Your Saturday Treat

March 28th, 2010

A little video fun!

At No. 6

March 20th, 2010


Steve got a new computer. It is very large, too large for his desk. And so … and so … we traded desks! This has turned our world topsy turvy. EVERYONE is cranky about it. Until the dust settles, cords are stowed, and we all learn to avoid banging our heads on the unexpected sharp corners, there will be tension shrouding all life here. This is not a metaphor. It could be, it would make a lovely one, but it’s not.


Our bed FINALLY arrived!!!! We purchased this bed in SEPTEMBER. We have been sleeping on a mattress on the floor since then, and it has been actually pretty nice and fun. But ooooooh, the bed feels good. And it looks super nice! And Vibble has decided it’s her newest piece of gym equipment. Rollsies off the bed—whee! Headboard is a horsey—whee! Oh, Two, you are so fun. And neck-breaker-scary.


Vibble is really into dressing up right now, but let me clarify. Thursday she took to the courtyard carrying a cold/heat-pack like a purse. Wednesday she put a small box on her head and tucked a placemat under her armpits and went a-walking up and down the courtyard for an hour. FANCY. I took a photo on my phone, so I’ll have to get that up for you. It’s very challenging when she’s in the courtyard to keep her from knocking on people’s doors, and a lot of our neighbors work from home or are retired or whatnot.


I need to just mention she is nearly never—NEVER—still. She dances while she EATS. She spins in circles twice a minute. Pants, ants.


This week we busted out the kiddie pool. It was hot for a couple of days, and on the first day, Vibble stayed in there for almost two hours and was falling asleep with her head on the side of the pool before she “agreed” to come out. (By “agreed,” I mean “she lost the physical brawl that ensued when I decided she was getting out.”)


Steve got a treadmill. He has been getting up mornings and walking far, far away. In our basement. He always comes back. There is a fine dust of treadmill rubber on the floor. If you know Steve, you’re not surprised, and you realize this is not a fault of the treadmill. I’ve never seen anyone wear through shoes to the bottom like he does, for example. As Steve says of the treadmill, “We’re probably going to have to buy one of these every year.”


I painted some walls, just touching up, covering that fingerpaint handprint, stuff like that. It wore me out, took me two days to recover. I am old.


Violet and I went to Pretend City! With Christopher and Oliver! I already posted photos of that.


I made Violet a cardboard-box house yesterday. She was less into it after I made a house out of it than she had been when it was a box, but I felt creative, and I was proud of my box-house, so _I_ played in it.


I’m not sure why food seems to be more appealing after it has been dumped on the floor/ground/cement, but this kid promptly dumps all food and then grazes on it. Usually at her seat at the table, she is satisfied with eating it off the tray. But we STILL don’t trust her with dishware of any kind, really. She’s like, Whee! Dishware! [DUMP]


She says a lot more words now, but almost never on request. She says her name (sort of). She still does not really ask for what she wants, but she repeats the last couple of syllables of what we say sometimes, says little phrases she has heard (she loves the sneeze-”Bless You”-”Thank you” routine). Mostly she sings incoherently, constantly. It’s sort of like living with a little drunk hobo, especially with the box on her head and the placemat wrapped around her torso.


I need to mention how much she loves to read. LOVES. TO. READ. “Likes” to be read TO, but loves to hang out with her books. It’s right up there with watching TV, her all-time favorite thing to do. Like when you turn on a TV, before it even makes any sound, just the subtle click of the button depressing on the remote or on the appliance itself, she is like a rabbit who hears a dog two miles away. All activity immediately stops. She sniffs the air. She tenses all over. Teeeeee … Veeeeee … [slurp]


Our cats are Old.


Apparently, we had a little earthquake the other day. I didn’t feel it. It was only a 4 or something. Not like these other earthquakes killing half the world right now. What are those, like 20s? Sucky.


Kelly is coming this weekend! HOORAY!

Just some new photos

March 16th, 2010

From a fun day in Irvine—check ‘em out!

Being More Disciplined

March 6th, 2010

I’m looking for advice. Those of you with children: How do you handle discipline, and when did you start really “doing” it? Those of you without children: I value your thoughts, too; how would you handle it, and what is your experience, and what have you observed?

Violet is asserting her very normal two-year-old need to claim some control over her little life. I respect this, I encourage this. There are tantrums, and that’s fine. When it comes to my ideas for how scenarios will go, there are some I win, some I lose, and I’m cool with that. So she refuses to get in the bathtub, often refuses to sit in her stroller or a high chair—So? So she refuses to respect our requests that she not throw food on the floor—Frustrating, but not life-threatening. So she refuses to be strapped into her car-seat or have her diaper changed—Not optional, sorry, Kid. I think these are standard scenarios in a household with a toddler, who, much like an infant or, say, a 14-year-old, is 99 percent wonderful, and, always, a human being, after all.

When it comes to discipline, Steve and I picked a few things a while back that would be “not allowed.” These included:
- messing with the TV and components in the living room (the TV in our room is fair game, when plugged in, which it is sometimes)
- hurting the cats
- climbing onto the wide shelves behind the couch

When she does these things, we “punish” them, mainly by (pretty gently) putting her on the floor. For some reason, she has always considered being put on the floor devastating. After a fairly short run of consistent responses as described, she rarely did these things. Now, when she does them (with a smirk, clearly to push the boundaries), we can usually just say, “Are you allowed to be doing that?” and she ceases.

Unfortunately, this “Are you allowed …” strategy is not translating, as I hoped it would, into other areas. Let me be specific here: This week was/is what I’ve been calling “Bruiser Week” here in Vibble-Town. Grabbing toys from kids at the park gave way to pushing kids off of mat-toys at Gym n’ Swim, which gave way, yesterday at playgroup, to shoving kids (and an adult) repeatedly and with enough force that she knocked her little friend Greta to her knees from behind.

All of this is not to mention what a tornado of destruction she was at the hostess’ house. While the nice hostess was gracious about it all and didn’t seem to care, I was concerned to see Violet so unwilling to cooperate with ANY of my requests that she, oh, stop removing framed photographs from shelves, stop breaking the leaves on plants, stop dumping beads out of bowls onto the floor, all of this repeatedly.

Once or twice is one thing, but the roughness and rudeness was over and over, despite my gentle, unemotional “reminders,” which gave way to emphatic, unemotional reminders, which gave way to my “having a talk” with her in private about it, which gave way to my referring to her as a “snot”—something I really don’t want to do within earshot of my kid (who, after all, is a GREAT KID), that’s just a personal decision, as all facets of discipline (and everything else family/parental) have to be. No offense to any other parents, it’s just something I want to try not to do myself. And this is where I need to be more disciplined.

Was I embarrassed? Eh, only a little, but not really. This playgroup is nice, and I’ve felt with these moms from the very recent beginning that no one is judging anyone, and we grant that these phases go around. If Violet is a bruiser today, it might be another kid who’s doing it next week. Also, Vibble is a free-spirited person, somewhat fearless, very exploratory. That’s who she is, so there has to be some space for that.

Mostly I was just out of tricks. My tool arsenal consists of the things described above: reminders, momentary removals from the scene, and in the extreme, the putting-on-the-floor. I think we might need more tools. I’m just not at all sure what they should be. We’re not doing spanking (again, no judgments on parents who go that route, it’s a personal decision). She’s not QUITE ready for time-out; I just can’t see how that would work right now without restraints, which, again, personal decision. Her talking/speech is still coming along, but we’re not able to “converse” about these things after the fact. Asking “Why did you do that?” gets me nowhere. And leaving playgroup or the park early would be all the same to her.

I can handle being patient with a lot of this toddler stuff—I did win the physical brawl in our living room yesterday, out of sheer stamina, over the box of Girl Scout cookies she had somehow managed to procure for herself—but I can’t have her shoving, hitting, kicking, throwing things at innocent little people—people I want her to be liked by, for her own sake. It might be normal. It’s not OK. And this week it has been increasingly aggressive, violent, reactionary.

I want to have a consistent response, after the three or so reminders—because I know toddlers actually do forget to behave. I want it to be something that deters the behavior for the immediate time-being. I am in charge here, thank goodness (“No, Vibble, you may not play in the street, scream and kick on the sidewalk all you want” [I actually said this, Thursday]). (Incidentally, I hold life-threatening behavior apart in the discipline realm; I won’t hesitate to shout loudly or very, VERY firmly and even sort of meanly when it comes to reminders she’s gotten too close to the stove, FEAR THE STOVE, LITTLE GIRL.)

Sigh. Personal decisions. But I want to form a rationale here, I want to be fair and effective. I want her to have friends who don’t drop their pail-and-shovel sets and run away when she steps foot on the playground.

So, advice? Thoughts? Recommended reads? Comment here or reply by e-mail. Meanwhile, consider this:

Thesaurus results for discipline:

1. control, training, teaching, instruction, regulation, direction, order, authority, rule, strictness, a firm hand; routine, regimen, drill, drilling

2. good behavior, orderliness, control, obedience; self-control, self-discipline, self-government, self-restraint

3. field (of study), branch of knowledge, subject, area; specialty.

Three Sets of Visitors

March 1st, 2010


The Marietta Edgars—what fun to have them out.


Aunt Debi and cousin Sam from Corvallis. An overnight to Sea World was awesome.


Some kind of awful cold. Vibble started coughing and sneezing while her grandparents were here, and her status declined as her aunt and cousin’s visit arrived. Boo. She is a sad little coldling. Not feeling so great myself, so please forgive the short entry. We did get some nice photos, though, so enjoy!