Monday, September 22, 2008

Maddie the Sock Monkey and Other Fun Tidbits

Summer is officially over, and our thoughts begin turning towards indoor mayhem to replace the wet and otherwise dirty escapades of past months. Last week we re-enacted the bear hunt that I remember from childhood. I printed some pictures of bears off the computer and hid them sereptitiously in the bathroom "cave." Then I prepared my build up speech. Flashlight in hand, I approached Alli with one simple directive: "Do you want to go on a bear hunt?"

We sat down in the playroom and sang the song, only I changed the locations to places in our house. So instead of wading through the cornfield, we "came to a table" and so on and so forth. Then we set out on our trek. After crawling under the dining room table and climbing up and over the couch, I asked Alli if she saw any bears. She took on her matter of fact tone and said, "No Mom. There aren't any bears. And there aren't going to be any bears in the cave either."

Maybe she hadn't yet heard of a little thing called Mom Magic, but she would soon learn. We ended up in the bathroom, in the dark, with our flashlight lit. When she discovered the first bear taped to the sink faucet, she nearly went into hysterics. Then we spent the next hour finding bears with our flashlight. After the third time, I made her hide them, and the game became self perpetuating.

On another long afternoon, we decided to make "crayon glitter." I rounded up all the old crayon stubbs and we chopped them and melted them in the oven. Alli got really nervous when I started chopping the pink and purple crayons, but she caught the vision once she got her hands on some of the confetti colored fun.

As a side note, both of these ideas originated from my friend Ashley, who is a great mom. I hope I can be like her when I grow up.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Once there was a girl. One day she met a boy. He was funny, and he fixed her car...You see, it all began at a little restaurant in Provo called Wrapsody. After teaching her to warm tortillas and ladle salsa, he...left on his mission for two years, and left her all alone. She was sad, but muddled through somehow. When he came home, girl and boy decided to get married as soon as possible, and the rest is history.

On September 20th we celebrated our 6th anniversary at The Roof in Salt Lake City. Ever since we were first married, we've hidden a certain duck, recently dubbed "beaker," in places around the house such as the refridgerater or dryer for the other person to find. It's been a semi-ongoing joke, but the duck hasn't seen much action lately. Until yesterday. Last week I mailed the duck and a card to my friend Konnie who lives in Salt Lake, so she could take it over to the restaurant. When we walked up to our table, there was the duck. It was really funny, and then we got to spend the night looking out at the rooftop of the temple while eating yummy food. It was a great night.

Friday, September 5, 2008

A day in the life

Today, Maddie will wake up and yell for someone to come get her out of her crib. I will sneak in and say "Boo," and then she will run excitedly from one side of the crib to the other until collapsing and hiding her eyes to tease me. Then we will go into Alli's room and crawl under her blanket with her. Alli will want to know what fun things we will do today, and I will try to think of some.

Then we will eat some toast, (not the crusts), for breakfast and begin the marathon "getting ready" procedure. Alli will make her bed and clean up her room while I make the other beds and take a shower. At some point, Alli will ask if she can watch cartoons.

If you let Alli watch cartoons, she will want to know all of the shows recorded on the DVR, so she can make her decision. If she decides to watch "signing time," she'll ask if that means she can play on the internet later in the day. Once she watches her cartoon, she'll want to play outside or ask her friend Elaina to come over and play. If Elaina comes to play, I will get a break and shout "hooray!" If I get a break, I'll get some laundry folded in the afternoon and have dinner ready early. If not, I'll watch Oprah and forget the rest.

But Alli won't watch cartoons today. She's going to pre-shool, so she won't have time. Instead, she will hurry and get ready so we aren't late. After I pick her up from pre-shool, we'll have lunch. Maddie won't eat more than two bites of food because she's a stinker, and Alli will have a peanut butter and honey sandwich. After lunch, Maddie will sit in her bed and say "ya-ya-ya" for an hour until I give up on nap and go get her. At dinner, she will barely be able to keep her head up in her highchair.

After dinner, Ty will suggest that we go on a walk and we'll all go. Alli will ride her bike and Maddie will ride in her stroller. Ty and I will look at our neighbors lawns and talk about grand landscaping schemes that we will never be able to afford in the near future while Alli yells at us for getting too far ahead of her. She will insist on being first during the whole walk and ride slowly or not at all most of the time to ensure that she's never actually first. Then we'll go through the Tippet's "car wash" sprinklers and Maddie will giggle as the water splashes her. Before turning homeward, we'll stop to pet the Couchman's horse. Maddie will get very excited about this and make "neighing" sounds. After baths, Alli and Maddie will both go to sleep peacefully.

I swear I didn't pose this picture...

Some things never change, right? Like mother, like daughter. You could describe Alli as, "sweet," "playful," "kind," or "ready to please." You could also take a good look at reality and describe Alli as "willful." I believe that's the psycho-analytical term for it. This makes for a very exciting mix of emotions in our household. One minute Alli is singing joyfully as she runs circles around the kitchen island and the next she's slamming her bedroom door and refusing to come out because she didn't get to decide who said the prayer.

Many kids with her personality get the "children should be seen and not heard" lecture over and over and the persistent "sit still" advice till the moment their tired eyes finally close as night.

While Alli certainly requires extra energy, I think it's important to remember that the very qualities that extract punishment in childhood are the same ones that achieve accolades in adulthood. Leadership, for example. Persistence in the face of futility. Stubborness, even, is the mark of a fine moralist. I hope with every once of my own overactive willpower that Alli will be this kind of adult, and I'm proud to be her mom-even today.