Friday, August 27, 2010

From the BackSeat: Everyone's a Critic

Tonight Lily, Quinn and I were driving out to Sandy Beach for the last of the "extreme happy hours".  On the way we were listening to a playlist from my iphone that I had made for Lily when she was a baby.  It included some kid songs and some of my favorite songs that I thought she would enjoy.

"Two Princes" by the Spin Doctors come on - and I admit - the Spin Doctors are not the most brilliant band ever - but they ARE fun to sing along to in the car.  So off I go singing - and pretty soon I hear Lily singing something in the backseat too.  I start having that warm, fuzzy feeling - look how fun!  we're all bee-bopping along to the same song, etc. And then:

Lily:  Mom, can we skip this one?
Me (hiding my disappointment): well, I like this song, so I'd like to hear it.
Lily: OK (then silence for a bit)
Lily: Mom?  Are they just saying the same thing over and over?

a few songs later Sweet Child O' Mine comes on - one of my favorite songs of ALL TIME (hi EK!).  Now unfortunately Lily's exposure to this song was some ballad-like cover on a lullaby CD that we got when she was born.  It's done be a woman and really isn't all that great (IMHO).  So Axel and Slash are all rocking it out and I hear this:

Lily:  Mom? is this the same as on the lullaby CD?
Me: yes, but this is a much better version
Lily: yeah, but it's the same right? as the lullaby CD
Me: yes, but I like this much better
Lily: right, okay - but it's the same, right?
Me: yes, it's the same.

Then my iphone cut out for a minute and:

Lily: what happened to the song there?
Me: I don't know, the phone cut out for a minute
Lily: probably SHE had to go get her instrument
Me: umm.. maybe, but you know  - that's a man singing
Lily: really? It sounds like a girl singing.  Why does he sound like that?

Thank god she's into They Might Be Giants.  Otherwise we'd be in big trouble finding common ground with this music thing.

Also amusing, but unrelated - we had this conversation as well:

Lily: Mom, when we go in a hot-air balloon, can I stand up?
Me (hiding my confusion at why she thinks we're doing this anytime soon): gee, I don't know - I guess someone would tell us the rules.  I don't know what they are.
Lily: I can't stand up Mom, it's the rule
Me: oh okay - so you know that already, ok - no standing up.  why not?
Lily:  Well if you stand up the balloon will pop
Me: OK, I see, yeah that'd be bad, so no standing then - I agree.
Quinn: Pop! Pop! Pop!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

So Much to Say

So that Quinn - he's talking - I know - when did THAT happen?  I have no idea.  I think he's been doing it for a while and I just didn't notice.  It's funny I was actually worried about Lily when she was Quinn's age because she had no words at all.  Then by 18 months she had like 60.  Quinn's followed a much more typical language development trajectory I think.  His first word might have been Jeh-Jeh or Dada or Mama - it's unclear.  Now his vocabulary consists of:
  • "quack-quack": his term for duck.  Funny because this was also one of Lily's first words and what she called ducks for a long time.  What's up with that?  They don't call cows "moo-moo" or dogs "bow-wow".  What's up with the ducks, kids?  It's extra funny with Quinn because he's really insistent about it.  Also, a lot of things look like ducks to him.  If he sees anything yellow (esp if it's plastic) he goes nuts with the Quack Quack! Quack Quack!  Cracks me right up.  He gets kind of annoyed if you try to correct him.
  • "hi" - also a very early word.  When we'd park at Kathy's house on my work days he used to start saying "hi" before I even got him out of the car.  Now he reserves it for actually seeing someone new.  But it's still adorable and awesome.
  • "Jeh Jeh" - cantonese for big sister and Q's been saying it for month's now.  It's an easy first word and he LOVES Lily.  He always wakes up first and when it's time to wake her up he charges into her room saying "Jeh Jeh" over and over.  If he sees her playing on the back deck through the window in his room he runs over to it "Jeh Jeh, Jeh Jeh".  
  • "cracker" - one day I got home from work and Quinn greeted me at the door with crackers in his hand.  He held one up and said to me "Cracker!".  Now it does sound a bit like, "quack quack" - but I'm certain he was saying something different.
  • "hat" - we have a pretty simple "baby signs" board book that we picked up at a yard sale or something.  It's got about 8 simple signs and pictures of babys making the signs along with pictures of the object.  One of these is hat.  Quinn has been saying "hat" for about as long as he's been saying "hi".  He pats his head, making the sign for "hat" and says "hat.  Kathy tells us that whenever they go outside he reminds her with "hat, hat" and head patting.
  • "hot" - also an early word - he did like his "h's", and I guess once you can say "hat", "hot" is not such a big leap.  Whenever food comes near him he says "hot, hot" and waves his hands.  And like Lily, the usage of "hot" has little to do with the actual temperature of the food.  He says it for anything that might, at some point in the recent or distant past, have indeed been hot.
  • "ball" - another word that was picked up from the baby signs book and is usually followed with the sign for it (in that book it's a throwing motion).  My favorite use of "ball" was when we were having dinner at the new Flatbread's Pizza in Davis Square and he spent the whole time trying to get to the bowling lanes while looking tortured and yelling "ball ball ball".  Sometimes life is easier when they can't talk.
  • "car" - also kind of sounds like "quack" and maybe "cracker" - but he definitely has some word that he uses when trying to say car.  He says it and points to pictures of cars in books - so I'm giving it to him.
  • "teacher" - another word inspired by a book - this time it was the very popular "Brown Bear, Brown Bear".  He really digs that book (as Lily did at his age), but seems particularly taken with the picture of the teacher at the end.  He picks up the book and starts saying "teacher, teacher" and hands it to me.  Then he sits down and looks at me expectantly.  Also adorable. 
  • "here you go" - I know, a big jump from all the others right?  And I'm pretty sure that only one other person (Hi G!) would have any clue what he was saying.  But when he hands us something he says something that sounds suspiciously like "here you go".  He does it consistently enough that we're calling it!
  • "Mama" - just like his sister did, Quinn says Mama, but it doesn't seem to really mean me.  He mostly says it when he wants something, usually food.  Maybe he's confused and he thinks that I and food are somehow connected (hmmmm).  But really kid, you got your food from me for a year - now you should start working on Daddy - he's the REAL cook around here.
  • "uh-oh" - one of my all-time favorite baby words.  I love when they walk around saying uh-oh.  He's been pulling this one out more and more lately.  Sometimes when he finishes eating he says "uh-oh" when he gets down out of his chair and sees the disaster on the floor.  It cracks me up because he looks at me like "geez Mom, did YOU make that mess?"  Just this week he started using it to indicate that something was not quite right with the current situation.  For example, I'm in the bathroom drying my hair - Quinn comes in and crawls into the still-wet shower - I remove him from the shower - "Uh-Oh! Uh-Oh!"
Phew - there might be more, but I'm out of steam.  That child does have a lot to say.  I can only imagine what it's going to be like in this house once he's stringing words together into sentences.  

From the BackSeat

Here's my latest attempt at a new "regular installment" on the LilyPad - snippets of conversations that Lily and I have in the car on the way to school.

Today, after we dropped off Quinn she requested "something else" on the radio. Apparently it wasn't an NPR kind of day.  So I switched over to MIKE FM and a nice poppy 80's Madonna tune was playing (think: Borderline, I can't actually remember what song it was because my brain has long since lost the ability to hold anything in short-term memory for longer than 6.5 minutes).   Lily has been very into music these days so we had this conversation:

Lily: "Mom, who's singing this?"
Me: "Madonna"
Lily:"DONNA?"  (I'm sure she was tickled pink thinking it was Grammy on the radio)
Me: "No, MA-Donna"
Lily: "oh" (thinks for a bit) - "you mean like Mimi celebrates?"
(Mimi was her family day care provider and we had run into her recently)
Me: *confused*, "OH! no no, honey that's RAMADAN, not Madonna"
Lily: "oh", "don't tell Mimi I asked that"

So I dunno - perhaps posting here is breaking the "don't tell Mimi" agreement.  She nearly ALWAYS ties my hands that way.

funny and cute - but I'm also impressed with her for remembering about Ramadan!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Motion, Direction, Acceleration

Why Hello August!  And boy do I have a quite a bit to say about our little baby boy.  I found out this week that he's officially a toddler now.  I got a call from some childhood development lab at UMass Boston asking if I had a toddler in the house.  I asked them what age a toddler would be and they told me "between 14 and 18 months" (which, yeah, narrow range for a toddler, no?)  But STILL!  I was thinking that LILY was the toddler.  No, turns out she's a pre-schooler.  I'm not doing a good job keeping up here folks.

So OK my last post on Quinn was way too long ago.  And a ton has been going on with him.  I look back at that 11 month post and it's like I hardly recognize him.  For starters he's walking now - yeah - full-on toddling around and causing trouble.  He particularly enjoys walking with stuff in his hands.  Look here's a video:

 I'm a little perplexed when parents talk about worrying that they will miss their child's first steps.  Mostly because it feels like I'm sitting right there and I still miss it.  I always envisioned walking being some momentous thing.  Like one day the crawling baby just gets up and starts toddling around.  And maybe that's how it is for some, but definitely not for my kids.  Quinn went through a period of standing and taking a step here and there - mostly flinging himself into furniture or something like that.  I do remember one day he took a very distinct step while we were at Albion Park playing with some friends.  I have no idea if that was his first one.  From there it took a while to get to full-fledged walking.  But we're there now and I can't really tell you when it happened.  All I know is that it was definitely after he hit 14 months old and before he hit 15 months.  

Even now I find myself wondering what was that short, kind of lumbering motion I caught from the corner of my eye.  Is there a velociraptor in the house? or perhaps a miniature Frankenstein?  Then I look closer and remember that my baby is now a toddler and he's off to damage himself in some new and wonderful way.  Since he's been walking he's fallen down stairs three times, bloodied two nostrils and his lip,  and crashed headfirst into numerous objects (sometimes he thinks he can run - he's wrong).  He loves to climb things - especially chairs.  He climbs up on little chairs and treats them like rocking horses, daring them to tip over.   They usually rise to the challenge quite nicely.  Thankfully I am (nearly) always there to catch him.

He chases Jeh-Jeh around intent on doing whatever it is that she is doing. She likes to "help" him along.  See here they are in action - with friends like these..... (this one's a little long, but I think it's totally worth it)
Seriously though - he totally adores her.  It's completely awesome to watch them together (well most of the time).

He's also in that awesome stage where he understands a ton of what's said to him.  If I start talking about going out he'll go to the front door, find Lily's shoes and bring them to her.  Then he gets his shoes, sits down and tries to put them on.  Eventually he'll give up and call me over to help ("eh eh eh!"). Once his shoes are on he stands up and finds my shoes and hands them to me.

He follows Lily's lead on everything.  We're asking her to clear her dishes after meals now and so when he's done eating he neatly stacks his dishes, fork and cup and hands it to one of us.  He's nearly mastered using a fork and spoon.  He still LOVES to eat.

He loves music.  He will dance to pretty much anything.  When he's sitting in his chair eating you can ask him to "do the Quinny shimmy" and he'll smile and wiggle side to side.  He loves to slide the chicken on the Little People farm house so that it plays the "Old MacDonald" tune.  He does his little shimmy dance, laughs and does it again. Look I captured it on video for you:

Wasn't that adorable? You're welcome*.

I love that when I come home from work now I hear squeals of joy and TWO little people barrel down the hallway to give me a hug.  Lily gets there first, but Q is never far behind. Watch out Jeh-Jeh he's going to catch up quickly!

*After filming this video I left the farm on the floor.  An hour later after putting Quinn to bed someone came by to purchase the bumbo that we hardly used.  The bumbo was up on a high shelf in front of the farm.  The step stool that I got was too short.  I fell - badly - and ended up with a Little People farm-shaped bruise and abrasion on my back.  I did it all for you - I hope you enjoyed the video.