Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Capturing the funny

photo (48)  

Anyone with kids will probably agree that while it’s a pain in the butt to raise them most days, we also enjoy it because kids are such funny creatures. I find myself laughing hard and often every day, which makes the challenging part – like making sure they have some real sustenance in between their favorite snacks, practice their violin despite the excruciating whining, get to school on time (okay, who am I kidding? I can never get that last part right) – bearable. 

When they say the oddest, craziest, funniest things, we just want to bottle that moment up and store it away forever. Except we can’t. I wish I would remember to write it down immediately, but even when I do, with a two-minute lag in my search for a pen and paper or my phone to jot down the details, the situation starts to get fuzzy, the words jumbled. And the funny? Lost somewhere between that moment and my leaky brain.

Honestly, with these spontaneous, sometimes ridiculous situations, you just had to be there. Capturing them with words is like catching a butterfly in a mason jar to see how high it could fly. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. None of these may mean anything to someone reading this, and I may not even do it justice with mere words, but as a memory keeper, I can’t just let some of the best moments slip away just because I’m incapable of preserving it.

Besides, even my poor attempts may spark something that evokes a smile years down the road, even if the laughter ceases. No one said memory keeping was an easy job, but here it goes anyway.

Note: Most of the pictures here have nothing to do with the content. That’s the problem with trying to capture a moment. I can scarcely manage it with words, let alone pictures!

* * *

The girls are both doing their own thing – Little Miss is reading, and Pickle is trying to keep herself busy, too, but not very successfully as she finds herself meandering over to bother her sister on occasion. Then you hear them arguing over who did what, and Pickle declares, “Yes, me is!”
Without looking up, big sister corrects little sister, “Yes, I did.”
Pickle repeats the phrase, “Yes, I did!”
And Little Miss quickly, without missing a beat, asserts, “No you didn’t!”

We laughed because it was so like Little Miss to correct her little sister first before defending her own position, but yup, you just had to be there.

photo (51)
mini training on the mini iPad

* * *

From my last post, you may have an inkling on my struggle in getting Little Miss to practice violin every day. In my explanation to her one evening that a music education is forever (meaning she’ll always be able to read and understand music, and probably even play the instrument if she kept at it), she yells in protest, “Oh…not forever! I’m just going to do it for 15 years!”
“Oh? Well…just, just 15? You sure?”
”No, no, wait. 10. Just 10 years!”
I feign disappointment and concede, “Fine. 10 it is,” and she lights up while I do cartwheels in my head.

Oh, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t still fight practice every day. Because she does. <Insert my sigh of exasperation here.> 

* * *

My two-year-old has created an alternate universe for herself, where there’s a  “New Mommy” and “New Daddy”. Occasionally she’ll mention, “My new mommy is in my new home, playing with my new puppy. And the puppy looooooves me. He jumps on me, he climbs on things, and I say, no, no, down puppy, and he licks me a lot. And he makes me laugh!”

She has once pointed at a car on the street and said, “That’s my new daddy’s car! My new mommy’s in there…”

Funny sometimes. But also creepy. How very Coraline of her, which makes me wonder, do the new mommy and daddy have buttons for eyes?

* * *

photo (49)
This was back when Pickle was probably still Thumper, back when she just started talking in short sentences and mispronouncing most words. One of her favorite TV shows was “Ni Hao Kai Lan”, which is essentially a Chinese version of “Dora, the Explorer”.

Ni Hao means how are you, in Mandarin Chinese. And what Pickle used to say was, “Mi Hao” and I would try to correct her by emphasizing the n sound. “N- n- n- Ni Hao.”

”Pickle, say nuh, nuh, nuh.” I’m poorly illustrating the n sound here, in case you’re wondering, and she would repeat back to me flawlessly, “Nuh nuh nuh.”

Me: Okay, now say Ni Hao.
Pickle: Mi Hao!
Me: No, it’s Nuh nuh nuh Ni Hao.
Pickle: Nuh, nuh, nuh, Mi Hao!


One day, several weeks later, I mimicked how she would usually say the word, running: “Hey, Pickle, I’m going to go Wunning!”

”No mommy,” she attempts to correct me, knowing that I should have used the r sound instead, “It’s nuh nuh nuh Wunning!”

* * *

photo (50)At the Children’s Museum – DIY face painting is always a favorite with the girls

* * *

This happened over the summer right after Pickle turned two. 

One of Pickle’s favorite books is “Owl Babies” by Martin Waddell, where a mommy owl flies away from her nest while her three babies are asleep. They wake only to find her missing and wonder about her, growing anxious with each page. There’s the oldest, Sarah, then Percy, and little Bill, who always followed his siblings’ questions about their mommy’s whereabouts on each page with:

”I want my mommy,” said Bill.

Pickle eventually learned the line and would say it herself “I want my mommy, said Bill” whenever we read the book.

One time, she was looking for her water bottle and, out of the blue, said, “I want my bottle…said Bill, “ and she cackled, completely aware of the joke she made. So did we.

* * *

On our way to pick up her sister from school, Pickle announced, “Mommy, I want a treat. I want to eat a kitty cat!”

”Kitty cat?”
”Yeah! Kitty cat! It’s yummy, it’s my favorite…I like to lick it and put it in my mouth…”
”You want to eat a cat?” Then comprehension dawned, “Oh, you want to eat a Kit Kat!”
”Yeah,” she replied matter-of-factly, ”A kitty cat!”

* * *

At the store yesterday, this amused her. 


It’s probably that New Mommy of hers.