Wednesday, February 02, 2005

A week of milestones and the overzealous use of italics

Well folks, it was a week of milestones at the humble Stoli abode. For the first time, I really really enjoyed myself at a "My Wall Oven is Fancier Than Your Wall Oven" event. Maybe that's because I didn't have to make small talk with people I don't terribly care for, since we were too busy drinking wine and sampling almond crusted oysters and Pâte à Choux (Ugh! NOT at the same time!).

No matter, it was divine. You should try a cooking class, really. I always insisted that I didn't need a cooking class, because, well, I know how to cook. But that was before I realized that they serve food at these events. And you can find out little chef secrets, like how to make your own buttermilk in a pinch. Who knew buttermilk was just milk and vingar? Huh? Not me.

Vincent had a milestone last week too. This is the first time Vincent has had the flu in about 5 years. Unfortunately for him, there was a major deadline at work - something about production quotas and, I'm not really sure what he does so I can't elaborate - and so he went in early and came home late every day last week. Then he went right to bed. Yeah, so my kitchen's a mess, but since I don't have one of those wimpering husbands that expects the earth to stop rotating when he is sick, I am trying to baby him somewhat. This week, he has been home sick every day so far, but I am not writing about this week in this post. You'll have to read about this week next week. Or something like that. I'll let you know.

Here's a big one - Riley wrote his name for me for the very first time. I was beginning to get very very worried about the boy. He is so advanced in so many ways...he is really quite articulate and his reasoning skills are extraordinary. We actually debate, he and I, and our discourse on the possibility of dessert or the morality of being a tattletail is more compelling than the televised matchups of Bush and Kerry (OK, OK, I'll be fair and point out that those debates were boring as hell, but still.).

But with all of his (very opinionated) verbal skills, he has little patience for sitting still. Practicing with pen and paper? Forget it! (Of course, we cannot color in this house, for fear that Bella will write all over everyone and everything, so maybe it's lack of practice).

I began to notice that the other kids in his class were beginning to draw pictures of rocket ships that actually looked like rocket ships with fire shooting out the back - completely oblivious of the changes in the space program, but rocket ships nonetheless. Their faces looked like faces! Their flowers looked like flowers!

Their snozzberries looked like snozzberries!

Like that. Some of the other kids were beginning to sign their works of art as well, with real, discernable letters. And then Riley would make this enormous scribble on a page with a single crayon and on the bottom, dubiously, it would say something like "A snail crawling on rocks" or "A big red fire engine."

So anyway, I was starting to worry. My husband and his whole family have completely illegible handwriting. My brother is a doctor - his handwriting is bound to decline - so maybe this was a gentic thing? At Christmas, we were sent home with an adorable card from Riley, signed in his own hand. I was thrilled - but doubtful. Would a preschool teacher fake a kid's signature on a Christmas card?

Enter Crayola and their magic color system - you know the ones where you draw on the special paper and the ink magically appears? (Yes, I bought it at Target, where the hell else do I go?) I pulled some out the other day, and magically (they do say it's magic), Riley sat down and wrote his name. Once.

Then he made a big furious scribble and told me it was a rainbow.

You all heard about playgroup and the hamsters (first cage opening, first grooming session) and the magic markers (first artistic impression on wool and lead paint). But, being Bella, she needed to top herself, so she pooped in the bathtub with Riley. Luckily, Vincent was doing the bathing, and got the kids out of the tub when he saw it floating by. I actually took a photo of the poop, thinking that I could do a link, something along the lines of "Hey! Look what my kid did this week!" and then you'd click and there'd be a picture of the poop, but after re-examining the idea, the picture looked like poop in a dirty dirty bathtub with soapscum and other unidentified dirt, and I bagged the idea. After all, I'm sure that the rest of the Internet cleans their bathtubs periodically, before their kids poop in them, and I just couldn't handle the scrutiny. Call me a coward.

Bella also scribbled on the wall in pencil - oh wait, that is not a first - but she did begin speaking on the telephone like a real person. Up until about last week, she would nod yes or no whenever someone asked her a question ("Does Bella miss Grandma???") and I would have to translate ("Yes, Bella loves Grandma soooo much!"). It got old, so this is a nice development. Also, it's really really cute to listen to her have the same innane conversations with my mother that drive me mad, day after day. Go figure.

Adelyn is no longer a toothless wonder after last week. Maybe that was why there was so much diahheria two weeks ago? A solitary bottom tooth has sprouted. Also, she is very very close to crawling (one leg gets stuck, otherwise she's good to go), which has me a bit freaked out. I have a 4 year old who washes his hands compulsively and a 2 year old who sits under her bedcovers and "drives" all day (this is an adorable pastime, I assure you), so how do I put a locked baby gate at the bottom of the stairs again? Or does the third child just have to figure out how to climb up the stairs on her own without falling? I'll let you know.

Oh yeah, one more first...I took Riley and Bella bowling on Saturday - there was a free township thing - and they were incredible first timers. Bella got a strike by sitting at the end of the lane and slowly rolling the ball to the pins. Riley had great form, bounding up the lane with enthusiasm and tossing the ball like a pro.

It was a good week.

Can you believe they make such little bowling shoes?? Also, my disclaimer: Bella was dressed by her father today. I would never put a striped shirt with flower printed jeans. EVER.Posted by Hello


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