Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

Two-and-a-Half May 2, 2013

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Dear Charlotte,

When someone asks how old you are, you proudly announce, “I’m two!”  This is usually accompanied by you holding up your thumb and pointer finger instead of your pointer and middle finger.  I hear Europeans start finger counts with the thumb, and thus you show two on your hands like an English or French child.  Daddy and are proud of your worldliness with this display.  Way to go kiddo!  Excuse me, Manière d’aller kiddo !

Today you are officially 2-and-a-half.  I don’t know if I want to tell you that for fear that you will stop shouting “I’m two!” These last six months of having you as a two-year-old has been wonderful!  Two has brought discovery.  You have discovered what you like and what you strongly dislike.  You notice everything now!  Everyday you learn something new or ask another question.  Just the other day in the car we talked about the traffic lights and how they turn green and red.  You shout, “Schoo Bus!” whenever you see one.

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You adore your friends and talk about them all the time.  You name every kid in your class and talk about them with affection.  Today you even hugged each one before we left.  They all shout “Bye Chalette!” When you leave.  Two-year-old’s love to shout I’ve learned.  With this adoration of your peers comes fierce competitiveness.  You are not one to be pushed around by other toddlers and will vehemently defend yourself with a returned shove.  Sharing and being nice are things you and your friends work on daily.

You still love Sesame Street but your interests have expanded.  Any book or toy with Mickey Mouse is a favorite because of the hit TV preschool show “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.”  If Daddy and I are being honest, it makes us want to drive nails through our skulls, but you love it.  Being an ever growing girly-girl you have discovered princesses and adore any book or movie with a princess.  I am weary of too much princess because of the messages that can send little girls, but I like the newer princesses in today’s movies.  Besides, your favorite princess is now my favorite too.  You love Rapunzel from “Tangled.” I mean, LOVE her!   You talk about how brave and kind Rapunzel is all the time.  I like the “Tangled” story and I’m okay with your fanaticism.  I try not to get tired of singing the song from the movie in the car over and over to you.  I know it won’t be long until you ask for some other song and I’ll miss the “Rapunzel song.”


You love your baby dolls, blocks, books, balls, kitchen set, trains, dress-up clothes and games.  You are on the move all the time.  Sometimes we can’t keep up.  You have improved identifying your colors and shapes.  I can tell your fine motor skills are getting better and better when you color and play blocks.  You are more adventurous with your food, trying new things that Daddy and I like to eat.  We’re proud of how many fruits and vegetables you love.  Sometimes we just have to tell you that “Rapunzel likes green beans” to get you to eat something.  It makes Daddy and I laugh.

The potty is still a daily learning experience, but I have a feeling you will turn the corner soon.  Especially as it gets closer to when the new baby will be born.

In the morning I ask you what you dreamed about.  It’s  always the same answer, “I dweamed about my baby sister!  She took a nap wiff me!”  That’s when my heart melts and I want to bottle you up at 2-and-a-half forever.

I love you, my darling, darling girl.




Hold her a little longer.

Rock her a little more.

Tell her another story.

(You’ve only told her four.)

Let her sleep on your shoulder.

Rejoice in her happy smile.

She’s only two-and-a-half

for such a little while. 

-Author Unknown



Grape and Glitter- March 24, 2013

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Charlotte has been looking a bit shaggy and I wanted to get her spruced up a bit for Easter next week.  I took her to one of those kiddie salons today.  We’ve been really hit or miss with this place.  They made her first haircut cute and special, but then gave her a hot-mess mullet another time.

We walked in and there was a child screaming.  I mean awful screaming like someone was scalping her.  I looked up and was shocked to see that I could indeed see her scalp because the stylist was shaving this baby’s head.  I sat with other Americans staring at these parents trying to comfort their screaming child with their deep accents.  Even though the baby was clearly unhappy, the parents were elated and proud.  The stylist carefully collected a lock the child’s hair in a bag to take home.

A quick Google search informed me this special ritual is called a mundan and is an important time in the life of a Hindu child.  Cool, right?  It was neat that we got to see it.

I did not know this at the time, however, and was dealing with my own tired and hungry tot.  I just wanted their screaming child to leave so mine could get her haircut.

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After I took this adorable photo, Charlotte was a force to be reckoned with.  She screamed the entire time.  No amount of animal crackers, cartoons or iPhone distractions would soothe her.  Other parents looked at me with either sympathy or annoyance.  I avoided eye-contact with them.

All my efforts were useless.  I threatened her with a time-out.  I told her the Easter Bunny was watching her.  I bribed her with the holy grail of good-behavior prizes, the Dum-Dum lollipops the stylist had.  She took the bait, but then said, “I want a purple one!”

Oh God.  Not purple.  Anything but purple.  I can’t stand the smell or taste of anything with artificial grape flavoring.  It was never the alcohol in a Jell-o shot that turned my tummy in college.  Nope, I would only lose my liquor if I accidentally took a grape shooter.  I don’t even like my sacred red or orange popcicles to be near the purple ones in the box for fear of any purple enfusion.  This extreme aversion stems from an unfortunate stomach flu as a child after being given a dose of grape flavored Children’s Tylenol.  It was traumatic and the reason no purple candy touches my lips.

For a moment Charlotte stopped her screaming and happily sucked her purple lollipop.  I was safely in the parent’s chair.  She started up again and could not be soothed.  I reminded her that the last kid got her head shaved and she was just getting a trim.  The screams continued.  The stylist suggested I hold her.  Oh God!  I grimiced as my child wailed and smeared her sticky purple pop across my face.  I held my breath, so as not to inhale the purple fumes.  Ugh!  I got a whiff and instantly my mind went back to that night when I was six at my grandmothers and the grape evil escaped my body.

To add to this salon fiasco, the stylist decided to take the time to add a little braid, ribbons and a butterfly clip a-la 1996 to her hair.  Seriously?!  I was gagging, my kid continued to wail, and this woman was giving her a “princess style!?”  The topper was what she did next.  The stylist took a handful of gold glitter and tossed it on my kid’s head.  She said, “It’s fairy dust!”  I think I smiled and said, “Oh!  Fairy Dust!” In my brain I screamed, “Lady! Are you %&#*+=@ crazy!?  Who puts glitter on a two-year-old?  This #&^% is gonna be all over my house for weeks!”

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I believe this whole experience was my penance for being a culturally insensitive, impatient American.  The grape lollipop ended up in my hair with chunks of glitter stuck in it.  The smell alone made me want to shave my head.


Be my Valentine? February 10, 2013

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

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This was the year that I fell in love with Valentine’s Day.  That’s me circa 1989 in my 3rd grade yearbook.  Well, I guess it would have been 1990 by February.  Don’t hate on my awesomeness.  I couldn’t help it that I was so cool.  I mean, I  just had my ears pierced.  Thankfully I grew into those teeth.

My classmates and I stapled together two paper plates and taped them to the front of our desks to make little mailboxes.  I thought mine turned out pretty good with my name in marker and pink and red hearts.  To the envy of my girlfriends I added an extra flair with polka-dots.

The rule was you had to bring a valentine for everyone in the class.  We counted up our little cards.  Many had the smiling faces of Scooby Doo or Ghostbusters.  The kid with the lollipops attached to his cards got extra kudos from the 3rd grade crowd.  My friend Erica brought the house down with New Kids On The Block valentines.  I mean, they had a song called “Valentine Girl.”  It was only fitting.


I found an extra card between my paper plates.  I was delighted to open a Garfield valentine.  When I turned it over my stomach did this flutter thing I hadn’t felt before.  The card wasn’t signed.  It had nothing but a heart drawn in pencil with an arrow through it.  There were a few eraser marks, as if someone had taken great care drawing it.  I double checked the name on the envelope.  Yep, it was my name.

I looked around before asking my teacher, Miss Crabtree, to find out who was the admirer with the Garfield valentines.  When Miss Crabree held up my card and asked who gave them out, Josh looked sheepish and said, “I did.”  He caught my eye and we smiled.  I looked away and my stomach did that thing again.

Josh was the cutest boy in the class and he sent ME a secret admirer valentine.  My little life at that moment was complete.  Little did I know, that card would start an on and off again elementary school love affair that would continue for the rest of third grade.

I got that same flutter when my husband gave me a Godiva satin heart on Valentine’s Day 2004 when we were dating.  He promised to fill it up with truffles every year for the rest of our lives.

valentines collage

I made these valentines for Charlotte’s class celebration this week.  This is the first Valentine’s exchange she has ever done.  I hope the start of this little tradition in her childhood one day leads to paper plate mailboxes and pencil-drawn hearts from admirers.