Wednesday, April 30, 2008

That, and The Other

Maggie has learned a new word. The word is 'this!', and it is now the constant refrain of our household. Maggie uses it to describe everything that amazes, delights, interests, or irritates her. If you were here right now, she'd use it to describe you. It being a somewhat sibilant word, ending in an 's' and all, it comes out sounding sort of gargly, ("thzzz! thzzz!"), and it is pretty much always accompanied by copious amounts of drool. I am beginning to feel vaguely like we own one of the monkeys from that children's book, Caps For Sale, who respond to everything by saying, "Tzz, tzz, tzz!"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Following Is Evidence Of Two Things:

1)Ian has both a decidedly creepy side to his mental workings, and way too much time on his hands.

2)Given the right lighting, accessories, and aforementioned bored and creepy-minded father, even the world's most adorable and benevolent soul can be made to look sinister.

P.S. I know that the poster says that this movie will be coming out this spring, but no. Sorry, but Max is not actually starring in a movie called Orbmaster. To my knowledge, no such film exists, and it is hard to imagine an entire movie's worth of plot revolving around a young boy's possession of a battery-operated glowing ball. Not that lack of plot necessarily stops people, but still.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Subjects That Max Broached Yesterday In Attempts To Avoid Going To Sleep At Naptime

My sister-in-law recently expressed disbelief when Ian told her that Max rarely protests being put to bed, but it's true. Well, kind of. Max hardly ever screams or cries when he's being put to bed, but he does wage a more subtle, psychological brand of war on sleep. For example:
Scene: mid-afternoon, in the big bed. Maggie is sleeping peacefully, dreaming of milk. Max has things on his mind that prevent him from doing likewise. First on the mental agenda: "Mama? Mama! Everyone has eyebrows, Mama."
Max waits to see if I will respond. I don't, hoping that this will discourage further conversation.
"Maggie has really, really little eyebrows, because she is little. She's a baby." Pause. Apparently not.
"Dada has the biggest eyebrows, because he's really big." Pause. Still no response from me, although I privately find this both true and funny.
"It's daytime, Mama. It's not nighttime." Pause. Max is attempting to draw me into some sort of gnomic circular argument about how reasonable people don't sleep in the daytime, because daytime is for playing, and only a barbarian would insist on confining him to his bed during daylight hours. I am wise to his game, however, having fallen into this conversational trap several times in the past.
"Shh," I tell him. "It's nap time." Brief silence.
"My dipey doesn't feel good. It itches me." Pause. Max lets out a theatrical sob and claws at his diaper. I adjust it and reiterate my wish that he succumb to slumber. Brief silence, and just when I begin to hope --
"Mama, Edgar is a cat. He's a good guy. He's not gonna bite me. He's a friend." Max pats an indifferent Edgar affectionately. There is another silence.
"Maggie doesn't like peas, Mama. She's not crying." Pause.
"Mama, are you sleeping? Wake up, Mama!" Pause. "I feel like getting up. I'm not tired anymore. I'll see you in the living room." There is a short scuffle, as I disabuse Max of this notion. We resettle ourselves, with much resentment from all parties. Max is quiet for 45 seconds.
"Mama? You married? You married Dada? I'm not married. I'm a spatula*."
"A spatula?" I inquire, before remembering that I am feigning sleep in order to trick the boy into napping. (A technique that I for some reason continue to employ, by the way, despite the fact that it has a 100% failure rate.)
"Yeah, Mama. I'm an itchy boar. I don't want to get married. I want to get married to you and Dada."
And so on.
Total Time Spent Before Max finally went to sleep: 32 minutes

*I finally figured out, after much amused puzzling, that Max was trying to say that he was a bachelor. He found some pictures of our wedding awhile back, and has been very interested in the concept of matrimony ever since. In the course of discussing who is married to whom within Max's circle of acquaintances, we told Max that he was not married to anyone at present, and that he was therefore a bachelor. This nugget of information seems to have crossed wires with a cooking lesson, mutated into a wild pig with skin problems, and given birth to hilarity.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Your Life, However Awesome, Will Never Rival This Girl's

Maggie turned 11 months old on the 22nd. I have repeatedly told her to stop growing, to remain small and pink and my wee baby forever, but apparently, she has slept through all my lectures. She is a lovely vision, no?

Okay, maybe from this angle a little more so?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Somehow, I Continue To Run Into The Most Aggravating People

While we have recovered from the plague, finally and after much gnashing of teeth, the ramifications of our 7+ days of suffering will continue to be felt for some time. Laundry, for instance, was not done by anyone for the entire duration of our illness, and added to the fact that everyone was oozing various kinds of grossness, let's just say that the mystery of why we get so few visitors is not a difficult one to solve. Other household chores were similarly neglected, and so Ian and I spent some of his days off this week trying to piece our lives back together. Grocery shopping being one of the many things we were behind on, Max, Maggie and I set out this morning in search of sustenance. At the store, we ran into the parent of a former student of mine, and spent a few minutes doing that I-know-you-and-we've-seen-each-other-so-now-we-have-to-chat-awkwardly-despite-having-very-little-to-say-to-one-another thing. Luckily, Max is gregarious enough to make up for my lack of conversational finesse, and entertained the woman nicely until she looked over at Maggie and asked Max, "and how old is your little brother?". Max looked blankly at the woman, and then at Maggie. "That's Maggie," he informed the woman. "She's a baby." "Ohhh," said the woman. "And do you help take care of him?" Max looked blank again for a minute, and then said, "I have a cookie!" Among Max's nuggets of wisdom, apparently is included the following: when it is clear that you are not seeing eye to eye with a conversational partner, change the subject to a more universal one.
Here's the thing: I don't care if people think that Maggie is a boy. While I view her as a clearly feminine specimen, she is a baby, she is tall for her age, she has short hair, and she often wears Max's old clothes. So I am not offended if people occasionally ask how old my little boy is, even if I myself would do a more diplomatic pronoun dance in their place. However. On this particular day, Maggie was wearing the outfit that you see in the included picture; it is pink, it has bows and ruffles, and it is one of her more aggressively girly ensembles. Even if you failed to pick up on this visual cue, Max offered the woman several others: I have never met a boy named Maggie, and Max did call his baby a 'she'. I am not offended by the mistake so much as I am alarmed at the lack of attention to detail. I suppose that if people anywhere would have a pink romper wearing baby boy named Maggie, Davis is probably the place where they would live, but I like to think that I am pretty clearly not those people. Another self-image pillar crumbled. (Mine, fortunately, not Maggie's. Maggie seems as secure in her freakishly strong, tremendously opinionated femininity as ever. That's my girl.)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My Heart's Delight

I am so extraordinarily, undeservedly lucky to be this boy's mama.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What Do You Get If You Mix Ian's Genes, Chelsa's Genes, and an XX Chromosome Pair?

You get a dolly-loving, pink dress-wearing, light saber-weilding amazon, that's what you get.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sous Chef

Well, the Tillman Family Plague seems to be winding down at last. We are not yet better, exactly, but we are at least improved enough to envision a world where we might be better someday. With much prayer. Max and Maggie are both feeling well enough to resume some of their old friskiness, and they spent part of today playing outside together. Max actually invited Maggie to cook with him, which was awfully nice, although once she was outside and in the action, he informed me that "Maggie can't cook. She's just a baby, and she is too little. It's too spicy for Maggie."

Maggie was barred from the actual cooking, but she was allowed to help gather ingredients. It may not look like it, but the sand, chalk, and pink mobile toy, when simmered together, make a mighty tasty onion soup.

Maggie tried to eat a piece of chalk halfway through the mealtime preparations (Max does, perhaps, have a point about babies being unable to cook), and got upset when I removed it from her mouth. Max walked over to Maggie, said, "You crying, Maggie? Awww, don't cry. Poor guy," and hugged her. I was at a bad angle to capture the hug, and yet it is cute from even the awkward angles, so I included it.

What's cuter than Max comforting Maggie? Not much. This, however, is Maggie's face, immediately post-hug, and I think that it at least comes close. Look how happy and proud she is that her big brother paid attention to her! Also look how she still has a piece of chalk, cleverly concealed in her chubby fist!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Birthday To You, SarahRoo!

Oh, Sarah. You know how very great my adoration for you is, and if you don't, well, you just haven't been paying attention. I hope you are being spoiled and reveling in your thirty-oneness. We miss you.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Still Sick, Thanks For Asking. And You?

By now, you are no doubt tired of hearing about our tragic, besnotted existence, and wish that we would move on to other topics. I hope that it comforts you to know that I am at least as tired of being besnotted, and that I would dearly love to have other news to report. However, we are now on day 7 of the Pestilence Party, and it is really all that we have on the table right now, activity-wise. Max is more or less recovered, which is good. Maggie, on the other hand, who was showing no symptoms of anything until Thursday evening, suddenly got in on the fun by having her eyes turn red, gooey, and swollen. On Friday, she woke up with one eye swelled almost shut, causing me to break a 2 1/2 year streak and make the first ever doctor's appointment due to illness that either of my children has ever needed. While we waited for the appointment time to roll around, my eye turned pink, too. Imagine my heartfelt delight. My parents came over to stay with Max while I took Maggie to the doctor (and when you wonder, Granny, why I let you get away with all your paranoid fussing over choking hazards and etc., it is because you also come over early from work so that I don't have to bring both kids to the doctor). The pediatrician annoyed Maggie by shining lights into various parts of her, and then declared both she and I a cesspool of viral ick, and helpfully told me that we would just have to wait it out. And so we are. Waiting.

Maggie, despite her woes (observe the swollen eye?), has somehow found the time to learn how to take everything out of the toy cupboard and then climb into it. Then she can't figure out how to get back out, and gets mad. It is a much less fun game for me than you might imagine.

Max, as aforementioned, has pretty much gone back to normal after four days of snotty, coughing, oozing, feverish good times. His nose ran so forcefully and plentifully for so long, however, that he still has a little chapping around the upper lip from wiping it so much, as you can see. (He is crying in the picture, by the way, because he is unhappy that he cannot be in the picture and simultaneously observe the picture being taken in the little digital camera window. Stupid physics.) Also, now that Maggie is sick, he is angry that she is getting more than the usual amount of attention, and so he took it upon himself yesterday to disagree with every single solitary thing that I said or did. And I really mean EVERY SINGLE THING -- if I said, "Good Morning, Max!", he would say, "It's NOT morning. It's NIGHTTIME!" I was in the final stages of negotiating with the circus, to whom I planned to sell Max at bargain rates, when my parents showed up yesterday and took him off my hands.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

And Lo! A Great And Mighty Tidal Wave of Snot Did Sweep Over The Tillman House. And There Was Much Weeping.

There is still sickness raging here, and it has officially overtaken each and every one of us. I am displeased. Ian and Maggie have both suffered mild versions of the pestilence, but poor little Max has been oozing snot from every facial orifice, coughing, barfing, and battling fever. We were on the brink of taking him for his first doctor's appointment (the first one due to illness, of course -- he's had check-ups.), but then his fever went away and he dialed down the mucous just enough for us to conclude that he's on the mend. I'm not even sure if I have the cold, too, or if I am just suffering from everyone being so very sleepless, needy, barfy, coughing, feverish, oozy, etc. for four solid days and nights. No plagues of locusts yet, but I will keep you posted.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

In Which Chelsa Eats Her Words

Remember the other day, when I was having a big chuckle over Max's feigned illnesses, and smugly relating that his poor acting ability was due to his robust and unflappable good health? Ha. It turns out that Max heard me, decided to get in some real world experience in order to enhance his performance, and is now really, truly, actually sick with a cold. Maggie has it, too. There has been quite a bit of coughing, copious amounts of mucous, and untold quantities of yelling. It is no longer quite so amusing.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Et Tu, Mama?

I gave Max a haircut a couple of days ago. He now bears an unsettling resemblance to Julius Caesar. It isn't really my fault, though -- Max is very resistant to haircuts, and he was resisting mightily, and I was afraid of poking his wildly flailing self with the scissors, and so I said, "Okay, one more big cut!" and took a swipe at the bangs, and now they are very, very short. It looks fine if you comb it a really specific way, but Max is two, and he has what Ian and I have dubbed "sweaty head syndrome", and so his hair does not stay in a really specific way for long. It could be worse, I suppose -- it could be a mullet, or a duck-tail. Plus, Max is cute enough to pull it off. I am not at all sure that increasing his similarities with Caesar is a good idea, though -- he is already 99% certain that he is Prosapia Dictator pro vita.