Saturday, April 14, 2007

Catching Flies

Today we were out running neighborhood errands in preparation for Muffin's birthday party next weekend, with a lot of to-dos on our list. We ran right into naptime, and sure enough Muffin fell asleep in her stroller. We gamely tried to keep her awake for a few minutes, but it was no use. So while the Canuck ran off to do one more thing, I rushed home to get her into her crib.

People were pointing and smiling at her as we passed, and I congratulated myself for dressing her all toddler-chic in striped leggings and retro sunglasses. She's completely scrumptious -- it was no wonder people were noticing.

It wasn't until I got back to my building and was fishing around in my purse for keys that I finally caught a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Breaking the Curse

I get incredibly attached to The Way Things Should Be. When you're a parent, this is such a bad idea, and yet I keep expecting life to follow the precious parenting moments playbook. I'm particularly suspectible to this on holidays, when in some crazy corner of my brain I have the idyllic home movies all blocked out, lines written, wardrobe chosen. At Halloween, I got a belligerant lamb instead of a charming little trick or treater. We spent 10 hours in the car on Christmas Day, and Muffin peed right through the holiday outfit I'd chosen so carefully. You'd think that by Easter I'd learn, right?

We didn't get off to an auspicious start. On Saturday we headed over to DUMBO for the Easter egg hunt held at the park under the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. It was ridiculously cold for April, especially right on the water, and the event was poorly run. Big kids were mixed with toddlers, so as Muffin zeroed in on an egg, inevitably some older kid, his basket already overflowing, would swoop in and steal it. Muffin behaved herself through it all and answered yes when I asked if she'd had fun, but I doubted we were really making memories here.

On Sunday morning, we let her go through her Easter basket in bed. She ate a chocolate bunny for breakfast, and perhaps not coincidentally, we had to give her her very first time out a few hours later.

And then, somehow, it all turned around. We went over to our friends J & J's apartment, where they were having an Easter buffet dinner. Although J & J rival Martha Stewart in their hospitality and cooking prowess, they always go out of their way to include Muffin (and all the nuttiness she brings) in every invitation. She was the only child there, and yet they had stayed up late the night before decorating Easter eggs and hiding them around the apartment for her to find. They also put together a beautiful Easter basket for her, full of thoughtful items. Seeing how special they made it for her -- and therefore for the Canuck and I -- choked me up a little. And isn't that the gushy stuff precious moments are made of?

To see photos from Easter, click here.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Yes, She Kisses Her Mama With That Mouth

One reason the twos (ok, the almost-twos) are not so terrible: my girl and I can actually have a conversation. It goes something like this:

Me: How are you?
Muffin: Good.

It’s awesome. Sometimes she asks me how I am too. I’m pretty sure she’ll be in the gifted program.

Gogus became gogourt and eventually yogurt. People who are not me, the Canuck or Sally can actually understand what she is saying a good percentage of the time now, no translator necessary. “Daddy sleeping,” she’ll observe. You better affirm that yes, Daddy is in fact snoozing away, and quick, or she will repeat it over and over, louder and louder, until Daddy is no longer sleeping. She seems to get such a high from being understood, she refuses to let one single opportunity for validation pass her by. All day long I repeat what she says to me back to her like an obnoxious parrot. Muffin will also ask the same questions over and over in a bullheaded attempt to morph reality, as if she has not quite grasped the concept that "we have no more applesauce" is as true at 6:33pm as it is at 6:34pm, 6:36pm, and 6:37pm.

She's making great strides, it's true, but she still has a long way to go. One urgent area of focus: perfecting her pronunciation of "truck." You see where this is going, right? She loves trucks, and points them out every time she sees one, but it comes out as an exuberant "fuck!" every time. If it's a fire truck, you just get a stuttering variation: fa-fuck. "T-t-t-t-truck," I tell her. "T-t-t-t-fuck," she says back, looking pretty proud of herself. We frequently pass the fire station near our house on walks, and sometimes they invite us in to look at the rig. I don't dare stay long, because it's only a matter of time before she drops an f-bomb on one of New York's bravest.