Day 318: The baby is watching you

November 14, 2007

Our 2 year old daughter, Little A, seems to have 3 phobias/ obsessions- gloves, lions and vacuum cleaners. We have a big red silicone oven glove which prompts her to say “I don’t like the glove” all the time. She is filled with panic if the glove is left on the countertop, so we have to keep it in the drawer. But then she wants to go and look at it all the time; “I see the glove. I don’t like it” (and repeat). She has a love/ hate relationship with lions too- she loves to see them at the zoo, she has a family of plastic lion figures that she takes to bed most nights (with accompanying “owwies” when she gets a hard leg or tail in her eye, or she lies on Daddy Lion), and she is obsessed by the “lion book“. On the last page of the book is a pop-up lion with big teeth, and throughout the book Little A says “I don’t like the lion, I don’t like the lion, I don’t like the lion” but as soon as you offer to skip the lion page or read a different book she says “I see the lion, I see the lion..” at which point she sees it and says “I don’t like the lion. I see the lion.” The vacuum cleaner is a different kind of fear. At daycare she visibly tenses when the vacuum cleaner comes out, and she clings to whoever is carrying her like there is no tomorrow. At home it doesn’t come out so often (oh robot, how we need you, come home to mama) but she is terrified when it does make an appearance. She often tells us how she doesn’t like it, but she rarely asks to see it. We do, however, have proof that her bilingual upbringing is paying off; at daycare she says “I don’t like the vacuum cleaner” and at home she says “I don’t like the hoover”. She does have a sense of humour about her fears; L asks her if she’d like to see the “hoover lion glove” and she laughs and laughs. Today however, things went a little pearshaped. I was nursing the baby and A still gets very upset at feeding times, so I said she could watch some TV while her sister ate. We put on Teletubbies and all was well. Lala got a present; a box full of Christmas decorations. The Teletubbies were all very enamored of the sparkly tinsel and stuff, until Noo Noo the vacuum cleaner came along and sucked up the decorations with his/ her vacuuming hose nose. Little A let out the loudest scream that I have ever heard, louder even than when she dislocated her elbow. I thought something terrible had happened to her as she sat next me on the sofa, but the agony was all hoover trauma. Eventually she calmed down (Noo Noo ran away. Noo Noo sneezed. The Christmas decorations were sneezed up onto the walls of the Teletubbies house. Everyone was happy. The end) but just before bed tonight she still said “Noo Noo got the Christmas decorations. I cry.” Great. She hardly ever watches TV but evidently I have to start censoring. Who knew that the Teletubbies episode entitled “cards” would feature a rampant hoover? Maybe the one called “flowers” showcases Tinky Winky’s new friend, the friendly yet terrifying Lion Hoover Glove.

We’ve been full of “woe is us, everything keeps breaking” vibes lately, but we had some really good karma today. I got a phone call this evening from someone at our local coffee shop saying that she’d found my wallet in a pile of newspapers. I had not realised that I didn’t have it, and I still have no idea how it ended up in the papers, which I wasn’t reading. Amazingly, all my cards and everything were still inside, which is an enormous relief. I don’t ever carry cash, and when L is around I sometimes don’t even take my wallet out of the house with me. So it could conceivably have been days before I realised that the wallet was missing. I am so pleased it all turned out so nicely.

L’s paternity leave is drawing to a close which is scary in many ways. Us three girls may well drown under the mountains of laundry, and I am yet to figure out how to get out the house when outnumbered by kids. But people do it all the time, I’m sure we’ll manage. We can always camp out in the minivan all day. Monday will certainly be interesting. Baby N has started to track things with her eyes, and she is quite smiley (admittedly probably not intentionally at this point, the smiles I mean) and is hopefully becoming increasingly more interactive in the eyes of her big sister. It’s amazing how quickly the last month has gone. Any day now the kids will be in teenagers, and maybe L and I will be camping in the minivan to get away from them. We went to A’s daycare yesterday and postponed entry into the infant room for Baby N. Little A is going down to part time care until Christmas, and then unless they bend the rules and allow her to attend 2 days a week, we will have to find a new solution. As it is much harder to find care for babies, N has a part time daycare place reserved for the spring, so we have some time to figure out what we are going to do. Who knows where we’ll end up, but all roads lead to me staying at home with the kids and trying to work from home around the chaos. Particularly as we forgot to play the lottery tonight. $95 million, people.

In food news, tonight’s meal was a welcome return to form. The Bacon-Wrapped Beef Supper Salad was easy and pretty delicious, and it was good to make a nice salad after so much hefty solid food. The beef steaks were wrapped in bacon “like a stripe on a barber pole” (which I read as “like a stripper on a pole” which I thought was an interesting, and somewhat apt, description. I am sleep deprived, I should mention), seasoned and cooked on the skillet. The salad of greens, artichoke hearts and plum tomatoes was dressed in an olive oil, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, shallot concoction. Olives, caper berries and crusty bread were served on the side. This meal is simple and effective. The bacon gave the steak enough flavour that it was not lacking by reason of being marinade-free. The salad was tangy, fresh, crisp and satisfying. The artichoke hearts were definitely an addition that I would consider keeping on hand to throw into a green salad in future. All in all, very pleasant. Tomorrow we are having Pancetta-Wrapped Shrimp Supper Salad, which sounds all kinds of good. Yummo, genuinely yummo.

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