Friday, June 6, 2008

The Pee Alarm and Falling over

As Wren approaches 18 months old he has become very strident. He knows what he wants and is very dogmatic about getting it. He wants:

1) To go everwhere with me.
2) To stop at every constructions site (or else he weeps and shrieks "digger, more digger" for the rest of the trip.
3) To eat any sweet thing he sees someone else eating. "more num num! Num num! Cookie!"
4) To have what Frost has.
5) To prevent Frost having anything he has.
6) To run very very fast (and fall over and hit his nose/knee/shin/hand) as he falls.
7) To poke snails and slugs.
8) To get up before 6am, regardless of when he goes to bed.
9) To eat dinner on my lap instead of seated in his high chair.
10) To hit the cats.
11) To Drag the toy digger, excavator and front-end loader around the house even when they are full of sand. He cries all the time as he drags them because they are too big to manoeuvre and jack-knife or fall over or pin his legs in bad ways.

He speaks all the time. Today he said Bean, bear, knife, sharp and many words I can't remember. I shall try and notice tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Now I can live in America

Today, I discovered that Safeway stocks Okra Pickles from Texas. These pickles taste just like pickles should and go a long way towards helping me feel at home in America. Finally, I have something to eat with cheese. By contrast, the bottled onions I bought turned out to be just bottled onions, no pickle at all! It was a sad moment. The only pickled onions I can find are cippolino's in the pickle bar (aka Olive Bar in US supermarkets). I have also found Lindemans SOUTH AFRICA Cab Sav at $6 a bottle! It is a delicious drink-now South African red at a great price.

When I bought the wine, Wren embarrassed me by saying "'ine, dada" very loudly and pointing at the bottle. Everyone must think we are regular alcoholics for our little baby to have wine among his first words.

Wren has decided to walk face first down stairs. Until now, he has been crawling backwards in the recommended "feet first" stance. Walking down stairs is much more dangerous and he has already fallen twice today. I am having to escort him down all steps. I should have expected this. For the past few weeks he has been "practicing" stepping up and down any change in grade saying "up-down" as he does it. Honestly, he has done it hundreds of times. Now I see that he was really working on something and feels he has passed the test. Josh says "he had to learn it sometime" but I wish he had waited until he was a bit more able to judge the implications of a fall.

This evening, Frost had his last Husky Soccer Team practice. I had failed to bring snack along so Frost was fake weeping about "how you should ALWAYS bring snack" and Wren was saying "num nums" and crying when I would not share the stick of gum I gave Frost.

I decided to stop at Dicks for burgers.

Dicks has very cheap, relatively good quality beef burgers. They are a bit of a local institution. Frost complained when I said he should share his shake with Wren so I decided to buy them both basic burgers - patty, bun, mayo and pickle. Frost said he didn't want pickle and he wanted strawberry shake instead of the normal vanilla so off I went. Five dollars later I had 2 burgers and a shake. Wren grabbed the burger from me and tried to eat the foil wrap saying "num nums" in a muffled shriek. I guess he was really hungry. I unwrapped it for him.

By the time we reached home he had eaten 3/4 of the burger.

In a weird coincidence we ended up driving home directly behind Joshua in the Subaru. What are the odds of that?

Josh was sad we hadn't bought him a burger but with groceries so expensive I feel compelled to eat what we have whenever possible. Today, I filled the minivan with gas and spent $72. Yes, seventy two dollars. Ouch.

We are going to be hiking in the wild bushes of local parks this summer, not in the wilderness 2 hours drive from here.

We are interviewing decking contractors. THe one we saw tonight said the deck could be made within 2 weeks. I like that thought. We would have to hold a deck warming BBQ ASAP.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Frost invents familial relativism

Me: Frost, come and sit at the table to eat.

Frost: No, pleeeease can I eat in the living room.

Me: Frost, come and eat with Wren and I. We all sit down together to eat breakfast.

Frost: Shannon, there is no actual way to do anything. There are just ways and the adults say "oh, we kind of want you to do this this way." So, you could say Frost, everyday I want you to sit at the table and then we sit at the table. There are basically infinite ways to do things.

Me: That's an interesting idea. Some people agree with you but come and sit down and talk about it.

Frost: See, there is no right and wrong way to do stuff you just make ways and tell other people to do those ways and that is how people do those ways but sometimes they say no and then they do it their own way. You just make up a way to do things and then you do it that way.

Me: But aren't there some occasions when there is a reason for doing things like other people?

Frost: Well of course, with the kids there are board games and they have rules but even then you can make up your own way to play it.

Me: But Frost, what about the reasons for our decisions. Sometimes adults have a way to do things because we know that one way is safer or better. The kids may not understand the reason.

Frost: That is half of what you say. Adults might have a reason to put on the kids. Like you want me to sit at the table. Kids might not understand but the reason is to be polite.

Me: Or, to be safe. For example, I might tell you we roast marshmallows on sticks or not run near the fire. The reason is to stop you getting burned.

Frost: Oh, then the reason to do things and the actual thing you are doing are actually the same thing, they are part of it. The reason is kind of mixed with the actual thing you are doing. It is to help the thing you are doing, to make it safer or better.

I am going to continue this conversation to see whether Frost's relativism is moral, cultural or simply opportunistic before I plan my intervention :)

I suspect he is realizing there is no reason for things like bedtime at 8.30 or eating some place versus another but rather than this being a source of rebellion, for now it is an observation leading to a great deal of discussion about my "requests".