Thursday, March 07, 2024

Phoebe doing this, Phoebe doing that...

The older kids are really pretty good about entertaining Phoebe. They're all sweet with her and tolerate a lot of (frankly obnoxious) two-year-old behaviour from her. Just today Zoë spent a couple of hours playing with Phoebe outside because none of her friends could play. It was, in a word, amazing. 

I got so much work accomplished!

I didn't remember until 5:30 that I was in charge of dinner this evening...oops...but I got so much writing done!

Dinner was saved by some recipe that found me through some algorithm or other. I like when such algorithms are actually useful, like, "You look like a person who frequently cooks dinner. Here's an easy but delicious dinner idea!" and aren't useless like, "You look like a person who bought a toilet seat once. Here's a collection of outlandish toilet seats for your viewing pleasure."

Anyway, I made Baked Feta Pasta (with some help from Miriam, who apparently had become hungry and began to stalk the kitchen vulture-like). A tub of cherry tomatoes (purchased last week), washed and poured into an oven-safe dish...along with the rest of a container of feta crumbles that was on its way out (but still good) and some mozzarella (because I didn't have enough feta). Bake it while cleaning the kitchen. Boil some noodles. Have the kids cut up lettuce and cucumbers. Boom. Dinner in under an hour.

And the kids all seemed to like it. We ate the whole thing. Benjamin had seven helpings (and may be approaching teenage-hood (bless this house and our food supply because that kid can eat)).

So while I appreciate getting a couple hours of (relatively) uninterrupted time to work this afternoon, my camera role tells me that I spend a lot of time...keeping Phoebe out of her siblings' hair. 

I don't mind doing this because (a) Phoebe is a fun little person and I love her to pieces and (b) she's my responsibility, not her siblings'. 

This is just to say that...I have a lot of pictures of Phoebe on my camera...which I took...while the other kids were doing who-knows-what.

Here's Phoebe jumping in some puddles left over from a rainstorm:

And here she is chilling in her pyjamas, which she changed into after we came inside:

She's sitting in a laundry basket while I fold laundry, and has come to almost require daily use of a laundry basket for her play. The child has never slept in a crib. We didn't even have a crib for her. 

But this laundry basket is her crib. And it is a Very Important Play item.

Here she is in a laundry basket crib another day...

And here she is being squashed by Alexander after inviting him to join her in her "crib," which she clearly already very nearly fills up with her own sweet self:

And here she is out after a rain storm again. It's been a rather wet week—spring is upon us:

Spring can be so sneaky, the way the flowers start blooming while we're all stuck inside due to the rain. It's been lovely to see new splashes of colour every time we go outside. Soon enough everything will be green and we'll be overridden with screaming cicadas and thirsty mosquitoes. We'll appreciate these spring days while they last! 

Yesterday at co-op we did our Lego class outside. Phoebe loves coming to Lego class with me. Here she is with her creation that she wanted to show Daddy (really she wanted to take it home to show him, but she settled on a picture).

She goes to the nursery class for the first hour. Rachel and I are both in there with her. And she has a great time. 

She always leaves with me to go to Alexander's Lego Challenge class (where I am a helper this semester). Yesterday I gave her the option to try to stay in her class or come with me.

"So what do you want to do?" I asked her.

"I to stay with me in my class," she said.

"That's not an option," I told her. "You can stay on your own, or you can come with Mommy."

"I will come with you," she said. "But why?"

"Because you like to be with me, I guess," I said. 

"But why you can't stay in my class?"

"I have another class to go to."

"But why?"

"Because that's my assignment this semester."


"Because it is."


"Because that's the way it is. I have my classes and you have your classes. I wish I could get you to stay in your class, but I can't."


"Because you just scream at everybody the whole time."


"You know, that last question is really a question for you, don't you think? Like, I don't know why you just scream in there! It's a fun place! There are toys and games and friends and songs! And you know that *grown ups come back* so Mommy will always be back for you. Why do you scream in nursery?"

"I...don't know," she said. 

(*grown ups come back* was sung to the tune of Daniel Tiger, of course)

So, Phoebe ended up coming to Lego class with me and Alexander.

Speaking of Alexander, he was getting a little wild before bedtime the other night, climbing up on the couches and jumping into the middle of the room in the middle of our dance class (we've been working on some dancing skills in the evenings). I'll admit that it's hard to settle down for bedtime when there's dance music pumping, but also our little music room is a crowded dance floor when there are so many people trying to dance—three couples?! I mean, the room isn't that big! And here's Alexander jumping from the couches to the middle of the room, trying to dodge dancing siblings in midair.

Needless to say, he ended up getting reprimanded. He could dance with us...or he could be excused...or he could sit and watch...but he couldn't continue to jump off the couch into the dance floor.

Alexander typically takes reprimands like a champ. His face gets serious and he gives a curt little nod while grunting, "Hrrghmmmm..." And then he adjusts his behaviour. 

So that's what he did: let out a little grunt of acknowledgement and stopped jumping from the couch. 

Instead of thinking to herself, "Yikes! Alexander just got in trouble! I'm not going to do that!" (and admittedly, Alexander rarely gets in huge trouble because he is, at this point, so easily corrected that it may not even look to her like he was getting in trouble at all), Phoebe thought to herself, "Finally! It's my turn!" and she started jumping off the couch onto the dance floor. 

Which, like, we're practicing floorcraft and all that, but it's harder to navigate around a baby dropping into the middle of the dance floor at random than it is to navigate around another dancing couple whose moves you can somewhat anticipate.

Needless to say, Phoebe ended up getting reprimanded. 

Phoebe does not like being told no, so she dissolved into tears and ran to the one person in the room from whom she felt she could seek solace: Alexander (her partner in crime).

He comforted her so sweetly, but she remained weepy the rest of the evening. 

Here she is with a happy—albeit tear-stained—face during family scripture study. I can't remember what she had been doing (something wild, I'm sure), but she got reprimanded again and was all upset about life. So Daddy told her to come and help him hold up his book because it kept falling over (sometimes grown ups are so helpless). She enjoyed being his helper and it kept her...chill...for the rest of scripture study.

And that's pretty much what my camera roll looks like—Phoebe doing this, Phoebe doing that...

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