staying close at hand, so it was a real milestone to be able to head out on the road, each of us on our own bike. Finny hasn't done much practicing in the time since, but has grown up and learned to be more responsible...or at least I was hoping. After all, 4 1/2 is still pretty young to be navigating the busy streets around our house.

Fin was fantastic though. We rode all the way to Granville Island before doubling back on the seawall and going to Science World. By the time we got home the sun had almost gone down and I noticed my hands getting really cold. I looked at Fin's and they were really red. At that point I noticed her coat had been undone our whole ride. Having multiple layers on myself and not far from whining about my cold hands, I asked Fin if she was cold. She replied "yeah, a little bit Daddy but mostly me legs are tired". She probably rode 5 times further today than all of her previous biking experience combined and didn't complain once.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

E- Up in the dumps

I got a phone call last night asking if I wanted to spend the next day at the dump. Usually it's not my favorite place to hang out, but it's also hard to say no to 12 hours of double time work. Apart from the 5:30 am wake up, the day was kind of fun. The dump wasn't as bad as I expected because we were working on top of old construction/demolition waste, not stinking refuse. The hundred foot high pile gives a great view of Burns Bog and all of the snow covered peaks of the lower mainland.

There were four of us on the spare engine that were called in as part of the attempt to extinguish a growing underground fire. The fire was so buried though that most of the work was done by excavators and water supplied by massive dump trucks shuttling it in.