Monday, August 22, 2011

A Scene

Tonight was one of the good nights.

I got lucky today, and my drive home had relatively little traffic, so we got home on time even though I had left work a little late. (I was pushing to test an upgrade we'd just made- I wanted to know if I was doomed to have a very bad day tomorrow. I am not.)

It was Petunia's turn to pick a show to watch, and she picked one that Pumpkin also likes, and actually watched it without too many trips out to the kitchen to check that I was still there.

So dinner was ready on time, and we finished eating it on time, and had lots of time to play outside before bath. The girls played happily with their outdoor kitchen toys for awhile, but were starting to disagree about whose turn it was to have the plastic strawberry and things like that, so I suggested a walk. They agreed- they usually will if we ask them if they want to go on a walk- so we headed out through the garage. I intended an old-fashioned walk with no wheels involved, but Petunia wanted in her stroller. So I agreed to get that out and strapped her in. Then Pumpkin wanted to push the umbrella stroller, so I got that down and unfolded it for her. And we set off. But we hadn't even gotten off our driveway before Petunia was saying "wah, wah", which means she wants to get out of her stoller and walk. (We do not, by the way, have some sort of big, long driveway. It is long enough to fit two cars if they park close together. She's just fickle.)

So I got her out of her stroller, and she went toddle-running back to the front door, and banged on it saying "wah, wah!"

In a rare stroke of insight, I realized that she wanted to push a stroller, too, just like her big sister. So I went in and got her the doll stroller. And, thinking ahead, I picked up her baby doll (cleverly named "Baby") and one of Pumpkin's baby dolls, too. Petunia happily snuggled Baby into her stroller and set off after Pumpkin- who ran back to get her baby doll and secured it, not in the stroller, but peaking up from the mesh bag that hangs from the stroller's handles.

And so we set off down our street, two little girls pushing babies in strollers, with their mother following behind, wishing she had her camera.

It was an unusually nice walk, with very little argument from anyone about which way to go or when to turn around. I wish I had put rocks in Pumpkin's stroller, though, to tire her out, because she has called me back into her room 5 times now. I think her bedtime needs to move later, too, but I'm not sure my sanity can take that. So I'm focusing on what a good night it has been up to this point.


  1. Ahahhahaha Rocks in her stroller! Genius! LOL
    Sounds like a lovely evening :)

  2. Sounds like an evening as close to picture perfect as possible. It actually made me destress just reading about it. That's a feat!

  3. Ah yes, the inventiveness of naming dolls for toddlers... Moo has a "Bubby" too. And a "Dolly". And a "Teddy". The most inventive we get is "Baa" for a sheep...

    It is nice when everything works out on a summer evening.

  4. The milliner4:30 AM

    Doesn't it always seem that in those most perfect moments the camera is owners in sight? Perhaps this is the way it's supposed to be...committed to memory (and paper) only. in her stroller.

  5. The milliner4:31 AM

    'nowhere in sight'...grrr auto-correct!

  6. Anonymous4:38 AM


    We have: Dog, Bear, Little Bear, and Bead Bear. Bead bear cost >$1500 and came with a pony bead that had formerly been lodged in DC's nose. Bead bear is DC's favorite.

  7. Ooh, lovely. Back in a very different lifetime I had a hounddog who had a backpack and whom I charged with helping me carry heavy (ish) rocks to border my garden. She was a trooper, and a tired hounddog is a good hounddog (not always equally true for preschoolers, unfortunately ... more curvilinear).

    I've had some success with my preschooler with telling him that really no kidding he has to stay in his room because I need some peace and quiet. We've tried tickets (post-its, 3 per night) but mostly now I just remind him. YMMV. Heck, my mileage does vary; last night I couldn't resist his exorbitant excitement when he came out to tell me "that song we sing" (the Eagles -- "runnin' down the road, trying to loosen my load") was playing on the radio in his room, but overall, having established some idea that there are boundaries (and mama fatigue) has helped us. FWIW.

  8. I love the rocks in the stroller idea. E had her first day of ballet-day-camp yesterday, and for the first time in weeks was fast asleep within 15 minutes of going to bed, instead of popping out of her room periodically for several hours post-bed-time. Hurray for exercise!

    We've had to push bedtime later, and I totally get where you're coming from when you wonder if your sanity can take it. What worked for me was to realize that I need to move some of my post-bed-time activities up a bit. Just because she's staying up later, doesn't mean she needs to be spending all that time with me. And if she wants to, she can help me with the dishes, or sit next to me while I read, or watch me do yoga. It has worked surprisingly well.

  9. We kind of have the same dilemma with needing to move bedtime to later for our 3 year old who, although he doesn't need them, is still having to take 2 hours naps at daycare. However, our 6 year old truly NEEDS an 8:30 bedtime to be functional the next day, and I hesitate to let her younger brother have a later bedtime than her. THat just wouldn't be fair. So, we deal with the same thing nightly. They go to bed at 8:30, our daughter falls asleep within 5 minutes, and then our 3 yo son proceeds to call us anywhere from 2-5 times in the next hour as he lays there not tired enough to fall asleep yet. The only thing we've had success with is telling him that if we have to come up to his room 1 more time, we will take away one of his stuffed animals for the night. I have mixed feelings about it though, because it is truly caused by his no longer needing naps but the state of Ohio requiring them. On the weekends when he's home and doesn't nap, he goes to bed and falls immediately to sleep. I feel your pain!

  10. @Toria, it comes from the fact that I used to say I should put rocks in my husband's backpack to slow him down on hikes...

    @Ginger, it was nice! Which is good, because tonight hasn't been so peaceful.

    @Zenmoo- Pumpkin had Big Baby, Little Baby, Birthday Baby, and Blue Baby. So yeah, we're super inventive with names around here.

  11. @the milliner- yes, that's why I had to write this post. So that I could remember.

    @nicoleandmaggie- I remember reading about the bead incident in your archives. Good times, eh?

    @Alexicographer- you're probably right, and I could try reasoning with her. She clearly understands, but she is also really social and has a hard time winding down. So I'm not sure she can really stop herself, you know? But I should try.

    @Today Wendy- you're right, too. Except what I want to do is go to bed earlier, so that Petunia's middle of the night antics aren't such a drain!

    @Emily- that just sucks. At least our kids did it the other way around- the younger one seems to need more sleep than the older one. So we CAN make bedtime later, but we don't really want to.

    I'm sure I'll look back on this and laugh when my kids are in high school and won't get up in the morning.

  12. Our most inventive name is Blueberry. He's a bear who is blue.

    And I realized that boys and girls are just different. My boys don't tend to want to push strollers (their own or play). They would rather pull the wagon, push each other on bikes, invent explosives, etc. Girls sound kind of ... relaxing. Probably not true, but that just sounds so nice.

  13. Sounds like a lovely evening!

  14. @Cloud, yes, absolutely. It's do-able (or can be) but that doesn't necessarily mean it should be done.

    You had me laughing at, "I'm sure I'll look back on this and laugh when my kids are in high school and won't get up in the morning." Right -- and I'm figuring I'll also be complaining that mine won't speak to me whereas now it seems he won't shut up. Right?

  15. Anonymous3:48 PM


    At the school open house last week (private school-- lots of hippie parents), all the little boys were playing with barbies.

    One of the dads of one of the kids happily tooling along with barbie in her dream car suggested that his kid doesn't get to play with barbies at home.

    Larry Summers also made the statement that boys and girls MUST be different because he gave his daughters trucks and they cradled them like babies (N = 2, and no controls for nurture). My son has done that too, and pretended to nurse his stuffed animals. Does that mean he's going to grow up gay? No, it just means we don't force gender roles on him at home and DH is a gentle and loving father (though DH has not nursed any babies to my knowledge).

    I really hate it when people who should know better say boys and girls are just different because their son doesn't like to do a stereotypically girl thing or a daughter does a stereotypically girl thing. We shape our children from the moment they are born. Our daycare attendants indulgently say boys are, "all boy" and punish girls for the same behavior. So the girls get quieter and the boys more rowdy.


Sorry for the CAPTCHA, folks. The spammers were stealing too much of my time.