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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    Eating Markers and other tales of office supplies


    I admit it: my son has a problem.

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    The Dark Side


    Many 4 year olds girls are princess-crazy, pink and purple covered, rhinestone-bedecked floozies.  If it doesn’t have a wand or a crown, they don’t want it.  Everything is poofy and cute and rainbow-riffic in their worlds and that is the way life is supposed to be. 

    I should know: my daughter goes through phases of this frequently, and has on previous occasions even brought her crown to bed with her.

    She does however, have a dark side to her sweet innocence:  She loves Darth Vader.

    S. – Age 4 knows Darth is not the good guy, but I think she feels sorry for him and thinks that he is lonely.  She also has an appreciation for Yoda, but Darth Vader she has up there with Batman and Ironman when it comes to colorful super characters, and Darth is the only one she always blows kisses to at the parade.

    Cracks me up!

    Anyway, one of our weekend bits of fun was pumpkin decorating, and we were able to put some of that Star Wars fun into it.  Meet Darth Pumpkin!   My daughter was delighted!!

    The green you see in the back is actually the Yoda on the other side of the pumpkin so that the forces of good and evil have some inter-gourd balance.

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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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    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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    Beluga This!


    Sometimes, as a parent, I think my expectations are a little unrealistic – and further, if they weren’t, I’d never leave the house with my children.

    In my head, I had a picture of my toddler, mouth agape with joy at her first trip to an aquarium. I had visions of blissful delight as she watched the dolphin show, and imagined the sounds of her chuckles at the antics of penguins.

    I shut out the potential for meltdown, tantrums and general disinterest. I opted not to consider her finding the crack on the floor more interesting than the dolphins, or that her piercing scream would echo so stunningly right off the plastic arctic display exhibit from which we had to forcibly extricate her.

    But she did really dig the belugas. I think that saved it for me. Because, much like childbirth, at the end of the day, it is focusing on the positives that counts, and keeps us mostly sane.

    Well, that and Advil.

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