the act of observation

On Saturday night, the Bee decided to draw my portrait. I wish I could show you the picture she drew, but I can’t for the life of me get the scanner to recognize the computer. Suffice it to say that it is adorable (and I don’t look half bad, if I do say so myself).

The act of being observed by the Bee is an interesting one. The Potato has one basic face that he makes when he’s concentrating, regardless of what he’s concentrating on. He sticks his tongue out. Oh, there are variations–sometimes, it’s stuck out on the side, sometimes right in the middle. But if he’s concentrating, that tongue is out there.

The Bee, on the other hand, has a variety of concentration-faces. I had almost as fun watching her look at me, then think about her drawing, then look up at me again, as she did drawing me. At one point, she got up from the drawing so she could walk over and observe me up close, and I almost laughed aloud, she was concentrating so hard.

I really enjoy my kids’ observation of the world. They seem so different from each other in the way they look at things, and the things they choose to focus on. The Bee is often stuck on the man-made world–especially when it’s covered with print. The Potato, in his early reading state, is more likely to enjoy the natural world. Yesterday, when the Potato and I were driving to daycare, we passed the river near our house, and he said, “the river looks cute today, Mommy.”  (We’re in a big ‘cute’ phase, when it comes to the Potato, everything is cute.)


April 10, 2007. the cutest kids ever!. 7 comments.

cuddly things

I was tagged by Jeff at Out With the Kids with this meme about three favorite childhood toys. As I’ve previously blogged, my favorite childhood stuffed animal was my red horse, Horsey.


Like Jeff, I also had a favorite blankee–in my case, a quilt with my name on it that was made by my maternal grandmother. I had that quilt on my bed until it literally fell apart when I was in college. It was a crazy quilt–one side was the all-crazy pattern, and the other side had my name in the middle of a white background, with a crazy quilt border. There was a book that came along with it, but I can’t remember the name–it was about a girl whose quilt helped save her parents’ house from a fire.

I also had a nameless white, fluffy stuffed cat that I carried around everywhere. The night my father went totally insane, and threw our phone threw the front door window before leaving the house, I offered to let my mother sleep with it. I’m not sure what happened to that cat. The last time I saw it, it was missing chunks of fur, and I suspect my mother had patience only for one overly-loved stuffed animal.

April 8, 2007. memes. 5 comments.

earth below us

I had a sleepless night last night, and I’m dragging today. The Bee woke me up at 1:30 in the morning, just wanting to get tucked back into bed after getting up to use the bathroom. Then the Potato climbed in next to me at 3:30, because he was ‘coldie’–which is what happens when you kick off your covers every night, and insist on wearing shorts to bed. After letting him kick me in the ribs for about 20 minutes, I finally put him back in his own bed, where he snuggled cozily and fell asleep.

And that’s when my real trouble started.

I’m sure every parent has one dream that reveals their deepest fear, one terror about something really bad happening to their kids. Mine all revolve around massive heights and careless kids. I’ve dreamed about one of my kids falling off the Golden Gate Bridge, or off the top of a Ferris Wheel. Last night, it was one of those rope bridges across an Amazon gorge, like you’d see in a movie.

There’s never any explanation of how we happened to end up in the ridiculously high place. I think the likelihood that we’ll ever be in the Amazon is pretty slim, frankly, but it’s evidently a major concern to my subconscious.

Regardless of the circumstance, the horrible part of the dream, the part that keeps me awake, the part that, once I’ve dreamt it, keeps replaying over and over again in my mind, is the moment when one of my children goes over the edge. And I watch them fall.

It doesn’t matter if I try to stop the fall, or if I just stand there dumbly, the child always falls, and I’m always left behind.

I’m not sure why my subconscious picked this dream to stand in for all my fears about my children. I was never afraid of heights before my kids were born. But when I became a parent, all kinds of things that never used to scare me adopted whole new, frightening postures. And what’s worse is the feeling that I will never go back to the state of fearlessness that I used to enjoy. I can’t unmake myself as a parent, nor would I want to do so. But I’d sure like to stop having that dream.

Normally, when I have this dream, that’s it for my night’s sleep. I lie awake, or get up and go read somewhere else in the house so landisdad can still sleep. Every time I close my eyes and try to go back to sleep, that last image of a kid falling haunts me. Last night, I tried some creative visualization. I imagined us all harnessed together, I thought about how we could crawl instead of walk across the bridge, I (mentally) carried the Potato piggyback.

I thought about what’s hiding behind this dream, about my real fears for my children. The dream is a metaphor, of course, for my fear that I will not be looking at them at the most important moment, that I won’t be careful enough, won’t be meticulous enough with these, my most precious loves. I worry that in a world like this, you can never know which moment is most important until it’s too late.

April 3, 2007. thoughtful parenting. 8 comments.

why am I the fool?

I’ve never been the kind of person to play April Fool’s jokes. Consequently, I never remember that it’s April Fool’s Day, and I’m constantly being fooled. Last year, Phil fooled me with his post about taking his children on a trip to Iraq.

This year? I was Google’s fool.

Because the Gmail Paper Program? Ain’t real.

Not that I wanted it to be, or anything. With my paper problems, the last thing I need is to be shipping my email to myself.

April 1, 2007. random other things. 7 comments.

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