Saturday, July 14, 2007

7/14/07 Coffee Morning

This morning, I met with my Mom friends to see one off us before she joins the 3's club in August with her 3rd boy (~pang~). It was a lovely day to sit outside and catch up, see another friend's adorable sleepy (ah for those days!) just-brought-home baby. It's amazing, we were all shellshocked new moms together around 5 years ago, and now our firstborns are all going to kindergarten...and now, four of us have gone full circle back into baby mode.

I walked around downtown Los Gatos for a little while, and came across a store called The Running Factory. It was crowded, so I had no temptation to shop, but it was on a busy courtyard in which people were pre-registering for a popular half-marathon called The Jungle Run, that's tomorrow. I've heard of it, sounds neat, but half-marathon? Out of my league.

But wait! Turns out, there's a 10K route too. HMMM! 10K? Tomorrow??!

What awful timing -- I'd certainly have signed up today if I'd hadn't just been flattened by illness. Yesterday morning I couldn't even stand up. Maybe next year.

I wandered into a baby clothes boutique, perfect for browsing but awful for actually buying, as even the stuff on sale is far too special-purpose and expensive. Then I picked up a decorative hook rack at one of those antique stores that sells a lot of new things -- something I tell myself never to buy unless I have a specific purpose in mind for it, which I don't.

I had high hopes for BabyGap, but got caught in an intersection of between-season inventory doldrums and their sizing twilight zone. Toddler stuff too short; kid stuff too big. And most of their T-shirts were plastered with goofy logos. I must be the only Mom who discovers mid-summer that their kids need more T-shirts. Somehow, the rest of the pack knew back in January and bought them all.

A nice morning acting like a grownup (keyword there is "act") gave me some extra buffer to deal with my little brood at home.

I do attempt the positive-parenting techniques. Tonight, one sort of worked, and led to an unexpected demonstration of Gabriel's reading skills.

To distract Gabriel from bugging Katrina, Julian, Dave and everyone within a 10-mile radius, I got him to "help" me with dinner by "reading" me a recipe. For fun, I asked him to tell me how much garlic I needed. Could he find "garlic" just from my saying the world aloud? "Mom! Two cloves garlic min-sed...oh, I've never heard of min-sed, Mom." I wasn't counting on him to find "garlic," let alone read "cloves" or make a darned good attempt at "minced." I tried again with "onion," which after I spelled for him, he found with: "three-quarters chopped onions!" I don't know where he fits on the reading-ability scale for preschooled kindergarteners, it might be quite comment, but good for him no matter what.

(Julian too surprised me the other day, while I was reading him one of Katrina's baby books. I read, "This isn't my bunny -- its tail is too rough." Julian scanned the page and asked, "Where's the 'f'? " Good question! I've always thought there should be one too!)

A funny Gabriel moment tonight, again in context of language learning. Somehow he came up with that some words are things, and others words you do, and likes to point out that a word is one or the other. So I've taken that one step further and told him they're called nouns and verbs, and quiz him on those. Teaching parts of speech is easily extended to adjectives, so tonight we talked about adjectives in context of Katrina: "Is she....funny? goofy? hungry? noisy?" He got into coming up with his own adjectives for her: "Messy! Sweet!"

Then I asked him what he'd call me. After a pause, he answered, "Nice." Aww. "Aww, that's nice, Gabriel," I said, touched. Still glowing from this unexpected praise, he then said, "'Nice' and 'nice' are the same word." ? "Um, yes they are, what?" He explained, "You said 'That's nice' when I said you were nice. Nice and nice are the same word."

Oh. So they are. Adjectives, in fact. Apparently years of usage of those words...there, I did it again -- that word in different contexts and I didn't even notice the repetition. Nothing like a fresh -- and literal -- and utterly impassive -- perspective to stop you dead in your tracks.

Katrina...what happened to my fuss-free baby? She actually cried for no apparent reason today. AND has woken up at 6am two mornings in a row. Harrumph! She needed more attention than usual today, getting fussy quickly.

A lot of it seems to be frustration at trying to crawl, which she gets a tiny shade better at every day. In fact, it's possible today she took her first crawl step, if you count being on all fours and pulling yourself an inch forward as a crawl step.

She pulled it out for the bath, as usual. I think she's responding to the word "Splash!", spoken playfully, because she...well, take a look at this video:

All babies splash in tubs, but she seems to think it's extra fun to do when Mom says, "Heeyyy, I'm getting soaked!" and encourages "Splash!". I mean, it really does seem like she's doing it as a game she recognizes when I say "Splash!"

It almost looks like her hair is starting to grow in a pale blonde. I'll be sorry to see the reddish color go.

Random funny kid comment: Julian last night, coming downstairs after bedtime:
"Mommy, I'm scared of something in my room!"
"What, Julian?"
"The dark!" (turns out their nightlight had burnt out).

OK gang, evvverybody stay in bed tonight...and tomorrow morning!


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