Little Miss ABC

A is for acorns, pinecones and sticks
B is for books, at least five or six
C is for crib, long put away
D is for dolls, the best thing to play

E is for expert at working a spoon
F is for fear of a popping balloon
G is for grape, your new favourite juice
H is for high chair, no longer in use

I for incisors, just two out of four
J is for jumps from the couch to the floor
K is for “knock knock,” your joke with no punchline
L is for love and cuddles at bedtime

M is for milk that makes you grow tall
N is for no nap, you’re not tired at all!
O for obsession you have with your bear
P is for “pretty dress,” all that you’ll wear

Q is for questions, always why why why
R is for ready to swing to the sky
S is for strangers, you give the stink-eye
T is for three, your latest dress size

U is for upside-down, you hang by your feet
V is for vitamin C, the number one treat
W is for words, more and more all the time
X is for excellent stairs you can climb

Y is for young, you keep me that way,
with Z for the zing that you bring to each day.

How many more days left of NaBloPoMo again?

Funny Girl

My middle name is Catherine, and in university my friend Dave used to call me a Chatty Cathy. A seriously accurate nickname. I can be quiet sometimes in a large group of strangers…but that’s pretty much the only time. I talk a lot, I talk loud, I make a lot of noise.

Little Miss Sunshine totally gets this from me. I guess we should have anticipated that, when we gave her the same middle name. We brought it on ourselves!

Today we were walking to the bookstore and the whole way, she did not shut up once. It was all, “Look! A girl! What girl doing? Girl have blue coat! Girl walking! Look! A doggie! Doggie sooooo cute. Doggie walking! Doggie brown. Look! A car! Car red. Car go fast! Ha ha, car funny!”

She’s seriously adorable. Two is awesome.

Here are some other things she says a lot of lately, that I can’t get enough of.

After we speak to her sternly about something:
“You not mad anymore! You happy!”

When we’ve been busy with something, and she wants to check in:
“Knock knock!”
Followed by us saying, “Who’s there?”, and her smiling enigmatically and dancing away.

When one of her older siblings is crying about something:
“Gal Smiley sad! Me not sad. Me happy!

Every single morning:
“Me alreaaaaaaaady brushed my teeth! Me no waaaaaana brush!”

She’s seriously halfway to 16 with this stuff. She also has this amazingly adorable/frustrating pout when she doesn’t want to do something — she crosses her arms, looks down at the floor, and puts on a frowny face. It’s rude sometimes but so cute I can’t bring myself to scold her. And more than half the time, she’s doing it just to try on the emotion — she’s not even really cranky or upset.

As shown in this conversation, which happens pretty much every day:

Me: Time to go pick up Gal Smiley from school.
Her: Me don’t waaaaaaant to wear my coat!
Me: You have to.
Her: Okay. Me no waaaaaaant to wear my mittens!
Me: You have to.
Her: Okay. Me no waaaaaaant to wear my hat!
Me: You have to.
Her: Okay. Let’s go!

And she dances away.

And just today, she had to interrupt our naptime story to have this conversation:

Her: You’re funny.
Me: You’re funny.
Her: Oh, me funny! Right.

Continue story.

Don’t ever change, Funny Girl.

What a Dad Wants

Last night I was surfing on my laptop on the couch, while Sir Monkeypants flicked around on the TV and tried to find something to watch. Since it was Saturday night, pickings were slim, and he ended up watching the second half of What a Girl Wants, a teen movie starring Amanda Bynes.

I know! I could end the story right there, and it would still be rich in entertainment. But there’s more.

We were passing the time by accurately predicting what would happen in every single scene, and by watching the minor characters and extras for faces that had also appeared in Four Weddings And A Funeral (the film is set in England). Then I had to take a break from the festivities to go see Little Miss Sunshine.

She’d had an unusually long and late nap, and was still kicking around in her crib over an hour past her usual bedtime. So I went and got her and brought her downstairs for some milk, to help her sleep.

As soon as she arrived, the Little Miss said, “HI DADDY WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING,” because I may have mentioned this before, she is loud.

(But, endearingly so. Side story: a couple of nights ago, the Captain was sick in the night with croup, and crawled into our bed around 5:30 a.m. and finally fell asleep. When Little Miss Sunshine showed up at 6:30 a.m., Sir Monkeypants whispered to her, “You have to be quiet, the Captain is sleeping,” and she said, “CAPTAIN? SLEEPING?” It was so cute we had to giggle as we quickly whisked her from the room.)

Anyway, the Little Miss snuggled right in beside her daddy in front of What A Girl Wants. They curled up in a blanket while I got the milk ready and very quickly, they were both engrossed. In case you’re concerned, What A Girl Wants is absolutely safe for your two-year-old. It’s nothing but a series of close-ups and mid-shots of people in pretty clothes talking in monotones (or, occasionally, English-accented monotones), with a couple of music-video style montages of people changing their clothes thrown in.

The movie is about a 17-year-old American girl who goes to England to track down her richie-rich Brit father, who didn’t know that she existed. Naturally there are many, many scenes of father-daughter hijinks. Each time Daddy and daughter had a bonding moment, Sir Monkeypants got a little bit swoonier. He’d pull Little Miss Sunshine closer and closer.

Meanwhile, the Little Miss was completely entranced. Dora can SUCK EGGS. We are now all about Amanda Byrnes and her pretty, pretty dresses.

While Little Miss Sunshine drank her milk and cuddled with her daddy, the movie reached its climax. Amanda is back in America, having turned away from the rich life in England and rejected her father and his “all about appearances” ways. Of course, the dad has had a change of heart, hopped a plane, and shown up at the wedding where Amanada is working as a waiter (and also, her mother is working as The Wedding Singer, uh-huh!). The dad tells Amanda that he was so wrong, that he wouldn’t change a hair on her head, and that he loves her. “I love you, Dad!” says Amanda, and Sir Monkeypants’ heart just about burst with joy as he gave Little Miss a squeeze.

Then the movie people totally usurp the actual bride’s dance with her father by crashing the dance floor for their own father-daughter dance. I pointed out that the dad was dancing with his little girl at a wedding.

And Sir Monkeypants and Little Miss Sunshine agreed that it was the BEST MOVIE EVER.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Rock and Roll

With the (slightly) warmer weather, we’ve been getting out and about a bit. Little Miss Sunshine is so excited when we go for a walk — she doesn’t remember last year’s summertime, and everything is new and fascinating and ready to be discovered. This is definitely one of the best things about having children — seeing everything as if for the first time. Everything seems wonderful and dazzling and magical.

Her big thing so far this spring is this unbelievably fabulous thing called ROCKS. Have you heard of them? They are SO COOL. Little pieces of hard stuff! Different sizes, different colours! You can hold them in your hand, or even put them IN YOUR POCKET!


Little Miss is quite the talker so she says the word, “ROCK” very well. Whenever we’re outside now, even if its just to cross the street to meet the school bus, she’s overcome with the thrill of finding rock after rock. She picks them up and carries one in each hand and is so, so proud of herself for being able to hold a rock, and for being able to tell me what it is.

She’ll squeal when she sees one and yell, “ROCK!” She’ll pick one up and hold it out for me to admire, and say, “ROCK!” She’ll slip one in the pocket of her coat then check over and over to make sure that it’s there, and every time she’ll greet it with, “ROCK!”

It seriously freakin’ adorable.

Until we try to leave the rocks at the front door, that is!

Spring is going to rock.

Carrot in the Nose

Last night we were sitting around the table, having a nice family dinner. Little Miss Sunshine was having some chopped, boiled carrots, because at 17 1/2 months, she STILL ONLY HAS TWO TEETH.

So anyway, the Little Miss is having her carrots, eating them quite happily, and then for no apparent reason she took one of them and shoved it up her nose.

We weren’t sure which was more horrifying — that she had a carrot in her nose, or that she seemed completely nonplussed at having a carrot in her nose. In fact, the only part that really bothered her was when we pinned her arms down so I could go in there and fish it out.

MyFriendJen is the oldest of four, and her mother always said that if her last child had been born first, there would have been only one. I’m starting to think that the Little Miss is on to that plan. Maybe I should tell her that we aren’t having any more kids, so she can cut it out with her terrorist activities aimed at preventing any more babies from taking her place.

In other kid-related news, I made my annual pilgrimage to the movies on Monday with LuckySevens and FameThrowa, and there were dozens and dozens of teenagers clogging the hallways and doorways. I just could not get over the teenaged fashions of today. What is it with boys and their need to wear their pants around their butt? If you’re going to show off your undies, at least invest in some Spiderman underoos or some Buzz Lightyear underpants so I have something to entertain me. It also seems to be a real fad these days, for both boys and girls, to wear their hair either spiked up or completely covering their lovely faces. I hated it.

I always thought I’d be a laid back parent when it came to personal appearance, because that’s something that is important to a kid and doesn’t really matter in the long run. As long as we could talk and my kid was responsible and kind, it wouldn’t matter if they had purple hair or liked to wear lime green fishnets. But seeing those kids at the movies totally brought out the old fogey in me.

I am SUCH a square. Sorry, my future teenagers!

Lock Up Your Daughters

I had to go over to the school today for more PTA stuff. This time, I was taking an inventory of prints in the art classroom. I had Little Miss Sunshine with me, and we were there over the the first “nutritional break” — me to take photos of artwork, and her to execute another phase of her master plan to take over the world with cuteness.

I know she’s my kid and everything, but seriously, Little Miss Sunshine is totally adorable. She has her father’s big brown doe eyes and long lashes, and she uses them to full advantage. She’s super friendly and outgoing, which means she’ll smile at just about anyone and makes friends instantly, which is just irresistible in a 17-month-old toddler. It’s like she’s constantly out there on the campaign trail, working the crowds to win the title of Most Charming Baby Ever. And trust me, she’s going to win, hands down.

So while I was working, she was busy making friends with several 13-year-old girls who were having their lunch. Man, did those girls LOVE the Little Miss. They cooed over her and told her she was just so cute and shared their desserts with her. The Little Miss accommodated them by chattering away — every time she said an actual word, they swooned — and sitting at their table like she was an obvious member of their clique. Her newest tricks are to say, “Oh! Oh! Oh!” and point when she is excited, and to say, “Wowwwwwww” when she is amazed, and she is so very cute when doing so that the girls could not resist.

I’m pretty sure we set back about five years of health class education for those poor girls. When their parents are busy tearing their hair out over their daughters’ teen pregnancies…I’ll know who is to blame!

Mommy Monkeypants

[Editor’s note: We apologize for the excessive use of the all-caps emphasis technique in yesterday’s post. We were feeling a little PMS-related stress. We have addressed the situation with lots of advil and half a container of Pringles. We’re better now.]

Little Miss Sunshine has been able to say “Mommy” quite clearly for over two months now. When we’re out somewhere and she calls out, “Mommy!” everyone within earshot (which is a lot of people — she is quite loud) gives me a sweet look that says how charming the baby is being, and how happy and warm and mushy inside I must feel. What they don’t realize is that her call of “Mommy” does not mean, “Oh great lady who gave me life, who cares for my every need, how I love you!” but rather, “I have spied something I reeeeeeally want, and I will screech this word over and over again until someone gives it to me.”

So needless to say, we hear the word “Mommy” a lot around here.

Although she is quite capable of saying “Daddy,” about 95% of the time Little Miss Sunshine will scream “MOM-EEEEEEE” when Sir Monkeypants comes in. That’s because she wants him to pick her up immediately. Only the repeated squealing of the word “Mommy” seems to convey her pressing need. Usually Sir Monkeypants points out that he is, “Daddy, my name is Daddy, it’s Daddy,” but he still picks her up, so what does she care?

The other morning she woke up unusually early, at around 5:45am. She immediately started with the “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” Sir Monkeypants and I were playing Parent Chicken, which is when you both lie in bed semi-awake and hope that the other one reaches their breaking point with the yelling first, so you can roll over and go back to sleep. Sir Monkeypants eventually caved and went to get her.

As soon as she saw him, she yelled out, “MOM-EEEEE!” As per usual.

Then he brought her into our room to hand off to me in the bed, so he could go shower. And he said to her, “Look who it is! Who’s that?”

And of course, looking right at me, she said, “Daddy!”

Poor Sir Monkeypants. Someday, honey, someday.

Captain Destructo

Little Miss Sunshine turned 14 months old the other day (TeethWatch 2008: still at zero). It’s been a while since I had a 14-month-old. I have forgotten what an incredibly physical job it is to take care of a toddler — you’re running around all day and by dinnertime, you’re physically exhausted, like you just ran a marathon. (Well, how I imagine one would feel after running a marathon. It’s not like I would ever do such a crazy thing.)

The Little Miss is much more…shall we say, explorative?…than her older siblings, too. We’ve nicknamed her “Captain Destructo” because anything in the house is fair game for her to touch, pull apart, and attempt to eat. You know, little girl, when we used to joke that you were growing up so big that you were ready to stomp Tokyo…we were ONLY KIDDING.

Yesterday she opened by emptying our snack cabinet — granola bars and fruit snacks and pretzels all over the floor. While I was cleaning that up, she took all the Tupperware out of the the Tupperware drawer, and for good measure, took the tin foil box out of the next drawer up and unrolled it all over the kitchen. While I was putting elastic bands on the drawer handles to lock them shut, she emptied out our DVD cabinet, pulling out all the movies and even opening several containers and pulling out the DVD itself. And while I was putting all that back together, she opened the other cabinet in the TV room and dumped out all the chemicals for cleaning the fish tank.

And while I cleaned up that mess, she toddled down the hall and unrolled half the toilet paper. And while I wound that back up, she came back to the TV room and found a brand new box of baby wipes and pulled them out one at a time until she was surrounded by a sea of wipes. And while I was putting those back in, she took my favourite cookbook off the shelf and ripped out all of the pages.

As I write this, she is opening the DVD player, pulling out the DVD, and throwing it on the ground. One moment please.

She’s obsessed with turning our Nintendo on and off, on and off. She likes to go in the mud room and dump out the bins where we keep mittens and hats. She likes to open the drawer under the stove and put toys inside it. She enjoys taking the pieces of my mixer out of the island cupboard and using them as musical instruments, leaving them strewn behind her in a path of destruction.

I’m spending all day, every day, just trying to keep up with her. By the end of the day, I’m ready to collapse. Worse yet, I’m finding it very hard to steal a few minutes to myself each day. I really count on being able to squeeze some “me” time into my day — maybe replying to an email while the kids are watching TV, or reading a few pages of a book while I’m stirring the spaghetti, or talking on the phone while folding some laundry. But I can’t even do these little things — hell, I can’t even fold the laundry — because while I’m grabbing a few minutes to blog, Little Miss Sunshine is removing her socks and hiding them under the couch cushions, and then emptying the bag of shredded paper for recycling in the office.

One moment please.

Anyway, by the end of the day I’m not only tired, I’m tired of the job, so the dishes go undone and no tidying happens and I don’t do any banking or other chores, I just flake on the couch and read blogs and try to get my head together. Then I get ready for the nighttime, which has been really fun these past few days due to teething (WE HOPE, OR ELSE), school-stress-related nightmares by Gal Smiley, and a terrible chest cold by Captain Jelly Belly.

Little Miss Sunshine! PUT THE REMOTE DOWN!

I think, though, that this is really the worst of it. In a few more months, the Little Miss will be better at quieter things like colouring (which right now, lasts about three minutes and ends when she tries to eat a crayon), watching TV (which currently holds no interest for her), or reading books (which she likes, but is a little too rough with them right now to be trusted). And the next thing I know, she’ll be sitting primly at the table explaining why my glitter glue techniques are not up to snuff.

Until then, though, you can find me flaked out on the couch, attempting to recover from the daily marathon.

It’s Always Something

Little Miss Sunshine will be 14 months old in a few days. She’s an expert walker, she’s sleeping through the night, she eats just about everything (including sand, rocks, and grass). She’s saying several words and she can climb up on the kids’ beds and she can use a spoon.

In short, she’s developing normally.

But there’s this one thing. Isn’t there always one thing? Like, your kid seems fine but then all the other babies are rolling over and your kid doesn’t want to roll over and OH MY GOD, it’s an emergency! We have to work on rolling over! He must roll over NOW!

With Little Miss Sunshine, the issue is her teeth. She doesn’t have any. Not a one. At 14 months old.

I’m actually not all that worried. I come from a long line of late teethers, and Captain Jelly Belly in particular was very late with his teeth, not getting his first tooth until after he was 11 months old. Little Miss Sunshine is more than capable of eating anything and everything, with the sole exception of raw vegetables, so she’s doing just fine for food intake and chewing practice. Plus, this seems to be one of the rare development situations in which the internet is your friend — a simple search brought up dozens and dozens of stories of kids who didn’t get their first teeth until 18 months old and beyond, and all is well now.

It seems that really, the only reason to be concerned is that she’s now old enough to complain about them coming in. Complain LOUDLY. And OFTEN.

Since we got back from our trip to Southern Ontario, she’s been a huge crankmeister. Fussy all the time, never content unless Sir Monkeypants is dangling her upside down, constantly asking for something to eat and then crying when she tries to eat it. We assume this is teeth because she hasn’t turned 13 years old overnight. Has she?

I’ve heard that the older they are when they get their teeth, the more teeth will come in all at once…and thus, the more painful. I swear, if she doesn’t wake up tomorrow with eight new teeth in that head of hers, one of us is going out the window!

And I don’t even care which.

Food Is A Battlefield

I swear TO GOD that one of these days I am going to start a new, second, supplementary blog. And in this special side blog, I will record recipes. Fun, yummy, to-die-for recipes.

Recipes for all the things I’ve made in my life that were FREAKIN’ DELICIOUS, that my kids refused to eat.

That way, you all can test the recipes yourselves, verify that they are indeed fantastic, and then confirm that my children are, indeed, nuts.

This evening we had my famous Secret Ingredient Lentils, for which I am almost internationally known. They’re fantastic, and you know what the secret ingredient is? Just between you and me? It’s ketchup. Totally kid-friendly!

And did anyone under the age of 37 want to try it? No, they did not.

But you know, lentils are kind of weird looking and I was a kid once too, so I could maybe understand the fear and the tightly closed mouths.

So I paired the lentils with a fantastically moist, lip-smackingly good Applesauce Bread. Seriously, I could have lived on it.

Naturally I had to force them to even try it. Because weird foods like bread are scary. And then after one miniscule bite each, they declared it vile, foul, barely even qualifying as food.


Thank goodness we had that third kid. Little Miss Sunshine doesn’t know what the words “blech” and “yuck” mean yet, so she did not succumb to the obvious peer pressure. She ate a whole slice of Applesauce Bread, and then polished off Gal Smiley’s picked-at piece as well.

Oh, and last Friday? I made myself a serving of roasted asparagus, just a small amount because I’m the only one in the family who likes it. The older two kids had a gag-fest at the smell. Little Miss Sunshine got mighty pissed off that she didn’t have any on her tray.

Are those kids even related?

I eventually gave the Little Miss a piece of asparagus because I couldn’t stand the whining — it’s like having a begging dog under the table. I’m sure I don’t even have to tell you that she ate that sucker. And she doesn’t even have any teeth yet! That is determination.

Oh, and at the same meal? She insisted that I let her have some corn. ON THE COB. And did she get it off the cob, even though she has no teeth at all in her wee little mouth? YOU KNOW IT.

While the other two took a bite each of their half-cob and whined that they were totally, totally, totally full and could not possibly eat anything else until five minutes later when they were both asking for chips.

Little Miss Sunshine — don’t ever change!