Saturday, April 28, 2012


I've been working on an entry called a "Primer on T-Bird." It is a summary of all the little bits I would've put in a number of blog entries but have chosen not to do so....for purely selfish reasons. There is a fourth coming rather soon and I've not wanted to share one little bit of T-Bird with anyone. I've been gathering the bits and stories and searching for just the right picture.

But today, today happened and I think it best to tell you this instead of navel-gazing my way thru the "Primer." Many of you know I do use a bit of sign with the kids until it is faster for them to talk than sign. Then the sign seems to naturally drift away. Little M was proficient. G-love only signed fluently for people other than myself. I am her mother after all and if I couldn't guess her needs, she would just leave the room and get on with it. T-Bird has used signs since he was about 7 months old. He is adding more as we need them and lately I've needed them a lot. He has entered this pre-verbal stage that includes a variety of whines that mean different things.  All hearing children with normally developing language hit this phase and it drives my parenting skills down the toilet. I hate whining and fussing, especially if they can sign. Thus, I teach and expect signs from my kids or for them to leave me alone.

T-Bird today was quite frustrated with his dinner. Of course he was. He is a surprising aesthete and prefers things like a risotto with organic sweet potatoes and Oregon-native foraged mushrooms over, say, rice and peas like most other babies. He was frustrated and whining. I requested that he sign "all done" instead of moan. He regressed to his "Dr. Destructo" alter ego and started throwing food and pitching his cup over the edge of his high chair. I calmly requested that he sign "all done" with me again. He rubbed food in his hair. I had the older ones model the request. He kicked his shoes off. I offered to sign with him, together, as sometimes doing stuff by yourself is just a drag. He rubbed snot all over his face and clothes. I finally scolded, "T-Bird, you know how to do this. You know. Sign all done for me." He shoved his hands down his diaper and blew raspberries at me.

We were "All done" indeed...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lifeboats According to G

Our dear friend Lady T came to visit this past October. She has said, ever since she met G, that if they were on the Titanic, she would choose to be on G's lifeboat.

This April, G started her swim team. She is quite proud of her ability to swim laps and is incredibly cute navigating the pool in her flippers. I thought she would be competitive, but she isn't. She is just remarkably swimming to her own drummer and swimming quite well. When I asked her about the first time she completed a lap of the pool she said, "My body says to me: I can do this! I can do this!" I want to mark this story down because I know there will be a time that someone or some event will try to knock her off her lifeboat. I want evidence of her beautiful core to show her when this happens. I want her to know that I believe, as do others, that she can do whatever she is called to do because she is incredibly capable and interesting and not just because I am her mother and biased.

Because she is 4, almost 5, the concept of "matching" comes up often. This concept is a bit beyond her only because she is also a contemplative child too. Adults coo at her outfits that never match. "Grown-ups thinks the socks must match," she says. Then she goes on, "But a shirt is a shirt. It is not pants. It can't never match the pants. It is a shirt." Good point. So she comes down the other day in 2 different polka dot socks, a polka dot skirt, polka dot leggings, a polka dot shirt, her friend from Seattle's Raider's cap, and her older brother's camouflage t-shirt and a stripey headband. I say, "G you look ready to go!" She says proudly, "I match today." I say, "Oh? How does it match?" She says, "I like all of it."

I think of being on G's lifeboat. I might have to wear a dizzying array of polka dots head to toe. I may have to coach her back onto the boat now and then, "You can do this G!" But, I would be alive G-style and that would suit me just fine. I hope she lets me on board.

Monday, April 9, 2012