Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sickness part ?

It isn't chicken pox.

Evidently, some viruses manifest into a rash primarily found on the chest and back. Evidently, this is what happened with her. It doesn't bother her at all, just makes us freak out.

Soon, she will be able to give "Little Ata', my baby bru-ta'", lots of kisses again. We think it is killing her a little bit that she can't.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


You'll have to know a little bit of back story to understand it all.

Ever since Tahlia was a little baby who used a blanket, she has been specific about making sure that all of her body parts are under the blanket. Then, and we are really lucky with this part, Tahlia would not, and still will not, move from under her blanket until Mommy or I come to take the blanket off. When she was very young, we would find her in the exact same position that she had fallen asleep in when we went to take her out of bed. As she grew, her ideas evolved. Since she knew that we knew that she wanted to be completely covered, she started taking her hand out of her blanket, and then, we would hear, "Mommy, hand out. Hand out Mommy." Or, "Daddy, hand out, Hand out." Initially, we would appease her. Going quietly, reinserting her hand under the blanket, and leaving. After a while, when I would go in for a, "Daddy, hand out, hand out," instead of putting her hand in for her, I would say, "Tahlia, put your hand in," and she would. Recently, though, because of her bed time becoming later and later as she had additional maladies such as a foot out, or dog-dog out, or a baby out, or elbow, we started only going in one time -- but that is a different story.

Today, right before I left the room for nap time, Tahlia, with a smile, slowly slid her hand out, and said quietly, "Daddy, hand out." I, with a wink and a smile, said, "Tahlia, what's that hand doing out? Get it back inside." She giggled, and the hand slid back into its home. Then, I, being a little silly, took her baby's leg and said, "Tahlia, what's that foot doing out? Get it back inside." She laughed. We did the baby's hand, the cat's paw, tail, whiskers, and tail. Through them all, she laughed. After a little while, I left, and she fell asleep.

After a hearty hour and a half nap, I heard this over the monitor:

"Daddy, tail out. Tail out, Daddy."
"Daddy, hand out. Hand out, Daddy."
With a hint of a giggle, "Daddy, hand out. Hand out."
"Daddy, hand out." Then she continued, "Daddy come in. Daddy say 'Tahlia, what that hand doing out.' Tahlia say, 'I don't know.' Daddy say, 'Tahlia, put that hand inside.'"

Smiling, Mommy and Daddy went to take her blanket off.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What's its name.

Everything must have a name. If a child is walking down the street, she'll ask, and we must tell her his name. We must be careful, for later, she will ask us again, what his name is. If we are correct, we move on. If not, we must remember, or be chastised for giving faulty information.

At the doctor's office recently, we were there with two other children. One named Madison, the other Reece. Those truly are the children's names. We've been trained that now, when ever we hear that she hears a name, we pack it away much like a lonely old lady who keeps all of her Washington Posts stacked against her walls in a much too small apartment. People will wonder what the newspapers were for. We know why we keep the names.

But given names are often not enough. The game started a few months ago:

"What's Daddy's name." Of course, the answer is Daddy, but that was wrong.
"No. What's Daddy's name."
We'd try again, "Daddy."
"No. Egg." She'd say and a smile would spread across her face.
It was harmless at first. She'd ask us about different people, and we'd give them names. Suddenly, though, she began requiring us to remember whose name was associated with whom.
Daddy usually is egg, although he can be oatmeal, and is rarely waffle.
Mommy is usually waffle, but at times she is waffle-egg.
Tahlia is almost always muffin, but sometimes is egg-waffle -- yes, don't confuse her with waffle-egg, they are two different people.
Mya is bouncy ball
Damon is foot ball
Serge is soccer ball
Renee is watch
Lucy is book
Dr. Wong is car and her daughter's name is Dr. Wong
Opa is mustache
Sam is bicycle
Asher's name is Potato

If you forget, it is ok. You can simply ask her, and she will often remember. It becomes exceptionally tricky when you weren't there. For instance, say that she went to the story with Mommy. Later, she may ask Daddy who the boy was. Of course, I have no context, and Mommy has forgotten.

It's important to name things. They help us categorize our world. Names help us to understand the importance of things and their relationships. And somehow, in a little girls world, it helps her to better understand that another little girls name is place mat, Asher is potato, Mommy is waffle, Pinky (a chihuahua) is Roger (her owner who is a large black man), and Mariam is Lisle (Mariam's mom).


Before she goes down for a nap, or the night, we tell her a story. Mommy's stories always start out with "once upon a time." They rarely deal with dragons. Daddy's stories always start out with "one day." Often, the stories deal with something about the recent day, although at other times they are about Tahlia, or someone, attempting to find someone or something. They always start by asking Tahlia what she would like in her story.

The stories usually must include Mya, her infant brother Bennet, her mom and dad Rene, Damon, as well as Sam, his infant brother Charlie, his mom and dad, Lucy and Serge. Sometimes Esme, her mom and dad, Peggy and Avrom, and their cat, Bella must be included. The question is simple: "Tahlia, who should be in your story?" The answer not always: "Mya, Rene, Bennet, Damon, Mya, Sam, Lucy, Bennet, Charlie, Serge, Sam, Mommy, Daddy, Asher, Mya, a bunny." Recently, stories with a bear and a bunny have been popular, but not as popular as Jenny.

Jenny is a white mouse who lives beneath Tahlia's dresser. Jenny comes out often to play with Tahlia, look for various items, or find food or water. Sometimes, Jenny wakes Tahlia from her nap to do various antics that Tahlia knows she shouldn't do because she should be sleeping. Recently, Donna, the brown mouse who lives beneath Asher's dresser, found Jenny riding on Daddy's red slippers as Tahlia chased him around the room. Soon, Donna was on the slippers too and Mommy and Asher were laughing.

Mommy is a little concerned that Tahlia will become schizophrenic and have a personality of Jenny the mouse. She wonders why the mouse could not have been called Fuzzy, or Snowball, or Little Mouse.

Sometimes, the stories become convoluted and are quickly resolved by Tahlia needing to go inside from where ever she is to take a nap. Other times, they are systematic and easy to follow. Either way, we're lucky that she's only two.

Recently, Tahlia has decided to start interrupting the story teller in order to state what she desires to happen. Of course, the story teller must incorporate what Tahlia has dictated, or risk Tahlia restating what she desires to happen.

Tahlia, when asked, will also tell stories on her own. You have to repeat each part back to her, or she won't continue. Sometimes, she forgets what her story is about, or she loses track of what is supposed to happen and, sadly, much like in real life, some people who were hiding, are never found.

Sickness Part III?

There are little red spots on her back and chest.

She's been vaccinated for chicken pox. We found out today it is only 70% effective.

We go in for Asher's two week appointment tomorrow; if more symptoms have developed, we'll try the doctor for a two-for.

It could be heat rash.

It could be.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Making words plural

Cat becomes cats.

Dog becomes dogs.

Carrots, well they are already plural.

But that is not how she makes words plural.

She usually adds an -des to most words.

For example:
Keys is "keysdes"
Bats is "batsdes"

You get the idea.

Sickness part II

It is gone. As quickly as it arrived, the fever has left. This morning, she awoke with no signs of an infection. Only the desire to go to The Little Gym where she could see Esme.

With the leaving of the fever, our daughter returned. At dinner tonight, along with the meatloaf, broccoli, carrots, and piece of bread with butter, she ate a bowl of oatmeal. A book says that when a child is sick, you should give her familiar food. We indulged her with the oatmeal.

Bath time solidified the realization that she has returned. For three days she has not wanted to take a bath. Today, she was ready. We stripped off her cloths and in she went. She bathed, then wanted to play in the water. Following bath, she wanted to run around. These are all signs of the recently elusive Tahlia.

As Mommy left to feed Asher after we finished reading books, Tahlia ran to her and gave her a great big hug and kiss accompanied with an, "I duv you Mommy."

It is gone, and she has returned.


The box says it is for children five or older. Tahlia is two.

Mya began riding her scooter when she was two and a half, almost three.

Sarah is the first child who had the scooter. Tahlia doesn't really care about Sarah; Mya is the important one.

Mya has a scooter. The scooter is red.

Tahlia, of course, has a scooter.

When given the choice of what color scooter she would like, most would think she would have said red. I completely thought she would want a red scooter so that she would be just like Mya. She chose black. After giving her the option of black or red, as they were the two scooters on display, I realized that I should have checked to see what colors were in stock. I panicked as the realization hit me that there were a plethora of blue scooters, a choice not visible in the display, but, seemingly, no black scooters. I dug further back, past the green scooters. Past the red scooters. Past the pink scooter -- was that even a color choice? To finally find two black scooters. Many may wonder why a large store like Toys-R-Us would have two colors on display with few in stock. I wondered that same question and was ready to complain to management when I discovered the second section of scooters, almost entirely black.

I opened the box, much like an ignorant archaeologist's assistant who has helped to find the rare remains of some lost emperor, and showed Tahlia the contents.

"Black scoota'," she stolidly retorts, just as the lead archaeologist would respond knowing all along that the treasure would be as she suspected -- no surprises.

I suddenly realize, upon closer inspection, that she could have had a green scooter, or a blue scooter, or even a pink scooter. I decide to stay quiet and let her revel in the idea that she has made a wise choice between the two options.

As we near the cashier, the Catholic guilt becomes overwhelming. What will happen if, say, in ten years, a twelve year old girl, who could have won it all in the X-game scooter half pike, looks me in the eye, a shiny silver medal around her neck, and says, "There were other colors? Other colors?" incredulity oozing from every word. "But you gave me two choices. You said red or black. Why Dad? If I had the hot pink one, I would have won it all. WON IT ALL!" Add cameras flashing. Add her six to nine year old fans swarming around. It all was too much for me to bear. I broke down.

Squatting beside her, I gazed into her eyes. I hoped that she could forgive me. I wanted her to know that there were other choices. I didn't mean to hold it from her. I wanted to take it back. For a moment, there in Toys-R-Us, I almost screamed to the heavens, "WHY!!! WHY!!!!!" Instead, I said, "Tahlia, are you sure you want black? You can have any of these colors." I pointed at the red, the green, the black, the blue, and even the hot pink. Terror flooded my mind as I realized there was the grave potential that I would be steering a two year old around a playground with a hot pink scooter. For this reason, I may not have given the pink the same amount of attention as the blue, or the green for that matter.

She squatted beside me. Putting a contemplative index finger along side of her mouth, she gazed at the colors. Finally, she nodded, "Black."

My anxiety drained, and we proceeded to the checkout booth.

If you ask her about her scooter, she will tell you it is black; she will also tell you that Mya has a red one. It amazes me, even with all of the admiration she has for Mya, she still wanted something different than what Mya has.

Either way, she is still much too little for the scooter, and still does not have the coordination to ride it by herself. Therefore, with a bright pink helmet on, she is guided around the playground by her Daddy who is hunched over trying to help her go as quickly as Mya who whips around the blacktop at break neck speeds. Maybe the box is right, and the scooter should only be ridden by children five or older. But all Tahlia seems to care about at the moment is, "What Mya doing?"

Yes and not

She becomes excited when we are returning home. She wants to see her friends playing and then play with them. We learned, long ago, the inherent danger of telling her that her friends will be out, and discovering, all to late, that they are not there when we arrive. Therefore, when she begins asking if she will see Mya, or Sam, we respond with a strong, and definite, "Maybe."

Because of these replies, she has expanded this answer into the all too common, maybe they will be out there, or maybe they won't. But this is not what she says. She says,
"Maybe yes, maybe not."

Many people see the issue with this response. The correct combination would be yes and no. But why, then, is her response yes or not? The answer is simple. It is all in the pronunciation.

She does not say yes.

She says yet.

"Maybe yet, maybe not."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


She loves her brother, and kisses his feet.

She kisses his feet because she is sick. Prior to being sick, she kissed him where ever was closest. His head, his hands, his belly. If it was in range of kissing, kisses were administered. She has a nasty fever, but that is all. The doctor believes she has some type of viral infection -- unnamed, unknown. When we told her she was sick and needed to make sure that, as she says, "My little baby brother Asher," doesn't get sick, we gave her an option. She wants to kiss him all of the time. She wants to hold his hands. Therefore, we compromised on his feet. Now, just before Mommy and Asher leave for the night, she asks to see his feet, and plants warm kisses there to allow the love she has for him to grow.

Hopefully this will pass, and she will be better soon. At least we are up already when she calls out for us in the middle of the night.


When you ask her if she knows something, and she says "Yeah," she doesn't really know. It seems counterintuitive that a child would say yes for something and actually not know the answer. In my moments of grandeur, when I've decided that she is the smartest of all two year olds who have ever existed since the beginning of time, including Einstein, I like to believe that her answer of "yeah" means that she does, in fact, know the answer, but is having difficulty drawing out the information due to the vast amount of knowledge with which her overly stuffed two year old brain is currently dealing. For instance, a conversation might transpire:
"Do you know what that is?" A long index finger points lazily towards the easily identifiable raccoon atop a stone wall in one of her books that we have read over three hundred forty two and a half times.
She stares at it for a moment and says,"Yeah."
I start to sit up in my chair. We have discussed the raccoon in this story several times, at least eighty nine times. We have gone over the fact that they are one of the few animals, possibly the only animal, that actually washes its food prior to eating it. I don't believe they wash their food all of the time. In the wild, of course, there is ready access to streams and the like, but the local neighborhood fare with the locked spigots makes cleanlinesses trying at times. She has nodded at me, prior to this moment, when I've stated that they are nocturnal. I've identified for her the mask like markings on their faces, which often leads to their representation as thieves in cartoons and the like. Even now, right here in this very book, they are described as the "thieves on the garden wall." She must know. My index finger becomes stern and enthusiastic. "Tahlia," I repeat. "What are those."
Again, the sagacious eyes peer into the book. Hoping to decode the elusive riddle I have currently posed before her. I'm looking for a simple word. I don't desire a sentence. I've heard her recite entire passages from memory. In one of her favorite books, Scarface Claw, by Lynley Dodd, when you open the first page, the words are catapulted from her mouth: "Who is the roughest and toughest of cats? Fiendish of eye and wicked of paw is mighty magnificent Scarface Claw." Turn the page and she continues: "Scaredy cats tremble and people all shout when ever this tomcat is out and about." Well, you get the idea. How, then, is it possible that she does not know this one word. Then, finally, an answer, "Yeah."
I believe the answer is in there. When she was younger, I would press and press until she would turn away to discover that her big T-Rex was currently playing with a wooden block containing a butterfly. Now, I understand when her complicated mind has decided not to play with Daddy. I give her the answer. "It's a raccoon."
I don't belabor the point. I don't discuss their cunning and dexterity. I just turn the page to see the streets and fields, and we move on.
But moving on is what she is doing more quickly than we believe. Just starting yesterday, "yeah" is starting to become a thing of the past, replaced by the all too common, "I don't know."
Now, her "I don't know," is far more adorable than the one that she will present to us when she is sixteen when we ask how she has missed curfew. In a high pitched voice the words slip from her mouth, an air of question and eagerness for an answer. And quickly, we give her what she wants, answers.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A new baby brother

On March 15th, Tahlia met her new baby brother, Asher Glenn.

The whole event started the night before when Mommy started to feel some contractions after undergoing a second bout of acupuncture to help start the labor. Needless to say, the second time worked. The contractions were serious. We decided that it would be a really good idea to try to catch up on some rest and go to bed. Daddy thought that the baby would be born in the middle of the night, but in the morning, we we both ready to go ahead and meet some of our friends for breakfast as planned.

Tahlia woke around 6:30. This was a good time for her to wake up since we needed to meet our friends around 7:30. I rushed to her room to hastily help her out of bed and placed her on the potty. I ran back into our bedroom to find Mommy sitting on the bed with a far away look in her eye. I'd seen this look before. It was a look I recall vividly from two years and one month prior.

"Are you tired?"
"No. Why?"
"I think you're in labor."
"I don't know. Hurry, we have to get ready to go to breakfast."

I helped Tahlia off of the potty and heard the phone ring. Mommy answered and let our friends know that the plans were still on. I proceeded to dress Tahlia.

I ran back into the room to find Mommy on all fours at the head of the bed.

"Are you ok?"
"Yeah. Just a big one."
"Should we call Kristen?" Kristen is our doula. She drove us to the hospital last time. We wanted to have our money's worth this time.
"I'm fine. We have to hurry to get to breakfast."

I ran back to Tahlia to put her shoes on. When I return to the bedroom, Mommy is at the foot of the bed on all fours.

"Are you Ok?"
"Yeah. Just a big one."
"You're in labor. I'm calling Kristen."
"No, we'll be fine."
"Do you know Angela and Curt's number? I'm going to have to cancel with them."
"I think we can make it."
"I'm calling Kristen."

I called Kristen and put Mommy on the phone. After about five minutes and two contractions, Mommy handed me the phone.

"Hey Kristen."
"Is she in labor?"
"I don't know but she has that look in her eye."
"Good bye."

And she hung up.

I told Mommy that we were going to the hospital. She wanted to know about our breakfast plans. Because I don't have Angela and Curt's number, I ran downstairs to find the number of the breakfast place where we are supposed to meet.

"Blue Grass Grill and Bakery."
"Hi. I'm wondering if you could let a couple of your patrons know that my wife is in labor and we're not going to be able to meet them? She has dark hair. He is a really tall guy with short blond hair."
"Hey man, congratulations. I'll let them know."

We rushed down to the car. Mommy had packed bags for herself and Tahlia. We called the people who were going to watch Suki as we began heading off to the hospital. We called the friend who was going to take care of Tahlia. We called the hospital. We called the Doctor. She had two contractions on the way to the hospital. Evidently, having contractions in an upright seated position is not comfortable.

When we pulled into the hospital, Mommy got out and started heading for an entrance. About two steps away from the car, she had a contraction that made her go to all fours. At this moment, the doctor called. I answered and let him know the situation. His response: "Well, everything sounds good." I really wasn't sure what part of my wife being on all fours in front of the hospital entrance sounded good, but I hung up. When Mommy was able to stand again, she continued her pilgrimage towards the entrance, only to find it was locked. Just as she reached the door, Peggy, the woman who was going to watch Tahlia, pulled in behind me. Tahlia was really excited to go and spend time with Esme, so we quickly put her in Esme's car seat. Mommy gave Peggy a hug and started to waddle over towards the second entrance. I quickly parked the car and rushed to obstetrics. Mommy made it all the way there by herself. Yes, that is right, by herself. When she entered the door and asked two people where she needed to go to arrive in obstetrics, they just pointed. No help. Just pointing.

When I arrived, Mommy was on a bed with a nurse named Bonnie. Bonnie is a sadist. When Mommy would have a contraction, she wanted to roll over and just hold onto the railing. It took Bonnie fifteen minutes and three pricks to do an IV. During the first prick, she made Mommy hold her arm out to the side, still, while Mommy had a contraction stating that, "If you did the first one with out pain medication, you can keep your arm still." Bonnie is a sadist. Thankfully, Bonnie wasn't the nurse who saw us through everything. Kristen was.

Shortly after the IV was in, Kristen, our doula arrived. So did Kristen our new nurse. And the contractions continued. Mommy believes that they were more intense than with Tahlia. They definitely happened faster. Mommy is definitely amazing when it comes to going through labor.

At 9:53am the nurse measured her cervix and found her to be eight centimeters. We decided it would be a good idea to draw a bath. At 9:55am, Mommy realized that she was going to push and there was nothing she could do about it. The nurse measured again and found her to be at 10 centimeters and called for the doctor. When he didn't appear immediately, she called again.

During Mommy's first push, she grabbed the base of my scalp and compressed my four fingers on my right hand. For the second push, I was able to have her only squeeze two fingers and hold the railing on the bed.

During the second push, he was born at exactly 10:00am.

We called our friend who was taking care of Tahlia, and Tahlia arrived around 12:00pm to meet her little brother Asher. It was love at first sight.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

She wore ponytails today. She looks particularly cute when she has two pony tails. I've recently learned that just because there are two, it doesn't mean they are pigtails. I can't do that thing with the brush that Mommy does when she pulls the hair just right to create not only a part, but a unified mass of hair that looks neat. My ponytail is a jumble of hair; how can I expect to make Tahlia's hair anything but a jumble of hair. When I do her hair, it often looks like she did it herself as best as a two year old can. I never fixed anyone else's hair growing up -- probably one of the reasons Mommy married me.

She tells you if she only wants one or two ponytails. She also tells you if there is a flag, bus, cherry-picker, or balloon near by. These are all things with which she is fascinated. She currently faces forward in the car, and gleefully notifies us of any yellow vehicle that passes, informing us, sometimes incorrectly, that it is a school bus. It matters not to her that it could be a moving van; to her, if it is yellow and big, it is a bus. We also cannot pass a flag with out a gentle reminder. It has become not only an obsession for her, but for us as well. Often, if I am sitting near a window during a less than engaging meeting, I find myself peering out the window stifling the desire to let everyone know that there is a flag flapping outside. I know if she were there, she'd want to know.

Today, she visited my school for a baby shower. She likes to go where Daddy works with all of the people. She checked in, and I put a visitor sticker on her chest. Later, she crumpled it up so that it was stuck against itself and she became upset. She entered a room full of twenty odd English teachers. Odd because I'm not sure of the number, and odd because they are English teachers. Mommy was the center of attention with her big belly that is ready for the little one to come out any second. But Tahlia was mesmerized by the group. All of these women and a couple of men staring at her. We all wondered if this was one of those defining moments in a young mind. She ate strawberries, played with a balloon, then needed to go potty. I allowed her to run down the spacious hall where the slap of the foot on tile freely reverberates to the bathroom. After we returned from a successful trip, she mysteriously needed to use the restroom again. I asked if she just wanted to run down the hall -- she insured me that that wasn't it, but that she needed to use the potty. On the return trip from an uneventful hold over the potty, she said that she wanted to run. I asked if she ever needed to use the potty. She ran ahead.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

When will he arrive

We're pretty sure she knows something is about to change. We've tried to give her subtle clues -- we moved her into a new room; set up her crib in her old room; bought her a new (used, but new for her) dresser and put her old dresser in the now nursery; started calling the nursery the baby's room; told her that the baby in Mommy's belly will be living in the room next to her and that she soon with have a new baby brother. Yeah, we think she believes something is about to change.

The due date is March 12th. Today is the eighth. We were ready yesterday for the baby to come any time. Now we're not so sure.

Tahlia is sick. Snot running freely from her nose sick. Bubbles billowing from her nostrils sick. She's sick, and not supposed to be.

Although, when asked, she'll tell you she's excited for her baby brother to come, maybe she really isn't. Maybe this is a last ditch effort on her part to try to stop the whole thing from happening. Maybe she thinks if she can continue to siphon fluid from her body and drain it out of her nose in a congealed mucus, we won't rush to labor and delivery.

Lauren's willing the baby to stay in a little longer so that Tahlia won't be as sick.

Maybe Tahlia's on to something.