" /> Toads-in-the-Hole: June 2007 Archives

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June 25, 2007

Fine Motor Skills

This was one of those "they grow up so fast" moments for me. For months Adelaide had been content to simply remove all the colored rings from her posts and scatter them about. Jill Tyler made a joke of holding a post out to her and saying very carefully, "Adelaide, remove only the purple ring," or whatever ring was at the top, and then exclaiming, "genius!" when Adelaide complied.

So, two weeks ago, I reminded her again that the rings can also go back on the posts, and that it was very fun and exciting when they do (I indicated this by clapping like a maniac for myself when I put the rings back on. Adelaide knows all about clapping. She has, at various times, applauded a winning goal for Arsenal, the ridiculously celebratory opening segment of The Daily Show, and Russel Crowe's character Maximus in Gladiator [a fairly bloodless TV version, rest assured].). She made a few attempts at threading the rings on the posts, but she didn't really come close to getting one on. "Ah, well," I smiled to myself, "She's just a little girl. Plenty of time to put rings on things later."

Then, a few days later, I saw her working at it, and she quite casually put one of the bigger rings on the post. I applauded and cheered as though she was the host of The Daily Show, and that she'd just scored a goal to beat Arsenal while encumbered in gladiatorial armor. Now she does it all the time, with all the rings of all sizes, and she seems to have a basic understanding that the big rings go on the bottom.



And now, the more difficult skinny-wooden post with fiendishly small holes! While standing!


Man, she's growing up so fast.

June 21, 2007

Moving Days

We are short timers here in Vermillion: we constantly talk about our upcoming move, we lose many hours researching real estate websites for our next home, and while empty boxes pile up in the garage, we are loathe to buy furniture or books or cotton balls or anything that might unduly over-burden our U-haul. And then some well-meaning person or calendar or medical school administrator points out that we’re not moving for eleven months.

So, maybe we’re a little premature in our excitement. There’s still lots of enjoyment to be wrung from our little prairie town. We’re in another community theatre production (Thornton Wilder’s Our Town), Adelaide is having a great summer going to the park and the pool, and, in a few weeks, medical school is finally going to get a little easier. What’s the rush? Why is it that the walls of our flat seem to be creeping inward? Why do our routine walks around the town seem so routine? Because it’s moving time.

Moving trucks, over-burdened pickups, and sedans with mattresses lashed to the roof drive by our house every day. The town is filled with “For Rent” signs. Friends of ours have graduated and moved on to bigger (or smaller) and better (or worse) things (or their parent’s house). Adelaide and I attended a lavish going-away party for some faculty friends who’ve finally landed their First Real Job (My FRJ will arrive circa 2013. I will be 35. There’s absolutely no reason to be depressed about this.) and are moving to Kentucky. We wore funny hats (apparently like they do in Kentucky), made the kids compete in a somewhat punitive obstacle course (Adelaide was content merely to spectate) and toasted them with mint juleps. They got a little misty, but it was plain they were excited to be heading toward the horizon.

And now we’ve discovered some friends of ours have landed their FRJ in St. Joseph, Minnesota, a few miles from Aimee’s home town. Aimee was already surfing a curly and foamy wave of nostalgia before hearing their good news. She was reading novels set in Minnesota, comparing home prices in Minneapolis and Rochester, and listening to A Prairie Home Companion, and now she feels a little odd about imagining our friends, “getting to know, as adults, the places I grew up in, and experiencing for the first time so many things that I miss.”

I replied that I felt a kind of disorientation, thinking about their upcoming move. “We’ve been creating this fantasy of our next place, and now suddenly they’re living our fantasy. Now when I think about moving to Minnesota, I see him as a medical resident and her as a nurse, and their kids get squished down and become Adelaide, and everything’s kind of flickering between what we’re constantly imagining and talking about, and what they’re doing.”

I think the disorientation, and perhaps some of the nostalgia, will subside. For one thing, unless things go very much not as planned, we won’t be moving to St. Joe. But I doubt if we’ll get tired of planning and dreaming about the next place; we’ve so far found it to be an inexhaustible topic. If you come and see Our Town, there’s a scene wherein Aimee and I are at a cemetery, staring off into the distance. We’ll do our best to be in character, but you may enjoy knowing that she’s mentally drawing floor plans, and mentally I’m hundreds of miles away, training for my First Real Job.

June 10, 2007

Splish Splash!

After forking over sixty dollars for a family pass to the municipal pools (Which seems really expensive! Probably had to raise the rates to cover rising insurance costs due to litigation.), we were determined to start getting our money's worth this weekend. This is the first hot weekend since the summer began, so it seemed like everything was coming together. The sun shone with an almost-perceptible giant smiley face, it wasn't too crowded, and the other kids were well-behaved.



Adelaide loved it. There were lots of kids to look at, there were many exciting things that she could name (e.g. "Ball!" "Fish!" "Water!" and, of course, "Dog!"), and messing around in the water was a blast. Unfortunately, because Adelaide is a small person, she has a very high ratio of surface area to body mass, so she loses body heat pretty quickly. This never seems to bother her at night, as she kicks her covers off even when it's pretty chilly, but the cold pool water rapidly sucked the heat out of her, and after about fifty minutes she started to shiver and turn a little blue.


So we went home, and slept like the dead.

June 4, 2007


A few weeks ago Adelaide and I were messing around on the floor, as we do. She would grab something and bring it over to show me. Sometimes she would ask me what it was (I think), sometimes she would tell me what it was, and quite often she would insist that she had brought me a "Dog!"

Then, after a while, she went over to this bookcase
Then she grabbed a book (Sandra Boynton's Barnyard Dance), dragged it over, handed it to me, then crawled into my lap. This, I realized, was the moment of my lap's destiny. My lap's entire existence had been building toward this moment, its entire reason for being finally fulfilled. All those years of hosting cats and small dogs were mere distractions or, at best, practice for this moment: My daughter wanted to sit in my lap while I read to her.

It's good to know what you're for.