Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Big Girl Beds

The Girl embraces change. The Boy kind of needs to be talked into some things. But the Girl? Not so much. Take this past weekend, for example...

Super Ninja and I have been dithering over her sleeping arrangements. We moved the Boy into his toddler bed when he turned two, mostly because we knew we were going to need the crib for the Girl and we didn't want him to feel like we booted him out of his comfy crib in favor of the new baby. Which, in fact, is what we were doing. But he loved his toddler bed, and we loved that we didn't have to sweat the consequences if he tumbled out of it.

Anyway, most books and other other parents will advise that you leave a kid in a crib as long as she isn't make any attempts at a prison break. The Girl is quite content to sit and snooze. I've never even seen her stand up in the crib, so there's no pressing need to move her into a regular bed. At least not from our perspective.

On Saturday afternoon, though, she said she was tired. A few minutes later, she was nowhere to be found. She's too little to open heavy doors, though, so we knew she was probably upstairs. Super Ninja crept into her bedroom (he is after all, a ninja) and found that she'd grabbed her stuffed dog, crawled into the guest bed that eats up a corner of her room, pulled up the covers, and drifted off to sleep.

Guess she made the decision to move to the big bed on her own.

A footnote to the story: that night, when I was putting her to bed, I told her that now that she was sleeping in a big girl bed, she was becoming a big girl, and would need to think about giving up her pacifier. She informed me, "I not a big girl. I little tiny." Which leads me to believe we're going to have as much fun breaking her of this habit as we did with the Boy.

Some things are the same from child to child, eh?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Think We'll Qualify as a Fleet Soon

Oh yes, we bought another quasi-mini-van. Super Ninja's beloved Windex-blue 1998 Chevy Cavalier served us well. At 115,000 miles, I don't know that we could have asked for more from it. But when we got to the point where we were carrying a battery charger around with us and crossed our fingers every time we started the car, we decided to cut it's life support, and trade it in.

The two qualities we were looking for in a car? Six seats and a really, really good price tag. I know, I know, we're picky. But do you know how many new cars meet that description? Two that I could find. The Mazda 5 (that little beauty pictured above), and the Kia Rondo. The Mazda 5's a little eensy, weensy bit more stylish. But the Kia Rondo lost because when I was getting married, the music director of the chapel made a tape of the most commonly used wedding pieces. The first song on that tape was "Rondo," but Mr. Music had an incredibly thick Baltimorean accent, so it came out more like "Rawndeaux." While that might be an awesome paladin's name in a fantasy novel, I just could not spend the next five to ten years hearing people call my car that.

So, yeah, we bought a new car. The kids like it too, which is a big plus. Especially the Boy, since he's been kind of sensitive about changes like this. As soon as I said it was blue like the Jaguar Power Ranger, though, he was on board.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me

And I don't mean this guy.*

Last week, the Girl turned two. I didn't write about it, because I am inspired to write only when there's an opportunity for sarcasm or it's cousin, snark. But the Girl is sweetness and light. I mean, really. When she has a tantrum, she kind of whines and mopes over to the stairs, and lays down on the bottom step. The Boy also employed this civil disobedience-style tantrum, but he would do it right in the middle of the floor, or sidewalk, or whatever. She tucks herself away in a corner. Can I complain about that? Not really.

What else would I write about? That she's turned our lullaby routine into a duet, but prefers to sing either in a growl or a a squeal because she knows it makes me laugh? Or that she gives kisses on the cheek? Or when she sees me says, "Mommy! Yay!" Seriously, do you want to throw up now or what?

But, there is some aftermath from the perfectly lovely birthday party that I need to describe.

The Girl is waaaaaaaaay into Disney Princesses right now. Some women won't let their kids within 100 yards of all the princess stuff. Me? I don't intend to raise the child to think that a magical person, talking animal, or a rich doof will rescue her from day-to-day life. Rather, I want to raise both of my kids to understand that a life partner is someone who makes the day-to-day stuff seem magical. And I don't think some dolls and movies are going to undermine that.

ANYWAY, I bought a truly enormous Mylar Disney Princess balloon for the Girl. She loves it, the boy loves it, everybody loves it. But I don't think it loves me. In fact, I think it has it in for me. It's following me around the house. You could say that it's haunting me. It is gently swaying about four feet away from me right now. It started out upstairs. How did it get down here? Malice. Oh, fine, it might be the air current from my fancy schmancy central air. But if I don't post again, you can rest assured that it is the demon balloon that did me in.

*Oh, God, Super Ninja. What have you done to me? I can't reference things like a normal person. I DON'T KNOW WHAT CONSTITUTES COMMON KNOWLEDGE ANYMORE.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To the Kids Who Knocked on My Door Last Friday

(Or: What I Wished I'd Said Instead of Politely Thanking Them and Closing the Door While They Were in Middle of Asking Me Why I Am a Roman Catholic)

I'm a Roman Catholic because it's the faith of my forebears, and I figure that if I identify as Christian, I might as well go with the one that one that started the party. I know there's this perception that Catholics are wacko because of all of the superstition and ritual, but I don't think it's more weird and witchy than the religious organization to which you belong. Besides, we all need a little magic in our lives, right? In fact, I kind of dig that during each service some serious mojo is supposed to go down. Which may or may not make me a divine cannibal. I haven't quite worked that one through yet...

But I digress.

There are flaws, yes. That's because religion is crafted by very fallible human hands. But among the Christian religions, can we say that one approach makes infinitely more sense than the other? Not really. Because the inciting action for Christianity -- divinity encased in human flesh, born of a virgin, and resurrection -- well it's a lot to swallow. You could say that I have my doubts.

But you're not only concerned with what I believe. You want me to practice it in a certain way, right? Really? Does an omnibenevolent God care if I believe in golden plates? Is THAT what's going to keep me out of Heaven, if it exists? Jeez, it's like saying that even though my answer to #3 on the math quiz is correct, I didn't do the work the right way, so I failed. Is that what you are? My 8th grade algebra teacher?

Mostly, though (and this is for the Church organizers): I don't think it's the wisest thing to send 19-year-old caucasian American boys around the world to spread the word. Send me people who have been THROUGH something, or at least people who appear to have been through something more serious than acne. Do that, and I might be more compelled to listen.

So, That Happened

I don't have an election hangover, because I didn't have election fatigue. I might have kind of a real hangover, because I whooped it up last night with two drinks instead of my usual one. But that didn't really have anything to do with the election, either.

The most meaningful thing that I realized during this past election cycle? I am NOT a joiner, almost pathologically so. When I hear someone opining, my natural tendency, EVEN IF I AGREE, is to look for the flaw in the argument, to try to see the other side. What is that? Why can't I just throw my support behind someone or something without feeling like I'm drinking the Kool-Aid*?

Could be a lot of things... Maybe it's vestigial high school anti-cliquishness. Maybe I don't want to appear foolish if it turns out that I'm wrong. Maybe I really, really dislike those clips of Dick Cheney very seriously stating one thing, and then 18 months later, stating the exact opposite thing, but with the same gravitas**. Maybe lack it's a lack of confidence in my reasoning skills. Or maybe it's because I grew up in a household of people with wildly differing opinions, people for whom I have a lotta respect, so I don't want to dismiss a different point of view casually.

Whatever the reason, I'm left feeling all kinds of wishy-washy, which is just not a sexy look. Still, though, I make decisions, cast my ballot and hope, really hope, that they were the right ones. I hope, but I don't know, and that's what so hard.***

*Apologies for the overused, icky allusion.
**'Gravitas' should be used as much as possible in casual conversation.
***It could also be that for the first time in my voting life, the person for whom I cast my ballot in a presidential election actually won, and I don't know how to deal with that.