Thursday, November 1, 2007


Halloween was lovely. Frost was ecstatic in his ghoul outfit and Wren accepted being dressed as a lion. Frost collected almost 3kg of candy and would have eaten a large portion of it were it not for bedtime. I am not sure if or when he will sleep.

Frost loved going door to door and saying "Trick or treat". He was very chatty and complimented people on their decorations, asked for "more" candy and discussed which his favorites were. The only house he did not like was my favorite - an almost-mansion which had converted the front porch into a haunted house with ghoulish animated figures, black-light, creepy bloody limbs and spooky voices. Frost hid outside and asked me to get him candy. As we left he shouted out to groups of kids approaching "watch out for that house it is super-scary!"

Wren is becoming a good mimic of real words although he has yet to use them intelligently on his own. At Infant co-op he was watching bubbles being blown and staring intently. I said "bubbles" and pointed. He pointed and said "bub-bul, bub-bul." I was not the only one who heard him and a number of people commented on how clear it was. On the weekend he did a similar thing with Josh when he was watching the fire and Josh repeated "fire, fire." Wren said "fie.... fie..."

Wren enjoyed a lollipop while trick or treating. It kept him very very quiet and sticky for a very very long time. After it was gone he sucked on his mane where some sticky sweetness remained.

Monsters in the night

Last night, on the eve of halloween, we were visited by a few different kinds of monsters.

The first is our familiar beasty - Wren - who has taken it upon himself to wake at midnight and wail and shriek like the most fiendish ghoul. He will not settle himself even after 20 minutes of crying. He won't settle if Joshua goes in to him and so I have to get up and soothe him. Last night I did this by patting his back and singing. This is not easy because the crib has high sides and the position cuts of circulation to my arms while hurting my back. If I lower the sides he could fall out but the click and squeak of raising the sides would wake him so I do not risk that move. He fell asleep after 20 minutes of hiccoughing and fixing me with a baleful eye when I broke the rhythm of my rubbing and patting and singing silly songs about mocking birds and diamond rings.

The next beast comes out of the darkness to our back door. I come out each morning to find the cats' water trough knocked over and their bowls empty. Now, Kasharoo could empty a catfood bowl but I would not expect her to knock over the water. This morning I found the ceramic catfood bowl smashed at the bottom of the back stairs. It seems an uncatlike thing. I suspect a raccoon. I am not sure what to do other than buy a plastic catfood bowl and put the water at the base of the stairs.

Tonight is Halloween and I shall post pictures from our own trick or treating tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Crows have friends too

While I often write about Wren, Frost is (of course) also very interesting and entertaining. Here are some snapshots of Frost at age 6 and a third:

1) Frost likes to be funny. His sense of humor is not always well timed. Yesterday I went out the back door to put out the garbage, carrying Wren. It was very cold and I was wearing flip-flops. When we got around to the front I knocked on the door, asking Frost to let me in. He replied "sorry, I can't let you in because I can't find Mummy!" I said "Frost, it is Mummy, let me in". He replied again "wait, I am going to go and ask Mummy." There is silence and some thudding as he goes out the back door and comes to the front porch. I was not laughing.

2) Tactical Poverty: The school is doing a Trick or Treat for Unicef fundraiser. Each child has a little box. Now that Frost can read he has learned that 9c can feed a child for a day. The flipside is that he feels it is very cheap to be a poor person and people will feed you. When I mention that we don't have enough money to buy something he wants he says "well, why don't we just fly to Africa and be poor for a while and we will get all that Unicef money?"

3) The meaning of things: Frost is learning lots of new words. Sometimes, I stop and check he understands the meaning of word he is using. This morning it was "distracts". I asked him what distracts means and he said it means that someone does something so that you notice while their friend does something else you don't like. I think this meaning comes from the theme of pickpockets in a Tintin book we are reading. I explained that it can have a more general meaning of "capture your attention".
I gave as an example: "That noisy crow distracts me from driving".
"Well," said Frost "that's the same thing because Crows have friends too!"

4) To dress or not to dress: Frost needs a lot of encouragement to become and remain clothed. He prefers to walk around naked. When he gets home from school he seldom remains fully clothed and whenever the doorbell rings there is a frantic rush to the bedroom to find new shirt and pants. This morning Frost came to me wrapped in a blanket. He explained:

There are two reasons I prefer blankets to clothes: 1)Blankets are warmer and 2) Blankets are portable like clothes.

So saying, he wandered off trailing 6 ft of blanket behind him.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The stumbling video

Wren standing up and tottering.


Frost (6): You know what I have been doing in my room since I quitted Insane Aquarium?
Me: No
Frost: I have been trying to find out what Daddy's password is.
Me: Why do you want to do that?
Frost: So I can get into his things and see what is there!
Me: So how do you do it?
Frost: I have been trying to type his password but there is this green arrow button that says "have you forgotten your password?" So I click on the question and I click on the letters but I have no idea how to start and go into it. If you click the green arrow, I think, oh yeah! But I have to type that password like 5 times?
Me: So what do you type for the password.
Frost: Well, the question says to me "fraction" so I have no idea how to type that but I try to type that but I don't know if it actually was fraction. Can you come and see what I mean about logging onto Joshua's website thing?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday update

I can't believe its been a week since I last posted. Its been a busy week including multiple plumbers visits for the blogged tub drain, a Newsvine party, a KapKa board retreat, joining a gym, Frost heading to Vashon for the day and a few after school play-dates. Now, where is the weekend going?

Wren is doing well. His proto-walking has not developed at all. He is still happy to oblige me with a few tottering steps towards me before tumbling into my lap but I have to stand him up and say "come on" and hold out my hands to get him to do this. On two occasions he has 'walked' a few steps alone in the kitchen. It seems that if he is standing up and gets hold of a treasure like a pot or spoon he might decide to move his legs instead of dropping to a crawl but crawling is still his preferred and only mode of real locomotion.

In contrast to my interest in his being upright, Wren's main interest is ensuring I am never out of his sight. He is very anxious about all separation (including a bathroom break or me going down to the basement alone to put on the laundry). He whines pitifully and crawls after me as fast as his little arms and legs can go to keep up. When I stop he winds himself around my legs and cries. Its quite tragic. As a result I spend a lot of time carrying him on my hip or in the baby carrier as well as a lot of time feeling frustrated and reassuring him he is okay.

The anxiety he feels about me going away makes going away hard. This week I had a meeting with Josh, a KapKa workshift and a KapKa board planning day. These three required childcare. Thankfully Lisa has come ot know Wren but there are gut wrenching transitions when I get to leave, it is even difficult to leave Wren with Josh although he does well once I have lost to the outside world.

Wren like to play games. Josh and he made up a game in which he hides behind a cloth and then pops out to "peek a boo". He can do this for far longer than an adult's attention span.

Frost has a game in which he bounces and pops up behind the couch to squeals from Wren. I have taken little movies of these games as well as the Big Pounce & stumble-walking. I hope they work.