Friday, March 28, 2008


Today I heard Noodle fussing as I was trying to pull together dinner for the kids. Q starts talking to her, and I leaned in to watch. He took her hands and started rocking back and forth with her, singing, "Row Row Row Your Boat" (a game I've played with them). Forgetting the words, he improvised his own as she laughed with delight.

Noodle often laughs on seeing someone she likes- especially Q. As she stood at the stair gate, banging it back and forth, she spotted him at the bottom of the stairs and kept laughing as he climbed all the way up.

The other night I was at a Preschool Forum and heard that at a year children know (can't say, but understand) about 100 words. Contemplating this, we figure Noodle must have 50 plus, right? But which words does she know?

Yesterday we looked at the bargain end of season clothes that J picked up at OshKosh outlets. One had a cat on it and I said, "Aw, a kitty!" Noodle, on my lap, points at Savannah (the mean cat).

We've tried little tests, "Noodle, get the hat!" She picks up the hat. "Noodle, get the book!" She picks up the hat. (The hat is new and exciting.) I'm sure she knows our names, but you couldn't tell by the way she responds to anything other than her own name. I think she knows what, "Come here!" means, but when you have a test subject who responds to a request when she has the whim, well, you get unreliable results.

Q has been genius good lately. He's set aside his acute interest in learning to read for the moment. Imaginative play seems to have taken its place. We listened to the trucks interacting with different voices, a normal Q saying, "Can you get out of the way?" Gruff voice, "No." Tiny voice responds for another truck explaining that he'd have to go around. Today he let me nap while he played trucks, for two hours. He's unreasonably good.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Photos: Lessons

I decided that after months of chasing annoying plastic eggs around my house last year, I was going to learn my lesson. This Easter I was going to decorate real eggs and that Q would love to help. What I learned a little too late is that you should buy white eggs if you are going to dye them. Nonetheless. It was a fun project and Q loved it.

After finding the hidden eggs this morning, Q immediately wanted them hidden for another hunt. The second round Noodle got to help (she woke up). As you can see, she found one Q missed (in the other shoe) and is trying to get his attention.

Other lessons learned this weekend. I set Noodle down on the floor next to a sleepy J. When I came back, this is what I found:

It took a while to get the kleenex out of her mouth...

Her third tooth has emerged, but Number 4 is just under the gum next to it. She's a good sport, but having trouble falling asleep.

She's showing a strong appreciation for the people she likes. When she wants someone particular and they either come into the room, or pick her up, she laughs with delight. She's determined to get what - or who - she wants.

She's hard to resist.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Noodle is teething. Again. I thought it was simply tooth number 2 working its way up, but this evening I caught a glimpse of tooth number 3 on top. A corner has barely pushed its painful way through, and the rest lurks, or rather, bulges, under the surface.

She's not sleeping that well. Basically she wants to be held until she's absolutely exhausted. (sigh) But since there's been only one night with out and out screaming, I'm feeling less overwhelmed.

Tonight I pulled her out of her not-yet-bedtime crib and brought her upstairs, hoping that if I bribed her with yet more warm milk, she'd find sleep irresistible.

J was reading to Q about vehicles on our bed, so I joined them. After a few minutes, I realized that as Q chattered away, he was leaning his cheek into Noodle's soft copper hair. So sweet. Then he just blew me away.

"You are the bestest guwurl ever Noodle," he announced.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Sharing the Pain and the Glory

Lately (as in, twice before and again today) we have taken Q to a place called Kidz Kutz to get his hair cut. I know, just the name alone is enough reason not to go there. But they have 'vehicles' for kids to sit in while they get trimmed. And videos to watch. And tolerant hair stylists.

The first time, it worked marvelously well. The kid got a really good haircut and a lollypop. I avoided wielding a pair of scissors near my child's head while he screamed and flailed. I didn't even mind that he only whimpered for the stylist.

The second time didn't go as well. He seemed enthusiastic about the vehicles, but then once the trimming started, he began to wail and I had to hold his head still several times for her to whack back the foliage. Worse, his sister woke up and I was holding an unhappy Noodle on one hip, while bracing his head with my chin and arm.

He was due in for another cut, and I decided to beg J to take him in. Sometimes he behaves better if I'm not there. Sometimes. And, I figured at least if he (that is, J) had a traumatic time, he'd be sympathetic next time, even if he wanted to avoid it.

Didn't go so hot. J's words to describe it included: loud, crying, and fetal position.

They finally had J sit in a chair (not a vehicle), with a smock, then had Q sit in his lap, with a smock, and then they buzzed him. He did get different lengths on the sides and top (deliberately), and it looks great, but when I asked him about it he said, "Mommy, don't talk."

J and I agreed that after what would probably be a traumatic event, Q should get a trip somewhere special. I had a sudden stroke of genius and suggested the Chester Airport (see the plane?).

It was a huge hit.

Here's a better look at the haircut.

At the last moment he began bargaining for me to trim his hair at home, then for me to take him for the hair cut, so I bribed him with the job of helping J pick out sandwiches for us. This sweetened the deal enough to get him into the car without tears or lugging. And the happy result for me was an invitation to join them at the airport for a picnic. So I packed up the Noodle, who'd just woken up from a long lovely nap, and drove the 5 minutes to meet them.

It turns out that Noodle doesn't like sudden loud noises. A plane taking off nearly had her in hysterics. I apologized for not warning her. This was the second time in two days that she's been startled by a loud noise (the first by a neighbor's dog barking, only a foot or two away), and has responded with terrified screaming. She's so mellow most of the time that I forget that she can be surprised unpleasantly.

Alas, unlike the small airport of my childhood town, there does not seem to be a place to purchase ice cream while you watch the planes. Sorry Dad.