Lately a few people have been complimenting me on some photos I’ve taken, and I’ve been thinking (daydreaming) about actually learning how a camera works and setting myself up as a professional child photographer, just to earn some extra money doing something fun. I’ve also been poking around the yard, taking extreme closeups of flowers and bugs since my old camera didn’t do closeups well at all.
I took a picture of a ladybug this morning and thought Badger might want to look at it. Her response: “Nice choice, Mommy. You took a picture of a ladybug, didn’t you? Good job!”
I’ve just been patronized by a two year old.
(I know I’m not Ansel Adams or anything, but I thought it was kind of nice.)
Badger’s Morning Oatmeal, Mommy-Style
Put 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats in large, microwave-safe bowl. Add 1/2 cup water. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir in 1-2 teaspoons of unsalted butter and allow to melt.
Meanwhile, place 8-12 frozen blueberries in serving bowl. After butter is melted, pour oatmeal over blueberries and allow blueberries to cool oatmeal to an acceptable temperature. Elapsed time: approximately 5 minutes.
Serve to Badger, who picks out the blueberries and declares herself “all done”. Elapsed time: approximately 3 minutes. Waste: one bowl of oatmeal.
Badger’s Morning Oatmeal, Assistant Chef Badger-Style
Use the 1/4 cup measure to scoop 4-8 flakes of oatmeal into a large, microwave-safe bowl. Repeat about three dozen times. Pour 1/2 cup of water mostly into bowl; allow some to spill on counter. Declare the oatmeal finished and proceed to eat most of it in this state despite the concern of onlookers; pronounce it “nummy delicious” several times. Allow Mommy to place remains in microwave. Push “2” button after first asking “this one?” about all the other buttons and giggling.
Pour 2-3 dozen frozen blueberries into serving bowl. Eat most of them frozen (with spoon). Allow Mommy to pour remaining 2-3 tablespoons of oatmeal over remaining dozen blueberries and stir.
Eat every last bit of it and insist on more; follow Mommy-Style recipe, eat one bite and declare yourself all done. Elapsed time: approximately 45 minutes. Waste: one bowl of oatmeal, with blueberries.
Badger and Daddy went into town this afternoon while Mommy had a much-needed veg out break. They returned at about 4:30 with -some babies who will not be named- asleep in the car seat.
As much as I try to take advantage of sleeping baby time I did NOT want a 4:30 nap tonight so I bit the bullet, hauled her out of her car seat and tried valiantly to wake her up — nothing doing. She may not like going to sleep but once she’s there, she’s in the zone.
So in desperation I hauled her out onto the deck, 42 degrees and face into 20 MPH winds and spitting rain, thinking she’d be FURIOUS but at least she’d be awake. In 10 seconds she was wide awake and doing this:
She then insisted that we stay outside for about half an hour in the freezing cold while she ran around hollering at the top of her lungs. The Scandahoovian blood runs deep in this one.
(I want to know how Helen Killer comes up with her unbelievable puns for Regretsy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dud. And here I am with “She’s Crafty”. Sigh.)
Blow Painting — a good way to teach your child suck vs. blow.
Well, a good way to TRY to teach suck vs. blow.
(P.S. Blow paintings are not suitable for gift giving as they include a bit more saliva than most people prefer in their refrigerator art.)
Badger: “I am a girl who wants to eat LOTS of Play-Doh.”
(Pause while I laugh uncontrollably)
Me: “Oh, but Play-Doh is gross and icky.”
Badger: “It not gross and icky, it delicious!”
Also, where the heck did this constant “What’s that, Mommy?” come from? It wasn’t here a few days ago and now it.is.endless.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived in a house in the woods. One day she went for a walk in the woods and found a beautiful flower. “Oh, I must take this flower back to my house in the woods!” she said, and plucked the flower from the ground.
“Oh, don’t pick me!” cried the flower. “I am an enchanted princess!”
“I’m so sorry!” the little girl said. “I didn’t realize. How can I help you?”
“You can take me to the grocery store.” So the little girl took the flower to the grocery store, and they bought balloons and cake and pepperoni, and had a picnic. And the enchanted princess was cured and they lived happily ever after, The End.
For a person who fancies themselves a writer, I am TERRIBLE at making up stories. But Badger clearly doesn’t realize it, because it’s basically the one thing I can do which will always command her rapt attention. I’m a bit hampered by the format — it has to be simple/short enough that I can comply with “again, again!” and meet the stringent QA standards of a child who was clearly listening to me more closely than I was. And it’s a lot to juggle in your head — not painting yourself into a narrative corner (“she went for a walk and didn’t find anything and went back home and went to sleep the end”), avoiding traditional stereotypes while still invoking familiar “storytime” tropes (the enchanted princess was not my finest stab in the dark but please remember I’m usually making these up during bath/jammies time, my very lowest ebb of the day), introducing elements to grab your particular audience (pepperoni).
But I find that I’m actually getting a bit better and I wonder how many other parents try making up stories for their children and give up because their first attempts are so egregious (and it’s like rubbing your nose in it to have to repeat the whole thing several times in a row). As I repeat the stories I refine them a little (*cough* polish the turd *cough*), and each time I trot out familiar characters (the girl, the pixie on the broken magic carpet, the chicken with the hurt foot) I find even my character-deafness recedes a little as I add a little something here and there.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re still awful. Really, really bad. But the more I do it, the better I get (or at least, the less embarrassed I am that they’re awful because Badger clearly loves them so much). And who knows — maybe The Little Girl Who Lives in the Woods will soon be having midnight release parties at a bookstore near you.
Maybe not soon.
New camera! Obligatory Baby Eating Lunch test photo: