Friday, April 29, 2005

You look like a lumberjack...

While we were out for lunch today, Ro kept standing up in the booth and asking the man behind us if he had any Christmas trees. He did this over and over and I was so perplexed as to why he was doing this. The man was friendly but baffled as you might expect. Daddy finally figured out that the guy's red checked shirt and hat made him resemble the lumberjack in Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, hence Ro's persistent questioning.

The encounter set Ro off for the rest of the afternoon. He kept on and on about wanting a Christmas tree, so I finally dug around and pulled out a small Lego pine tree that I thought we could decorate. Ro was appalled with a capital A. He wanted a real tree, thank you very much. A bit later, he came up to me and asked for a saw. I said I didn't have one on hand and asked why he wanted it. He says, "I want to go cut down a Christmas tree and bring it inside". Then, he pointed at the ugly 15-foot pine tree at the end of our driveway. I laughed so much. It's so ugly and just way too big. He's just so desperate for Christmas to come again.

On top of all this, Ro has started calling himself Olive - as in Olive, the other reindeer, which we also read recently. If I ask him to do anything, he's always saying," Nooooooo, I'm Olive, the other reindeer!" and then he runs off barking. When Ro was two, he spent a week being a dog, which was funny but frustrating because it went on soooooo long and he wanted to eat on the floor and the whole nine doggy yards. I'm wondering how long Olive will be with us. Maybe it's his strange way of telling us he needs a pet?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The beautiful machine

Awhile ago, Ro made some comments to me about the machines in his tummy being full and I started thinking that I should teach him a bit about how the body works. As we were leaving a store this weekend, I noticed a book that had a plastic model of the human body built into it and showed it to him. He was totally amazed and I gave him a brief run down (5 minutes) on the circulatory system and digestive system and went into bones and muscles a little bit. I was surprised at how interested he seemed. At dinner the other night, he was able to describe the digestive process. He couldn't remember the word "intestines" so he just drew zig-zag lines on his stomach. So, he now knows where poop comes from. He kept telling me to drink more water so I could go pee. It killed me. I was impressed that he remembered it even though I only spent about one minute per body system in a room filled with shoppers and kids racing RC cars around.

Yesterday, my mom picked up a bunch of body/anatomy books for him from the library and he was super intent on them. He just kept pointing at everything and was just bursting with curiosity.
Ro: What's this?
Me: Blood platelets. Blood looks like red paint but it really has all those squishy looking things floating around in it.
Ro: What's this?
Me: A uvula. It hangs down at the back of your mouth. Can you say uvula?
Ro: No
Ro: What's this?
Me: Stomach lining. Your stomach oozes special juices for mixing up food before it squeezes it into your intestines.
Ro: What's this?
And so on....
It's so hard to simplify answers for small children. He really, really liked the anatomy books though. I'll have to show him my Gray's.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Argh! I'm a pirate

I took Ro and Sim to the kids museum today. While we were playing in the boat area, a seven(ish) year old boy ran up to Ro and drew and imaginary sword and ordered him to "Surrender your ship!" Ro looked at him for a second and then said, " I have a cannon ---- and a cannonball." They proceeded to shoot each other and dance around each other quite a bit before the kid ran over to another tower and started shouting at Ro he was coming to get him and take his ship. They played really nicely together for about half an hour being pirates. Ro would even say, " Argh! I'm a pirate!" here and there. It was fun and sweet. I need to find Ro a little eye patch.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

mail man, bee, crab, santa, doctor, pirate, and more

cleanspaceman, originally uploaded by skweerell.

I miss being a kid sometimes. I realize Ro spends the better part of his day being someone or something else. It's all over the board now. First, he's a germinating flower that needs water to grow, then he's a mailman sorting letters, then he's a bee who wants to sting everyone, then he's Santa wrapping presents, then he's a doctor helping someone whose hurt, then he's a crab wanting to pinch things or have bigger crabs chase him. Then, he's a pirate sailing his cardboard box and then I'll hear him off mumbling something about putting gas and oil in his rocket so then I know he's a spaceman. I don't know how he keeps it all straight anymore.

He's heavily into the mail man at the moment. He drags on of our laundry bags around the house and stuffs it full of stuff and then goes on his round making deliveries. Our house is a mess like never before. Stuff is everywhere.

Sim is getting into the pretend games too. Today, she pretended to feed Daddy, which was a suprise because babies tend to mimic a bit but they don't usually pretend spontaneously. She was sitting in the living room but picking up "food" in one hand, passing it to the other and then feeding it to Daddy. I've never seen a baby do anything like that before. I can only assume it's Ro's influence. I also noticed that she pretend feeds herself when she's hungry. She'll snatch something out of the air and put it in her mouth and pretend she's chewing. It's really odd. I hope she pretends as much as Ro. She certainly loves books just as much as he does. I'm so happy to have two little bookworms.

Oh yeah, the picture is of Ro dusting Simone with our feather duster during family cleaning time. It really made her laugh.

Friday, April 22, 2005

bees and x-rays

Ro's suddenly really into playing bee -- usually at breakfast. Sometimes he just wants to sting me. Other, times I swat the bee who gets hurt and needs a doctor. I also require a doctor's services after a sting. Other times, he wants to play family where each of my fingers is a different bee to talk too. It's a funny little game. It drives me a bit nuts though sometimes because it's at breakfast and I'm not much of a morning person. I would normally slump over a cup of tea in silence but with kids I have to be a happy bee first thing -- without the full aid of caffeine. It's a strain sometimes to be something you're not.

I took Ro to the hospital today to see the developmental group about his speech. I thought he'd be interested since he's been playing doctor so much lately but he went into instant temper tantrum mode. I managed to calm him down by promising we wouldn't be seeing any doctors. He asked if there would be x-rays or shots and I said no. He calmed a bit and it became his mantra. "No doctor, No x-ray, No shot" and he chanted it all the way to the hospital. I felt terrible listening to him try to calm himself but it worked more or less. He freaked out again when we got called back but calmed down again pretty quick. I realized that a lot of his pretend play revolving around doctors and bees is him trying to master his fears in these areas. He really hates doctors and is quite terrified of bees. He's very cautious of flying insects.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

spring has sprung (for one day)

scooter, originally uploaded by skweerell.

We had one warm day and I got to dress Sim in Summer clothes. Then, it got cold again and now she's back in the snowsuit.

Sim learned to clap today and she's been doing it a lot. It's so cute. She's been into feeding us for awhile but has suddenly gotten really, really into feeding others. It's actually cheered me up a bit, which is nice because I've been feeling kind of grim lately. So, I'll be (grimmly) chopping vegetables or something and then glance at her in her highchair to see her smiling up at me and offering me a cheerio. It makes me feel better immediately.

Ro was examining a sock while eating lunch today. He looked up and said, "Mommy, socks are made of yarn and thread." I was surprised. He's always been smart at figuring out how things are made/ and how things should go together. quite uncanny at times.

Monday, April 18, 2005


The only day I really take much trouble over my appearance is Sundays because we go to church. I don't really go to a lot of trouble. I just put on a dress rather than whatever scrubby clothes I typically scrounge around in these days. However, Ro is always shocked when I "dress up". Last Sunday, he said I looked pretty and that I did a good job getting dressed. This Sunday, he told me that I looked great and asked me if I was going to play at the beach. I was especially surprised by the beach comment. I think it was because I had on sandals for the first time this year. It's so flattering to have a three year old compliment you, however it makes me feel a little bad for being a bit toward the slipshod and slovenly these days. I'm going to try to be better but I'm just so tired most of the time. I haven't had my hair cut since before Christmas and I can't do a thing with it now either.

However, I managed to make a bunch of posts that were just sitting around as drafts. I like the feature a lot but sometimes it makes me lazy.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Happy flowers

I really like age three because Ro says such funny things. Today, he was peddaling furiously up and down the driveway and I was laying in the grass looking at my crocus flowers. Ro asked what I was doing and I told him that I was looking at the flowers. Then, he told me that the flowers were happy and also that they needed a hug. I was surprised so I asked him to hug them but he wouldn't. He told me I had to do it but I told him that I didn't know how to hug a flower so he should show me. He just laughed and peddaled off again though.

Roen loves Richard Scarry books. He can pore over all the details for hours. Daddy liked them when he was a kid too but I was always indifferent. I never really liked Lowly Worm. It bothered me that he wore a shoe. Ro seems to really like Lowly, Huckle and Bananas Gorilla. He brings up Lowly in conversation quite often. Anyhow, I was weeding my pathetic garden when I looked over at Ro and found him stuffing a worm in the cab of one of his trucks. He was trying to get it to sit on the seat and drive but the worm wasn't too cooperative. He kept falling into the engine. Strangely, Lowly never seemed to have that problem.

Sim's favorite book is Pat the Bunny. I had to buy another copy because it was Ro's favorite book as well and he decimated it. I still have it but I felt Sim deserved a fresh copy. I could get Ro to peek-a-boo, wave bye-bye, etc. but I could never get him to smell the flowers. He'd just stare at me blankly and push the book away. I figured it was because the flowers didn't really smell so good. They're sort of artificial baby powdery smelling but Sim likes to smell them because she likes to copy me. I love hearing her make little snuffing sounds.
Sim stood on her own today -- three times.
She also made me kiss her about 20 times before I put her to bed. She mushes her face into mine so I'll kiss her a lot. She's so sweet sometimes.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Anything for a chocolate chip

Sim is finally able to move about the house a bit on her own. I had to trick her into it. She's been so determined to walk that she wouldn't even try crawling. All she wants is for me to walk her around and around and around, which kills my back after awhile. I was thinking about behavioral psychology and how you reward the behaviors you want to see repeated and it occurred to me that I could reward Sim's attempts at crawling and perhaps save my back and make her happier (and a little less demanding) if I encourage her to crawl. So, since she wasn't motivated to crawl on her own I surrounded her with wooden blocks. On top of each block, I placed a single chocolate chip. Then, I put the blocks a few inches away but still within her reach and I've been doing it every day. I just move the blocks further and further away. It didn't take very long to teach her. Less than a week. She can move from one room to another now. Her method is funny though. She looks like a baby seal. She drags herself by her arms only and her legs just trail after her. I've noticed increasing amounts of toe action so I think the legs will come into play soon.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Star-belly sneetches and Dr. Spoon

star-belly, originally uploaded by skweerell.

Ro saw a Dr. Seuss video with The Sneetches in it and now we have a huge, long star-belly "machine" made of sticks in our backyard. You have to run and hop down the machine (the chain of sticks) in a certain way and then you get the star at the end. He spent ages carefully aligning and balancing sticks and setting up how the sticks would go around this tree in our yard. You can see him contemplating part of the "machine" in the picture. It reminded me a bit of artwork by andy goldsworthy.

Ro also played a funny dentist game at breakfast. He's still a bit fixated on the dentist. I portrayed the dentist using a spoon. While Ro, playing the patient, would hop a fork over to me for a visit. The spoon would throughly look at the fork's teeth and clean and x-ray them as necessary. We'd do this over and over with slight variations. When the fork was a good patient, I'd give him a balloon and a sticker. Ro brought the fork back for another visit but this time the fork was crying. "Balloon gone, sticker gone, teeth gone." Teeth gone! I'm not sure where he got that one from. Then I had to pretend to make dentures for a fork. It was great.

Monday, April 04, 2005

pretend birthdays

Today, we played a birthday game where Ro made pretend cakes and we sang Happy Birthday and then we unwrapped presents, which were just random toys strewn about the room which were quickly wrapped in t-shirts or socks or whatever else was also scattered about. (Yes! our house is usually a mess.) Ro loves unwrapping presents. It really kills me that he's just as grateful to unwrap one of his blocks wrapped in a sock -- as he is to unwrap a real present. It's so sweet and it's one of things I really like about him. He is really and truly grateful when people are kind to him, give him presents, play with him etc. We spent about half an hour wrapping and giving presents to each other. When Daddy put Ro to bed, Ro thanked him for being a good helper with the presents.

Friday, April 01, 2005

clean sweep/ first dental visit

I swept up quite a large pile of dirt, cereal, etc in the kitchen today. It's a chronic problem due to our muddy yard and Sim's enjoyment of throwing her food on the floor. So, I stepped out of the kitchen for a moment for something or other and when I came back the floor was clean. Ro was standing there with the broom and a big grin on his face. He said, " Look Mommy! The floor's all clean!" I thanked him and told him he did a good job and then I asked him where all the dirt was. He didn't say anything but he got down on his hands and knees and peered under the refrigerator. sigh. Very funny but now I need to move the fridge.

Ro had his first trip to the dentist on Monday and it went better than I expected. He can turn into a whirling, screaming, thrashing wreck in such situations, so I was quite nervous about it. He was a mixed bag of crazy and cooperative, but never super crazy. So, it basically evened out. I really can't emphasis enough the importance of proper preparation beforehand in order to survive these sorts of things. In other words, we played dentist quite a bit and got him a few dental related books. He seemed almost excited about going on Sunday night but by Monday morning, he didn't want to go anymore. I eventually got him on board with the idea. It didn't last long though because he ran screaming down the hall as soon as he saw the exam room and caught a whiff of all the chemical/doctor sort of smells. He hates hospitals and all things medical - even if he's not the one being treated. So, I had to drag him kicking and screaming back into the room. I was filled with foreboding because our last trip to the doctor/radiologist for an abdominal x-ray was HARROWING. I was not looking forward to going through the same thing yet again. However, Ro surprised me. After a few minutes, he managed to get control of himself and alternately enjoyed himself or freaked out about things. He liked getting his teeth polished (tickled) and they let him spray jets of water with the water sprayer. Watching another boy undergoing treatment was also helpful. The nurses were kind, quick and efficient and they gave him a balloon which will always score you points in Ro's book. The nurses said the visit went pretty good and that he had an average three-year old response, so I felt sort of relieved. If we hadn't practiced though, it would've been a nightmare like our last doctor/x-ray visit. Overall, he was ok with the experience because he talked about it the rest of the day, wanted to play dentist the following morning and has since requested to go back several times. He's also much more keen about brushing his teeth. Takes it quite seriously now.