Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Conversations

Vivi and I had two memorable conversations this morning. The first was while she was standing on our loveseat and throwing her play food onto our other couch. We were yelling between a couple of rooms.

Vivi: Mama, come watch me throw my ice cream real hard.
Me: Just a minute V, I have to use the potty.
Vivi: Mooooooom, are you going pee or poop?
Me: I'm going pee. I'll be right out.
Vivi: Do you want your privacy?
Me: Yes, please.

10 seconds of silence...

Vivi: Mooooooom, are you sure you going only pee?
Me: Yes!

By the time I got out of the bathroom a whole 20 seconds after I first went in, she was done throwing the food and was camped outside the bathroom door wanting to know if I had washed my hands. The irony of all this is that we have these conversations ten times a day except I am usually the inquisitor. I think I shall give her more space in the future now that I realize how truly annoying the questioning is!

Our second conversation was while I was cutting vegetables for soup and she was eating them.

Vivi: Hey mom, I love you.
Me: Oh Vivi, I love you too... more than all the stars in the sky.
Vivi: Mom, I love you more than two whole thing clementines.

In our world, that is WAY better than all the stars in the sky!




Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers

My long blogging silence is due in part to the holidays and in part to Blogger itself. I wrote a lengthy post last week on my midwife/birth plan only to have it disappear from my screen when I hit "publish." Floating without a trace in cyberspace, I decided to utter some choice words and take a break from the computer for several days.

I'm back now because not only do I want to wish my readers very happy holidays but also I wanted to share something really nice that happened to me last night.

Yesterday afternoon, I discovered that the shopping cart I purchased for a premium at Pottery Barn Kids had gone on sale online for $20 cheaper. I called the store and asked whether they would refund me the difference in price and they said that they would but I would need to come in. Always on a hunt to save money, I decided it would be worth heading to the mall on the eve of Christmas eve to collect my $20. (After all, that's a bunch of Turtle diapers!)

So at 8 pm, I left home and proceeded to spend 15 minutes trying to find a parking spot at the mall. I was cool and I was calm and I was eventually able to park. I waddled through the huge crowd of people with my oversized box containing the aforementioned shopping cart and got my refund without incident.

On my way out the door, our mall has policy that you have to pay a machine for your parking in advance of leaving so I got on a rather long line with my $1 in change. (The only other money I had was a $20 bill.) When I got to the front of the line, I put my change in and it didn't register payment. I hit it. Nothing happened. I pressed the "Need Help?" button and a voice came on telling me that I needed to go to Customer Service. I didn't want to head back up two flights of stairs with my huge box, so I canceled the transaction and tried to pay by credit card. When I swiped my card, it said "unable to read." I tried it again, nothing. Then I tried my debit card, still "unable to read." Acutely aware of the growing line behind me and feeling my face flush, I banged on the machine again in the hopes that *something* would happen so I could get out of there. Nothing did. I was just about to cancel the transaction again and burst into tears when a man came up to me with a dollar bill and said, "Try this." To the delight of many a person in the queue, it worked!

New Englanders are renown for their reserve and crankiness. This man's thoughtfulness really touched me and I was able to go to bed without feeling annoyed and stressed out by my money-saving trip to the mall. So today, I'm going to pay it forward and do a good deed for someone else. Why not give it a try yourself?

Until then, Season's Greetings!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jokes

Vivi has made a running jump into the world of knock knock jokes. We discovered this in the car on Saturday evening when she kept saying, "Mama. Knock? Orange you glad to see me?" She would then crack herself up for a good minute.

I'm not sure where she learned this joke but we have spent the weekend perfecting her delivery of it. She's pretty good at it now.

Vivi: Knock? Knock?
Me: Who's there?
Vivi: Orange.
Me: Orange, who?
Vivi: Orange you glad to see me? Mama, that's a joke.

She has told the Turtles and several aunts and a grandmother her joke, each time reminding the listener that it is indeed a joke in case her laughter didn't give it away.

Now if we could just find a way to combine her poop jokes with the knock knock ones, she would be in a two-year old comedienne's nirvana.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Three Dreaded Words...

Well, yesterday it finally happened. While decked out in a poofy pink dress and sparkly tiara, Vivi uttered those fateful words: "Mama, I'm a princess!"


I guess I should have seen it coming. There has been no shortage of signs of Vivi's inherent girliness. She loves purses and shoes. She bedazzles herself with various finds from my jewelry box. She loves to rub my Chapstick on her lips and then give me "lipstick kisses." She is a girl, no question about it, but there is something about the whole little girl as princess thing that REALLY gets to me.


What does it mean to be a princess? Well, to Vivi, right now it means that she puts on a big sparkly dress at our local playroom. There's no other association and I'm going to try and keep it that way. I would argue that the pervasive attitude in our society, however, is quite different. Being a princess means owning expensive things and possessing a strong sense of entitlement-- at least that's what the marketers at Disney have quite successfully established. (Their "princess" line of goods has effectively revolutionized Disney's entire toy enterprise while significantly enhancing the company's bottom line.) And, let's be honest, when we hear of teenage girls and women labeled as "princesses" we tend to think "bitch."

It seems from a very early age our young girls are forced to take on identities that are demeaning, superficial, and sexualized. Until I had a daughter, I had no idea how hard it is to find bathing suits that aren't disturbingly revealing or t-shirts that don't define her as a "princess," "boy magnet," or "hot stuff." It is remarkable that when Vivi is dressed, as she typically is, in gender-neutral or boy clothing she is more often referred to as "polite," "smart," or "clever." When she's clearly a girl in pink, she is overwhelming "cute"or "looking so pretty."

Like most parents, I want my daughter to be more than "cute." I want Vivi to judge herself and be judged by others for her good deeds and not by the goods she owns or how much exposure her midriff gets. This is not what being a princess represents in our society so I find myself walking a fine line between encouraging her natural inclinations and protecting her from the exploitative attitudes that those inclinations make her vulnerable to.

So, as Christmas approaches, I've been thinking about gifts she might enjoy but aren't going to send her down a path of social or moral ill-repute. (Pretty dramatic, eh?) We've settled on a yoga mat, grocery cart, winter boots, a wooden train set from IKEA, and a lovingly handmade tutu from Grandma. Hey, a girl has to have some fun, right?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

HealthyToys.org Lead Check

Like any other parent, I want to make sure that the toys Vivi receives are safe. Visit Healthy Toys or use the widget in the sidebar to check that a toy you are considering doesn't contain lead.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Getting Used To It

So, the whole twin thing is really starting to sink in and dare I say it, I am starting to look forward to meeting both turtles. I am also still very scared about the birth and how I am going to handle it all but over the last few days I've adopted a "just deal with it" attitude. And dealing with it, I am.

The inspiration for my change of heart has definitely been Vivi. While there no doubt has been much anxiety on our part over the change in birth plan and the idea of having a toddler AND two babies, Vivi is delighted beyond words about the addition of two siblings. Her happiness is infectious and for that, I am truly thankful.

This morning, while doing our usual post-wake-up snuggle, Vivi asked if she is still a big sister even though the babies haven't come out yet. I told her that indeed she was. Then she bent over, kissed my belly, and said, "Turtles, will you give a kick for your big sister?" They moved and she laughed at their "response." She then proceeded to put her head against my belly and say repeatedly, "Turtles, I love you." She also offered to help me push them out when the time came although she'd prefer that to be as soon as possible.

Besides my expanding girth, there are other signs around the house that the babies' arrival isn't that far off. We got the infant carseat and extra base out of the attic and acquired another infant car seat from my generous friend, Kate. (All of which we schlepped to four car dealerships on Saturday in an attempt to find a car that would fit them all. There's enough fodder for a different post.) Kate also handed over her moses basket which has conveniently become a new bed for Vivi's Teddy who was recently renamed "my new baby sister." It's hard seeing all this baby stuff and not feel a little excited about putting it to use.

I will meet with my former/new midwife on Monday. She is not the homebirth midwife whom I'd been working with but the wonderful woman who delivered Vivi at our local hospital's birthing center. I have a great relationship with her and am looking forward to her guidance as we develop a new birth plan. (A plan that I am desperately hoping will avoid having me deliver in an operating room-- a "precaution" that I feel will put me one step closer to a c-section. More on that later...)

All in all, things are moving forward and we're generally feeling good. Now, if I could just get this heartburn to go away...