A few little ditties about Maxine that I would like to preserve here…since a baby book has failed to materialize from thin air for her.

Her imagination is in full bloom.  And it is so lovely.

She has latched onto flying lately.  Sometimes with a cape.  Sometimes with her wings.  And sometimes on a plane.

Always in her “real sky” where we take giant bites of the cheese moon and eat the ice cream clouds before snuggling up in them for a cozy nap.

In all of her imaginary scenarios, we run into problems which honestly vex her…the safety of sleeping in a cloud without falling, messes that her imaginary seals make, you know, the usual.

Then there are the learning experiences…and parenting choices that I choose to make.

We were talking about what makes animals wild.  One of the examples that I provided was that wild animals hunt/gather their own food.  This lead to me apprehensively showing her a youtube video of lions hunting zebra.

I was apprehensive because I don’t want there to be a disconnect between my little carnivoires food and its source.  I want her to understand that meat doesn’t come from a store.  It comes from an animal.  To forget that or put that out of our minds seems irreverent to me.

At the same time as I want her to be grateful for the unwilling sacrifice animals make to those higher up on the food chain, I was a little afraid it would be too much for her to process.

I watched her watch the video of the lion hunting the zebra.

Not disturbed.  Fascinated.  Not in a bloodthirsty way.  Just in the way that a three year old processes new information.

When it was finished, she was quiet for a moment, and then asked, “Can we see one of zebras eating lions now?”  I told her why that wouldn’t work.

“Is there one of tigers eating lions?”

Another strike out.

“What videos of animals eating animals do you have on your ‘puter?”

So that put any worries, I had, of damaging her with too much information about the food chain to rest.

We were shopping for new bathing suits for the girls since they go through them so fast–they swim twice a week during the winter and about every day in the summer.

The woman that was checking us out: “And how old is your sister?”

Maxine: “Six.”

Woman:  “And how old are you?”

Maxine: “Three.  And how old are you?”

Woman: “Oh, I’m not telling you that.  I’m old.  You shouldn’t ask old people their ages.”

Aside from being incredibly funny how Maxine imitated the speech pattern, I was pissed!  Maxine was a little confused and looked a little hurt.  If it is rude to ask an “old person” her age, it is rude to ask a “young person” her age too.  I personally don’t see what the big deal about telling someone your age is.  If you’re “old”, be proud of it, own it, rock it!  As if there is any less value in being old than young.

Don’t be rude to my kid because of foolish vanity–especially when you opened the door to the question.

I wonder what that taught her.  She was clearly experimenting with a back and forth conversation with someone she didn’t know.  And she got shut down.  I probably am over thinking this one but it really sat the wrong way with me.

Parenting Maxine is so very different than parenting Evie.  In a lot of ways, there were less immediate worries with Evie.  I find myself worrying more about how conversations like the one with the lady in the store or over/under providing information will affect her in the long term.

I  know so very little about parenting.  Each day shines a light on how ignorant I am.  I have a feeling that by the time I feel partially sufficient at any aspect of parenting, we will be onto something new–leaving me bumbling through something new.

boobs, pee, poop

Maxine is in a new and interesting phase.  She is obsessed with the body.  Hers, mine, and yours.

I started to become aware of this new development when she said, “boob” and pointed excitedly to my chest on Saturday.  In Costco.  Several times.  To strangers.

As the week progressed, she has talked non stop about pee and poop.  She has pointed to where it comes out of her body and where it comes out of mine.  Thankfully, she has not taken this act on the road yet.

Today, she spent a good deal of time putting her toy dog on the potty and simulating pee.  And poop.  With graphic grunts to really sell it.

I used to be really squeamish about all things bathroom.  I didn’t talk about it.  Thankfully, that flew out the window…probably from repeatedly being peed and pooped on by babies.

Anyhow, this is really amusing me.  And I love seeing her curiosity flourish even if it has the potential to cause me a great deal of public embarrassment should she push it too much further.

choice words

Maxine has some stuff going on with her speech–probably some sort of motor planning issue.  Anyhow she is working with a speech therapist and is coming along really well.  But I am not writing to talk about speech therapy.

I am writing to confess that I secretly love her irregular speech patterns.

I love that for some reason, she calls ice cream, “B.”  Yes, B.  Just B.  And shhhhh…but Scott and I have taken to calling it B as well.  I’m sure that is detrimental to her speech development on some level but hey, cute is cute.

I love the way “ham” sounds when she says it.  “Hem” She says it often because she loves it.  It makes me smile everytime.

And then there is, “hayah.”  Hair of course.  Loves it!

And now for the shocking part.  I may let an occasional shit or f-bomb slide out.  Yes, it happens in front of my kids.  And okay, I have made little effort to filter.  In all honesty, I would rather the girls use these words than many others that flow freely from the mouths of children–dumb, stupid, hate, you get the picture.

Anyhow, so Maxine may or may not have started repeating some of these choice words.  “Dit!”  and “Uck!”  What?  I’m clumsy and I stub my toes, bump into shit things, and otherwise do bodily harm to myself.  Often.  And the words just slip out.  And Maxine is sort of impressed with the passion with which they are articulated.  So she mimics from time to time.  Allegedly, of course.  Ahem.

Today she started to sit on her potty and sort of missed.  “Dit!” And then she looked at me, proudly maybe?  Like, “hey mom, I used your favorite word in context for the first time!”

Eep!  I really don’t have the problem with using words like this.  But I don’t want to offend other people since I am sure she won’t censor when in the company of those that would not be amused.  So, I am trying to find replacement words to encourage her to use instead of my two favorites.  Somehow, “oops” and “ouch!” just don’t have the same ringing satisfaction as a good old fashion eff or shit.  The things I sacrifice for my kids…..



Today marks the second day of being somewhat housebound due to weather and undecided tummies.  We are all feeling a little restless.  I’m feeling a little crestfallen to have been bluntly informed  that Texas Toast is, actually, not a staple of a healthy diet.  We try to eat fresh/locally/organically/healthily as much as possible.  But I was recently introduced to and fell under the spell of this marvelous stuff…I will be sad to see it go.

I got almost zero sleep last night.  Again.  So I am tired and my nerves are a little frayed.  I was making Evelyn her lunch–which she insists must happen absolutle immediately when she arrives home from school.  This endeavor is so urgent that she runs to the fridge and yanks open the doors before I have a chance to remove winter gear from her little body.

Maxine had been whinecrying because while I make Evie lunch, I meanly place her bottom on the floor.  This is quite a trauma, you see.  So when it went quiet in the family room, I turned around immediately to see my Scott’s laptop in peril.  I don’t have a laptop anymore because I have a reputation for being responsible for the destruction of at least one a year and it was determined that it might be best to invest funds elsewhere.  My husband, very kindly was forced offered to loan me one of his four devices by which he may check email/connect to the web.

To be fair, I have been very good to this laptop and it has been in my care for a while.  It has not hit the floor.  Not once. It isn’t covered in grubby kid finger prints.  And it doesn’t have a single drop of breastmilk on it.  I’ve really become a model laptop citizen–until today when it went silent.

In my sleep deprived coma, I had forgotten to put it out of reach.  Maxine had it and was slowly pulling it south.  I don’t yell at my kids and I try not to use the word, “no” because I like to let my kids discover most things on their own, because I don’t mind cleaning up a little experimental mess (or leaving it to clean up later), and because I like to reserve it so that it doesn’t lose its meaning in nagging.   I screamed, “Maxine, NO!!!”

I caught her attention.  She’s never been yelled at and I am pretty sure she’s only been told “no” a handful of times.  She was really impressed.  I expected tears–not her adorable toothy little grin.  She continued to pull that sucker.  Without realizing it, I yelled, “No!” again.  She squealed with delight and pulled it further.  I stopped myself from yelling it again because the little goober likes when “no” is screamed at her.  Thankfully my dramatic charge towards the loaner laptop caused her to lose her shit laughing–to the point that she lost limb control (like mother like daughter) and she plopped to the ground.  Yes Scott, your laptop remains intact.

I did learn that I might need to bust out the “no” a little more often so the child actually knows what it means.  And I either need to yell at her much more often (so she will know that it is not entertaining) or not yell at all.  I think I am going with the not at all.

I also learned that my tendency to leave long rambling messages (as I am often mocked for by Scott) also lends itself to the tendency to write long rambling blog posts.  I suppose I could have just written, “I’m really tired today.   Maxine almost pulled my laptop off the table.  She thought it was funny when I yelled at her.  I better not do that again.”  But what fun would that be?

Oh and I forgot to mention that Maxine makes an adorable little imp.

speaking of explosions…

today, i was caught totally off guard when i opened maxine’s diaper.  it was one of those massive, mustard colored, breastfed baby poops that cover the entire surface of the diaper.  the kind that leaves me temporarily paralyzed not knowing where to start or what to do.  i call them” grey poopon everything”.  maxine, being a girl of ample size…she has rolls everywhere.  and somehow, some way, that poop finds its way into her every nook and cranny.

maxine is always enormously proud of the mess that she has made.  she flashes that giant gummy smile that makes me forget that i have managed to get shit all over my hands.  these poops inevitably lead to an impromptu hose down in the kitchen sink.  and still, when i haul my chunky monkey out of the sink and lay her down to clothe her, i inevitably find traces of poop on her person.

poop explosions, just one of the ways my children amaze and thrill me.