Sunday, April 23, 2006

Wisdom of Isabelle

What does the duck say?


What does the horse say?


What does the cat say?

"Please please can I go outside."

(No, I do not make these up!)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

New Skill Developments

The life of a toddler is filled with challenges and opportunities to learn. We do more learning between 1 and 3 than anyone does earning their Ph. D., arguably more than anyone does in their entire school career. Well, Isabelle just demonstrated another new skill.

This morning she asked to bring her travel seat downstairs to sit in at breakfast, instead of her regular booster seat. I said "yes." No harm in it, let the toddler exercise her desires. We brought it down and had breakfast while Carrie slept in (because of an unusual dose of the usual problem: a toddler who got up 10 times between 12:00 and 2:00 looking for cuddles).

About 9:00 Carrie got up and went downstairs with Isabelle while I went upstairs to study. Isabelle puts her hand on her travel seat, and says, "Mommy said 'no.' Daddy said 'yes.' I asked Daddy. Nice Daddy."

Now that she has learning how to split, I'm thinking of getting a woodstove.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Of daikon and diapers

So the other day was "otaku night." For the uniformed 98% of the world, an "otaku" is a fan of Japanese animation (known as "anime"). For otaku night, our friend Michelle was making sushi and mochi, and we could not possibly be shown up. So we made teriyaki tuna, miso, and... oshinko. Oshinko are Japanese pickles. If you've been to a Japanese restaraunt, and ordered pickles, you've probably got a plate of brightly colored, unrecognizable vegetable shapes. The bright yellow half-moons are daikon, a kind of radish, and that is what we sought to pickle. Now making pickles involves several things: the right kind of brine, a few days for the item to sit and soak in it, and a tolerance for the smell. It doesn't matter if it's kosher dills, saurkraut, kimchee, or oshinko, pickles stink. Somewhere between low tide and untreated sewage.

"What's that smell, Mama?" our daughter asked, every time the refrigerator door opened and the cloud of aroma filled the kitchen.

"It's the pickles, honey."

The next day, Isabelle was noted with that far-away look in her eye. Carrie, as many a mother would do, bent down and sniffed her diaper.

"Do you have a poop in your pants?"

"No, Mama. It's the pickles."


PS: Unbelievably, the pickles were delicious.

Television and Vocabulary

TV is not all bad, believe it or not. At least, if you watch it on DVD without the commericals. For one, it makes a fine babysitter. (oo, naughty, naughty parents!) Each evening, after dinner, she sits down to Winnie the Pooh, and Mom and Dad are able to wash dishes, pay bills, and take out the compost with the efficiency of childless people.

It also has improved our daughter's vocabulary, in ways exactly opposite to its reputation. Although she knows all the colorful words her parents injudiciously use ("Why does Daddy say 'Oh, shit'?"), she's much more liklely to say "Oh bother!"

It's also developed her story play. Mom and Dad encourage her to read a variety of books, but the television has plenty of patience for the 207th iteration of "Piglet breaks the balloon." Since Pooh has become a staple, her little fingers have climbed several honey trees, her bonzos (big stuffed flowers) have become umbrellas ("tut tut, it looks like rain"), and her toy figures get "stuck" in all kinds of places.

Everything has a downside, though, and TV is no exeception. Little Roo has renamed Carrie. She's no longer "Mommy." Now she's "Ma Ma."