Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Play food

I gave Belle my old stuffed animals and soft-bodied dolls.  She took a shine to a brown skinned doll with shiny black hair I had as a four year old.  I found Belle washing the doll’s hair in the sink the same night Belle discovered her.  I put them both in a warm bath, where I washed both from head to toe with the same baby wash. 

I also gave Belle the toy canned goods and eggs from my play kitchen.  I taught Belle how to make hard-boiled eggs by throwing a couple plastic eggs into the plastic pot on her play burner that lights up and makes boiling noises.  I guess Belle figured she should recycle too because I found all labels removed from those tiny canned good replicas I once so loved.

I counted many cans of evaporated milk, fruit cocktail and tuna among the play food I played with as a child, before Belle peeled off the labels.  Nothing has changed in the thirty years since I got that kitchen.  I keep all that food on hand now.  Recent food runs have yielded crunchy almond butter, flax seeds, pumpkin butter and teff.  I would never have imagined eating such foods as a kid.

I spread both the crunchy almond and the pumpkin butters onto toasted English muffins for a beach picnic last weekend.  Belle found these sandwiches quite delightful.  Belle also enjoyed chocolate soy milk, cinnamon graham crackers shaped like giant goldfish and crackers made from hidden vegetables.  She seems more willing to try different foods.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cat saga

I finally lured Polly back inside one week later.  Belle loves Polly with a stifling, suffocating affection that makes Polly feel unsafe.  If Polly gets out, she stays out until she either feels safe enough to come inside or I grab her.  Both Belle and Polly are coping with living together again.  Polly let me hold her while I read Belle her stories.  Later on, Polly came halfway up the stairs and meowed at my door until I came down to sit with her a while.

Beach days

We cooled off at the beach during last weekend’s heat wave.  I kept Belle indoors until the heat of the day had passed, and then suited her up in a bikini and plenty of sunscreen for the beach.  While Belle enjoyed rolling in the sand, she probably loved our beach picnics more (apples, bananas, oranges, graham crackers shaped like giant goldfish and pineapple juice with rice milk over ice). 

I had planned on spending Monday afternoon at the park, but ended up back at the beach when Belle’s training pants leaked.  I put her in a pair of disposable swimming pants I found in my bag and pushed her kicking and screaming away from the playground and back to the sand.  Belle instantly made a new girlfriend among the children playing nearby and had a lovely time chasing birds.

The little girl Belle met on the beach really liked us.  She threw her arms around my thighs, lifted up my skirt and hid there for several seconds until her heavily pregnant mother pulled her away.  Later she grabbed my hand so we could join her and her playmates and their mothers in the water.  Belle seemed fascinated by this girl and her young friends, all rapidly approaching pre-school.  I invited their mothers to join the mom’s group I am in.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Time and space cadet

Belle needs more room and space than is realistic.  Our home could not contain her during yesterday's extreme heat.  We made several trips around the block either on foot or with Belle riding in the bobby car.  I took chicken out to defrost and cook, but settled for a can of soup when I couldn't distract Belle long enough to make dinner.  Belle surprised me by eating bread soaked in soup.  I still wanted chicken and vegetables though.  I thought I might make that after putting Belle to bed.  I didn't plan on falling asleep too and sleeping until morning.

Snooze

I have started sleeping when Belle sleeps again.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Breakfast Bites

I am encouraging a consistent morning routine for Belle.  Breakfast is the hardest by far.  Belle only likes to eat cold cereal, some bread, pasta, cheese, yogurt and fruit.  She refuses meat and vegetables.  It’s easier to give her dry cereal and raisins while she is strapped in the pushchair than it is to serve breakfast at our table.  We had four hours before we ran Thursday’s errand and I didn’t even have a chance to boil water for tea, let alone prepare breakfast.  What to do?

Baby Signs

I have started teaching Belle more baby signs, as inspired by a mom in our play group.  Belle now knows “cat,” “help” and “hot.”  At first she turned her head or knocked the baby sign book off the bed in defiance.  Now she happily opens the book and hands it to me.  Belle is learning language in all its forms.