21 November 2009

Love/Hate and the Imaginary Reptile

Zora's been having nightmares about alligators biting her. Rodney told her the next time they do that she should wag her finger and say, "No bite, alligator! Bad alligator!" Instead, she wagged her finger and said, "Hi, alligator!" Methinks she has mixed feelings about toothy reptiles.

12 November 2009

Overhead: The Denver Edition

Sunday evening. Harper playing on the couch with her dolls.

Saskia: Harper D., here’s the plan. We’re going to go upstairs, get your pajamas on, then come downstairs, read a book and drink warm milk. Then bedtime.

Harper: No.

Saskia: Well, sorry, little one, that’s the plan.

(After a moment’s pause) Harper: Mommy, how about I make the plan?


11 November 2009

Overheard: The Rainy Day Edition

Daddy is in the car with Zora listening to NPR on the way to Barnes and Noble. A story about a Czech artist who does satirical sculptures comes on. Daddy laughs.

Z (in between bites of apple): Daddy, that's silly?
Daddy: No, that's satirical. Can you say "satirical," Baby Girl?
Z (with mouth full of apple): No, Daddy. I have apple in my mouth.

06 November 2009

Does Only Mean Lonely? The Question of Having More Than One Child

I remember back in the early days of parenthood when we were zombies surviving on three and four hours of sleep here and there that parents would come over and coo at Zora. Sometimes they would say, "When she gets to be about one, you'll start thinking about another one." We'd smiled politely and then said to ourselves, There's no way in God's green earth we're doing this again!

Zora's one-year birthday came and went, and we were content with one. Besides, there was still time.

Around Zora's second birthday, I started hearing the question: when are you going to have Number Two? Many of the women who had been pregnant and given birth around the same time as me were swollen with their second child or popping the prenatal vitamins in anticipation. I wasn't. I felt as though I could go either way.

Zora has just gotten to the point where she can play by herself for five to 10 minutes at a time, and I relish the time to sit down and flip through a magazine or cook dinner while she plays. She sleeps through the night. She's getting close to being potty-trained. She can talk. She makes me laugh and in many ways gives as much to me emotionally as I give to her, something I never expected as a mom.

Newborns don't do any of those things. Newborns are demanding. Another child would be expensive. We'd have to move.

But then, again, all this passes. Zora would have a brother or sister. And I think of my own struggles of dealing with an aging parent with no sibling to share the burden of responsibility. I think of the conversations that Rodney and his sister have. There's an implicit understanding between them. They "get" each other, and they share a history that they can giggle about or commiserate about.

Do I answer that deep emotional desire to provide Zora a brother or sister, or do I yield to the pressures of cost and Rodney's need to have more time to pursue his own interests? Are the two mutually exclusive?

02 November 2009

How I Know Zora Is Rodney's Daughter

  1. Until she turned two, she looked more like him than me.
  2. They have the same blood type: A+.
  3. Both feature long legs and cold feet.
  4. Both are extremely sensitive to noise.
  5. Both go around closing doors that I leave open. Yesterday, after taking butter out of the fridge, Zora made me reopen the fridge so that she could close the butter bin door.
  6. During music class, while other children are busy banging, shaking or chewing on their maracas, Zora is forming a neat row with hers.
  7. Buttons cannot be left undone, nor zippers unzipped. Halfway doesn't cut it, either. All seven of Zora's vest buttons needed to be snapped before we could leave the house this morning. Not five. Not six. All seven.
  8. They share the same absurd sense of humor. They've spent entire dinners giggling over phrases like "Effalant toot in the soup!" "Effalant poop in the soup!"
  9. Both enjoy pinching my bum.
  10. Rodney and Zora have the most amazing, deep, in-the-moment, laugh -- it's positively infectious.

01 November 2009

This Is Halloween, This Is Halloween

My ginger-haired friends have shared their typical costumes of Halloween past: Raggedy Ann, Pippi Longstocking, Strawberry Shortcake. With that magnificent color, we had to take advantage of her copper penny locks but how to do something original. Hmmm. Copper. Copper top. Aha. Duracell.

Check out all of our Halloween 2009 pictures on http://jumpinjavagrrl.smugmug.com/