Thursday, October 29, 2009


Last spring, the kids and I were inspired by Tracy Kane's book, "Fairy Houses Everywhere" to create our own little fairy house in the backyard. Although the activity was just one afternoon, the kids had a blast and the house remained, more or less, intact for the rest of the summer.

This fall, we had some terrific luck when the Florence Griswold Museum did an exhibit on Fairy Houses. I wasn't fast enough to get Q signed up for one of their classes on making fairy houses, but Grandma did score us a "Twinkling Twilight Firefly Tour" - an evening tour of the fairy houses.

When Noodle saw our tour guide, her eyes widened. He was a slim man, dressed entirely in black, with black wings. Henceforth she referred to him adoringly as 'The Butterfly Guy' or 'The Fairy Guy.'

Our tour started at 5:30, in the pouring rain. We were in the midst of a cold snap that had dropped the temperature to 35 degrees. The children happily tromped behind the guide, who explained which fairies lived in which houses, and pointed out special features of each. The grown ups whimpered and wished for snow rather than rain.

The next week the temperatures soared into the 50s and we returned with J and discovered that the twilight tour had, by necessity of time, skipped more than half of the houses. An hour and a half wasn't enough time.

The fairy house tour, complete with a 'Do It Yourself' area, whetted Q and J's appetite for architecture and last week they built a loftier fairy house on the foundation of the previous house in our backyard.

As we left home the next day, Noodle pointed to a pile of leaves in the street, "There's a fairy house!"

Monday, October 12, 2009


After a busy weekend with late bedtimes, Noodle is struggling to fall asleep tonight. Even after Q fell asleep, we can hear her chatting away to herself, getting rowdier and rowdier.

I go upstairs to turn off the doggie light and try to settle her down again.

"I want to sleep in your bed!" She claims.

This is highly unlikely. But she's loud enough that I'm concerned she'll wake up Q. I pick her up, turn off most of the lights, and lie down with her in my bed.

She snuggles, just barely wriggling her feet, rolls over. She breathes rapidly and loudly through her pacifier, holding her breath when the furnace kicks in, then breathing regularly again.

We lie companionably for a while. Then she murmurs something. "What?"

"Gook is painting the leaves yellow tonight."

"Gook is painting the leaves yellow?" I ask. Gook is the first imaginary friend to last more than a few hours. Noodle constantly changes her own identity: Dora, Mop, Diego, Boots, Tinkerbell. But Gook seems to be lasting several weeks now.

As if sensing my thoughts, Noodle says, "Gook is Real!"

"Gook is real." I repeat as I carry her back to bed. "Gook is painting the leaves yellow tonight?"

"Gook is painting the leaves yellow tonight."

I kiss her cheek and imagine her dreams filled with fairies.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Call it what it is

I say to Noodle, "Please stop yelling at me."

She pouts. "Not yelling. It's whining."

Friday, October 02, 2009


In a recent post I mentioned that Q got his first library card. What I don't think I touched on was how Q developed a happy little scheme to go with his library card.

Perhaps two weeks ago, Q asks me if Someday we could go to the place where they make cards and get him a library card. "Absolutely." I replied, "Did you know that the place where you get a library card is actually the library? And I think that now that you are 5 years old, you are probably old enough to have your own library card?"

Q is all over this. When we go to get his card, he gets very specific. "Can I put my library card on a key chain?"

Our particular library does not make the small bar code cards that fit on your key chain, so I have to think about this. We agree to ask Miss Linda if we can punch a hole in his library card so he can put it on a key chain. Miss Linda not only agrees, but actually punches a hole for us. Librarians are very helpful.

Q then asks if we can go downtown and get him a keychain. I have a gift certificate, so we head down. He picks out one that is obviously a Halloween themed key chain with a mummy like character (name on the tag is Charlie Ribs, since you can see little wire ribs) with a tiny bell that gives the key chain a happy jingle. Q is thrilled.

The next day Q earned his first token for running and walking. The tokens have a small hole, so he can add it to his key chain.

Last week, Q received a 'Fancy Nancy Treasure Box' from a kind friend. It includes a tiny portrait of Fancy Nancy ready to be made into a pin or necklace. This too is added to the key chain on a safety pin.

Thursday Q comes home from school with FOUR! new tokens for all the running and walking he's done. He's thrilled and manages to lose one before we get home from Grandma's house. After we relocate it, these four get added to the key chain concoction as well.

When I suggest he will need a larger ring for all his tokens, he steals one from my strainer ("I thought you could hang it by the handle instead." He justified.) and loops it through the whole tangle of charms. He hooks it on his shorts, which immediately drop below his knees. The accoutrements of increasing responsibility.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

If You Pee Pee on the Potty, Say "Hooray!"

Noodle has developed a new fun game for naptime and bedtime: strip the diaper.

Sometimes we find her naked. Sometimes she gets stealthy and puts her pants back on, so a quick glance implies she is still diapered.

After a few full bedding changes, we decided that pleading with her to "PLEASE keep your diaper on!" was not working effectively enough and started duct taping her into her diaper. I believe that, with effort, she might be able to get duct taped diapers off, but not when sleepy.

However this implies that she doesn't like having a diaper so much, so we're working on potty training. With absolutely no success. I'm thinking that she's not really interested, she simply wants to take off her diaper. But nonetheless, we've got the little potty set up in the hallway for what is evidently entertainment purposes.

Last night I put her into the bath, only to have her being crying, "I want to sit on the potty!" Okay.

So she sits naked on the potty and I sit next to her and read the entire book of potty songs. Or sing, rather. Then 'The Carrot Seed.' Followed by 'One Sea Horse.' She gets excited at one point and says, "I pooped!" Sadly, no. On to bath time.

After the kids are in bed, J says to me, with all the sentimental fondness of a parent realizing how fast their child is growing up, "I can't believe Noodle is potty training."

I begin to laugh.

"She's not."

This evening Noodle spent another 20 minutes on the potty as I read to her, hoping in vain for success. Poor child.