Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Bike of Her Own

(Camera-phone photo. Hence the fuzziness.)

Last weekend Margot became the proud owner of a new bike.

Unfortunately, the bike came without training wheels, so Brodie and I have been accompanying her and holding the back of the seat. After four days of this, I ordered training wheels online last night.

I don't recall ever having training wheels on my bike (and I vividly remember my first beloved bike - it said "Dusty Rose" on the frame. I thought that was the most beautiful phrase I had ever heard.). However, I do remember the moment I learned to ride my bike without someone holding onto it. My parents and brothers were watching something on tv on a gorgeous sun-splashed afternoon, and no one wanted to come out to the sidewalk with me while I practiced riding. I huffed and puffed and took my bike out alone. Lo and behold, I got on, rode, and didn't fall off. That moment set the stage for my future independence (I really believe that).

I hope for the same for Margot, but I think we'll go the training wheels route for her. I don't think my back can take another week - let alone the months - it will probably take for her to learn to ride without them!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Breaking Bad Habits

It's official: it's been more than two weeks since Margot has sucked her thumb. We're trying not to make a huge deal about it, but have told her that we're proud of her and she just smiles quietly in return. I'm in awe of her self-regulation. (I mean, c'mon! This was not just an emotional crutch but a physical one, too! Think of all that dopamine whose effects she's stamped out!)

Poor Babi. He still lives on her bed, but no longer gets the nighttime cuddles he once did. He had a really good run for many years. I'm sure he never could have imagined being a child's absolute favorite animal when he was travelling down the Gund assembly line so many years ago. Especially since he was bought as the 'extra' lovey. But like Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, and Harry Truman (among others) before him, he stepped up after tragedy. And he succeeded at winning a little girl's heart.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Martial Artist

This morning was Margot's first Tae Kwan Do lesson. We won the lessons at a fundraiser for her preschool. Contrary to her usual sunny disposition, Min cried and clung to me when we got to the studio, but I convinced her that she should at least try the class. By the end, she was smiling, participating, and doing well.

When we got home, she and Brodie practiced a little.

Deer 3. Claudia 0.

Here's Margot next to the tomato plants that have been disappearing one by one this week.

The perp left behind an obvious foot...err...hoofprint.

I've been thinking about attracting one of these guys to our backyard. Of course, that might invite a whole other set of wildlife issues. (This is completely feasible. If you read the full link, it says that coyotes are in the portion of Rock Creek Park that is directly across the street from us!)