Charlie Takes a Dive (Melody Saves the Day)

Friday morning we get up, get dressed, take Dixie to school and then go to the library. For about an hour Melody sits in my lap and I read her about a dozen books, with intermittent pauses to go retrieve Charlie from wherever he has crawled off to. In between his excursions he plays with the Super Cool Baby Toys the library has to offer.

Then we head off to the park, where we meet our very good friends Aunt Emily and Little Sarah. We are playing on The Big Playground, which is cool because Sarah and Melody are quite brave and adventurous for being such short people and Charlie is happy gurgles and claps from the stroller. Charlie decides, however, that today is His Day. He is no longer willing to be chucked in the stroller and dragged about like some silly baby. He is a Man and therefore will play on the playground with all the rest of the Men. (One of the other Men was even out of diapers.)

So he climbs up onto a platform, where I think he is going to be content. Bah! He climbs to the next, and the next, and the next, until his knees are at my eye-level. He stands up, then crouches down to pick up a pebble and The Game begins.

Mommy: Put it down Charlie!
Charlie: Boof!
Mommy: Put it down Charlie!
Charlie: Boof! and he puts it down.
Mommy: Good job, Charlie!! Yaaaaay!! applause.

You should never encourage a baby, by the way--it gives them the desire to repeat whatever behavior brought on the applause. Once again, he stands up, then crouches down to pick up a pebble and The Game continues.

Mommy: Put it down Charlie!
Charlie: Boof!
Mommy: Put it down Charlie!
Charlie: Boof! and he puts it down.
Mommy: Good job, Charlie!! Yaaaaay!! applause.

Repeat, ad nauseum.

So Charlie finally becomes just as bored as I am with The Game and discovers The Slide.

The Slide in question is about 7 feet in length, straight, wide, not too high from the ground. It is everything a Mommy could ask for in regards to safety and catchability. Charlie gets down it with not much overly dramatic occurring.

Repeat, ad nauseum.

So Charlie finally becomes just as bored with The Slide as The Game and crawls off to greener pastures, well, more primary-colored plastic structures, to be more precise. It is there that we have a brief revival of The Game before he discovers The Twisty Slide.

The Twisty Slide makes The Slide look like bupkis in comparison. No real Man, having discovered The Twisty Slide would ever deign to place his diaper-covered booty back on something as inferior as The Slide. Unfortunately, as I realize that Charlie has discovered The Twisty Slide I am standing on the other side of the play structure and he is two feet over my head. The ladder is not readily accessible and I have a brief mental image of me unsuccessfully attempting to climb up the corkscrew contraption as my smallest child plummets to his unfortunate demise.

There is only one option left--climb up the The Twisty Slide. Sure, it sounds easy. When I was six, I loved nothing more. Twenty-two years after being six, this is no longer enticing. I am, how to say, uh, slightly larger now and a smidge less agile. Just a bit.

Nonetheless, I dive face first up the twisty slide to discover three things: 1) Mommy sandals have no traction. 2) I cannot get off my sandals. 3) Because The Twisty Slide has 1.5 turns I still cannot see the precious babe that only exited my womb a mere 12 months prior and is now in imminent danger of tumbling head over heels and snapping his little baby neck. As I wrangle with my footwear I hear the sweetest sound ever beheld by my two ears: The Voice Of Melody saying, "Charlie, get on your tummy so you can slide to mommy! That's a good little Charlie!"

I knew that kid was worth having around.

I disentangle my legs, thrust my sandals downward and reach up to see the feet of Charlie coming 'round the bend as he slides gently, slowly, gracefully towards me. I catch him, he giggles, I tickle, we leave the yellow tube and again see the sun. The world is right again.

the things they say

"Mommy, why does daddy go to work and mommy goes to shopping?"
C'mon Melody--we're at the grocery store, not at Neimann~Marcus. Did I even spell that right?


Melody, counting in Spanish:
Uno, dos, dress, taco, stink-o, face.


Me: Hurry! Get in your carseat! It is raining on me. You're in the car, so you're dry, but the longer you take, the more rain falls on me!
Dixie: But mommy! I don't want you to get wet! If you get wet, you'll melt and die. And then I'll have to drive us to our home and it won't be good, because I'll hit all the other cars with our car and it will make grandma so sad!
Extremely logical, this one. Especially considering that we were leaving the swimming pool. But, hey, if you think a little water will make mommy melt and it gets you to hurry . . . HEY! Did she just call me a wicked witch? Subtle, this one.


So Dixie and I are sitting alone in church. I have to go to the bathroom, so I tell her to come with me. She thinks she's in trouble, apparently, and yells (right as the church gets very quiet):
Mommy! But what are you going to do to me this time?

Oh poop.

Dixie has been able to write her name for a very long time. I say 'write her name,' but this isn't entirely accurate. When she writes it, it looks more like DitiB, but give the girl some credit--she is only 3 feet tall and has the attention span of a flea. By the time she gets to the 'e' at the end, she's mentally moved on.

Both girls are in that stage of gaining awareness of the concept of literacy. They can go through a book from beginning to end, know to read from left to right, understand that words have meaning and can identify about 2/3 of their letters. We've been working on the letters we don't know by picking a letter, drawing it on the Magna~Doodle and then coming up with words that start with the sound that letter makes. Sometimes I will draw a picture of that thing. Pretty innocuous stuff, no? Ha!

This was safe with the letter T. Also with L. C is tricky because of the whole is-it-a-C-or-is-it-a-K-or-an-S bit. Tricky, but still safe.

Then we get to P. Oh, P! Why, oh, why do all the dirty words (that a small child knows) start with P? Imagine the following:

Mommy: This is a P. This is big P, this is little p. They look the same! What words start with P? puh, puh, puh
a girl: Puppydog!
Mommy: Yes, that's right. Here is how you write puppy: P_U_P_P_Y. Say the letters with me
Everyone: P_U_P_P_Y
Mommy: Let me draw you a puppy! Okay, what else starts with P? puh, puh, puh
a girl: Penis.
Mommy briefly panics, then decides to just take it in stride and write the word. Notice how mommy opts not to draw a picture this time.
Mommy: Great. erases quickly. What else starts with P?
a girl: Pee-Pee!
other girl: and poop!
Maybe I should just wait till they go to Kindergarten and let their teacher deal with this? Ugh. Mommy writes pee-pee, erases, then begins to write poop.
Mommy: Do we start poop with a big P or a little p?
a girl: little--Poop isn't a name, silly!
No, but it could have been, Mommy thinks as she briefly reconsiders her children's name choices.
Mommy: P_O_O_P
Everyone: P_O_O_P
Mommy: See! It is easy--just P's with two O's in the middle.
Dixie: That looks easy! Mommy, can I try to write that?
Dear God, NO!
Mommy: Sure!

Dixie then proceeds to write 'poop.' When she writes 'Dixie' it may look like 'DitiB' but there is NO mistaking this word. I am beaming with motherly pride here. Now that she can write two words, we can make a sentence or two. Poop, Dixie! Dixie--poop! Or maybe even an entire book. Forget Go, Dog, Go! We now have Poop, Dixie, Poop!

No great childhood accomplishment is complete without the call to Grandma, of course. So Dixie calls Gma Jane to tell her that Dixie has something wonderful and exciting to tell her. I hand Dixie the phone, and she begins to share the glorious news. I can halfway hear what Jane is saying in response, and it does not sound as if she is reveling in our joy.

So I grab the phone and talk to her as I change Charlie's diaper. Apparently, Jane was hearing phantom prepositions because she thought Dixie was saying that she wrote with her poop. Jane has decided that my joyous tone in the initiation of the conversation means one of three things: 1) she heard it wrong 2) my sarcasm has reached a whole new level of giddiness in an attempt to mask my desire to bring harm to my darling child or 3) Gretchen has finally slipped.

Upon hearing a more accurate retelling of events, she is so relieved that she has forgotten to be appropriately appalled at what her only grandchild is learning while in my care. In the process of relaying the events, I (naturally) am required to utter 'poop' many, many times. As I reach the end of the tale, Charlie looks up at me, grins, and says . . .




Feel Free to Comment

There is a button at the bottom of each post that gives you a chance to leave a comment. Please, feel free to do so. I love input, want to hear from you and that way I have some inkling as to if anyone is actually looking at this (besides ashley and my brother).

Is there a creek somewhere with large rocks? I need to do laundry.

The washing machine is officially dead. It has been slowly dying ever since the lightning strike in early July left the 4 most expensive things (and 3 smaller things) in our home 51% dead. 51% dead is a very irritating for things to be. At 100%, you clearly replace items. At 5%, you shrug it off. At 40% you deal with it begrudgingly. At 75% you begin looking for sales. At 30%, you repair.

At 51% you merely stare at your bank statement and groan inwardly.

So, in lieu of laundry, the girls are embracing the 'reduce, reuse, recycle' mantra.

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(Okay, these were actually taken a month ago after the first time the washer died. But I kid you not--Dixie is wearing an HEB sack as we speak)

How I woke up this morning wasn't any better.

Dowlan has this exceedingly irritating habit of sleeping. He feels compelled to do it every single day, and for several hours. I just don't get it. The worst part of it all is that he feels compelled to do it when I want to be doing it and while the kids do not have the slightest desire to be engaging in said activity (or inactivity).

So when the baby wakes up too early, he will give charlie a bottle on the couch and go back to sleep. But he has a plan, a brilliant plan. He will put two chairs on their ends to trap him and confine him to the area right around the couches. (I am thinking I need to re-enact and take a picture maybe?)

There is a problem with this plan. The chairs do NOTHING to stop him. Nothing whatsoever.

This morning, I am also asleep on a couch because of Lil UG (full name: Little Ulcer Guy.) I do not like Lil UG, not in the slightest. Remember yesterday's pic of Dowlan's Bento lunch with the butterfly sandwich? I ate the remnants of the sandwich, and then paid for that mistake by writhing in stomach pain for 4 hours from the 1/4 tsp. of mustard it contained.

So Dowlan is on the couch, asleep. I am on the loveseat, asleep. Charlie is crawling around the entire house, very much not asleep. He gets into the trash can (yes, I love his newfound baby skill!) and pulls out an old banana peel.

Let me pause to inform you that there are two things on this earth I deeply despise: crimes against children and bananas.

So I am awakened to the sensation of being smacked in the face repeatedly by a black and moist banana peel that is clutched in the paws of my small child.



My new (and ridiculous) hobby/oh yeah, that third kid

I used to quilt.
I used to sew.
I used to scrapbook.
I used to have a classroom to decorate.
I used to embroider things.
I used to have hobbies . . . now I have children.

If I break out any of the supplies for any of the above activities, chaos ensues. And children are picky. They want to do things like eat, on a regular basis, and have mommy pay attention to them. And they want to help prepare ALL meals. This desire does not lend itself to certain things. Deep-frying and little girls don't mix. So I found a new hobby: bento.

Bento is the Japanese custom of beautifully preparing boxed lunches. In fact, a woman who is not able to do this is not seen as fit to marry. The meals should be nutritious, balanced, ready to eat and well-packaged. So here is Dixie's first-day-of-school Bento (which you may have already seen) that her incredible mommy made:
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The girls really enjoyed eating the remnants of that meal, and decided to help make a special meal for Daddy:
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(a comment on the sandwich--it was turkey, bologna, cheese and avocado mashed up with bacon crumbles. it was incredible! and those are black grapes, not olives)

Daddy saw Dixie's lunch, and wanted cool lunches of his own:
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What Melody and Dixie had to eat today:
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And what is a new hobby without getting to shop for supplies:
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(Horray for Dollar Tree!)

So I figured this is a safe hobby because 1) we have to eat. 2) this stuff is fairly cheap, and it isn't like i'm not buying food anyways. 3) these are pretty nutritious meals. 4)who wouldn't love opening a lunch box to find that on their first day of school?


I realized that i have yet to post a Charlie picture. Here he is, on his birthday, being tortured by his cruel and heinous Oma:
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but Oma makes it all better in the end:
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that is, until she puts him in his highchair:
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Dixie's first day of school (technically yesterday)

i refuse to smile for the camera
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i refuse to stop looking goofy for the camera
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i will smile, but i will not look at the camera
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i will smile, but only as my sister coughs
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oh look, here i am smiling. that wasn't hard, was it?
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in my classroom
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and, of course, my super cool lunch from my incredibly awesome mommy!
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So I am on the phone with Grandma Jane. Dixie and Melody remind me of a scene in a movie where prisoners are sticking their arms through the bars to reach for breadcrumbs just outside of their reach (or something) but I tell them to wait 5 minutes while I talk to her.

We talk, and I go to hand the phone to Dixie so that she can tell Gma Jane about the first day of school
GJ: I hear you did something fun yesterday!
D: Oh, I don't know.
GJ: Didn't you start school?
D: I dunno.
GJ: How was your first day?
D: I am going to hand the phone to someone who knows more about that and let them tell you.
(what, does the four-year-old suddenly have a press secretary?)
GJ: Dixie, how was school?
D: Here, Ariel wants to talk to you.
at this point, Dixie hands the phone to Melody, who puts it up to the Little Mermaid's ear.
GJ: Hello
Melody's rendition of Ariel's voice, which is suddenly very high-pitched: Laaaa, dee daaa! Hellllloooooooooooooooooooo, I'm Ariel.
GJ: melody
MroAv,wisvh-p: lllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa,dddddddddeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,laaaaaaaaaa
Mommy: Talk to Grandma Jane, Melody
Melody: nah, you talk to her.

Can you just feel the love?

I'm Not Your Sunshine (and other recent events)

So this is how I woke up this morning--Melody comes in, jumps on me, and begins to sing the following delightful song:

I'm not your sunshine!
No, not your sunshine!
I won't make you happy, no, no, no way
I will take away your sunshine
Take away your sunshine
I will take your (blank look) ME (relief) away.

It is far better than how I awoke Monday morning. Melody jumps on me and we have this conversation:
Mel: Hey mommy! Somebody fixed my LKCJSOIKDFNSD
Mommy: that's great. What did they fix?
Mel: My SWING.
Mommy: (swing? where do they have a swing?) Uh, Melody, where is your sister?
Mel: We were just outside playing.
Mommy: !

So mornings aren't the best around here.


Exciting event: Mr. Charlie Pants took his first step today! Despite any other lies and propaganda put forth by evildoers like my sister-in-law, husband and dearly despised friend Amanda, who claim to have seen previous steppage from the boy, they are LIARS. This is the first step witnessed by Mommy. That makes it The First Step.

I told him months ago that he was only allowed to begin walking once Dixie began school in August. He has proved to be a very compliant child--Dixie had her first day of school yestedray. Charlie started stepping today.

(more about Dixie and School as soon as i figure out photos.)