Hair

Edith’s hair is growing out and it now comes thickly down over her forehead to a point that I periodically sweep sideways out of her eyes, and it also kicks out over her ears and at the back of her neck.

I was trying to figure out who her current hairstyle reminded me of, and then all at once I had it:

Staff Area

At Baby Gym, there is a swinging door in the back corner where the staff members bring the toys in and out. Edith recently spotted the swinging door entry to the staff area, and that is now ALL SHE IS INTERESTED IN. Yesterday she broke for the door (and I had to chase after her and drag her away from it, kicking) THREE TIMES in 45 minutes.

If you have been following along, here are some previous things Edith has been single-mindedly interested in at Baby Gym: pulling the colored masking tape off of the carpet, sucking on a staff member’s cell phone charger plugged in behind a bunch of play equipment, studiously inspecting the logo on the trampoline for seriously fifteen minutes at a time, following around one particular Dad.

Here are all the things available for her to be interested in at Baby Gym should she ever desire: multiple trampolines, mats, climbing equipment, ball pits, bubble machines, sports balls and hoops, cars, musical instruments, pom poms, puppets, jungle gyms, swings, trapezes, other children, etc. etc.

Similarly at home we have every toy known to man, and all Edith wants to do is make a giant pile of dirty laundry and shoes in the windowless master closet and then sit atop it, crowing.

Cacophony

At current count, Edith has three toys that make noise (well, she has more, but these are the three big ones): her toy piano, about which I have written before, a wheeled camping cart that sings and giggles, and an impressively ugly singing rolling unicorn from Grammy which I have named Atrocity. Edith has finally figured out how to press the buttons on all of them, and now what she likes to do is get them all going at once. Whatever you’re imagining, it’s worse.

Poop

One of my mother’s boundaries is that she does not change poop diapers. Her position is that offer extended to one generation and one generation only (not transferrable or extendable). Which is fair enough.

This means that if Mom is babysitting for a bit and I am hiding in my room, occasionally she will come in, holding a prancing, grinning Edith by the hand. “Moommmmy,” Mom will sing while Edith dances back and forth. “We’ve brought you a poooooop!”

And it’s another bit of proof that motherhood really does alter your brain and makes you a gross moron, because I genuinely find this adorable.

Angry Clown

It’s becoming hard to take Edith seriously. She’s so funny all the time now that she’s a toddler — her little proportions are funny just to look at, and the way she reels around, either flinging her legs out before her in a silly walk or mincing about with her arms up by her face T-rex style, makes me giggle every time she goes by. Her tummy is usually sticking out under her T-shirt and she’s always surprising herself with her own clumsiness or by trying to use an object in a way that it isn’t made for, or misjudging a distance.

When Edith was an infant and she cried, it was as if someone had grabbed my heart and squeezed it, but now when she cries, it’s mostly just hilarious. She only ever cries when she’s been thwarted on something that she wants, and she’s able to go from 0 to 100 and back again on a dime. Like, I will close the pantry door right when Edith thought she was going to get to go in there and pull a seltzer can on her foot, and as if a button has been pressed, she is IMMEDIATELY weeping as if her dearest love had been killed at sea, her eyes and nose fully streaming. If I open the pantry door again, it all stops just as quick and she laughs merrily to herself as she pulls everything off the shelf.

Yesterday I moved my full coffee cup from one side of me to the other as she tried to get at it, which resulted in her running in fast, tight, furious loops all around me, howling in rage. It was the funniest fucking thing I’d ever seen.

I remember how horrible it felt to be a little kid and be genuinely upset about something and for all the surrounding adults to be openly amused at your anger (as an only child, this happened to me fairly frequently). I’m going to try not to do this to Edith, but it’s really hard to remember that she’s not mature enough to understand how ridiculous she’s being.

Pond

The neighborhood pond looked especially idyllic today with all the wildflowers blowing back and forth in the breeze and several little white cranes flanking it and occasionally flying back and forth.

Adventures In Security II

It happened again. For the SECOND TIME IN MY LIFE I accidentally armed an old security system that I did not have the code for!

Why do I keep doing this? Why do suburbanites have fucking security systems?

This particular security system has been silent since we moved in last September, we have not messed with it. And then today, I got home from a doctor’s appointment to an empty house and the thing was doing some weird periodic loud bleating. So I started monkeying with it to get it to stop….and I activated it. AGAIN.

It would be going off any minute, because Edith and her nanny were out for their daily park jaunt and would be coming back.

This time, I started by calling the security company because I at least knew which one it was, but the guy was very, “uh, you’re not paying us anything, Karen, so this is a whole lot of your problem” and then I figured out that whatever I did, I’d need a screwdriver. Those were in the garage, so I went out there and set the alarm off.

After that, I went into the master bedroom closet, which was where the thinger was the last time, but in this one, there was no master thinger that I could find. There was a big panel that is attached to these security cameras and monitors that the guy who lived here installed himself, but those aren’t related to the actual security system. I unplugged them all anyway.

And then I went back and reviewed my blog post and reminded myself that I could safely cut any of the wires I wanted, so I just ripped the whole thing off the wall and cut them all.

The security panel is now bleating itself to a slow death (specifically, its little robot voice is protesting “panel has been tampered with!”) underneath a pile of cushions in the garage.

White Chocolate

The approved line on white chocolate is that it’s cheap trash, but I’d like to propose an alternative angle: it’s actually delicious.

The most frequent point I hear about why white chocolate is bad is that it’s not chocolate.

That’s absolutely right, it is not chocolate, and I love chocolate also. But this doesn’t make white chocolate bad on its face — pizza also isn’t chocolate but most people agree pizza is delicious, so we do enjoy other things than just chocolate.

A food can’t be bad just because it’s inaccurately named, right? So, why do people not like white chocolate? It’s creamy and sweet and has a certain kind of almondy flavor that I associate with childhood and holiday seasons. It’s literally butter, cream, and sugar, which most everyone enjoys in basically any other preparation. So is it just the name, then? If we called white chocolate “buttercream candy” or something, would everyone still hate it?

Chekhov’s Armadillo

I feel like I promised all of you a picture of an armadillo and never delivered. I’m disappointed, too! So here’s the thing — on the neighborhood Facebook page, there’s a post about how some nearby neighbors successfully trapped an armadillo. They have a picture of the armadillo in a trap, and then a video of releasing him into some area by a river; he bounds off like a sheep. I don’t know if it’s the same armadillo who has been chewing up our yard. My mom doesn’t think so, but I do think it is likely!

I feel like it’s not really kosher for me to download their picture from Facebook and share it here without permission? But I feel an obligation to you, my readers, before all else. So here it is:

It can be our little secret.

Indepedence

Today an incredible thing happened. Edith and I got up at 5 and she threw Cheerios around for ten minutes to indulge me, and then we went into the playroom. So far, like every morning. And then she immediately ran back out of the playroom and started throwing her toys up and down the hall, again like every morning. And then she went into the living room, and I prepared myself to be summoned shortly to attend to something or other. And then….

She didn’t summon me. All was quiet. I peeked around the corner and saw her in her playpen stacking plastic cups onto a box lid, pretty absorbed, so I tiptoed back again. And waited some more. And nothing happened, so I sat down in an actual chair with my coffee and my book and I read for probably 20 minutes while she played contentedly in the next room.

It was incredible! It felt so restorative, I felt like an ENTIRELY new person, like the way I felt the first time Edith slept through the night.

Later I took her to the playground and she ran all over the place, and only tried to put stuff in her mouth once or twice. I had to be pretty much right on top of her anyhow because she can and does crawl to the top of the play equipment, which has no sides, and even when she stays on the ground, she periodically falls flat out and smacks her face on a curb or something and needs to be comforted. But the fact that she’s independently mobile and not 100% focused on choking on a wood chip makes the entire thing so much more enjoyable and doable than it was three months ago.

It was a great day! And then my friend visited, who I haven’t seen since before the pandemic, so that was lovely too. A very nice Saturday overall!