Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Artistic Endeavors

The bratty, shriveled, sleep-deprived part of my being would like to devote an entire blog post today to the fact that Maggie continues her love affair with the night, that she now can get out of bed independently (a fact that we discovered when she strolled out of the bedroom at 11:15 pm last night and interrupted our watching of "Battlestar Galactica" to nonchalantly ask, "What are you doooing, Mama? Daddy, I wanna play?" and then sat down on the living room floor and began playing with a puzzle, for all the world as if she had a perfect right and reason to be there), and that this quirk or phase or whatever it is has now been compounded by sickness (hers, mine, and Max's, and I am not amused at all). But no one likes a whiner, and so I have decided instead to focus on how delightful the offspring have been recently (during daylight hours -- the delightfulness diminishes in direct mathematical proportion to the hour of the night in which we enjoy their company).

Maggie is very into drawing right now. In fact, a pile of paper and a few crayons will keep her in her high chair seven times longer than any kind of food. She is a very focused artist, and something about the face she makes while writing or painting (lips pursed, brow furrowed, shoulders hunched, eyes steely with determination) makes me giggle every time I see it. Ian calls it her Little Gorilla Face. It is, like much of what Ian says, more accurate than it is flattering. When Maggie is sixteen and steals our car, I am planning to blame Ian.

In the very beginning of their siblinghood, Max and Maggie more or less ignored each other. Max had bigger fish to fry, and Maggie was pretty much all about the mama, so they'd tip each other a nod every so often and that was about it. When Maggie started crawling and Max turned two, there was a brief but fierce battle for dominance, which Max mostly won. Then they went back to ignoring each other, and so on in six month increments. It is only recently that Maggie is old enough and Max patient enough to facilitate real play, and while this sometimes (often) means that Ian and I get tag-teamed by the two of them, it is a delight to watch and listen to. Max burbles on in his Maxese to Maggie ("Hey Maggie! You hold one end of this, and I am your pet, okay? Thatwise I am a dog and you and my next sister are not dogs, okay, Maggie?"), Maggie responds in her strident little voice ("Okay, sure! I a doggie! Woof woof! Because I'm ME! Yeah yeah yeah!") and they play together until Maggie loses focus and wanders off to request milk. They get along quite beautifully, Max's 1 1/2 year advantage offset by Maggie's, um, independent ferocity of spirit, and I am filled with glee.

You can see a bit of the Little Gorilla face in the background here, while in the foreground Max is either making an "x" with his crayons (he likes the letter "x") or warding off artistically-minded vampires with a colorful crayon cross.

This is an example of Maggie's
handiwork. When she turns three, maybe we'll send her to Auntie Jill for a mentorship program. A note to Auntie Jill: if you like this plan, and are going to be rooming with Maggie at any point in the near future, guard your shoes and prepare not to sleep much. Oh, and I hope you like Shrek.

1 comment:

Ian said...

That girl does love the crayons. I sure wish she would sleep.