Thursday, March 08, 2007

bombs away

Some days, the smart thing is to put the pillow back over your head and shout, 'Do over!' Preferably without ever leaving your blankets.

Other days, you drive past a fallen hat in the parking lot, and realize that it's the one your MIL gave you for Chanuka, fallen as you wrangled a stubbornly walking toddler back to the car.

Hm. It was the second sort of day, starting with coffee (thanks to the ineffable Mary Jr), moving on to a triumphant text message from the same (about her midterm, huzzah!), and concluding finally in a back spasm during which I and my offspring were fed dinner by the family who'd foolishly invited us over for a playdate. Blessed, blessed people, and what a bountiful day!

With that in mind, it is time to drop a cute-bomb. Or possibly three.

The Grandmere had brought the boys a wombat and a pig. The wombat, part of an educational campaign waged by two generations of Australians, was duly ignored while the boys argued over the pig. We have, I pointed out to the combatants, two pig puppets - one large, and one small.

Some time later, I notice that it's ominously quiet in the family room. I peek. The Eldest frowns over his paper, thinks a moment and writes a letter. Mutters briefly, writes a second, then a third. He hands me a paper: P
I raise an eyebrow. It says Pig Long Tail, Mum, I am informed. Ah. Some people stake a claim, others plant a flag - the Eldest, with his faith in the power of writing, wrote down which pig belongs to him.

Of course, he had to figure out the spelling first. And, mind you (I am shamelessly proud here), on his own. Nice one, kiddo. Now, if only your little brother could read.


Buck-oo, says the Toddles, assembling the buckle on his high chair. I lift him down, his meal concluded. He grumps at me and climbs back up, to reassemble the buckle.

The Toddles is so enamored of his various buckles that we've been forced to lie the highchair flat, to keep him from climbing in and out to play with the buckles. Buckoo! he shouts, triumphantly, and off he goes.

With the language, of course, has come the search for the limits on the concept. What else could be a buckoo? According to the Toddles, the answer includes:

  • childgates,
  • child locks
  • buttons
  • zippers
  • shoelaces, when tied
  • seatbelts
  • puzzles
  • generally anything that clasps, fastens and bars one from access

Kid's got a point. Or possibly, a clasp.

On Monday, the boys went off to the homeopath for NAET treatment (diary for the Eldest, grains for the Toddles - thanks, M/FIL!). After, I took the Eldest, very late, to school.

We arrived to find a flurry of kids headed downstairs for a Shushan Purim party - in costume. Quickly, the Eldest and I ran to his classroom, where he deposited his things while I looked for the costume stuff. What about this, I said, waving about a brightly embroidered jacket. No, he told me. How about this? this? this? Finally, I reached down and grabbed some elaborately ragged tulle. This?

The Eldest looked at me patiently. Nothing strikes me as beautiful, he said.

who could argue?


The Toddles, as I might have mentioned, likes edges. The edges of my shirts, my sleeves, the hem of a shirt or skirt - and best of all, the neckline of my shirts. Never one for low-cut shirts, the Toddles seems to disagree with me, and has managed to stretch out a few of my shirts' necklines impressively. But then again, my boys have always pushed my fashion boundaries.

One day this past week, the Toddles was dangling off my shirt while I cooked lunch. Finding a nicely edged pocket on my pants, he switched to that - and nearly yanked the pants off my hips in the process, as he pulled and folded, pleating the fabric until it suited his needs.

At some point, he let go and was quietly standing next to my leg when I heard a telltale beeping sound. The little bugger had picked my pocket, and was calmly, curiously dialling my cellphone. I laughed and took the phone back, and put it back into the pocket - and waited to see what would happen next.

Sure enough, the Toddles barely paused for his beloved edges before jumping right in to the pocket for the phone. One moment a child's comfort mechanism, the entree to a world of crime.

I suppose there really is something subversive about child-led parenting. Clearly, providing for a child's needs can only lead them to the dark side of the Force...

Finally, a happy spring vacation to Mary Jr. Mary is named, as you may know, for Mary Poppins - for so extraordinary and unexpected a find was she, that she might as well have flown in on her parrt-headed umbrella.

This past week, she has been staying with us - an arrangement that has been, improbably, marvellous. I've had someone to share my coffee in the morning (otherwise, more than I can drink), company at odd hours of the day, a spare pair of hands when the Man has worked late, is late, needs me to take the Eldest to school, and someone who understands how marvellous it is when the Toddles, unprompted, identifies a duck (Uck! Uck!), or how hilarious it is when he calls himself Elmo (Ehmmo!).

Naturally, I worried about this arrangement. Is it going to damage the professional relationship? Are we getting ourselves into a role we shouldn't play? The Man, uncharacteristically, pushed all concerns aside, and invited her to stay another night. I was relieved and delighted. And a day later, I overheard this:

Eldest: Is V- really Mary Poppins?
the Man: I don't know. Why don't you ask her?
Eldest, thoughtfully: Can she slide up the bannister?
Man, choking slightly: Um. Have you ever seen her do it?
Eldest, with a touch of scorn: No. But she might not do it when I'm looking.

Ah. Bottomless carpet bag or not, she's a blessing and a marvel. And screw the professional relationship: how professional can one afford to be, when the job is really to fall in love with my child?


joy said...

Buck-oo: I believe the pun you should've written is "The Kid grasps the clasp."

and says quack whilst ducking.

mama o' the matrices said...

quack, quack right back atcha, dearling. And that's not a pun, it's a lousy rhyme!