Sunday, August 06, 2006

Next time I think I'll just spell

"We'll that’s not appropriate for toddlers," I say as I switch off the television blaring "The Sopranos," a video that somehow made it into the VCR instead of "Winnie the Pooh."

It was so much easier when Ittybit didn't appear to be so sponge-like in her absorption of knowledge. Oh sure, she was learning at a crazy pace but we were still a long way from having to spell out words, such as I-C-E C-R-E-A-M, to avoid unpleasantness. Back then she was too busy smashing sweet potatoes into every crevice of her face to notice.

Those were the days.

When my husband's right eyebrow arches upward now I know it's because I've dropped the ball and it's rolling away from me faster than you can say: "That prolly wasn't a good I-D-er."

  • Yes, she has eaten cake for breakfast on more than a few (10) occasions.
  • Yes, she knows all the people at our local pub, and sometimes they yell her name when we walk through the door on Friday evenings.
  • Yes, she watches "Shrek" (even though the characters are rude to each other). And yes, she sometimes doesn’t go to bed until after 10 p.m. once she’s eaten chocolate and NOT brushed her teeth.
Somehow you brush these failings aside. After all, do we not search high and low for child-friendly activities at museums and other cultural centers? That has to count for something.

Recently that meant attending Art Omi's open day, a culmination of three weeks of uninterrupted work by approximately 30 international artists. Open Day is an annual event in our house … or at lease it has been for a number of years (prior to Ittybit).

There's always something at which to marvel and scratch one’s head, such as an ordinary folding chair abandoned in a field that has dozens of people standing around, conversing in 'art speak.'

And every year there's at least one artist whose work makes my head spin: A memorable one a few years ago came from a woman from Tokyo who stained Kotex sanitary pads with a red substance and affixed them to the wall of her studio. That was fun.

Of course I wasn’t thinking about THAT this year, despite 'WHAT' and 'WHY' being the staple words of Ittybit’s conversations.

Like most modern parents, we've adopted the parenting style of explaining truisms in an age-appropriate manner. Say that three times, fast.

It's not easy. Especially at times when the imaginative part of my brain is more ready than the part of my brain that remembers 8th grade science. When she asks me why the sun goes away and it gets dark at night, I watch the hairs on The Dad's neck stand up as I tell her the sun has to take a nap, otherwise it couldn't shine as brightly.

Let’s just say I was not prepared when she pulled me into a studio space filled with paper-mache figures.

"Mama? You wanna see a stulpture, mama? Tum on."

The sculptures were life-sized, paper mache body casts of figures writhing in pain. One showed its head exploding from the back. Another had two men in a pose that appeared ... to be ... well. ...

"Mommy what is that man doing to that other man?"

"Damn the Dad for foisting this studio visit off on me," I grumble to myself as I wonder what the appropriate response should be.

"Um. Well. They’re-making-love. Oh look, lemonade! ... Let's go get some, OK?"

Later, of course, she tells The Dad that the "mens in the stulpture were makting love."

"Ok … let me get this straight. You explained sex, but not what happens to the sun when it gets dark? Nice."


Trish said...

I just love your writing and this post was just so much like my motherhood experience.
I had all sorts of ideals before my kid was born but then the reality hit...And he brushes when we both remember, he eats a snickers for breakfast if that's all I can get him to eat, and I would have him stay up as late as he wanted if I had my druthers.
Besides, the explanation of what two people are obviously doing is much easier than what's happening in outer space, right?

lildb said...

damn the dad, indeedy.

I think the sun story is nice. there's lotsa time left to explain it properly.

lemonade is a good distraction.

A. Monk said...

Women are all crazy as batsh*t! Someone needs to invent Haldol Hairspray or Benzo Blush I tell you...

Autumn said...

milk milk lemonade...

everytime i rememebr to come to your blog i kick myself for not checkign everyday. i lvoe your writing. profound, intelligent, hilarious, real.