Monday, March 3, 2003

Winter in our cozy little townhouse


Today I turned on the TV and tuned in to PTI, a show that Pete likes on ESPN.  As soon as Strider walked into the room and caught one glance at it, he adamantly told me, “No, no, no Mommy – that’s Daddy’s!!”  I laughed at him, but then he said it again, very vehemently – like I was doing something very wrong!

For the last couple weeks Strider has been a full-time Mommy to Cyclops (his action-figure man).  Whenever I do anything with Rayna, he has to do the same thing with Cyclops, but even when I’m not paying attention to Rayna, sometimes he’ll pick him up and start talking to him anyway.  Some of my favorites are:  “Oh, Cyclops, Cyclops, Cyclops, what’s the matter?”  “Do you want to go in the swing, Cyclops?”  “Oh – it’s time to feed Cyclops – some la leche de la madre.”   Sometimes I go to put Rayna in her bouncy seat, but Cyclops is already there… same for the swing, car seat, etc.  And sometimes I find him all wrapped up in one of Rayna’s blankets – or her jacket or whatever he can find.  J

Rayna’s way of telling me that she’s hungry these days is this:  If she’s lying on her back, as soon as she sees me, she lifts her legs up in the air, opens her mouth and eyes all the way, and says “Ha… ha…. ha… ha…”    Gets the point across!

The butterfly works again!  When Strider was a few months old, whenever we would want him to stop crying (particularly in the car), we would show him this little butterfly that lights up and plays music, and invariably he would stop.  Now we’ve pulled it out for Rayna and we get the same results.  This toy is magical!

Tonight I was making salad dressing and Strider wanted to know what I was doing.  I told him I was making something, and then I started talking out loud as I gathered the various ingredients.  I was making it up as I went (of course) so I was saying, “Let’s see… we need some Dijon mustard… and some honey… and some vinegar…. maybe a little sugar…” and then he said, “Oh, and olive oil!”  He was right – the dressing turned out great. 

Usually, though, whenever I get out the olive oil, he refers to it as “EVOO” – because that’s what Rachael Ray calls it on his favorite cooking show.  (Stands for extra-virgin olive oil if you didn’t get that…)

The other day he picked up 2 empty cardboard tubes.  One was from a wrapping paper roll and the other from a paper towel roll.  He held the big one on his shoulder and brought the little one on it perpendicularly and then said he was playing the violin!  We went to a Christmas concert with him where there were some violins recently, and ever since then he’s been fascinated by them.

We were playing a little game the other day as we were talking about all of his cousins and aunts and uncles.  I had told him that one of them liked to play the trumpet, another likes to play soccer, etc.  Then he asked me what Daddy likes to play.  So I told him he likes to play basketball, and he likes to read.   Then I asked him what Mommy likes to do.  I was quite dismayed when his first answer was “She likes to sleep!”  I asked him again what else I like to do…  He answered, “Play with Daddy.”  Guess that’s a better answer.

Strider’s favorite Christmas song:  Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way… who’s fleece was white as snow.


While we were “doing crafts” the other day, Strider kept all kinds of fun comments coming at me… like “That’s beautiful!” and “This is awesome.”  Sometimes he was complimenting my work, and sometimes his own…  he gets so excited!  His phrases in general have become so funny lately…  The other day he was having a little dialogue by himself, and I overheard him saying “Pardon?”

 We were recently trying to encourage Strider to eat bread again (he had gone on strike) so we introduced the great snack known as “bread and butter.”  This was a huge hit, and was soon a very requested item.  One night, though, he had had enough, in our opinion, so we told him he couldn’t have any more bread.  He was undaunted by this, and so replied, “I’ll just have butter.”

The word “underwear” has now become a fascination to Strider.  (What is it with boys??!)  He and his cousin Natie were arguing about what they wear:  underwear or punderwear.  Later I asked Strider about that conversation and he told me that Mommy wears “overwear.”  Hmmm.

Rayna was just waking up from a nap in her crib when Strider and I went in to get her.  She looked up at me, kind of squinting with that “Am I really ready to get up yet?” look.  Strider reached in and put his hand on her head and started talking to her with his high-pitched voice.  Rayna apparently decided that this was too much to handle too soon after waking up, so she turned away, scrunched up her face and gave a little mad cry.  Strider’s response was to just walk away and announce, “Rayna’s crabby.”  Ah, sibling relations.

About a month ago I was sitting at the table reading a newspaper column and apparently I was laughing out loud because Strider asked, “What’s so funny, Mommy?”  I told him, “Oh, it’s just Dave Barry – he’s funny.”  Then yesterday, several weeks later, I was reading a different newspaper and was laughing again.  Strider came running up and asked me something I couldn’t quite discern at first.  On his second time asking it, I realized he was saying, “Is it Dave Barry, Mommy??”

Whenever one of us is getting ready in the bathroom, Strider always wants to get some hair spray too.  We have been just pretending to spray it on his head, and we thought that was good enough... until this morning.  As I was getting ready, he said “I want some hair spray.”  He quickly followed this up with a very stern face saying “Don’t pretend.  I want real hair spray.  Daddy did pretend hair spray yesterday!”

Pete has taught Strider that his favorite football team is the Cowboys.  So I’ve told him that our favorite basketball team is Wake Forest (even though Pete would probably prefer for him to say it’s the ‘Cuse).  He says this all the time now, but he was asking the other day what his favorite hockey team is.  (He only knows about hockey from watching SportsCenter with Pete in the mornings)  I didn’t have a good answer for this right away, so Strider suggested it might be “Good Night Forest!”  It took me a minute to follow his line of reasoning, but I eventually got it…

Strider and I were talking about light today, and how much he likes lights.  I told him that someday we could all go to Heaven to live and there would be a lot of big light.  We had the following conversation:
Strider:  “I want to go to Heaven!”
Amy:  “I know – we will in a little while.  And we’ll get to see Jesus and God there.”
Strider:  “Oh – and there will be cookies there??!!”

Sesame Street has become quite the institution in our household.  Every day Strider has a little routine that goes along with his viewing.  At about 20 minutes into the show, I invariably hear him go running into the kitchen and then go running back to the living room, and I know without looking up that he has just gone to retrieve the “Letter of the Day” (magnet off the fridge).  He proceeds to pretend to eat it, just like Cookie Monster does.  Then, later, he stands up at his imaginary piano (our coffee table) and, along with Elmo, gets ready to sing and play a song for the day.  And he always prefaces it with, “Everybody ready to sing?” even if no one else is in the room.

But I’m thinking maybe this kid is exposed to a little too much TV.  Today we were playing a game and at the end of it he picked up all the pieces, put them in the box, tucked the box under his arm, and as he walked away, said “I’m all done for today.  Thanks for watching!  Bye-bye!”

When we were singing “Shine Jesus Shine” the other day, Strider wanted to sing it again, this time with the line, “With Margaret and mercy” in stead of “with Grace and mercy.”


Strider brought up the whole potty-training issue this month and thought he might like to give it a try.  When it came right down to it, though, he decided he was very attached to his diaper and not ready to give it up.  So now every once in awhile he mentions something about going potty.  I ask him, “Do you want to go potty now?”  And he always says, “Not now, maybe next time.”   This began to remind me of our uncle who has never had coffee in his life, and anytime someone offers him some he says “Maybe later.”  So one time when Strider responded with his usual line, I said, “Ok Uncle Mark.”  Very seriously he looked at me and said, “No, Mommy – I’m a BOY.  I’m not Uncle Mark.”

The other night I was looking around the kitchen trying to figure out what we were having for dinner that night.  I yelled out to Strider, “Are you going to eat chicken and rice with us tonight?”  He responded, “Probably not.  I want a different dinner.”  Well I guess I asked didn’t I.

In the church nursery a few weeks ago, I saw that the adults in there had done a Bible story with the kids.  This was Strider’s first-ever Bible story, so I asked him about it later that day.  He said it was about “Jesus, and a basket, and some bread, and some goldfish.”

For Valentine’s day, we made a card for Pete together.  Strider glued on the hearts and did some of the stamps, and I wrote the words.  When we gave it to Pete later, Strider wasn’t really paying attention, but when he saw it displayed up on the bookshelf he was all excited to look at it.  He came over and asked me what it said, so I read it to him.  Later when Pete came home, Strider frantically ran to get the card before running to the door to meet him.  Excitedly he said “Daddy – we love you Daddy!” as he gave him the card.  Pete said thank you and went to put the card down, but Strider wanted him to carry it around with him all day—didn’t want him to put it down!  He knew it was very important.  J