Monday, March 09, 2009

I have been so busy with self-indulgent pregnancy and potty-related posts, I have failed to post any self-indulgent "hey isn't my child brilliant/funny/adorable" posts. Time to remedy that oversight.

February in Portland tends to be rainy and unhospitable. This year has been a little weird, with more snow and less rain than usual. Still, on those rare days when the sun shines, (foolish) parents are tempted out to the park. On this day, it was freezing (literally, I think, in addition to hyperbolically) and after running around for a half-hour, Ada actually asked to go inside. Any of you with a young child know this rarely happens. By the time we walked the half-dozen blocks home, Ada's teeth were chattering and she was considerably less cheerful than she'd been when I snapped this picture. Still, for about 20 minutes we enjoyed our glimpses of the sun reflecting on the play equipment.

Baby It's Cold Outside
Baby it's cold outside!

Searching for indoor distraction, we headed to the children's museum, where the current traveling exhibit is a Bob the Builder thing. I don't really get the attraction, not being in Bob's target audience. I would think that Ada wouldn't be so into it either, having watched all of ONE episode of Bob the Builder ever. I was so bored by the episode she saw that I never made it available to her. Before you condemn me as a mean mommy, note that Ada never asked for another viewing, so I don't feel so bad about it. And Chris and I let her watch music videos on a semi-routine basis, so there.

In any case, despite no actual interest in Bob and his crew, Ada is very interested in knowing what other people like. She knows that Monkey Boy is crazy for Madagascar, so any time she sees ads (for toothpaste, crackers, or whatever else this movie used to push on children) she demands that we cut out the ad and save it for MB. You know, as a gift. She doesn't care what the ad is for, she just knows it features MB's obsession, and she wants to help him collect as much Madagascar-themed ephemera as possible.

Similarly, Ada knows that her neighbor Paul loves Bob the Builder. Or at least that he used to. Who knows, now that he's almost 5, things could have changed. (We see a lot less of our neighbors in the winter than we do in summer when all the kids race up and down the block together until all hours.) But for Ada I don't suppose it matters whether Paul's obsession is current. If a friend loves something, Ada loves it. Hence the hours we spent in the Bob the Builder exhibit. To be fair, there were some fun activities, and as you can see, Ada learned some useful vocational skills, the value of which can not be overstated in our current economy.
Vocational Training
At the Children's Museum/Vocational Training Center
Recently Monkey Boy got a three-wheeled scooter, something Ada has been wanting for a while. We've held off, trying (in vain) to use it as a potty-bribe. I am not above using scooter rides as a way to make her want one even more.

Too bad she's so smart. Today we met friends at the park; Ada rode her tricycle and the other girl showed up on her bicycle. Ada asked to try out the bike, and enjoyed riding it so much that she was in tears when it was time to go. Tonight's "woodchuck" story (a nightly ritual in which Chris or I tell Ada a story featuring a woodchuck who is essentially her furry stand-in) featured a story about Woodchuck's pre-potty using days, and how he so enjoyed riding his friend Squirrel's bike that he eventually decided to use the potty in order to earn a bicycle of his own. Ada and I talked about how fun it was to ride her friend's bike. Instead of taking the story as I'd intended it, Ada wondered aloud whether we could visit her bike-owner friend again, so that she could use the bike while her friend borrowed Ada's trike.  Ten seconds after my story and she's already worked out an alternative way to use a bicycle without having to stoop to using the potty.
She could not have been happier


  1. Crazy weather we are having! We were supposed to go to the dog/skate park this weekend but we chickened out. I'm not even sporting human life in me! You are one devoted mom.

  2. Sorry Nora...that last comment was from me. The neighbor's daughter was still signed in on my laptop.

  3. Oh ada and your anti-potty schemes. I hope the bike bribe works after all though.

    Cute kid! That's great that she's thinking of others.

  4. Kids are a lot more wiley than us adults....they can see through our schemes faster than a hot knife through butta. However, I wish you the best of luck on the potty training!

  5. What a cutie! Cherish it all, my friend . . .