More about the aminals

Melody, with her constant efforts to educate Charlie about the animal kingdom, has complicated his "What kind of aminal are you?" game.

Originally, we'd settle on an animal, he'd curl into a ball and hatch from his egg, then make little noises appropriate for that animal. He'd snuggle up a bit while he grew, then he'd learn to fly/walk/slither/hop and promptly fly/walk/slither/hop away.

Melody has informed him that not all animals hatch.

So now, the game has a new caveat.

Charlie: What aminal are you?
Mommy: I'm a cat.
C: Den I'm a cat, too. Do cats come fwom eggs?
M: No. They come from tummies.
C: Den I am not a cat. I do not come fwom a Girl. Dat is yuk. Yuk-kee! Pick a diffwent aminal.


What kind of aminal?

Remember when Charlie was almost three and wouldn't talk or communicate much and I realized that he would do anything if we pretended to be animals? After weeks and weeks of Baby Cat asking Mama Cat for food or a drink or to play, Baby Human figured out he could also ask for food or a drink. It was amazing because we could finally drop the infant-stage game of scream-and-guess.

Baby animals are back in a big way. Charlie doesn't want to snuggle, but Baby Animal wants to snuggle. Baby Animal knows that he only snuggles with his Mama Animal.

Charlie: What kind of aminal are you?
Mommy: A gorilla.
C: I don't want to be a gowiwa. Dey eat dere boogers. I am not hungwee for boogers wight now. What kind of aminal are you?
M: A cheetah.
C: Dey are not nice aminals. I want to be a nice aminal. What kind of aminal are you?
M: A hippo.
C: Dey have teef. [chomp, chomp, chomp] Huh. I don't want to be dat. I want to be a bird. What kind of aminal are you?
M: A crane.
C: Dat is not a bird. It is like a truck.
M: There is a bird crane as well.
C: Is it gween?
M: No. It is white with long skinny legs and some black feathers/
C: I only want to be birds dat are gween.
M: Then I am a green jay.
C: I cannot be dat. But you can be dat kind of bird and I can be a different kind of bird dat is gween.
M: Okay baby parrot.
C: Okay mommy gween jay. How do baby pawots get here?
M: They come from eggs.
C: Where is my nest?
M: Right here.
C: Otay. You have to sit on me so I will cwack and get bowrn.

This is where my snuggle comes in!


The almighty dollar

Dixie decided a few weeks ago that she wanted a parrot. She wanted a pet she could talk to; that would understand her. She wanted a pet she could train so that, for example, her parrot could help daddy fold and put the laundry away.

She did not appreciate the suggestion that it would be far easier for her to help with the laundry herself.

After a rather detailed conversation about the cost of parrots she was unfazed, but, within a week of earning money, futility had crept in. Distraught at the hopelessness, she came to me with her troubles.

I pointed out that parrots are very expensive birds, but there are birds that are cheaper to come by. I mention that I'm fairly certain Oma still has a cage and that a pair of finches only costs about thirty dollars, plus another five for food and a nest. A far more attainable sum.

She's excited about the prospect and, wisely, recruited her siblings. So far, she's up to six dollars, but she keeps phrasing it in cents in the hopes that I'll be fooled and go out right that moment to buy birds on her behalf.

Most of the money has been earned via picking up trash in the yard and helping with laundry, but it's interesting to hear their money-making proposals. Melody suggested that I could pay her a dollar to not watch television, which I declined.

Later, I hear Melody's indignant voice drift from the other room. "No, Dixie, we will NOT go dance for people to throw money at us! There are better ways!"


technological difficulties

I got my current netbook in November. I wasn't completely pleased with it at the time--despite 10x the memory of my last one and many other upgrades, it doesn't seem to function as smoothly--and now I'm rather displeased with it.

The keyboard works intermittently. Well, not the entire keyboard quits on me, just the letters A S D F and L. And the shift key. Other than that, it is Perfectly Good* so I have changed all my passwords to require none of these things. I cut and paste letters from other places on a page when it really need to type something in for a moment. I perform internet activities that rely heavily on point-and-click. Oh, and sometimes, to compensate for all those times that I push A and no A appears, I will push it once and get AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.


Blogging is a bit of a sticky point, however, since I'm too verbose for all that cut and paste nonsense and I primarily blog about my children and all three of their names have at least one of those letters. I could resort to Thing 1, Thing 2 and Thing 3, but they'd just fight over who got to be first.

So this week's neglect was not entirely my fault. Blame Compaq. I could have blogged from work, I suppose, but since the district's looking for ways to save money, I should avoid any undue attention.

Speaking of technology, Dixie has her heart set on a touch phone. She really, really wants an iPhone. I snorted and said, "Get in line."

You're seven years old. Not iChance, kid, not iChance.

And, while on the subject of my Luddite lifestyle, the garden is halfway planted. We have red onions, green onions, potatoes, asparagus, bell peppers, poblano peppers, carrots, tomatoes, rosemary and beets in the ground. Still to plant are corn, strawberries, green beans, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, spinach and various lettuces.

After all that is done, we're going to clear out the space around the barn and plant a little fruit tree orchard. There's room for six or eight trees. I'm still bummed that we moved from our old place just as the fruit trees were producing and the garden was starting to resemble dirt.

Still, the yard on our new house is so much better than I ever thought I'd have and we're excited to see what will grow in this new space! Having moved from a big city, I never imagined a half acre yard with fenced in growing areas and all these wonderful trees. The girls are doing a great job of helping and Charlie just jumps up and down on the trampoline, yelling at us for being boring.

Heck, if the technology keeps not functioning, I could get a lot done this year.

*My mother once had a Perfectly Good television. The old faux-wooden console type that could sit directly on the floor. The sound went out and had to be route through speakers, but other than that it was Perfectly Good. Then, the rest of the cable-watching universe upgraded beyond its capacities, so all programming had to be routed through the VCR, but other than no channels or sound, it was Perfectly Good. And, periodically, you would turn it on and, instead of a large rectangle of viewing space, all of the light and images would be concentrated into a very bright quarter-inch horizontal stripe across the screen and you had to leave it on for a few hours to 'warm up' because there was no external device one could plug into it to compensate for a lack of picture.

But it was a Perfectly Good television.


Charlie's kisses are imbisible. He is troubled by the idea that a kiss is not a tangible thing and that he cannot really 'give' a kiss. So, now, every time he kisses someone, he grabs their chin to get their full attention and says, "My tisses are imbisible. You tannot see dem."

I guess that way we can't come back and ask where it went?

Being naturally a stinker, he's using this imbisibility to his advantage. In church he blew me a kiss. When I pretended to catch it he told me, "You tannot see it. You tannot get it. It is imbisible. My tisses twicked you!"

Grr. He'll just have to start giving me direct ones.


Poor Schrodinger

Suddenly, Charlie is afraid of our cat. Any time Schrodinger walks in the room, Charlie starts to scream. He hops up on the nearest piece of furniture, points at him and yells for us to remove him from the room. He wants him kept out of the house or in the dining room with the door shut. Even when Schrodinger is asleep, Charlie will walk into a room, see him, and panic.

We've tried to explain that this is Schrody's home. He needs to be allowed to eat and sleep in his home. He does like being an outdoor kitty, but is not always going to be outside. Oh, and Charlie refuses to go outside on the grounds that Schrodinger could be there.

We've tried to show Charlie that he is a nice, sweet kitty. As he's nearing age 2, he's tamed a lot. No more pouncing or surprise ankle attacks. Still, Charlie insists that, "Schwodinjuw will want to wesssle me," No matter how many times we tell him that Schrodinger no longer wrestles. He insists, "Simon is my only kitty. I will call him Simey-Wimey and I will wuv him, but I will NOT wuv dat udder cat."

I emailed his teacher today to ask if something had happened or been talked about at school involving cats. As I couldn't for the life of me think of an incident at home, I wondered if a kid had talked about a mean cat or something.

She remembered that, on their field trip to the fair last week, he'd seen the white tigers, wrestling and pouncing on one another and menacing with their fangs. The guy there talked about how he 'would not be in the same room as one of these cats without a cage.'

Something must have flipped a switch in Charlie's head, because Schrodinger is no white tiger by any stretch of the imagination. Perhaps his orangey color is why Simon got a pass that the grey kitty didn't?

We're going to put up a united front here and work on the differences between cats and tigers for the next few days at home and at school.

If that doesn't work, we may just dye the cat.