Friday, April 30, 2010

family: ... don't let your deal go down...

Frustration, kid style:

You talking to me?

back story: We're "those parents," who prefer not to have the girls drinking soda, eating sugary cereal, snacking on candy. So "treats" become small glasses of juice or chocolate milk. The girls are like all kids, wanting treats. L has a huge sweet tooth (my genes I think). Luckily L is also a good breakfast eater, K, not so much so....

At the breakfast table:

K: I want something.... I want a special treat!
M: K, you need to eat something nutritious for breakfast.
K: But I want a treat!
L (pushing aside her previously satisfactory oatmeal): I want a tweet!
M: After you eat breakfast.
me: You already had some chocolate milk.
K: But I...
L: I want a tweet!!
M&me: After you have some breakfast!
K (obviously frustrated): That's your deal!

M & I looked at each other and started laughing. She's right, it is our deal. I have no idea where she got that phrase from though, and in this context it just gave us the giggles.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

family: what you want to do...

negotiations, 4yo-vs-2yo style

Best friends
(and sisters too)

backstory: every day each girl picks one episode of SC, and K always picks the first one.

After the first episode:

me: Now it's L's turn to pick.
L: Now it my turn to pick!
K: Yeah.
me (scrolling through options): Any of these?
L (glancing at K): No.
me (continuing to scroll): These?
L (softly, pointing): That one. (glances at her sister)
K (quick shake of the head):
L: No.
me (scrolling): Any of these?
L (glance at K):
K (head shake):
L: No
me (scrolling: These?
L (glance reveals no head shaking, so tentative point): That one. (glances at K)
K (quick nod)
L: Yeah, that one.

the way it all goes down, with a minimum of talking, but just enough body language (and the comprehension of body language!) is pretty amazing. I picture K as the Godfather, passing judgment with a simple nod or head shake, no wasted energy....

That L, with her confusion of the meanings of so many words, gets K's meaning so clearly is mind-boggling to me. Or maybe not, given that especially early on, children have to get understanding from how we look and act.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

definitions: prend / thuekermarket

it's double-definition tuesday:

prend - something that is not real, esp. something from Saddle Club that you are making believe is occurring when it clearly is not because everyone knows the real Saddle Club is on T.V. and not in the kitchen.


K: L, let's ride!
L: Yeah, leth ride!
(both hop on their horses and gallop across the kitchen pasture)
K: Daddy, you Max!
L: You Max Daddy!!
me: I'm Max?
L: Yeah!
me: Who are you?
K: I Lisa!
me: Lisa?
K: Yeah.
L: I Lisa and Carol.
me: Lisa and Carol?
L: Yeah!!
me: What about Mommy?
K: She can be Deborah. Prend. It's prend Daddy!
L: It prend! Thee Deborah prend.

thuekermarket - noun, a place you go to buy stuff you need

L: I need thocolate milk!
me: After you eat your dinner you can have some chocolate milk.
K: We have chocolate milk?
me: Yes. Your mama bought more for me.
K: For you? For paddling?
me: Right. For after paddling.
L: I need thome thocolate milk!
me: If you don't eat your dinner, there's not going to be any chocolate milk.
L: But you can get thome at the thuekermarket.
me: I didn't mean... yeah, I could get more at the thuekermarket, but you need to eat your dinner!
K (watching her sister climb off the window seat and run around the corner): She not eating.
me: No, she's not eating.
K: She not getting chocolate milk.
me: No, she's not getting chocolate milk.

Monday, April 26, 2010

family: weekend wrapup

Here's what we did on our weekend, K's birthday weekend.

Besides the birthday party and the birthday party aftermath, we:

  • changed 30 or 40 diapers. Or 2 or 3 diapers 10 or 20 times.

    Most of these belonged to "Elliott," K's birthday dolly, the anatomically correct boy baby who not only drinks from a bottle but also came with his own potty for peeing in.

    Or not. He doesn't seem to want/need to pee. And I'm not convinced we're even feeding him correctly. In any case, the kid won't pee! (I picture a call to their technical support: "Our baby doll won't pee!" "Are you feeding him using the bottle?" "Of course, what kind of parents do you think we are!?!" "And is he taking the bottle?" "Uh... not really." "Why aren't you nursing him longer? He's just a few days old. Nursed babies are much healthier! It's common knowledge..." click!) Maybe he's got an enlarged prostate or kidney stones....

    So, what to do? It's not that I mind him not peeing (frankly, it makes things easier), but there's this expectation that he *will* pee, and when he doesn't there's disappointment to be dealt with. (Oddly, if you'll allow me just one more parenthetical digression, the disappointment may actually be mostly mine. K seems to have adjusted her expectations and so spent yesterday evening using the bottle not to feed him but rather to squirt "medicine" on Elliott's naked body, creating a large puddle in the middle of the kitchen floor and an entirely different kind of issue for us to deal with.)

  • saddled and unsaddled Prancer 11ty-billion times.

    Also took Lisa's helmet off and on approximately the same number of times.

    Complications: Saddle "buckle" is quite delicate, being made of very thin rubber, and has already partly ripped. Helmet doesn't fit well over Lisa's very generous hair. L wants badly to play with both Prancer and Lisa and K mostly refuses to allow it.
  • rode bikes!

    And this is a biggie. K has been on the cusp of figuring out how to ride her two-wheeler (w/ training wheels). Our yard and driveway aren't suited for biking, especially inexperienced biking, and Sunday was one of the nicest days we've had this year, so I took the girls to the park while M went to work. Where K hopped on her bike and took off, riding around the flat pathway at least 3 times (and possible 4), distracted only by a pair of small boy babies who got successive diaper changes. She was cruising and pleased and I was nearly as proud as she was!

    L got on her tricycle and managed a bit of peddling, though she's still short of actually understanding how to make the trike work. There was some frustration, but luckily there were also slides. And L is a maniacal slider, going down the high "curly slide" multiple times (and only hitting her head once).

    She's also a maniacal climber and both she and K went up ladders I would have thought too high and scary. And by the end of our time she rode her trike about 1/2 way around the circular path while K did a final turn.

  • had good, long naps after the park.

    This is also a biggie because Saturday was a action-packed day of anticipation and sugar and presents and sharing struggles, so both girls were badly in need of recooperation. As was Daddy.

    They slept! I cleaned a bit and rested a bit, just managing to hop up off the window seat and look distracted and busy as M was arriving home.
  • set up and took down the bounce house 4 times.

    Or was it 5? The weather, though nicer than it has been, was rather "spring-y" which meant clouds coming through and dropping just enough precipitation to make it necessary to pack up the bounce house. Also, K found it much less fun bouncing by herself on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, then with a few neighbor kids (Saturday morning). And L wanted nothing to do with the house. "Too 'cary." Ok, fair enough.

  • opened and closed the new umbrella 12-15 crisptillion times
    fought over the new umbrella 7 crisptillion times

    L loves it.
    But it's K's.
    So.... L uses it when K is occupied with Elliott or Prancer.
    Until K notices and rips it from L's grasp.
    And then there are tears and recriminations and kleenex and discussions about sharing and using words not fists and we're on to other things.

  • watched sweaty women run around.

    Ok, we attended Aunt Amy's soccer game which was conveniently in our neighborhood and more importantly, gave the girls the opportunity to watch athletic women doing athletic things.

    A role model in shorts
    (Aunt Amy)

  • I have this hope that the girls will grow up believing they can do just about anything they want to do (how well they can do it is a different issue, but at this point it's an unimportant one).

    Luckily they've got some great role models for athletics, starting with M who swims and runs and isn't afraid to get out into the garden and dig animal poop (ok, it's compost, but K is facinated by the idea that we take what used to be horse or cow poop and put it on our garden. I think there's this appalled fascination thing going with it). And there's cousin Maggie with Ohso, who is oh, so wonderful because he's a real horse! Then there's Amy who plays soccer but usually on the dreaded "east side" so we've not seen her before. The girls seemed to enjoy themselves quite a bit, especially K who found herself wishing we'd brought her soccer ball, the ball she's not shown much interest in at all to this point.

  • Had reasonably reasonable bedtimes (no complaining, no multiple tuckins).
All in all, a satisfactory weekend.

family: ...words are flowing out like endless rain...

... from your little head...

More from the Vocabulary does not equal Comprehension files:

Scene: I'm walking downstairs with L in the morning.

me: Did you have a good night's sleep?
L: Yeah. (excited now) I thleep all night in my own bed!
me (laughing): No you didn't! We just got up from my bed!
L (correcting): Your and Mommy bed!
me: Right, Mommy's and my bed.
L (arms raised at the top of the stairs): Daddy, pea you pick me up? Pea you pick me up?
me (leaning down to pick her up): Ok.
L (snuggling in against me as we descend): Daddy, what 'pick me up' mean?
me: speechless... she's kidding, right? right?

Self portrait
(w/ daughter)

About this one:
  • I like this picture
  • even though I look exhausted (probably more realistic than I'd like to believe)
  • L is looking up at me like I have all the answers
  • She'll soon learn better

Sunday, April 25, 2010

family: .... god bless the child that's...

... counting their sneezes.

Before the virus hit

scene: We've been slightly under the weather around our house, for which I blame M because last week she noted that it had been a good spring for us, illness-wise.

(recreated conversation, probably held around 10.45p when we were both beyond exhausted):
M: We've gotten off easy.
me (reading? falling asleep?): Hmm?
M: No real colds this year. Not like the last 2 years. Remember how bad it's been in the past?
me (awake now): Nice! You just jinxed it!!

So, this week K has been out of school (on her birthday week, no less, and on the same week during which she was designated "snack master," which for a pre-schooler is akin to being president) with a running nose and a bad cough. L has been her "normal" self, but yesterday began running a fever. And sneezing....

L (sneezes 2 twice, quickly): Daddy! I had only 2 'bleth youth' Daddy!
me: That's great L.

Because, honestly, who needs more than 2 'bless yous' when we have each other?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

family: there's got to be ...

2 candles down
(and 2 to go)
... an afternoon after....

I can safely say that I never imagined myself in this particular situation:

It's afternoon on K's birthday and the cupcakes have been eaten, the bounce-house bounced on, the guests dined and relieved of their presents, and the girls put into bed for and woken up from late-breaking naps (which means a late, long evening for us because they don't be ready for bed any time soon), and now I'm sitting on the living room couch trying to bottle-feed a "pees in his potty" dolly that is K's current favorite gift, while simultaneously watching L shift from step to step on the stairs during a poorly executed timeout she got for hitting K after I convinced K to use her words to tell her sister that she didn't want her to play with one of her toys rather than simply pushing L down and grabbing the toy back. M has gone out for takeout food.

You still with me?

So, this dolly is an anatomically (and apparently, digestively) correct boy doll that is supposed to "drink" water out of his bottle and then pee in his blue potty when you push on his stomach. The only problem is that we can't seem to get him to take much out of the bottle (insert joke about weaning him a little too early). So K has asked me to feed him while she busies herself with other things "because being a mother is hard work."

I briefly consider telling her that I've done my time feeding and changing babies, but it's her birthday after all, so I keep my mouth shut.

There's gorgeous afternoon sunshine pouring through the west window, and yet all I can think about is how L won't sit still and take this timeout seriously, and how I'm holding a plastic boy doll, trying to get 4 ounces of water down his throat so we can then squeeze is out of his tiny plastic penis.

L (jumping down the steps): Ok, guyth, I coming. I coming guyth!
me: Your timeout is not done!
L (on the floor now and racing towards us with a maniacal laugh): Watth out guyth! I coming!!

Where she got this "guys" thing I don't know, but in this particular situation it manages to both infuriate and disarm me. I shake my head and keep bottle feeding the baby.

Later, during a subsequent timeout for hitting me after I took a beer bottle away from her (see below), I lift L up to place her back on the landing where she's supposed to be sitting and she yells, "Blath off!!" The only thing I can do is start laughing. Or crying. Cwying. I opt for the laugh. Barely.

K got 2 birthday phone calls this morning, including one from Grandmama in Alabama and one from our good friend Sheila here in town.

Talking to Grandmama:

K (smiling): Hello! What? Yeah. It my birthday. What? I got a doll and a horse with Lisa and some books and... What? Bye.
L: I want to talk to her.
M: Mom, L wants to say hello. (hands the phone to L)
L: Hi Grandmama, yeah. (motioning to a toy horse on the table) You see this horthie Grandmama? It K's horthie. You see it? (motioning to the kitchen table) You see this book? It K's book. Yeah. Bye.

On the phone w/ Sheila
(and on the floor w/ Elliott)

About the beer bottle....

The girls like when I blow on the tops of beer bottles to make those deep, ship-leaving-harbor whistles. And the girls like to try it too. So sometimes I let them try and this time when I was done with my beer I gave L the bottle and she blew on it a few times before sticking the neck in her mouth. M told her not to do that ("You'll break your teeth"), and I said I'd take the bottle away if she did it again. "I not do that again, ever again!" she said. And then promptly did so. And I took the bottle away. "But I need thomthing to blow my teeth!" "To blow your teeth?" I asked. "Yeah." "No." And she hit me. Timeout and "blast off!"

Happy birthday afternoon K! And L. And M....

birthday shoes and umbrella

family: .... we're gonna have a good time...

Happy 4th birthday K!

K, 1 day old

4 years ago at this point (6.30am) we were just arriving at the hospital after waiting an extra 2 weeks for you to arrive!

Yup, you were that late. So late, in fact, that they finally decided to induce you. So on the 22nd we went for a long, long walk, and on the 23rd we went to the hospital where they started the process and sent us home. For mexican food. And ....still, nothing....

We finally went to bed. I went to sleep. Apparently M started feeling contractions at some point. I say "apparently" because I was asleep, banking my rest because I was about to become a father! And it's important to be rested, right?

At some point early in the morning I woke up and realized M was sitting up next to me, silent tears streaming down her face.

me: Uh, you ok?
M: I think it's starting.
me: Uh... yeah?
M (gritted teeth): Yeah.
me ("dawn over marblehead"): Let's go then.

The maternity wing was crowded at that point, so much so that we'd been told that they weren't going to admit us until M was truly in labor. And we'd learned all the various stages and figured we weren't yet in true labor, but M was hurting and we figured, the hell with it! and went on it.

Where they promptly admitted us. And M lay around in pain until a kindly experienced nurse came by to check (1cm dilated, no effacement) and said: "You can do several things at this point -- you can get in the tub, or have a shot to take some of the edge off, or you can tough it out." After this last one she muttered just loud enough for us to hear, "Though I don't know why anyone would want to do that." Then she left us alone to decide.

Shot please!

That helped, though you (K) didn't come for another 14 hours or so.

We didn't know if you were a boy or a girl, so all the nurses were excited (this is relatively rare these days, apparently), and when you did come, the doctor said: "Does the father want to say what the baby is?" and I choked! I didn't expect to have to do anything! And I didn't want to make a mistake. I had to double-check to make sure, and then I managed to say "Girl. It's a girl."

They laid you on your momma's chest to let you get used to being in the world and to let us start getting used to you. I'm still now "used" to you, and that's a good thing. You keep me on my toes and keep my alert, and I love being your dad. It's been a wonderful first 4 years, and we're looking forward to many, many more!

Happy birthday, my first-born.

love, Daddy.

Last day as a 3yo
(4/23/10, riding home
on the water taxi)

K, not a morning person, 03/2010
(on her first cup of... oh, let's say, chocolate milk!
Yeah, chocolate milk! Not espresso!!)

Friday, April 23, 2010

paddling: ... got my... paddling working...

(This is a long and rather boring and rather self-congratulatory post I've written entirely for myself. Feel free to quietly close your browser and come back another time. I won't hold it against you.)

Last night I had a great OC2 workout with DougM, and I was especially pleased because I'd recently gone back to reread some of my very first paddling posts and the contrast between then and now makes me happy. I'm approaching a year of paddling, and feel like I've come a long way, both in terms of conditioning and with respect to technique. (The latter seems the more critical of the two.) The other thing I've got now is some "water time," time spent sitting in a canoe and getting used to the feel of it in various conditions, in various boats, with various paddlers. I'm the first to admit that 1 year of paddling isn't a ton, but it's a lot more than I'd done last April.

Doug is a paddler I respect and admire and look to for guidance and instruction and if you'd told me last April that I would be able to get in a 2-man canoe with a paddler like him and keep up (more or less) for 12 hard miles, I would have thought you were dreaming. (It would have been a nice dream, but not realistic.) And yet, that's what I managed last night.

The rest of the paddlers were either paddling the OC6 up to Sandpoint for loading on the trailer for the Rusty Iron race this Saturday (the men), or getting in a moderate workout in preparation for the race (the women). That left Doug and me to do a harder workout (neither of us is racing this weekend).

I'm always a bit nervous when paddling with either DougM or DougN because of their experience and ability, but they have been encouraging and seem willing to have me along. When we're all in one-man canoes (OC1s), they tend to pull ahead and then circle back around to keep more or less even with me. When I'm in an OC2 with one of them, I just do my best to not cause too much trouble, and I hold on for the ride.

The first couple of times I'd paddled with DougM I sat in the back seat and he stroked and steered. This time, because the steering was just from the back, I sat in front. Which meant that I'd be setting the pace rather than just trying to keep up. It makes a difference, though that may not be obvious if you haven't tried both seats.

Our original plan was to head to I-90, but as we cruised out toward the cut and Lake Washington we discovered the wind was from the north, so heading south to I-90 wasn't as appealing. I voted to go north so we'd be fighting the wind for our first 1/2 and then have it behind us for the paddle home.

Doug's response: "Ok, then we're going to try and catch those guys!" Meaning the men who'd headed north to deliver the canoe to Sandpoint.

And we tried. We paddled hard and continuously for 6 miles, going all the way to the swimming platform without a break. And we didn't catch the men's boat, but we got close enough (a mile? 1 1/2 miles?) to see them turn the "dog park" corner and head west toward Sandpoint.

We were working into the wind and Doug said early to paddle "long and hard, it's going to be a grind" and that's what we did. We ground it out, averaging 7mph the whole way (actually, averaging that for the entire 12 mile paddle, which this morning feels pretty damn good). I sometimes managed to get into a groove and just paddle, and other times it was a struggle with each stroke. But I never felt like I was going to collapse or need to quit. (In case you don't understand, that felt good!)

Our track
(inserted to break up the reading monotony)

At the 6mi mark we paused, had some water, some deep breaths, and then turned around and started back. We'd done the first 6mi in 52 minutes, going into the wind. Doug seemed quite pleased and said "The scary thing is, we should be even faster on the way back. Not a lot, but some." (One thing I like about paddling with Doug is he's enthusiastic and positive. When I'm working hard, I always feel like we've done well because he tends to be encouraging at the end.)

Back into the groove of stroke after stroke after stroke. I got so I wasn't worrying about how I was doing and was just doing. Partly that was me getting tired, but partly it was me feeling like I was keeping up a regular and decent pace. Twice Doug had me shorten my stroke to see how it affected our boat. He said (later) that sometimes that can speed things up.

The wind switched on us so we were paddling into it going south, but not for long, and not very strong. Mostly we either had a slight wind behind us, or very little wind. We crossed a couple of larger boat wakes from far away but heading in the wrong direction (no surfing them), and we cruised down the lake shore to Webster's Point and turned west into the setting sun, heading for Montlake.

Then through the cut and digging for the University Bridge. Under the bridge and then Doug said "last mile, push it" and we hammered out the final mile back around Gas Works Park to the Harbor Patrol site where the men were just back from loading the OC6 on the trailer.

I was beat but happy. Happy I was able to paddle hard for 12 miles without making too many mistakes. Happy I was able to contribute to the paddle. Happy with the progress I've made over the last year.

Our speed
(inserted because I can)

And one more thing I'm pleased about: this was really the first long, uninterrupted paddle I've done since... well, since the last winter series race, and the first with at least one other paddler since last year's Ruston Way race. And it felt good. I didn't hit a wall!

That matters because I'm anticipating the upcoming OC6 race season, curious about how I'll do in the longer "iron" races and especially about how I'll do in our August Na Pali Challenge race, during which the men's and women's crews will be swapping out every 30 minutes. I want to be prepared and ready to give fully.

family:... motion(less) pictures...

more from the series: The View from 3 Feet

K, morning
(photo probably by me)

These pictures are from K's camera and are taken by her, L, M, or me. Sometimes it's nearly impossible to know who took which one, but this one I do remember taking....

Self-portrait w/ girls
(early morning, letting mommy sleep in)

One of the most significant presents I ever got was an old Brownie camera, for my 6th or 7th birthday. Back in those days film came in rolls that required you to feed one end into the empty spool in the back of the camera and then wind until it was properly caught under itself, at which point you closed the back and could start taking pictures. Thinking about it now, I'm amazed I was able to manage it.

Photography has been an interest of mine for years, so I was pleased when K started showing interest in my camera (wanting to use it, often in the most precarious of situations, like, for example, while leaning over the railing of the West Seattle Water Taxi!). So we got her a camera and she periodically remembers it and picks it up.

L does as well. And I do. I love the uncertainty of the images. There's no focus, no control over speed or depth of field. It's point-and-shoot-and-hold-your-breath.

And sometimes the pictures are wonderful surprises:

Kitchen door, w/ sunburst
(photo by K)

And sometimes, well, they're still surprises:

(photo by K)


I just knew it was going to be a great week when first K and then L got sick. So far, I've had to work a short day on Monday, take the day off on Wednesday, and now am playing catchup at work.

But this is the kind of thing that makes it all worthwhile!

(Oddly, I don't remember that "effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness" he mentions, but I know in my gut he's right.)


Dear Friend,

Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness you showed at the course of the Uk gratitude to you with the sum of $3.5USD (Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars)
I have authorized the finance house where I deposited the money to issue you international certified bank draft cashable at your bank.

My dear winner, I will like you to contact the CEO in charge of the finance house for the collection of this international certify bank draft.

The name of the Person with your Cheque is Mr. John Nicholas
Name: Mr. John Nicholas
Cell: +234-702-604-2791
Fax: 206-333-0779

At the moment, I am very busy in Sydney because of the investment projects which myself and my new partners Mr. Peter Hills of CTLEXPORTING COMPANY are having at hand.
Finally, remember that I have forwarded instruction to Mr.John Nicholas at the finance house on your behalf to send the bank draft to you as soon as you contact him without delay.

Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart. Thanks and God bless you and your family.

Hope to hear from you soon.

My sincere advice to you as a Christian is that you should endeavor to pay your tithe to a bible believing church when you get the money because I noticed it as a fiduciary agent that you were skeptical about your winnings when you were been ask by the Uk lotto Agency Inc to file out a claim for your prize.
And now the current policy of the Lotto organizer is that if an emerged winner fails to claim up his/her winning cheque of $3.5,000,000 it's now mandatory that this fund can be remitted or forfeited to the fiduciary agent in charge of this winners file.

However, I want you to contact him immediately as soon as you receive this information and this might cost a delayment for you to receive this draft.

Yours Sincerely,
Mr. Jesse Williams


Thursday, April 22, 2010

family: ... you are so beautiful...

... but not to me.

(backstory: early morning, still dark out, birds just waking up, K&M have been up for some time now. L&I are still abed, sleeping hard....)

K: Mommy, you not pretty right now.

M (actually spoken): Really? You know it's not nice to say something like that to someone. If you don't think they look good, you shouldn't say anything about it. Why don't you think I look pretty?

M (tempted to say - note: speculative): I know. It's early, not even 5.30 yet, but I had to get up because you were awake and wanted to come downstairs and I was hoping to let your daddy and sister sleep a bit longer in hopes that they don't catch the same cold you've got and are now giving to me.

K, still waking up
(maybe you should have stayed in bed longer...)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

family: ... sometimes I get a great.... phonecall....

Sometimes M calls me at work to chat, and sometimes one or both of the girls wants to say something. I love to chat with them on the phone, now that they can actually have a conversation.


Sometimes all I can do is listen:

L: daddy, I was weading and we were weading the horth magazine and then K gwabbed it and I wanted to hold it and then I was cwying because I wanted to hold it and because I dreamed in my own bed last night I dreamed a really big dream and not a really big dream but a really big dream....

me (starting to read email): Hmm....uh, ok....

L, with crown

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

definitions: tez thpenther / dithoner

It's double-definition tuesday!

Thing One and Thing Two

tez thpenther - noun, a small plastic candy dispenser that typically has the head of some cartoon character and holds tiny candies that can be eaten slowly over the course of a morning (K) or quickly, over the course of 5 minutes (L).

me (for the seventh time): L, it's time for you to lie down and go to sleep!
L: But I need thomthing!
me (sigh): What do you "need?"
L (bouncing in her crib, energized by 2 day's worth of chocolate and sugar): My tez thpenther! I need it.
me: Your tez thpenther?
L: No! My tez thpenther!
me: Your tez dispenser?
L: Yeah. I need it!
K: Daddy?
me: Yes K?
K: L keeping me awake.

dithoner - noun, a liquid used for keeping hair from getting tangled.
Can make hair look greasy (mine), but often helps mitigate the post-hair-washing-comb-out (the girls).

L (in the tub and watching K get her hair washed): I want thome dithoner.
me: After we wash your hair.
L: But I need it!
me: We need to wash your hair first. Then conditioner.
L (splashing in frustration): No!
K (on her back and having her hair rinsed): L splashing me.
me: L, please don't splash while I'm rinsing your sister's hair.
L: Dithonerdithonerdithoner!
K: She still splashing!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

family: ... i'm so hot from me... i'm so cold....

(another from the Vocabulary does not equal Comprehension files)

L (pulling her shirt up over her head so that she's blinded but cannot manage to finish the job, stumbling around like a decapitated chicken except with less focus and direction): daddy i cold, i taking this off.
me (helping with the shirt): you're taking it off because you're cold?
L: Yeah! (now free of her shirt, she runs into the living room and back, "galloping" and laughing.) Yeah, I cold! I galloping. I Prancer daddy!
me: do you know what "cold" means?
L (somewhat tentatively): Yeah...
me: Ok.
L: (gallops off again)

a short time later:

L: daddy, I getting hot.
me: you are?
L: yeah.
me: maybe from all that running around?
L: Yeah, from all that wunning awound. Daddy, where my thirth?
me: it's right here.
L: Pea you help me put it on?
me: Because you're hot?
L (bouncing on her toes): Yeah.
me (starting to help her into it)
L: No! No! I do it mythelf!
me (backing off): ok.
L (arms now stuck): Pea you help me daddy?
me: ok.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

family: ... we are the (west) s(e)addle club!

L as Carol/Lisa
(awaiting her wakeup call)

It's now been nearly 4 months since Christmas, when K was given a 3-disc set of the first Saddle Club season. That season and set consists of 26 separate episodes. The girls now watch 2 episodes a day, nearly every day (the only exceptions are when we've been away for the day (out at the coast for example) or they've lost the privilege (due to behavior for example).)

If you're willing to do the math, you might realize that this means they've watched around 100 shows. Divide that by 26 (or, because I'm lousy at math and lazy too, 25) and you can see that, on average, each individual episode has been viewed approximately 4 times.

So what? Who cares?

Well, we do, because in addition to the concern about too much screen time, we've had to incorporate several of the S.C. plot lines into our daily lives. And this means, among other things, that M and I have needed to learn our parts.

For instance. In episode 5 ("Horse Shy") Lisa has to learn how to canter in order to save Stevie and Carol (who have, improbably, fallen down a cliff and are holding on for dear life in spite of the very odd looking rain pummeling them). So, Lisa climbs up on Patch and says....

K (climbing onto her Patch in the kitchen pasture near the refrigerator cliff): Ok Patch, this is it!
L (climbing onto her Patch): Ok Pathchth, thith ith it!!

They gallop away to get Mrs Reg (sometimes played by M, but also sometimes played by K -- one aspect of our reenactments is that they frequently involve ad lib action and changes of narrative direction, keeping us on our toes) who proceeds to rescue the girls by tying a rope around her waist and having Lisa lower her down the cliff by walking her horse forward, wrapping an arm around each girl and being pulled back up.... (we're not exactly talking realism here).

M&me (drinking espresso/reading the paper/wondering why we had to get up so early): This is it Patch!

We might go through this episode 5 or 6 times on any given morning.

Another popular scene involves Lisa falling from her horse while attempting a jump beyond her skill level. She's doing this as a wedding present for Max and Deborah, but ends up in a coma which puts the wedding on hold and results in a cliff-hanger as the second-to-last episode in the season. (The final episode has Carol/Stevie think to bring Prancer to the hospital window where, neighing, he (? K would know, but I can't remember) wakens Lisa and then the wedding can go on as planned. This takes about 24 minutes to resolve itself. Our version takes about 30 seconds, which from parental perspective, is a huge benefit.

The West Seattle Club version of Season 1, episiode 26 ("Bridle Path, part 2"):

K/Lisa (falls off Prancer, conveniently w/ "oxygen mask" in place, eyes closed)
Note: If we don't notice this, there's usually some kind of noise made to attract our attention)
L (falls off her Prancer).
Note: If we don't notice, there's usually a "Daddy, I Lisa!" yell.
me: Oh no! Rider down! Are you Lisa or Veronica (who falls off a horse in an earlier episode but doesn't lose consciousness).
K: Lisa!
L: Lisa and Carol!
Both move to the window seat a hospital bed for convalescence.
Note: when I'm feeling particularly engaged I sometimes will lift and carry them to the hospital.
M (as Carol/Stevie): Lisa, wake up! The Saddle Club is three of us. We can't have a Saddle Club without you. (no response, or possibly L peeking out of squinting eyes)
me (as Carol/Stevie): Remember all the fun we've had!
M (turning the newspaper page): Wake up...
K/Lisa (lies with eyes closed)
M (as Stevie): Max, let's bring the horses in to wake them up!
me (dragging the two horses over): neigh! neigh!
M (as Deborah): They're waking up! Now we can get married!!
me: No more living in sin! Hooray!

editor's legal disclaimer: this last line does NOT appear in Saddle Club. Nothing untoward happens in the S.C. universe beyond the occasional snake bite or horse-napping (see episode 2, "Work Horse").

And some stills:

K (as Lisa)
(ribbon as oxygen tube)

L (as Lisa&Carol)
(Prancer as Prancer)

Note: I'm sure you remember, but in case you're coming late to the game, I've already written about a different scene from the same episode here. Get your lines straight because if you come over you're likely to be pressed into service!

Friday, April 16, 2010

aloha friday spam: email subject lines....

... I did not finish reading.

"The World Most Effective Peni..."

Would anyone reading this open an email message with this subject line?!? Please tell me "No!"

(And in case you're wondering, the bad grammar bothers me as much as anything else about it!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

photo thursday: ... i held my breath and i kicked my feet...

bathing beauties
(bathtime shenanigans)

You wouldn't know it from looking at this picture, but L has begun refusing to go to her swimming lessons. She loves the water (even more so than K who also loves swimming) but won't go to her lessons and our best guess is that this is a result of a combination of:
  • L being 2
  • having a less-than-ideal match in her teacher
  • L being 2
  • did I mention she was 2 years old?
This swimming thing is a fairly important issue for both M and me.

We each grew up swimming and both swam competitively in high school (M in college as well) . And when I say "swam competitively" I mean that:
  • M was fast, and
  • I was .... the only boy on the boys' team.
    The girls team was strong and regularly won island championships. Our boys team (me), not so good. But I got to be captain and (remember, I was a teenage boy) got to hang out with athletic teenage girls wearing nothing but nylon-thin racing suits. I think I was kind of the mascot of our girls team. They put up with me and maybe thought I was cute in a dorky, only-guy-on-the-swim-team kind of way. Hey, no complaints from me! Except I never got to have a relay, what with being by myself.... anyhow....
Both our girls love swimming with M, and everyone is looking forward to warm Florida water this summer. K is actually learning how to swim. L is.... did I mention 2? How long is that plane flight?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

family: ... pretty as a picture.... or not

It's Celebrity Double Tuesday again....

These just keep falling in my lap. Besides, Jim Marshall recently died, and this all hinges on one of his pictures.

Jim Marshall was responsible for some of the most iconic of Rock and Roll images you've seen. I read in an obit that he took photos for over 500 album covers during his career.

But I digress. This is, after all, about me and my family. So...

K, not a morning person?
(for the record, she was showing off her ladybug ring)

Johnny Case, San Quentin (Jim Marshall photo)
probably he's showing off some ring too
note: according to Marshall, this was posed in jest

Monday, April 12, 2010

paddling: ... windy (part 2)

(note: this is part 2 of my race post. Part 1 is here.)

(second note: This was a struggle. The race, yes, but this account as well. I'm not sure why, but it's difficult for me to make this interesting to anyone else, and possibly not even to me, once I've written it. The experience had an impact on me, but the telling seems to bog down in details that ... are a slog, just like the upwind leg of the race. It's realism at it's worst! )

previously on beast and bug:

It's cold. It's windy. I'm going to huli. I can't feel my toes. This 3 1/2mi paddle into the wind is a drag, and it's supposed to be my best leg. Everyone else is having a great time and I'm struggling. Did I mention it's cold? And the wind....

Once we made the turn at the northern buoy, we swung back for 3 1/2mi of running downwind. This type of downwind run is what most of the experienced paddlers love, because it means less work and also holds 1the promise of some surfing in the wind-generated swells. But it was the downwind I'd been dreading all morning.

I always feel slightly out of control when running with the swells. I think it comes mostly from inexperience, with a dash of serious initial exposure back on Jan 2.

But once around the buoy I discovered that, hey, it's not so bad. I can handle the bumps, and now I'm not fighting into the wind. It feels like there's no wind, and I'm even starting to get warm. Off in the distance, past miles of Lake Washington water and the 520 and I-90 bridges, was Rainier. Ok, I can get used to this. Too bad I'm tired from the upwind stretch!

It helped me that the wind didn't have a lot of fetch over which to generate swells. That means that they were small, especially for the first 1/2 of the run.

I paddle, I start catching a few waves. I start wondering if I should take off my hat. I start looking south and wondering how damn far there was to go, because that upwind stretch had really taken it out of me.

We (the 4 OC1s) kept more or less together. The paddleboards were left behind. It felt fine, even good. I wasn't losing ground to anyone, and as far as I could tell, no one was coming screaming up behind me. (The smallness of the waves helped on that front too -- if there was a good surfer behind, they wouldn't have as much opportunity to catch me.) I saw some canoes still coming north, so there were some people behind me.

The downside was that I'd worn myself down slogging into the wind and began to feel it after about 2 miles downwind. One of the men moved out ahead of us. The other man and the woman stuck close to each other. I passed them. The woman passed me back. The other man did too. The waves were getting slightly bigger (but nothing like on 1/2/10) and I was surfing some of them! My bow buried in a bump ahead of me, but in a good way. It didn't feel like I was in danger of losing control.

But my exhaustion was starting to cost me. I didn't feel I had energy to expend trying to catch waves (which is a false economy because you get a lift from the waves and scoot forward, but it's hard to tell your body to gogogo! when you're tired and dehydrated).

The woman pulled ahead, but I saw her periodically pause and lift her paddle up, and that made me think that she was tiring and if I could keep close I might be able to catch her on the final 1/2 mile (when we would have the wind on our starboard beam). In retrospect, I think that yes, she was tired, but we all were, and that in fact she was riding waves well and taking small breaks to conserve energy. Who knew?!?

She continued to expand the gap between us and we approached the shore and the last turn I watched as first she and then the man made that final turn. And then I was around it too! 1/2 mile to go. But what a stretch!

Now the swells and wind were coming from our right, the water full of ugly lumps that I climbed up over and bashed down through, up and down, side to side, the backwash from wind across 5 miles of open water reflecting off the shore on the left and it was a freaking mess. Right when I was the most tired, the water was the most confused.

At this point my concern was to not make any bad mistakes due to exhaustion. I could finish the race and finish it without a huli, but I needed to stay focused.

I somehow passed the man, but the woman took an inside course and kept just ahead of me. I was gaining but never caught her as we pushed our way to the finish at the end of the pier.

She crossed over and then I did too, and I was done. We were done. The race was over and I was exhausted.

Right then I felt disappointed.

I'd felt pretty well trained and yet hadn't done as well as I had hoped, and I felt it was largely because I'd let the conditions get to me before the race. I anticipated problems that never came (the downwind stretch ended up being fine). I got unnerved. I was tentative at the start. And I felt that one of my few strong points, conditioning, hadn't come through for me. The race had kicked my butt!

In the lagoon beyond the finish line I chatted with the woman who'd come in ahead of me. When I told her "good race" she said "I figured something out about 1/2 way down. Figured out how to surf this boat." I said "I could tell." Then she told me her boat was only 3 weeks old and she was still getting used to it. I said it seemed like it was going to be a good fit for her. (Curiously, she apologized, which I told her was not necessary. Apologizing for coming in ahead of me? Not necessary, unless you do something to screw me up.)

Later, talking with other people, revelation! The race had kicked everyone's butt. People were remarking on how long it had been, how hard the upwind stretch was, how messy that last 1/2 mile was. When I mentioned to DougN that I'd been in survival mode for the first 1/2 mile, he said that the conditions were bad. You mean it hadn't just been me?!? (Which suggests something about my self-centered point of view. It's all about me, right?)

It was a good experience and I'm glad I did it. There were good as well as some not-so-good aspects. Lessons learned and more time in the boat. And ultimately, I think it boils down to on-the-water experience.

On the downside:
  • I let myself freak out instead of just seeing what the race brought
  • I worried about going downwind even when I knew I needed to focus on going upwind
  • I was too tentative at the start
  • I didn't take full advantage of the bumps (too tired)
  • I lost feeling in my left leg (and still have some tingling in the foot/toes)
  • I switched my gps on and then immediately off by accident, capturing 13 seconds of time well before the race, so I don't have either a track or an average speed
On the upside:
  • I finished, and finished ahead of some people who beat me in the previous 2 races
  • I felt more comfortable than I had anticipated, both upwind and down (but especially down)
  • I actually caught a few waves (but sadly, w/o the gps track, I don't know what they gained me -- a spike of 1 mph? don't know)
  • I didn't huli
  • I expanded my experience
I don't feel the sense of disappointment I had after Silverdale, especially as I've processed the experience. A big part of this was learning that virtually everyone thought the race a real challenging one. Another piece of it is looking back and realizing that, for my 3rd OC1 race, I didn't do too badly. I'm glad for the additional experience and the chance to race, and I'm especially grateful for M's willingness to cover things at home so I can be gone most all day on one of our two weekend days.

The race course (roughly)
we went right, up, down, left
(bummer about my GPS not being on...)

Now on to the summer race series. Sprints and long OC6 races, ultimately culminating in the Na Pali race in August. Imua!

edit: image from the FB page for the race (looks like I got it close):

family: ... but they don't listen...

from the Vocabulary does not equal Comprehension files:

(backstory: L has been refusing to go to her swim lessons. We think it's due to a bad teacher-student matchup. But that's kind of irrelevant.)

M: L, do you want to cancel your swim lesson today?
L (shaking her head): No.
M: You want to go swimming?
L (more head shaking): No!
me: L, do you know what "cancel" means?
L (tentative, head motionless now): Yeah.
me: You do?
L (more definitely): Yeah.
me: It means we don't do it.
L: I don't want to thwim!
M: So skip swim lesson today?
L (clearly uncertain now): No.
M: Do you want to swim today?
L (head shaking): No!
M (to me): We need to cancel her lesson.
me: Right.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

paddling: everyone knows it's windy... (part 1)

(disclaimer: this is long, so much so that I'll probably break it in half, and not particularly funny, but I'm posting it for myself as much as for anyone else.)

Yesterday (Saturday) I did my 3rd OC1 race of 2010. Which also happened to be my 3rd one man race. Ever. Which I mention because I'm still getting the hang of this small outrigger paddling thing, and conditions easily affect me. Sometimes more than they should. Like they did yesterday.

Going into the race I was anticipating that the conditions would be a factor, and that made me nervous. My previous two experiences were memorable: the first being quite a bumpy ride during which I kept the brakes on nearly the entire race, and the second being a bit nerve-racking because I'd hulied early in the race and was overly cautious as a result. In both cases I'd lost ground to a number of paddlers going downwind. In other words, downwind is not my strong suit. So Friday night I lay awake (over)thinking the coming race. I didn't need sleep, right?

About the race:
  1. it was going to be the longest one-man race I'd done (8mi)
  2. it was scheduled to go from Sandpoint east, around Magnuson Park and down along the west shore of Lake Washington to Webster Point, then back up and back to Sandpoint.
In other words, I was going to be tired by the end, but it would be along a shoreline I was somewhat familiar with. And, assuming "normal" conditions, it would start into the wind and finishing downwind (the same run as the 1/2/10 race).

So yesterday I got to Sail Sandpoint where the race started and finished, and here's what I had to deal with:
  • Things were looking up! The wind was from the north, which meant the downwind was first, and we'd be finishing upwind. I'd have a chance to catch some of the many people who'd be passing me going downwind!
  • Except they'd changed the course. We'd go out to the east for 1/2 mile (wind&swells coming from from our left, the ama side, the most precarious arrangement), then north for 3 1/2 miles (into the wind) and then back south for 3 1/2 miles (downwind), then west for the final 1/2 mile.
  • Which means everyone would pass me on the second 3 1/2 mile section, and I'd straggle in late.
  • Bummer.
  • Plus, it was cold. 37 degrees, even though it was almost sunny (high overcast).
  • And I was in slippers (don't even ask why).
So I hang around stressing about the wind, getting colder and colder, my toes going numb, the wind chop building.... Registration was supposed to be at 9a but they weren't ready until 9.30a. And the race started at 11a. Plenty of time to stress and get overwrought about conditions.

By start time I'd decided that if I was to huli, I'd probably just turn around and come back to shore, simply because I was going to be so cold that I doubted I'd be able to warm up.

The start was lumpy, with all of us sitting there and the wind&chop coming over our amas. I drifted well behind the start line and behind everyone else, lacking confidence and not wanting to get tangled up with anyone else. In the end, I think this tentativeness cost me, but I'm still inexperienced....

And we started!

The whole first 1/2 mile was survival for me. I was paddling poorly, overcompensating to the left, to keep from flipping. Up ahead a canoe turned over. I saw the paddler climb back up. I thought "shit, if someone up front has hulied, what does that mean for me?" I kept paddling, taking short, inefficient strokes, and finally reached the buoy for our first turn. Now I was heading into the wind and the waves.

It was a slog, but at least it felt a bit more stable. If I hadn't hulied in the previous race during the upwind leg, I think I would have been fairly comfortable. In any case, I felt this was my best stretch because it relied more on strength and conditioning and not so much on experience. So I kept pushing, paddling through and banging over waves, getting wet and cold in spite of my 3 layers plus a pfd on top, long neoprene pants, booties, a wool hat and neoprene gloves.

I managed to pass a few people who hadn't gotten too far ahead of me during the first 1/2 mile. Others stayed ahead of me and pulled further away. And we all kept going. On and on and on.

It seemed like the 3 1/2 miles just wouldn't end. I kept looking ahead to see if I could spot canoes coming back toward me. Nope. More paddling. An occasional bump that threatened to lift my ama, spiking my heart rate I'm sure. Trying to remember the fundamentals. (DougN's mantra: fundamentals are your friend!) Reach, power up front. Meanwhile, balancing this with not overreaching, especially on the right because that's how I hulied before.

I caught up with 3 other OC1s (most of the OC2s were well ahead of me) and a couple of paddleboards, and then we moved on as a group. The 5 of them were clumped close together, 2 men and a woman in the canoes, 2 men on paddleboards. They were drafting off one another. I stayed off to their left, not benefiting, not getting involved.

The wind was coming down the lake. We were paddling toward the north end, and there was very little lee. I just bulled my way into the wind, using up my strength.

My left foot went numb quickly, and then the numbness moved up my leg. Not good for steering.
(By the time I was 1/2 into the race, I couldn't feel my leg below my knee and ultimately that became my biggest issue.) Very uncomfortable! It means I wasn't pushing on my left foot, and I was sitting awkwardly on my left side (to keep from flipping).... It means bad technique.

All the time I was thinking about how when this slog of a leg was done, I'd be turning with the wind and have to paddle with the waves I was now fighting. And I don't like surfing in a canoe. I feel unsteady and unsure.

Then I saw canoes coming toward me! Finally somebody had made the turn. Canoes came toward us. It didn't seem like they were surfing too much. I saw DougM&Sabine go past, closely followed by DougN in his single. Finally I saw the turn and made it after the other 3 OC1s (we'd left the paddleboards behind by this point).

(to be continued....)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

family: in the bowl!

L, eating a "dutch baby"
(and wearing K's hat)

Ok, so it's not a bowl (it's a plate), and there's not really any "fire" per se (but she's ready if there were to be one). Still this is noteworthy for several reasons:
  1. She's wearing K's "fire hat"
  2. She's got it on backwards
  5. She's got several tattoos
  6. On each arm
  7. (I said she was ready to fight fires!)
For some reason, L likes hats on backward. Usually this means she's instructing me to turn my hat around (if I happen to be wearing one -- I'm not a huge hat wearer, by which I mean I don't wear hats much, but I also don't wear huge hats much either, so this is one of those serendipitous sentences that works in so many different ways....)

me, last summer, on the "light rail" train
(hat on backwards by demand)
(photo by K)

Friday, April 9, 2010

family: somewhere over the rainbow...

Lest anyone make the mistake of thinking all is happiness in our household, I offer this embarrassing example of "reality." Time to please take off your emerald colored specs....

K, looking pensive, or worse
(atmospherically black and white)

The scene: daddy is responsible for the girls. All afternoon/evening long.
The backstory: M has been working long, late hours because of an upcoming event, and that means I've been on my own with the girls a bit more than I'm used to. And than they're used to. Not a big deal, right? Unless I get short-tempered. Which I do. I did. I have. I will.

The girls have already watched their 2 Saddle Club shows for the afternoon and we need something for them to do while I finish making dinner.

To K's credit, and to balance out the rest of this story, when I said I wanted to watch an episode with her and that there was one I'd never seen (it's the "Getting background on Red O'Malley" story -- oh, soooo complicated! Probably worth a multi-part posting by itself! stay tuned....), she said that she wanted to watch that one, which means when it was her turn to choose, that's the one she picked. Knowing that it was the one I wanted to watch. As opposed to the others we've seen, say, 15 or 20 times.

So, Saddle Club over, they're now... looking for something to do.
me: Why don't you ride your horses.
(note: horses are still upstairs in our bedroom where they were pastured during the excitement and crowds of Easter weekend)
K&L: Ok.
They ask for containers and oats (oatmeal).
me: Oatmeal? Why? No.
K: Please daddy?
L: Pea daddy?

I cave in and give them each a small plastic bowl of oats, which they'll take up to our bedroom. I anticipate oats scattered on the rug, but don't go back up there until it's time for jammies and brushing teeth. I'm busy w/ dinner.

A few short minutes later, they're back, thundering downstairs and wound up. I'm oiling kale and not paying much attention when K grabs onto my leg, when suddenly I feel a sharp pain in my inner thigh. A sharp pain. Where she's pinched me.

me (loudly): Ow! Why did you do that?
K (smiling and backing away): I don't know.
me: That really hurt!
K (still smiling, but only because she doesn't know what else to do): Oh.
me: That's not acceptable. I want you to apologize.
K (softly, still smiling): I apologize.
me (fuming): That just isn't acceptable. I don't know what's gotten into you lately. You're not acting nice.
K (smile still there but fading): I said apologize.
me: But you shouldn't be doing that at all. We don't hurt each other.
K (very softly): Ok.
L: Daddy, you being mean.
me: No, I'm not being mean. I'm upset. I'm disappointed. K, I'm really disappointed in your behavior! I don't understand why you're behaving like this.
K: Ok.
me: No, it isn't ok K.
L (bouncing on her toes): Daddy, you dithappointed?

I turn away and get the kale in the oven, my injury not withstanding. Time passes. Slowly. K & L play and at some point L picks up the plastic "Easter basket grass" that K has been using as "hay" and has been littering the house like a barn since Easter.

K (jabbing her sister in the stomach with a yellow marker - at least the top was on!): Hey! That mine!
L (immediately crying): But I using it.
K: No!
me: K, stop that. What has gotten into you? I feel like maybe you're hanging out with the wrong kind of kids. You're learning things you shouldn't be doing.
K: I not hanging out with the wrong kids. (note: insert name of kid with whom she got into trouble a few weeks ago) not at school today.
me (um, what am I thinking?): I just don't know. I'm disappointed. I have to talk with your mom about this. I may need to move you to another school.

(note: her school is a montessori school and she's doing well there and it's highly unlikely that she's learned bad behavior from anyone there. I had a similar talk with her two days earlier after she'd done something equally childish, during which I suggested the same thing. Entirely inappropriately.)

K (leaning on the stool, head down, face to the ground): I not learning bad things. (she doesn't know what else to say, doesn't understand exactly what's happened and how it got to this point, clearly realizes that whatever has happened, things aren't good right now...)

Sad to say, I don't understand very well myself. I'm just figuring this out as I go. Poor K is busy learning to be 4 (birthday in 2 weeks, so she'd better get on it) and I'm struggling to learn to be a dad of a 4yo. Which means she has to suffer my inexperience. I apologize, K.

She was relatively contrite for the rest of the afternoon/evening and I was careful not to mention again how disappointed I was, but it took some time to warm back up to her. My daughter that I love as much as anything in the world and more than most.

The simple truth is that I'm tired. Work is stressful at the moment, and life feels a bit overwhelming, and the girls are acting...well, 2 and 4. Not particularly odd, given that they're 2 and 4. I needed to take a deep breath and exhale. But I couldn't do that until after they'd not eaten their dinner and we struggled through bath time and I'd read to them (K leaning up against me, exhausted from her long day and still uncertain what had happened to turn things so wrong) and put them to bed. K was quickly asleep, but not before I made sure to tell her I love her. L was up and demanding "Someone put the coverth on L!" and "Ith anybody they-a?" I probably went back upstairs 5 or 6 times before she was quiet.

One more picture, mostly for me, to take the sting out:

K, in a much more typical mood