Monday Morning Wake Up Call

Around 5:50 I heard the call: “Daddy?”

Daddy was out cold, no doubt having dreams about a TV show we’ve been binge-watching. So I got up and went to investigate. Imagine my surprise when I trudged into the next room and discovered my daughter had been replaced by a dawn pixie:

"You shall be my pixie squire!"

“You shall be my pixie squire!”

“Can you please help me with the wings, Mom please?” she asked. Well, sure I could. “I want to go to school in a fairy,” she added, as I trussed her up. But when I said she couldn’t, that she would have to be a secret fairy, she understood. She wore the costume to breakfast, though, and then jumped in to my yoga routine, waving her wand through the warrior poses.

I hope your week got off to a similarly pleasant start!



Despite her communication issues, the Bean manages to make herself heard when it really, really counts. Meaning when she wants you to do something. I noticed this over the summer, when Bean was at the beach with Aunt Joan. They were digging in the sand with a plastic shovel, and there was a collection of plastic animals that Eve would take out of a bucket and line up carefully.

Aunt Joanie decided to make one of the animals swim.

“No,” said Bean, in a tone of voice adults reserve for the very simple. “You put it back, Joanie.” And she grabbed my sister’s arm and forced her to place the animal back where it belonged.

Bucket dictatorship.

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Like Mama

Sunday dinner was safely in the oven, but I needed milk to make dessert. I found my sunglasses and my keys and headed to the door on my way to the corner shop, bag over my shoulder.

“Wait!” Bean yelled. “I put on the shoes!”

She pulled on her boots. I found her sunglasses and put those on, too. Daddy gave us a shopping bag to take with us. And here’s how that looked:


We’re trying to grow the bangs out, by the bye.

We walked up and down the street– about half a mile round-trip, and Eve told me about the birds and the airplanes and the “blue roses” she spotted in people’s front gardens (at the moment, all flowers are “roses”). She read out letters on  car license plates and house numbers. She stopped to point out bugs, wave to dogs. She even skipped a little, informing me, “I a skeepeeng.” It took ten minutes longer than it would have taken me on my own, but I didn’t mind.

In the shop, she helped me find the milk and the few other bits we needed, and we picked out a little children’s magazine for her. Over here all the kids’ television shows put out monthly magazines with little toys attached to them. Usually she plumps for Waybuloo, but she’s been on an Octonauts kick lately, and grabbed one with them on it instead.

I paid for our bits and pieces, and the surly-faced guy at the register packed everything in a plastic bag for me– everything except Bean’s magazine, which he passed to her so she could put it in HER bag.

“Thank you very much!” she said. “See you soon!” The guy cracked a smile.

My Sunday had been pretty nice up to that point, but that made it perfect.


…You just need to get your kid a present for no reason.

It's Totoro!

Look, it's Totoro!

Totoro and the Bean

Friendly with woodland spirits.

In case you’d forgotten, this is a critter from one of Bean’s favorite movies. He’s big, he’s cuddly, and he’s come all the way from Japan. Though I have a feeling that his brothers in Cofton Park would have introduced themselves to Bean eventually.


Do British Totori drink tea?

Anyway: giving presents to your kids that excite them? Is pretty neat.


Her ladyship’s big birthday gift was a bicycle. She loves it. Now that it’s milder weather (over here in Old England, anyway– sorry, New England— the groundhog lied), we’ve been taking her out on it in the garden or on the sidewalk right outside our house.

buckabye 1

Get yer bucka running

She sort of kind of understands that she has to put her feet on the pedals. She doesn’t get that you have to push on them, though. If one of us rolls her along the path, she lets her feet drag, and we have to watch to make sure she doesn’t get her legs stuck between the pedal and the crossbars.


Head out on the sidewalk

She has just worked out that the bike is steerable, though, which leads to some unexpected swerving as you’re pushing her along. Fortunately, she doesn’t go any faster than a walk at the moment. And yes, she’s getting a helmet. We like that wee head intact as much as the next person!


Get the world in a love embrace

Bean’s Top 5 Toys

As of January 2011, here are the top 5 toys according to Bean:

5. The Laundry Basket. It’s plastic. It’s green. It’s low enough to crawl into, and high enough to seem private. Want to look at books in a high-traffic zone of the house without losing that secluded feeling? This is the toy for you.

4. The Metronome.  It’s this, like, thing, that goes click click click when you push this doohickey on it. And you can slide this other thing that makes it go click click click faster or slower! And sometimes Mum sings when you get it going!

3. Mum’s Necklaces. They hang from Mum’s work lamp at her desk. And they’re sparkly, and you can swing them or hold the stones up to your eyes. Shiny! Swingy! Fun!

2. Pens. The cap goes on. The cap comes off. The pointy bit makes marks on just about anything. Need we say more?

1. Cats. There are two of them. They drool and meow and sleep on stuff, and they are furry and will purr if you sit quietly next to them, and run away if you sit not-so-quietly next to them. If you don’t feel compelled to squeal “CAT!!!!” when they come in the room, then you’re just not living.

Jolly Old St. Nicholaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!

It’s Wednesday, so T and the Bean went to their Tiny Talk class this morning. And Santa turned up! With an Elf! And the Bean, who has not really cottoned on to the whole Santa thing, freaked out and cried. She’s recovered from the trauma– she is looking at the Christmas book she was given in her crib right now, while T. gets the Christmas tree settled in a bucket in the garden (true to family tradition, we don’t put the tree up until Christmas Eve).

While we don’t have photographic evidence of her Father Christmas-induced panic attack, the Chicago Tribune regularly runs a “Scared of Santa” photo gallery series at this time of year, which you can look through here. So many red-faced tots, wailing. So many weary-eyed Santa’s helpers. Why do we do this to ourselves?

I’m not Grinching out, however. Shopping for toys for the kid is so much more satisfying than I ever imagined it would be. And I can’t wait to see her reaction to the tree this year: she is already completely fascinated by the Advent calendar Grandmomma sent us. Several times a day she spots it and flaps her arms excitedly.

“Oh gots,” she says, which is Beanish for “I want that, please.”

Since there are pins involved, we just pick her up and let her look at it more closely. Yesterday she launched into one of her impressive monologues about it, in which she used a new word repeatedly: “heart”. And yes, there is a heart ornament on the advent calendar. I’m guessing she learned that word from her second-favorite film. There’s a review of that, and her new number one, coming.

Meanwhile, I am off to try to find a local copy of Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas. Everything on Amazon seems to take 1-2 weeks to deliver.