The Mischief of Minions

Kids, Family, Insanity…

Pre-verbal Madness


My son, T – Age 18 months, has not decided to speak much as yet. This has caused me much panic and angst: worries about what I’ve not done as a parent, mental-flagellation, and frustration over our inability to ask him what the heck he’s thinking.

On the flip side, it’s also occasionally pretty darn funny.

We have our imperfect methods of getting things across:

  • If T. throws a food clear across the room, it either means “yes, mommy, I am done eating that” or “wow, I’ve been meaning to show you how much air I can get on this thang!”
  • If he goes and finds an empty packet of something in the garbage can and brings it to you, this translates to “I would like this please.” The subsequent howl of rage when you tell him there is no more means “Well,heck!”
  • If he shakes his head vehemently from side to side in an exorcist-like fashion, this means he does not approve of your choice of snack. If you do not move quickly enough to remove it, please see line item one.
  • If T. runs around with a bucket on his head, this translates to “Look at me with my bucket hat! Is it not spectacular?”
  • If he grabs onto your clothes and pulls himself up forcibly, the means “Pick me up, you slacker!”
  • If he bursts into tears and starts roaming the house crying as if you’ve broken his heart, this means you’ve guessed his needs inadequately.
  • And finally, if he finds you curled up in a ball on the kitchen floor bawling and puts his arm around you and nuzzles his wet face into the crook of your neck this means “I love you mommy. We’ll figure this out before I’m twenty, I promise.”
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    The turn to Age 4…


    My daughter is now S. – Age 4 instead of S. – Age 3.5, and I admit, I am fighting off a bit of sadness and anxiety.

    Her birthday was celebrated with sugar and fire (a la candle in donut as is tradition in my family among my sisters) and much fanfare, but after the stress of parties, etc. I fear my unchecked mind has had a little too much time to think.

    My daughter becomes more interesting every day: drawing new things, creating amazing and bizarre stories in her head, pulling the most peculiar and yet somehow sensible logic and applying it to her world in the most fascinating ways. She has a memory like a fox for the most bizarre of details, loves music and art, and has an affinity for kindness and love that seems endless. Her beauty is becoming more mature, and at times I think I see glimpses of what she may look like even years from now with stunning clarity.

    Don’t get me wrong: she can out-drama most 13 year olds and attempts Machiavellian schemes with maddening skill – and half the time has me pulling out my hair – but that is besides the point, and I am secretly proud of her more clever attempts.

    I fall more in love with this kid every day, but at the same time, it is the realization of how quickly time passes, and how short a time I will really have with her, that floors me. I feel lucky and priviledged to have this child in my life – with all her blessings of hope and wonder at the world, and with it grows so the fear of its changing and moving on.

    I am a mommy with pre-abandonment issues. On the last night of her third year, I admit I crawled into her little twin bed with her in the middle of the night, under a halo of butterflies and happiness and just laid there staring at that tiny face trying to soak it in so I would not forget any detail.

    I push my fear to the background and try and focus all on my hopes for her future, and joy for my present with her – our present with her. She fills my house with love and madness, and is adored by her baby brother and parents. I must rejoice in this, and tell myself constantly that S – Age 4 will be even cooler, and that butterflies must be allowed to soar to truly live.

    ::Sniff::

    I am one blessed mama.

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    Moving Too Quickly


    I haven’t posted in a few days – partially because of the need for both hands: my little boy, T. – Age 14 months is all over the place. If I am not removing him from one dangerous location or another, I am extracting objects from his mouth!

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    Fecal Matters


    As parents with a baby or toddler, there are many things you think you should be discussing. Perhaps you might talk about parenting strategies, or growth charts, or even your hopes and dreams for baby.

    In my home? Somehow we are always talking about poop.

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    Real men are OK with pink..


    Because we had not found out what we were having with – well – either of our children but especially with the first, all of the baby stuff was pretty gender-neutral.

    So when we got our precious baby girl, and she was old enough for her first baby swing, I pushed for pink. Truthfully, I think, I had figured, coming from a family of predominantly girls, it would not matter: clearly I would also have girls.

    Which, of course, didn’t happen. And now that my son is old enough to enjoy such wonderful things, we are too cheap to buy another swing.

    So- pink it is!

    Luckily, my very macho son, T – Age 14 months, is far too cool to let color stand in the way of utter delight:

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    Things that Make Me Jealous of Toddlers


    There are at least a few moments most days when I am jealous of my children.

    They don’t worry about finances, they squeeze into cramped spaces readily, and have a capacity for fun and merriment that I can only longingly admire.

    Best of all? At this point in their lives, the world and the people in it exist solely to cater to their needs and amusement!

    Here are a few photo examples from just this weekend of childish glee:

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    Over-the-top Toddler Tea


    My sister decided to have a particularly over-the-top special birthday party for her daughter A. – Age 5, at a local shop catering to such glamorous events.

    The girls were ushered into two rooms filled with racks and racks of every conceivable sparkly gown, hundreds of tiny jewel-crusted shoes, tiaras, bows, jewelry and glitter. The girls all had their nails done, and makeup on their lips and eyes.

    10 tiny tots took fizzy-pink high tea filled with marshmallows, frosted cakes and cookies, and were instructed to act like ladies as they dined.

    I was never the girly-girl type as a child: whether it was because I grew up in a boy-dominated neighborhood, with the exception of maybe playing Barbies my childhood was spent climbing trees and playing in forts. This fascination with princesses and crowns is a shock to my system.

    While the affair was the type that made my inner anti-pink sensibilities want to retch lace-edged doilies, the birthday girl and her little friends all seemed to have a blast. S. – Age 3.5 was in Diva Heaven.

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    In the end, I suppose, that is really all that matters: all those smiling little faces. My sister did an awesome job of putting it together, and my daughter lucky to get to experience it!

    But I would be lying if I didn’t admit the whole thing made me shudder a little and long to wear black. 🙂

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    Miniature Bicycle Babe – winning!


    We got our toddler (S. – Age 3.5) a bicycle a few months ago. We thought she would be thrilled.

    Instead, because she didn’t know how to ride it perfectly- struggled with pedaling a bit and took a spill, she has basically refused to ride it. The sparkling, purple (ridiculously girly!) princess bike has literally sat in our garage for months. I would beg, threaten and cajole but could not get her on the thing no matter how hard I tried. Every attempt was an exercise in tears so finally, I let it go.

    It has been driving me nuts.

    A week ago, we went to the park and she saw her friend R. – Age 5 ride up the park on his bike. She didn’t mention anything to me about it but I know she noticed. I didn’t say anything either.

    Two evenings ago I suggested to her perhaps she and I could take her bike out and try it before bed. She looked at me for a moment, the cocked her head sideways and said: “Well, I guess I could try.

    This morning that same kid rode that princess bike over a mile. What had started out as walking the dog S. – Age 3.5 turned into a quest, and I had not the heart to deny her. Accompanied by myself and our pug, she pedaled and pedaled and pedaled, and when she fell jumped right back up.

    I had tears in my eyes. I am not sure if it was just pride – I think there may have been some (read: tons) of

    OMG my baby is growing up!

    in there too.

    Here is a picture of the champ in her moment of glory:

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    Running Madness


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    My tiny son is a machine: he runs excitedly even when he should be walking, and has taken to dancing and marching in place when standing still. He has boundless energy. In this picture he is chasing after his big sister S – Age 3.5.

    I was remarking to my husband that when our daughter was his age, there is no chance we would have let her go like that, barefoot and in pajamas, down a puddle-laden sidewalk. We would have been two steps behind at best. I guess since the first survived we have relaxed a little, and are more inclined known to watch and laugh.

    We did not, for instance, keep him out of the puddle: we were too busy making bets on how he would react – whether he would plow through or plop down for a splash. He froze, actually, like his feet were stuck in glue for a moment, and stared down at his wet toes in confusion.

    He then toddled happily on.

    My son would have made it to the other side of the neighborhood had I not eventually scooped him up.

    Children are the best thing that ever happened to me, and by far the most intriguing little creatures. It is becoming pretty apparent though, that their daddy and I are going to have to start marathon training if we hope to keep up!

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    Collateral Damage


    My nose is killing me.

    Would you like to know why? Of course you do…

    About a week ago my 14 month son launched his bottle at my face. He is quite strong, by the way. My nose has been aching ever since.

    To add insult to injury (or really, to add injury to injury) my daughter managed to wack the other side of my delicate schnoz on the other side last night.

    I keep looking in the mirror to see if there is a bump. I am pretty sure something is off.

    This is not the first time I’ve been so injured. I am routinely kicked, bitten, and used as a bounce house. When S. – Age 3.5 was merely S. Age 2 she did a reverse head-butt on me that sent me to the ER. I had a concussion.

    I am sure the doctors were laughing at
    me behind my back.

    I knew motherhood was tough. I knew pregnancy was going to involve aches and pains, and expected childbirth to be a doozy.

    What I did not expect was that at 40 years of age I would be considering purchasing a helmet to protect me from my tiny minions.

    Oh wait! I am pretty sure there is a
    hockey goalie mask in the basement…

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