Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mommyblogs are not complete without poop stories

One really doesn't need to write about poop on the internet. I know that. But this morning I told my dad this story over the phone, and I realized that even if it's the kind of thing only a mother and grandfather find quite so hilarious, I needed to write it down. And if I'm writing it down, I might as well tell the internet about it.

During snack time at Adriana's preschool, the teacher always reads the children at least one story. A couple of weeks ago, the story was called Not Just Chickens or something like that--all about animals besides chickens that lay eggs.*

That afternoon, Adriana was using the bathroom and afterwards as she examined the contents of the toilet**, she said. "What will hatch from my poops?"

"Nothing," I told her, and began encouraging her to flush and wash her hands.

"But my poops look like the same shape as eggs! And eggs come out chickens' bottoms and poop comes out my bottom!"

"Nothing will hatch."

"But if they do, what will they be? Baby poops? Or baby Adrianas?"

And I gave up on trying not to giggle.

*On a non-poop related note, when the teacher read that platypuses are the only egg-laying mammals, one little boy volunteer that mammals were animals with hair, and I was quite proud when Adriana said it meant animals with "mom milk." And I was amused when she pointed out that platypuses aren't the only mammals who lay eggs, because fairies do too.

**When do they stop doing that? I am so over the conversations about her waste products.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Barcelona with babies

I walked down the street in Barcelona toward the flat we were renting for a week, and spotted one of my favorite people, waiting with her husband and chidren. We hugged and then spent the next three days together. We nursed our babies and played with our three-year-olds. We ate churros and drank thick Spanish hot chocolate on Las Ramblas. We drank too much sangria at lunch and laughed all the way home. We caught up on gossip and struggled to put into words the way we feel about putting our careers on hold to have this time at home with our children while they are young. And then we hugged again as she and her family left to return to London.

I slipped onto the enclosed balcony and looked out the window in the middle of the night, watching the rain come down and laundry blowing on the lines, noticing flats around the courtyard that still had lights on. In the morning when the rain had stopped, I stood there again and watched a little boy across the way playing on a balcony and spotted his mother just inside folding laundry. I sat on the balcony with Brian, drinking the hot chocolate he had brought me while he had his coffee and we planned our day. And I sipped wine and wrote in semidarkness while I listened to Brian read a bedtime story to Adriana on the couch behind me.

Adriana chased me on her scooter as I hurried back toward our flat. She let me lift her onto the trunk of a statue of a wooly mammoth and then mugged for the camera. Adriana fell asleep on Brian's shoulders, leaning down to rest her head on his. She stared with amazement at the magic fountains and yelped with happiness when we got close enough to feel the spray of the water.

Adriana and Abigail jumped and danced in the doorway of a closed shop on a Sunday afternoon in L'Eixample. The chased pigeons on the Place de Catalunya. They stood on the balcony of our flat, watching swallows circling and swooping above. The rode side by side down Passeig de Gracia on their fathers' shoulders.

Little Toby toddled down Las Ramblas, ignoring the living statues in favor of the flower stands that had pots of flowers at his level. He smiled and waved at young women sitting around him on the metro. He peered eagerly at Lyra lying in the travel cot and told her "Hiya."

Lyra napped on my sweater in the grass in the Parc de la Ciutadella. She smiled at old ladies on the metro. She nursed on a Renfe train, in the cafe at Parc Guell, on a patio along Las Ramblas, on the floor in the corner of the aquarium, on plazas and in pizzerias and tapas bars, and in my wrap as I hurried down the street.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Little traveler

Adriana was playing with a toy plane, making it fly to Minnesota and North Carolina (we visited both last summer), and wanted to know which was farther away, so I found a map for her to look at. And then we decided to count how many places on the US map she'd visited. She's up to 9 states now:

create your own personalized map of the USA

I've made it to 35, but I've had a few more years to travel than she has.

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Four months

At three months, Lyra was sick with some sort of virus that left her feverish and me exhausted, and I kept thinking of what I should write and never actually put anything down. So now it is a week past four months, and here is everything I can think of all at once, so that I can just post this and not forget what this age is like:

Lyra smiles back at anyone who smiles at her, and we easily coax big, toothless baby grins from her. I've managed to get a few chuckles out of her with little tickles, and one day when it was hot and I turned on the ceiling fan, she sat in her chair laughing at it for five minutes straight. She's been rolling over for several weeks now, mostlly from her back onto her front, though she can go the other way too. She holds up her head easily when I have her in a wrap on my chest, looking around at everything. She doesn't sit unsupported yet, but she grabs my fingers as she lies on her back and lets me pull her to sitting, and seems to like it when I set her sitting on the bed and let her fall gently to the side. She likes to be snuggled against me in a wrap and falls asleep easily that way, but after being wrapped up and dragged around with Adriana and me all day, she always seems glad to be set down, stretching her arms out over her head, straightening her legs, then grabbing her toes and rolling to the side. She studies one hand, opening and closing her fingers, while sucking on the other. It has seemed all along to me that she coos more than I remember Adriana doing, but she has lately become much more vocal, making lots of sweet little baby noises (that are getting a bit louder than they have been in the past). And we have reached the perfect stage of nursing, where she looks at me while she eats, sometimes pulling away to smile at me or to make her funny baby sounds, and she seems happier when I pay attention to her while she eats, so when we are alone I sing to her and we focus on each other's faces and it is perfect and sweet and lovely.