Sitting at the top of the slide, she lifts her hands, scotches forward, yells “Release”, and slides down.
*** *** ***
Scene: We enter the house peacefully. Suddenly, in a fit, while tearing off her onesie.
Little Elephant: Mommy, mommy. Hurts! Hurts!
Me: What hurts!
Little Elephant: Duele! Mama. Duele! Hurts!
Now I am helping her tear of her clothes.
Me: What hurts? WHERE DOES IT HURT?
Little Elephant: Tummy! Hurts! Cracker!
Turns out, she was just hungry!
*** *** ***
Little Elephant: Mommy! Mommy! Harley!
Me: Do you want to pet Harley (the dog)
Little Elephant: Yes. Mommy. Harley!
She pets the dog. The dog licks her fingers.
Little Elephant: Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!
Me: Yes. Harley gave your hand a kiss. Doggies lick to give kisses.
Little Elephant: No! Fingers!
I stand corrected.
*** *** ***
She and her little friend are jumping on the trampoline. They have a ball, but he won’t throw it to her. All three parents are telling him to throw her the ball, but no. Every so often he bounces it off her head or back to pretend he is sharing. Finally all revved up, she looks him in the eye and yells “SHARE!!!!”
Little Elephant watching video of Miss Martha Graham Cracker’s jazz rendition of Green, Eggs, & Ham.
Sandra (from West Philly Mama) posted over on Lesbian Family about taking her young kids (8 months and 2.5 years) to a drag show. Now, before you judge, this was no adult themed drag show. This was a drag artist putting on a show kids and reading Dr. Seuss. Miss Martha Graham Cracker, a beloved local drag performer has originally planned to read to kids for National Read Acorss America day. How cool is that? Except, bigotry reared its ugly head and she was uninvited. In response, a local church hosted her and ended up being jam packed!
I was delighted not only by the fact that a church stepped forward and allowed her to perform despite homophobia, bigotry, and hatred, but also by the outpouring of support by the community. I was thrilled that Sandra not only told us about her kids reaction but also video taped some of the show. Obviously, I live in Albania and couldn’t just swing by, but I did share the video with Little Elephant. She was riveted! (I think your kid would be to– I hope you watch it with them).
For those who won’t click over to Sandra’s original post, here is the video:
For fear that my memories will fade into all the other memories just like my daughter in this photo, I give you my list of 10 current favorites.
With each new age and each new stage of Little Elephant’s development, I redefine my favorite thing that she does. The truth is, in my eyes, she is just the cutest, most amazing, wildly intelligent, interesting little person that exists. But… as each new thing comes along so does the risk that these tiny quirks that I revel in now will be forgotten. So, I am going to document them here. And as they change, I will update the list.
- How she has started to give me kisses on the lips to wake me up. She usually balances her hand on my neck and presses down so the lack of air wakes me up. Still, she only gives kisses in this way to me. No kisses for Dada in bed.
- How she announces “bye-bye” when I am in the middle of a conversation or we are on skype and she has decided she is bored. How, if that isn’t enough, she re-announces “bye-bye” much louder and gives everyone a kiss.
- How she demands to nurse by pointing at my chest and saying “no!” “no!’. I can only assume this is because I told her no at an earlier stage where she just tried to pull my breasts out in public.
- How she grabs two fingers and pulls me to the dog’s food so she can help feed her.
- How she really really hates fizzy water yet insists on drinking it when I do. Then, she makes a funny face, shakes her head, and says “mamaaaaaaa” very disapprovingly.
- How she has started cupping her hands around my breast when she nurses.
- How she pretends to have “boo boos” so she can get extra kisses.
- How she pats the ground to invite people to sit or lie with her and then how she reorganizes everyone until they are in the correct order.
- How she know understands names and family relationships. The neighbors are all Anna. All of them. 3 kids and both parents: Anna.
- How she insists upon carrying the baggy with the dog poop because she loves being Mama’s little helper.
Sunset it Reñaca, Chile. January 2013.
We took a one day trip to Viña and Valparaiso to visit some of my friends. Since it was Little Elephants first time at the Pacific, we had to stop by the beach before heading home. We headed over to Reñaca, dug our feet into the sand and splashed in the salty waves up to our calves. Little Elephant didn´t even complain because the water was cold, she was too busy giggling at Dada running her in and out. When we were done, we made sandcastles, ate sandwiches, and drove three hours home.
Who knew manual labor was so much fun?
Like so many of these stories, this love affair started with a hose. We had just moved to a new house. Actually,we had moved out of an apartment and city life into a house with a garden, a plum tree, a lemon tree, some rose bushes, and flowers. Hubby was standing out watering the trees in the summer son and I was chasing Little Elephant around. She had just turned one. That was the summer of watering, learning to manipulate the hose, spraying herself accidentally more than once.
She has moved on now to other gardening tools. Her grandparents gifted her a rake, shovel, plow, and bucket. She spends countless hours in the garden moving dirt here and there. She will pick all flowers in her path. Not the nice kind of pick to put in vases, but rather the over zealous grabbing of fat little fingers and the squishing of little baby fists.
The thing that continues to make this whole fascination with gardening hilarious is that Little Elephant abhors getting her hands dirty. In fact, about every 30 seconds throughout the days of gardening, she has insisted on wiping the mud on her shirt, waving her hands wildly and screaming until someone comes to clean them. Then, she gets all worked up about the dirt stain on her shirt!
Mom and Dad in the cable car— don’t they look calm?
My mother loves to tell the story of riding in the Cablecar over Cerro San Cristobal in Chile in 1996, how my father and I bruised her hand and arm by holding on so hard. How she tried and tried to explain to us that she had no magical powers and if the cable line broke, our holding on to her would not save us. We both remember how she rocked the car making the fear all the stronger, like our grips!
That said, I blame my Grandmother who passed her irrational fear of heights to my father. He then passed his irrational fear of heights to me. Thanks Dad!
The view from the bottom of the Cable car
I am trying not to pass my irrational fear of heights to Little Elephant, so we all took her up the cable car in Tirana, the Mt. Dajti Express. In 15 minutes, this Austrian built cable car took us 1230 feet above sea level and about 2/3 of the way up the mountain. The view is spectacular. At the top, there is a very nice restaurant (we had pizza, pasta, and salad), a hotel, a play ground for kids, and some bunkers. For $7.00 USD roundtrip, it was quite a nice day.
The view from the top (and through a window– sorry, should have gotten a better shot)
More on the bunkers another day.
This is a great video. It’s one of my favorite from my childhood. You should watch it! However, if you don’t, what you need to know is that the most important line is, at least, in terms of this blog post, “some kinds of help are the kind of help, we all can do without.”
Confession: I usually wear my PJs for at least one week before washing them, sometimes it’s longer. Recently, it seems that I’m changing my PJs. Often. Or, at least I have been opening the drawer where the PJs live with an alarming frequency. Last night, I opened that drawer because I could not find the PJs from previous night to wear, to find the drawer was empty. Shocked, I looked around. I was too tired to launch a full investigation. I were shorts and tank to bed.
This morning, the mystery was solved. As I was getting ready for the day, I noticed my daughter playing with my clothes. When I watched her, she stopped. So, I pretended to put on socks. When she thought I wasn’t looking, she took my pajamas into the bathroom where she put them in the hamper. I went to look in the hamper, and found the pajamas from the entire week in there! She already helps me to put my work clothes in the hamper at night, I guess she thought my pajamas should go in there too. Maybe she’s right. She is wrong, however, when she puts my dirty socks in the garbage!
Here is where the PJs go!
Little Elephant recently took a big step. She moved into a big girl bed and she has done it with strength and grace and acceptance that one does not expect from a toddler.
While living in Kazakhstan, we did manage, once, to transition her to a crib. But, then we traveled and stayed in hotels and moved around the world (several times) and she somehow always ended up co-sleeping. Or, more accurately, co-kicking. Because she spent all her time in her bed kicking me out of it inadvertently with her flailing and her ability to take up all the space and my fear of rolling over her since I am such a heavy sleeper.
So, she moved to a “big girl bed”. Everyone else would refer to it as a crib, but we convinced her this is a step up in the world. She is still in our room, she still sleeps next to me, but she sleeps in her own bed.
And she is proud of it.
She also is exploring all the other ways she can do big girl things. She is rejecting sippy cups in favor of big girl cups. The kind with handles. The kind without tops. The kind where oh so very often water or milk or the liquid contents end up on the floor or down her front. She has learned that tipping the big girl cup over your head to see the liquid flow out just leaves you wet and with milk in your eyes. No fun. She has also discovered that many things float in the liquid in the big girl cup. I can see that there will be no end of entertainment with this discovery.
She likes big girl chairs too. The kind that don’t tie you down. The kind that leave free movement for kicking, climbing, spinning, and jumping off. The kind that give Mama a heart attack— especially when she has climbed up them and onto the kitchen table and is picking up the nice pottery from Kazakhstan.
And, like all big girls. She likes the word “no” and to do it herself. She puts her boots on herself. She chooses her clothes. She doesn’t want people to touch her. Or look at her. Or smile. Or pay attention to anything but her. She likes to play toys herself. And kick over monsters by herself. And try new things by herself. And climb up the slide by herself.
She is very self sufficient. And big. And glorious.
This is Little Elephant’s very first piece of art. Chalk on chalk board, Dec 27, 2012.
A couple weeks back I posted about buying paints for Little Elephant to start playing with. They haven’t arrived yet so I don’t have an update. She did, however, get an easel (both magnetic side and chalkboard side with a clip for paper) from Santa. She loved trying out the chalk and understood right away what she could do. She was a bit dismayed that I only let her have one piece of chalk the first time— we will explore color later when I am ready to keep her from coloring my whole house with chalk!
I love watching her explore the arts and I hope that this is something I can encourage for her whole childhood. I want her to try all different arts and craft from a practical perspective, but also to see art. I want to take her musicals, art fairs, museums, and architecture tours. I am not saying she will grow to be a great artist— but hopefully to at least have an appreciation and general knowledge.
Plus, as a bonus, Parenting Magazine tells me that art makes kids smarter.
I categorically hate shoes. I have always hated shoes. I was impossible to shop for when I was little because if the shoe was the tiniest bit uncomfortable, even it if was something that just needed to be worn, I wouldn’t wear it. I can remember my father sitting and pushing back and forth the heels of my shoes, hoping to make them less offensive to my feet.
For this reason, it is more than a little ironic that Little Elephant has a bit of a shoe fetish. She loves shoes. She loves slippers. But, most of all, she loves boots! She will put her shoes on. She will ask to put shoes on. She will ask to change shoes. Sometimes, when she has one pair of shoes on, she tries to put another on on top!
Right now, her favorites are these black rain boots with psychedelic peace signs all over them. Because of this, we keep singing to her: “These boots are made for walking. And walking’s what they’ll do. These boots are made for walking and they’ll walk all over you”. She grins from ear to ear when we sing this and she prances around in her boots.
So, we looked it up on you tube and oh the video we found! Clearly Sinatra was way ahead of her time!