Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy Birthday Margot!

Today is Margot's 2nd birthday! Two years ago today she emerged kicking and screaming, although quite unexpectedly. And even though she was born three months early, she really did arrive kicking and screaming. She's truly incredible, and impresses me everyday with her smarts and her accomplishments.

A few months after Margot was born, I had a doll made to her preemie measurements at birth: 1 pound 15 ounces and 14.5 inches long. Here is a photo of Margot holding that baby doll so you can see how she's grown:

She truly enjoyed her day. First we went out for pancakes this morning (her favorite). Next we went to a bakery and ordered a Curious George birthday cake (she is psyched, but cried when we left the bakery without it since her party isn't until Saturday). Then we unpacked and assembled all of her Christmas toys - also a huge hit (I know Christmas was a few days ago, but it took us a few days to settle down and open all the boxes and plastic). After a failed attempt at a nap, we went to Target and bought supplies for her party on Saturday (including a pinata, which is really for our friends and not for the five children under age 5 who will attend her party. The kids will play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.) After that, we came home, ate a dinner of salmon and rice and green beans (all her choices), she opened some gifts (soundly rejecting one of my gifts to her - a purse that looks like Portia - as 'scary') blew out her candle and ate a cupcake.

Happy birthday darling. We really love you and the frights we experienced two years ago today were all worth it.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Coincidence? I Think Not.

Last night, there was a 400% increase in nighttime crying and visits to Margot's room. (That is, she went from zero crying incidents over the past 18 months to four in one night.) It ended with Margot coming back to bed with us around 5:30 - ugh.

I don't think it's scary monsters, but the link between Caillou Hears a Noise and Margot's awakenings is unmistakable.

Brodie and I both awoke with that tired 'pit' in our stomachs, a feeling I haven't experienced since Margot had 2:00 am feedings about 18 months ago.

You can be sure that I am returning Caillou Hears a Noise to the library this morning in favor of a less disruptive Caillou book.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Fictionalizing Fiction

Yesterday Margot and I made our weekly trip to the library. We like to go on Tuesdays because there is a thirty-minute storytime in the mornings; afterwards, a librarian hands each child a free book with a big Target sticker on it. (Chalk one up for Target in the social responsibility department - providing free books to city kids!)

The best part of storytime for Margot? Her friend Caroline was there.

But aside from the free book and hanging with Caroline, Margot borrowed two books yesterday: Little Mouse Biddle Mouse and Caillou Hears a Noise.

Both books are problematic, but for different reasons. I wish I had read them before we checked them out. Little Mouse Biddle Mouse details a mouse's run through someone's kitchen and how the mouse licks the grease from the stove and tidbits from the spoons. The writing is nice, but the thought of a mouse licking my spoon completely disgusts me; this is definitely the result of the occasional mouse problems that we had in DC. I won't be suggesting we read this book very often - I'm ready to return it now.

The second book is even more problematic though.

Caillou Hears a Noise is based on one of Margot's favorite television characters, a small bald preschooler named Caillou (pronounced KAI-ew). I saw this book and knew she'd be excited to read about him, and so I checked it out without reviewing the story. As it turns out, the book describes how Caillou is trying to fall asleep but is convinced there are monsters in his room, so he cries for his mom and dad each time they turn out the lights. Eventually he realizes that the noises he hears are his cat, or a tree scratching against the window, or some other common house noise amplified by the dark. It's a nice story - for kids who already know about monsters and need some reassurance.

Margot, on the other hand, is an excellent sleeper who is not yet concerned with monsters. I certainly don't want to teach her to be afraid of the dark, and I definitely don't want to teach her to cry out during the night for me or Brodie.

Of course, in the 30 hours since we brought this book home, Margot has asked to read it no fewer than 50 times.

So I've resorted to making up a story based on the pictures that is a little less...well, influential.

Me: "Caillou's mommy comes to tuck in Caillou for bed and give him a kiss." I turn the page; there's a picture of a worried-looking Caillou turning on a flashlight.

Me: "Oh...uh, and then Caillou remembered that he received a flashlight as a gift so he turned it on in the dark to see how it works." Turn the page, and there's a picture of Caillou yelling and his mom looking in the closet [for monsters, according to the text].

Me: "And then...Caillou's mommy remembered she needed to iron Caillou's shirt for the party tomorrow so she went into his closet to get it." Turn the page, and there's a scared Caillou running from the bed.

Me: "Then Caillou took a little jog around the room to help himself fall asleep."

You get the idea.

I'm sure Margot is starting to think that Caillou is the lamest character ever. But she keeps asking for the book! Maybe she's just on to me and wants to see how many interpretations I can invent.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Ho Ho Ho-rror

Thanks to Aunt Teal for submitting this photo!

Editor's note - Just so you don't think we're entirely cruel for subjecting Margot to Santa after all my postings about how she fears the big Claus, I want to note that this photo was actually taken a few weeks ago, before the Wharton Holiday Party and other Santa events. This was actually her first encounter with Santa, preserved for all posterity.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Holiday Party Circuit

Last night was Margot's night to socialize with her compadres at the Wharton Kids Holiday Party. She has a few 'friends;' I'm defining the word 'friends' pretty loosely (friends are children she recognizes by name, but for the most part she's not interested in playing with any one person in particular).

Except for Caroline.

Caroline is Margot's favorite friend, the one she asks for all the time. It's pretty understandable, since Caroline is a few months older and is therefore much cooler. Margot admires Caroline wholeheartedly, and I support this completely since Caroline is a very sweet girl who positively influences Margot. In this photo, Margot is trying to show her affection for Caroline by holding her hand but Caroline wanted none of that.

It's not that Caroline doesn't like Margot (her parents report sudden outbursts of "Margot! Fun!" from Caroline at home), but I guess she just doesn't share in Margot's physical affection.

While Margot does try to imitate everything Caroline does (running fast, climbing, and generally acting independent and confident), she drew the line at sitting on Santa's lap. In fact, Margot refused to even enter the room where Santa Claus sat and offered toys to the Wharton offspring, even after Caroline did so.

Perhaps we should sign all of Margot's Christmas presents "Mommy and Daddy" instead of "Santa;" I fear she'll reject them otherwise!

O Christmas Tree

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday evening before attending the Wharton Kids Holiday Party. Margot is thrilled with the lights and the ornaments; anytime there is an extended silence in the house now I know to look over near the base of the tree. She's usually standing there, mesmerized, quietly (and gently) touching the lowest hanging ornaments.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Fun with Daddy

"Here, Dad! Add another!"

Rock (and Roll)

Margot received an early Christmas gift this week from Gamma and Gampa (her pronunciations) and she just loves it. It's her first piece of furniture, other than a high chair or crib, and gives her someplace nice to sit that's her size. It made me think a little of the circle of life, and how so many of the things we do during our infancy come back around in our later years. For example, we eat pureed foods in our early years and often again in our later years. We wear diapers in our early years, and sometimes again in our later years. We rock in our early years...well, you get where I am going with this.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Stop the Presses!

The Min used the potty. Tonight. By herself. Before her bath.

(I never thought I'd be so excited about another creature's elimination habits, but that's just part of motherhood I guess.)

Ducks and penguins and lizards, oh my!

Today is November 30 and it is 70 degrees out! 70 degrees!
So Margot and I went to the zoo with her friend Esmee and her mom.

They're cute together, aren't they?

Margot liked the monkeys a lot (they elicited exclamations of "Curious George!" and "Monkey George!") but was also interested in the waterfowl (you know, because ducks are wild and rare animals).

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Dickens Christmas

This morning Margot and I did a little Christmas shopping at the downtown Philadelphia Macy's, which is housed in a beautiful old building with two gigantic atriums. Everything was draped with twinkling white lights and Christmas trees (let's face it, the store has probably been decorated since Halloween) and we even caught a light-show/singalong with Frosty and Santa.

Margot enjoyed the lightshow immensely, so I thought we'd also visit the Dickens Village (a special exhibit housed on the third floor). The Dickens Village is a retelling of A Christmas Carol, complete with 19th century-looking lifesize dolls that move. It was very dark, and included a cemetary scene with Jacob Marley, the warmth of life at the Cratchit's house, and many gnarled images of Scrooge.

I didn't have a camera with me, but Margot was horrified. Remember her visit to the petting zoo? It was a lot like that.

Margot tried to be brave but she sucked her thumb so hard with fright I should check to see if she still has a fingernail. Babi got the life squeezed out of his stuffed little body. The exhibit wove through different rooms so there was no way to exit without viewing the entire exhibit. At the end, a live character dressed as 'the spirit of Christmas present' greeted the visitors, and that's when Margot lost it. I could hardly blame her - "The Spirit of Christmas Present" was a huge man with brown curls and a brown curly beard dressed in a Santa Suit. He had a wreath of eucalyptus on his head and solid black boots. Just like this guy.

I hope this doesn't make her eternally afraid of Santa Claus.

Indian Summer

Margot and I are enjoying these final days of warmth before the winter cold front comes through this weekend.

Enjoy these days without a coat, kiddo, because next week I'll make you wear the dreaded hat.

Computer Skills

I can't believe that I didn't use a computer with a mouse until my freshman year of college, and Margot is already clicking away at the public library.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006

Thanksgiving 2006 was a quiet day spent at Grandma and Grandpa Daileader's house in Sherwood, MD. The Sherwood forest behind the house was really more like the Sherwood swamp, as a heavy rain kept us confined to the house for most of our visit. Brodie and I took the annual Thanksgiving walk sans my brother Tim (he stayed in NY), Portia (I didn't want her wet and smelly) and Margot (she doesn't have proper rain gear) wearing knee high Wellington boots borrowed from Gamma and Gampa.

But Margot enjoyed her turkey and cranberries, as well as a little old-fashioned green bean casserole. And she loved being the center of attention as 'Gamma' and "Gampa' attended to her every whim.

Mommy Daddy Happy!

I've been woefully behind in posting, so tonight's post will be a hodgepodge of bits to get you all caught up (no photos, though, I've also been woefully behind in my 'picture-taking' [as Margot calls it]).

About ten days ago, Margot kept repeating, "Mommy, Daddy, happy! Mommy, Daddy, happy!" "Wow," I thought. Not only is that a profound realization on her part, but it means that Brodie and I must really be projecting joy out into the world (not typical of our personalities). Have I been smiling more? Maybe staying at home is really agreeing with me. Is grad school really that enjoyable for Brodie? Will I have to give away all of my Morrissey/Smiths CDs?

For several days Margot kept it up, and I basked in the knowledge that Brodie and I were great parents providing a secure and positive environment for our child.

Then I realized that Margot was repeating a phrase from her current favorite book, The Potty Book [for Girls]. After the book's heroine Hannah successfully uses the potty and tosses her diapers, the narrative reads, "Mommy and Daddy are happy, and I feel proud of me." (Or something to that effect.)

So it's not Brodie and I who are happy, but a fictional Mommy and Daddy. It figures. Oh well, at least I can keep my Smiths CDs.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Miss Manners

Margot possesses a frat boy's ability to burp, and can really let them rip from time to time.

"Excuse me, Mommy," I prompt her whenever she burps. She understands, and repeats this nicety mostly without prompting these days.

However, she's mangled the phrase a bit. "Buuuuurrrrrppppp." Ah, a satisfying end to a tall sippy cup of apple juice. Margot looks up to see if I am waiting for her social correction.

And then: "So sue me, Mommy."

Well, close enough I guess.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Au Naturel

I suppose it was only a matter of time.

About 30 minutes after I put Margot to bed tonight, I could hear her rustling around in her crib. I opened the door and turned the lights on a little (she has a dimmer in her room).

Margot was playing with her animals/dolls and she was stark naked. No 'nammies (her word for pajamas) and no diaper.

I know this is normal toddler behavior, of course, but it's still pretty funny. Actually, it's funny because her sheets and bed were still dry; if they were soaked, I probably wouldn't have laughed as much.

I suggested she get dressed again and she readily agreed (it's chilly tonight, she needs those 'nammies.) I haven't been back up to check if she's dressed, but I'll peek in before I go to sleep.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Selective Hearing

I really think that Margot has developed 'selective hearing.' (She might have learned this from Brodie.)

An example: I'm talking on the phone with a friend this morning, something that Margot just cannot stand (since I'm not paying full attention to her). In my peripheral vision, I see her pick up her plastic bowl of Cheerios and start to drop them in a trail from the living room into the kitchen. Portia followed her, gobbling up the Cheerios from the floor, which makes Margot giggle. She continued to drop them one or two at a time, twisting and turning a trail for Portia to follow, until the entire bowl was gone.

I finish my phone conversation, hang up, and ask, "Margot, what happened to all the Cheerios"?

Margot just gives me a blank look. "Huh?" (I know this is a question she can understand. It's a question she can ask for goodness sakes!)

I repeat, "What happened to your Cheerios?"

More blank stares. She turns and walks away (no doubt hiding a grin).

I feel my parental control rapidly slipping away. (I really didn't think this phenomenon would develop until she was 11 or 12.)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Banned Books (Not in this house!)

This photo was not staged! I promise that.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween 2006

Today was a perfect day for Halloween! It reached 70 degrees today, so it was warm enough for the kids to wear their costumes without a coat and hat. (There's nothing worse than being forced to wear a coat and hat with your Halloween costume!)

Margot, Portia and I took a walk around the neighborhood just before dusk and Margot excitedly identified all of the pumpkins ('punkies'). Then we sat on the front steps and waited for the kids to arrive. Min was delighted to drop one KitKat into each child's bucket and crow, "TrickTreat!"

We read books in-between groups of children ("Five Little Pumpkins," "Corduroy," and "Goodnight Moon" which, by the way, is her absolute favorite book right now.) I know it sounds hokey, but it was a really nice night.

En Francais, s'il vous plait

"What's that?" "What's that?" "What's that?"

If you spend a day (or an hour) with Margot, you know that she's forever asking the names of things. She'll go on a spree, pointing to the minute details of something and asking "What's that?"

For example:
Margot: "What's that?"
Me: "That's a telephone wire."
Margot (a moment later): "What's that?"
Me: "That? That's, uh, a crack in the sidewalk."
Margot (three seconds later): "What's that?"
Me: "That's the sign that says 'two hour parking'."

You get the idea.

One million "What's that?"s a day can really get to you after a while. (Although, I'm sure I will long to hear "What's that?" when Margot reaches the "Why?" stage.) I've been trying to teach her something new to say as a replacement for "What's that?" (and squeeze a French lesson in at the same time): Qu'est ce que c'est?

She doesn't get it yet. But she does blow me kisses whenever I correct her "What's that?" with a "Qu'est ce que c'est?"

I guess what she hears is 'kiss que c'est.'

Coffee Nation

When I stereotype little girls, I imagine them sitting in dainty dresses with ruffled socks and patent leather shoes around a table set for tea.

Margot, of course, eschews these stereotypes.

The past few mornings Margot demanded I fill her little cup with 'foffee.' The 'foffee' cup comes on our morning walk with Portia (she likes to pretend to sip from it while Portia sniffs around the treewells on our block), and she asks for a refill later in the afternoon (for that late afternoon slump). She offers 'foffee' to me, to Portia, and to her animals and babies.

It won't be long now until she can say 'organic,' 'shade grown,' and 'fair trade' without prompting.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween Prelude

On Friday, Min attended the Wharton Kids Club Halloween party. Part of the fun included trick-or-treating throughout the MBA offices (which I found delightful, seeing as it was climate-controlled and I didn't have any irrational fears about someone tampering with the candy).

Hmmm...Skittles? Snickers? Brodie kept guiding her hand toward the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Although she didn't get to keep her candy and I only let her sample a few bites of a KitKat, Margot thoroughly enjoyed herself as a pink-clad fairy.

Editor's note: On the first draft of this message I forgot to note that the only way to get Margot to wear her costume was a promise that she could carry a brand-new purse (her trick-or-treat bag, shown above). Margot is closing in on me with the number of 'active' bags she carries!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Swings and Slides

It's hard to believe that one week ago it was 80 degrees (Farenheit, of course) and we were running around in short sleeves.

Autumn has arrived in Philadelphia, I think today's high reached 51 or so. Margot is learning how to navigate the playground in a winter coat and hat; she refused to wear mittens (can you blame her? It would probably slow her down.)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

An Apple a Day...

Yesterday Margot and I went with some friends to a local 'pumpkin patch' (which was really more like a pumpkin circus, with a petting zoo, hayride, bale-of-hay maze, playground, farmers' market, etc.)

Margot showed weak interest in the pumpkins, but was very interested in her new favorite produce: apples. "Ap-ple" is the new "Cooo-kie" in Margot's world. She asks for them all day long. Lucky for her, this farm boasted a million varieties of apple.

This morning she reminded me of how awesome yesterday was with the following:
"Margot. Apple. Hay-wide."

Things did get a little dicey on the hayride when her friend Joseph showed a little too much interest in her apple.

Flashback: October 2005

Here was the Min about one year ago.

Punkie (not broken)

"Mom, you get can me this one to make up for the pumpkin you broke."

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Min picks up phrases these days like bees pick up pollen - they just stick to her as she buzzes through life. One of her favorites is "Come on, Porsche" (combined with clapping her hands or slapping her thigh). I, of course, say this fifty times a day and so Margot is just imitating me (the sincerest form of flattery, right?)

She's also learned to say, "Enough," which I also probably say fifty times a day to her and Portia both (such as, "You've had enough cookies" or "Portia, enough!" when she begs at the table).

Well, it appears that Margot has inherited (or is mimicking?) my impatience. We went to Mass this morning and Min was mostly amused with the intermittent standing, sitting and singing. She remained quiet for the first 20 minutes or so. But about five minutes into the priest's homily her tiny voice rang across the silent church. "e-NUFF."

"Shhhh...." I said, hoping others would think it was just baby babble. But there was no stopping her.

"e-NUFF. e-NUFF." She managed to get a few more out before I magically produced Alternate Piggy (aka Babi) from my purse, distracting her to silence once again. Luckily it was a short homily (I hope that doesn't mean the priest took it personally).

Monday, October 09, 2006

Accessory Queen

What? We're going out?

Hang on, let me get my purse.

Okay, let's go!

Requisite Marinara Photo

Mmm....penne with red sauce...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Observations by Margot, Part I

Tonight Brodie, Margot and I drove across town in the chilly rain to meet a friend for dinner. (Who? You want to know who we were meeting? Well, ok, it was Mike M.)

We stopped at a red light and frantic shouting came from the backseat.

"Car! Bow-bow. Car! Bow-bow. BOW-BOW!" Margot insisted.

I looked to the left, and there was a taxi next to us, its 'bow-bow' lit on top to indicate passengers within, kind of like this.

Apparently 'bow-bow' means more than just hair ribbon (see Wordsmithing if you are confused.)

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Margot's vocabulary is exploding these days! Everyday she's adding new words to her repetoire, which is good for me because it means our conversations can go beyond:

Margot: "Mama! More cookies!"
Me: "How about some apples?"


Margot: "Mama. Punkie. Broken. Mama! BROKEN!"
Me: "Yes, Margot. I'm sorry. I broke the pumpkin by accident."

(Margot has a tiny pumpkin that had a little stem until I dropped it two days ago and the stem broke off. She has not yet forgiven me for this. I also prefer a pumpkin with a little stem, but it's not like the pumpkin itself was smashed!)

Other words of hers that I want to remember forever:

"Wampum" = Water (I think there's something primal about her calling water wampum)
"ROW-ies" = Flowers
"Chi-CKEN"= Chicken nuggets, heavy emphasis on the 'ken.'
"Buddha" = Buddha (See previous post)
"Eh-oh" = Elmo
"Bow-bow" = Any hair ribbon, bow, or barrette

And, possibly my very favorite: "Pizza" (said very very fast and always with a huge smile. Think "Pi-zzah!")

The comedy behind her pronunciation probably doesn't translate well to the written word. I wish I could upload little soundbites for each one so I could always remember them.

Oh, other recent vocabulary accomplishments:
A proper name for Portia (Porsche - which, coincidentally is how I pronouce the name of the car.)
A proper name for herself (Margot - clear as day!)
Her first color recognition: Yellow

Participation component of this post:
Since she basically picks up whatever words I feed to her, I'm taking suggestions for interesting and/or comical words to slip into day-to-day conversation. (Nouns work best but some adjectives are ok too).

Tiny Dancer

Yesterday Min played dress up at the Azaela Garden behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Azaelas aren't in bloom, but she looked like a fairy regardless.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Walking on Sunshine

Today was a good day in Margot's world. We shopped at the grocery store and she sampled all the offerings. We looked for ballet slippers for her Halloween costume. She napped long and hard. She went down the slide a few dozen times at the park. She danced on our table on the roof deck beneath a beautiful blue sky and the occasional helicopter (very exciting to her). The temperature was perfect, the humidity was low. All days should be like today!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Sick Day

Poor Min is sick. The diagnosis? Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, which leaves blisters and bumps all over her - you guessed it! - hands, feet and mouth. And a little on her nose. And a huge ulcer on her tongue. My poor baby.

Hand, Foot and Mouth disease is not to be confused with Hoof and Mouth disease (aka Mad Cow disease). This has nothing to do with eating ground beef that once fed on ground beef and everything to do with toddlers sampling one another's sippy cups at the park to see who drinks straight juice and who drinks half-juice-half-water.

Aside from some lethargy, crankiness and a 6am wakening this morning (I don't think Margot's woken before 7:30 since last winter) she's doing ok. It'll run its course in about 10 days.

She did enjoy snoozing on the couch this morning in between Teletubbies episodes, and she also liked the vanilla ice-cream she ate for lunch. There's definitely something to be said for a sick day (what it is I'm not sure, but it's something.)

Friday, September 22, 2006

"Gin ahaan phet mai dai"

Or "I cannot eat hot/spicy food." This would be a helpful phrase for Miss Margot. The three of us ate dinner last night at a cute little cafe called The White Dog. I ordered Margot a plate of hummus and pita for her own dinner, but she couldn't resist grabbing some string beans from my plate when my entree arrived. She munched on them for a minute, and then frantically wiped her tongue with her dress.

Turns out the string beans were seasoned with a Cajun spice mix, which made her mouth dance a little.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Caption-Writing Contest

Akin to the New Yorker's caption-writing contest, I'd like for you, gentle readers, to write a caption for this photo taken today, September 17. The prize will be a subscription to the New Yorker; it will likely run a week late as I'll pass the issues along to you when I've finished them.

(You can write your caption as a 'comment' through the link below. Keep it clean, please, this is a family page.)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Rugs for Rugrats

Hmmm. Looks like I didn't need to buy those bows for Margot's hair since I could have just bought her a baby toupee.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Gratuitous Margot picture

I like this one. Note the bow in her hair - I've had one too many passersby mistake her for a boy and bought these on a whim.

OK Computer

Margot and I went to the library today; it's right up the street and very convenient. While she certainly enjoys unshelving books (much to the chagrin of the staff - but that's what they're there for, right?) she really enjoys banging on the keyboard in the toddlers' section. It's the only place where she's allowed to type to her heart's content, since the keyboards aren't actually hooked up to anything.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Min Takes Manhattan

We spent part of Labor Day weekend up in New York, although Tropical Depression Ernesto ensured that we stayed indoors the entire time.

But Margot did get to make a trip to MOMA, where, funny enough, a Dada exhibit is on display. (Okay, I will refrain from making a bad joke about Brodie being at the museum with us, but just know that I thought about making such a joke.)

She enjoyed the exhibits as much as any child could, pointing out objects she recognized ("dog," "ball," "baby") and kept up a steady chant demanding dried apricots (possibly soon to replace the cookie as her favorite food).

Side note: it is illegal in the MOMA to carry a child on your shoulders. Security guards reprimanded both Brodie and me at different times and on different floors. (In my defense, I thought that the guard who requested Margot's dismount from Brodie's shoulders did so because there was a mobile of wooden hangers close by, and maybe she thought that Margot would leap from Brodie's shoulders and swing from the mobile. But apparently it's just a general rule, as I later found out on a different floor, from a different guard, where nothing was hanging from the ceiling.)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Life Lesson #1 - Turn to the Other Cheek

At the playground today, a boy who is at least a year older than Margot pushed her over when she tried to ascend the steps to the baby slide. (Oh, did I mention that she can walk the steps to the slide and go down by herself? I'm so proud.)

She tumbled down and then looked back at him, her pride wounded and her clothes dirty. His mom walked toward the kids, still on her cell phone. The moment slowed, and I watched Margot carefully from ten feet away. She straightened herself up, brushed her clothes off, and looked straight at the boy. I wondered: would she push him back? Would she cry? Would she run to me?

None of the above.

She finished dusting her clothes, still eyeing the boy. She then grabbed the handrail, and walked up the stairs.

The boy later hugged her, unprompted. And so begins playground antics - you know, a boy pushing the girl he likes because he doesn't know how to tell her.

Wait, does this mean Margot has a boyfriend?

Dance Party

I tried to take some portraits of Margot today since she wore this beautiful dress, but I couldn't get her to sit still. Instead, here are some photos of her private dance party.

She got a little rowdy at the end:

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Littlest Buddha

On Monday, Margot, Grandma D., and I enjoyed ice cream in the late afternoon down in St. Michaels. Note: this was the first time that Margot actually had her own ice cream and wasn't just mooching off mine.

On the wall behind us was a Mayan relief, kind of like this one.

"Buddha!" Margot exclaimed. "Buddha! Buddha!"

Margot only knows about 35 words. The fact that one of these words is Buddha astounds me. Of course, this could be because our house is draped with artifacts from Southeast Asian adventures, including a huge Buddha relief over the couch. But I like to think it's because Min spent a number of her formative weeks in utero in Thailand; she'll always have that with her.

Here is Margot, almost exactly one year ago, modeling traditional Thai clothes.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

All-Day Happy Hour

The five o'clock call for cookies has expanded to morning, noon, and night.

"Coooo - kie," Min croons, from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep. "Cooooo - kie. Coooo - kie."

Sounds cute, right? It is. But if I typed the number of times in one day that she says these two syllables it would bump all of the other posts into the archives section. It rivals the number of times she says "Mama, mama, mama, mama" in one day.

Apparently she hasn't gotten the new message that "Cookies are a sometime food."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Coolin' at the Playground Ya Know

(Editor's note: If you can identify the band who made the above album *without* GOOGLE-ING it, you win a prize).

There's a lovely playground close to our new home, and just steps from the foot of the Art Museum. We try to visit several times a week; for the most part, it's full of toddlers and pre-schoolers and moms and dads and nannies. There was one time that Brodie and Margot and Portia and I visited and were greeted by some teenage thugs smoking dope on the swings, but that seems to have been an isolated incident.

Anyway, there weren't any thugs to be seen last week when we went.

And we're off! Brodie thinks this is a much cooler way to transport the Min (I'm still a stroller gal).

Margot's favorite playground activity is the slide.

More! More!

That day, she and Brodie finished with twenty pull-ups each.

Rocket Min

I love these glasses. And I love that Margot wears them willingly. If you truly know me, you *might* know of my secret adoration of Elton John, which explains my affinity for these glasses.

One of my very favorite celebrity encounters was back in 1999 when I ate dinner at a table next to Elton John in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. But that doesn't top when Brodie and I actually dined at the same table as Owen Wilson in Rome, or when REM and Sting stayed at the same hotel as us in Rio (you haven't lived until you've lounged at the same pool as Sting).

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

If You Can't Be with the One You Love, Love the One You're With

Margot accepted the loss of Piggy but appears to be moving on.

Clearly this is the healthiest option and I'm glad she's taking to a new lovey-object.

Guess who it is?

Alternate Piggy.

He has a new name though. Instead of Baba (which Margot interchangeably pronounced Ba-bah and Ba-bay), he is called Ba-bee. Which makes me wonder: was Original Piggy really named Bab - A, and Alternate Piggy is now Bab-B?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Simple Life

This morning Brodie, Margot, and I visited Reading Terminal Market in downtown Philly, which, I must admit, put Eastern Market to shame.

In addition to her love of endless verses of Old MacDonald, Margot also has a grand 'ol time playing with her Little People farm. (I wish this blog had an audio component, her version of "ba-aa-aa-aa" for a sheep is really funny.)

The Amish set up a petting zoo in front of the market this morning, and we brought Margot down so she could see the sheep and horses up close and personal.

She started out cautious:

Which quickly escalated to fearful:

And concluded with sheer terror:

She felt less threatened by the quilts and homemade preserves inside the market, I assure you.