Sunday, February 10, 2013

To boldly shop where Gazes have not shopped before

Gaz is about to encounter American Science & Surplus for the first time. Be afraid. And probably also amused.

My only regret is that I have too much reading to join in on the fun. I'm also knitting up a stylish black beret for her very first round of color guard duty at the upcoming awards assemblies at school.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

So, Gaz's class wrote stories to put on the hall bulletin board. They were shown a picture of a guy blowing a bubble, and told to write about it. Most did a comedy thing, or a simple descriptive bit. Gaz's was longer than one sheet of paper, so they had to tape an extra couple of lines worth for her to finish. She's given me permission to transcribe, so here goes (as close to original as I can manage):


One day when the Doctor came of his bubble house and his wife Ly'shia had kissed him good-bye. He went into his TARDIS. When he looked around he noticed he was in a bubble a man was blowing! There were lots of bubble animals in there! They chased him all around until his house appeared on the scene. Then, it rolled away. It rolled faster and faster. The Doctor tried to catch up but it was too fast. It started bounding and in mid-bounce, he jumped in and was safe again. His wife was happy he was back because she needed help cooking. She was cooking his favorite soup. Then it was time for bed. So both husband and wife went to bed. The thing he didn't notice was there was something wrong with the TARDIS. Something was broken inside the time travel mechanism. Now it couldn't travel in time! When he did notice it took days to repair. His eldest daughter, Kelly helped him take it apart and his other children helped put it back together again. Then he went back to his quiet life.

I am informed that Ly'shia and Kelly are friends of hers, and the bubble animals were originally Daleks, but she had to connect them to the bubble picture.
We were discussing movies to watch in this weekend's mini-B-Fest (we get to watch movies late into the night and much of the next day, and George gets to study up so maybe we can do a family thing on Sunday).  I brought up a time-travel movie I think she'd like, and she asks if it has the Doctor in it.

So I start describing in very general terms what "Time Bandits" is like, and I bring up the fact that it has John Cleese and Michael Palin in it, from Monty Python.  It took a couple of tries to describe John Cleese, until she goes "Oh, it's the 'And now for something completely different,' guy!"

"Yes, and Michael Palin dresses up to be the 'It's...' guy."

Then we digressed, and long story short, this next Halloween, we'll either be doing Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls, Wednesday Addams, or she'll be in old age drag, going up to people and not saying "Trick or treat" but saying "It's..." before I hit the recording of Sousa.  As you do.
(transcribed from Facebook; I wish we had a widget that would do this automatically)

To avoid dwelling on my increasingly crappy-ass week, I'm going to tell some Gaz stories.

The other day, I came up the stairs and saw a sign taped to the door, "Jordon College."  I'm sure she meant Jordan, because that's the college where Lyra grew up in "The Golden Compass," which we've been reading.

Turns out, Gaz not only declared the apartment a college, she also cut her own aleithiometer out of posterboard and decorated it nicely, complete with tiny symbols.

She also cut a polar bear head out of the same sheet of posterboard, and taped it to the arm of the couch, reasoning that it was the largest piece of furniture she could climb on that wasn't a bed.

I have to hand it to her, she really does have fun with a book.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Off the rail

For the first time since we abandoned our cosleeper* there is no bed rail on my side of the bed.

In theory, it was to keep Gaz from rolling off the bed but she pretty much took over the middle of the bed from the start. When she was very small, I could tuck my arm around her to carve out a bit of bed real estate for her to enjoy, when she as bigger, she occupied with her own bulk easy enough. No one ever rolled over on her, and I never feared for anyone's sleep or safety.

I know not everyone is into cosleeping. I also know most kids go back and forth from their beds to parent beds, and even though lots of parents share sleep with their kids, the difference between calling it cosleeping and trying to pretend like it doesn't happen seems to be more political than anything else. By which I don't mean Democrat or Republican--there's cosleepers on both sides of the aisle (seriously!). I mean that some people are willing to admit to cosleeping publicly and some are not.** And some just don't period. It's all good. No two parents or kids are exactly alike, even in the same house.

But I have loved cosleeping. When I was still secretarying, I didn't feel so awful about being gone in the day because cosleeping made nighttime feel more like quality time with my baby. No, it wasn't always easy, but I always preferred the screaming baby next to me to the screaming baby all the way at the other end of the apartment (we have yet to live anywhere with bedrooms closer than "at the other end of the apartment"). It was convenient, and it ensured that I both got sleep and didn't drop a baby while trying to feed her in a rocking chair in the middle of the night when I had to be up at 6am.

My favorite cosleeping story: sometime while we lived in Logan Square, around when Gaz was between 6mo and 1 year, I had taken her to bed and promptly fallen asleep myself. That night Gaz did not fall asleep with me right away, I found out, because when I woke up an hour or so later, I found her asleep on Mark's pillow and one of her stuffed toys under my arm. She had tucked me in and rolled over after she'd finished nursing. That night made up for the times I would wake up to find her just sitting there, staring at me; that was always creepy, no matter how adorable the baby.

Back to the rail. It's real purpose was to keep *me* from falling out of bed. Gaz is an athletic sleeper, always surprising us with how she can flop into new and confusing positions without waking herself up. Most nights, the athletics involved feet and kneed pushing into me (especially my lower back or bladder), which meant I needed to roll away, and usually while I was asleep. If not for the faithful bed rail, I would have spent most of the last seven years with bruises from my face hitting my bedside table and the rest of me hitting floors and walls. It's the only way that sleeping with a tall child who'd sprawl over us like a puppy was possible for me.

So it's going to be weird tonight getting into bed, and weird tomorrow getting out of it. It's been a part of my landscape for so long that it will probably take me a little while to get used to it being gone. What will I do without all the bruises on my thighs from inelegant returns to bed after a middle-of-the-night bathroom trip? But we just don't need it--when Gaz has a bad dream, I usually take her back to her room and curl up with her (and my relocated alarm clock) there. One night, after reading an especially awful case (studying child law regularly requires me to read awfulness), I camped out in her room because that was the best way to settle my brain. But we're pretty much settled.

I do miss the Gaz-puppy pile sometimes, but she's growing and wanting her own space more. I will certainly not stand in the way of that, especially when it means that my sleep is less likely to be interrupted. I have always liked me some sleep.

* The cosleeper crib attachment thing kept her just below mattress level on the other side of a raised divider, and it hurt too much to twist around that from a lying position to retrieve Gaz for feedings & diaper changes. It was much, much easier on my achey Cesarian incision to keep her in the "baby in-box" between us at night, which involved a minimum of midsection twisting to access her.

** One day the neighbor kids were over with their mom and mom commented on Gaz's bed being well made, so I said "well she doesn't sleep there, so of course it's clean!" The relief on her face that her family was not the only bunch of weirdo sleep sharers on the block was amazing. I've since discovered that others of Gaz's friends have shared sleep with their parents more than most folks commonly share. I'm not going to out anyone, but I do think it's important to say these things out loud so that other parents know that they aren't "doing it wrong." If it works, it works. Who cares if some say it's abnormal? I say it worked for us. No need for further discussion.