Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I Learned Shut Up

The way a child acquires language is a mystery to me. I always thought that the spoken words would be only a little behind the receptive words but apparently I am wrong. Dagny can say about three words: "uh-oh", "Deddy" (teddy or Daddy, depending), "Ah-ya" (Annika). She also appears to understand the word "no" though she doesn't obey it.

As I was dressing Annika for bed last night and putting on her lotion, Dagny was getting in the way (and the lotion) and was holding one of Annika's shoes. So, I asked her "could you please put Annika's shoes in the closet". She moved in that direction, so I repeated myself - more than three times because it was keeping her out of the lotion. But she did it. She put the shoes in the closet. We clapped and praised her and exchanged high-fives. The child is one - I had no idea she actually understood what I was saying when I said "yes, that is your shoe" "shoes go on your feet" "Annika's shoe" or some other inanity during diaper changing, dressing or preparations to leave the house.

Which makes it all the worse that I told her to shut up yesterday morning. She was screaming, as she is wont to do in the post-dressing, pre-breakfast moments and I was trying to get Annika's breakfast together because she was starving (see previous post about not eating any dinner). At the same time, I was trying to get her bottle made and I lost my marbles, just a little bit. I promised myself I wouldn't be like this - this screaming freak-out mother. I'd like to blame it on the working or on the messy kitchen or on the too much to worry about, but really it's just that I'm not doing such a good job sometimes. This morning was much better, by the way, no screaming from anyone.

But that doesn't negate the fact that I told my sweet child to shut up. And Annika saw it. I confessed to Doug as I was relating the shoes in the closet tale and his eyes grew large with horror (and this is a man who says "fuck" in front of the kids). Better to say fuck in front of them than to say the bad stuff TO THEM.

Just so you know I'm not a big plagarist, I'm continuing the song lyric/title/play on either of these as the title of each of my posts. I Learned Shut Up is the title of a 5*8 album. They are the first band I ever saw in college, at the Downstairs, opening up for Roosevelt and they are the least appreciated really great band I've ever heard. They are still in heavy rotation on our i-pods.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Orchids Eat Proscuitto

My sister calls Annika "the orchid" because she seems to exist on air alone. The child doesn't eat. We beg, we plead, we cajole - nothing. I threw out the entire lunch (hummus, cheese and apple slices) that I packed for her yesterday, she ate none of dinner (delicious pork chops from Rachael Ray cookbook and brussel sprouts) last night and she admitted to eating one bite of the granola bar and yogurt that I sent for lunch today.

However, Doug is making pizza a la Romana for dinner tonight. He went to Trader Joe's (which has recently opened near us) and bought some lovely proscuitto and mozzarella. He was slicing it up in preparation for dinner and brought some down for us to taste. I was doing some work in the basement and Annika was watching Sesame Street. Anyway, she brought me a bite (as instructed by her dad) and proceeded to eat THE WHOLE PLATE of meat and cheese. Then, she joined Doug upstairs for more. Who knew the proscuitto would be so popular?

Dagny ate the heck out of the pork chop AND brussel sprouts. She will eat anything and whenever she puts anything in her mouth, she says "umm". Clearly this child takes after me.

In other news, back on the running train after a week off. I ran 2 miles in front of our house (painfully boring) and walked another one because my knee was giving me twinges. The stupid exercises that I'm doing to strengthen my muscles and limber my IT band came in very handy in Italy, though, because most of the potties were the "sit without touching" variety and I was able to hover with ease.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


We are back.

Doug and I went to Rome last week to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Dagny stayed with my folks, Annika stayed with Doug's folks and our friend Christa took care of Annie. All on the homefront was uneventful except that Annie peed on her bed twice and ran out of food. She didn't ACTUALLY run out of food because I had food - it's just that no one knew where it was and I forgot to tell them. Luckily Aunt Katie bought some from the vet and brought it to Christa.

We had a fabulous time on the vacation. We walked miles and miles every day, stopped at everything that looked neat, drank too much wine, ate lots of delicious food and generally enjoyed ourselves. We even got to see the pope. I don't know if I would recommend the pope visit, especially for a non-Catholic, because it took the whole morning (and we arrived only 30 minutes early and left after the homily - it was not a Mass) but it was certainly interesting. Nuns jockeying for position and grammies standing on folding chairs - like a rock concert. We lost one of our credit cards, but the bank quickly cancelled it so it was not a big deal. We walked an additional 3-4 miles that night going back to get it at the restaurant (where we had apparently not left it) but that was OK because it enabled us to process that second bottle of wine better so as not to be hung over the next day.

I can't put the photos up because the cord that connects the camera to the computer is missing but Rome was lovely. It is just amazing that you can see so much history in one place. A good trip. Doug was (as usual) the master trip-planner. He arranged the travel, the hotel, the food, made reservations for stuff. I got to be the sidekick. It was lovely. : )

Friday, October 13, 2006

Cool Stuff

So, I've not been able to run much. In fact, I'm reduced to running laps back and forth in front of my house where the road is flat. I don't know how far it is, but less than 1/3 of a mile. Thank goodness for the i-pod or I would be bored stiff. Here is the cool stuff:

1. I've learned that all of my neighbors get up at 5:45/5:50am. The first school bus comes at 7, so that makes sense, but it was really interesting to see the lights come on one by one within minutes of each other.

2. When I run in Doug's time slot, I see NO CARS and at least 4 other runners. How cool is that?

3. Last week, I saw a coyote. There have been rumors about coyotes in our area and we've heard them howling, but while I was walking on my warm-up, one trotted right across the road. They are not as big as you'd think and definitely not interested in me.

4. I also saw a giant white rabbit one morning. He also had some brownish/blackish patches and ran across the road in front of me. Doug thinks he is an escaped pet because our neighbors saw him the following evening.

5. Unrelated to running, we saw a horned owl this week. He was in a tree by the lake and had caught something for dinner. Unfortunately, we scared him away but he was really neat.

6. Also unrelated, Annika LOVES to fish. The fish in our creek like proscuitto, not bread, and some are pretty big. We throw them back in - just so you know.

7. I can do 3 miles of the "flats" without a lot of pain. I have the soreness, but not enough to stop running - which is a HUGE relief. Those leg exercises that the doctor gave me suck.

In other news, Dagny turned one, started walking and can say "Dada" (meaning Daddy or dog) and "Ah-na" (meaning Annika). She is very demanding and wants to know where Annika is at all times. Annika is not thrilled with this development - she is more pleased when we can play outside while Dagny naps. There is a possibility that I might start to work more hours in the new year. It's still just a discussion, but we shall see. . .