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.