Oscar Night

As they read off the nominees for Best Foreign Film:

Me: It’s going to be Tangerines. Or Wild Tales.

Mr. Sandwich: Oh?

Me: I know nothing about any of them. I’m just going based on names, like at a horse race.

Nicole Kidman: And the Oscar goes to Ida!

Mr. Sandwich: (pointing) You are WRONG!

Me: (shrugging) I’m often wrong at horse races, too.

On a more serious note, I get the point behind the #AskHerMore campaign. I do think that the work should be more of the focus for women, as it is for men.

But you know what? Those actresses didn’t accidentally fall into those designer gowns. They didn’t take a wrong turn and wind up on the Red Carpet. The gowns and the stupid questions are promotional tools for the actresses, the questioners (I don’t consider them reporters or journalists), the designers, and the event–and everyone’s been using them that way for years.

So if you want to change the dynamic, change it from multiple angles. Push people to #AskHerMore, by all means. But also forgo the gowns and the jewels and the shoes and the clutches. Because they’re going to stop asking “Who are you wearing?” if every time the answer turns out to be “David’s Bridal” or “J. Crew.”

I think this is going to work particularly well when everyone is prepared to say something of substance.*

*I agree that Patricia Arquette’s remarks backstage, after the ceremony, were problematic and at best poorly thought-out. But her overall point still is one worth discussing.

In Character

Baguette fell in love with Frozen this summer. I know, that sentence looks funny–but if you keep in mind that August is when she starts telling us, “Want to go play in the snow,” it makes sense for her.

It seemed like she identified with Anna, in no small part because every time she reenacted the first scene with Anna and Elsa, she made me be Elsa (probably a wise move, because I’m less crushable). So when we started collecting things for her to choose from for Halloween, we bought her Anna’s coronation gown.

She could not have been less interested.

But once she was done trick-or-treating (in her pajamas), she settled in to watch her favorite movie. And part way through, she looked over and spotted the Anna dress. It all clicked. She wanted to put it on.

little girl dressed as Anna from Frozen

Over the past several months, she’s worn that dress through quite a few Frozen viewings (yes, always over other clothes), acting out scenes in our living room as they play out on screen.

Then, during Friday night’s screening, she started reciting Elsa’s lines and announced, “Want Elsa dress.” Well, if my girl is going to ask–with words!–for an Elsa dress, then an Elsa dress she shall have, and as quickly as humanly possible.

As is often the case in our house, Amazon.com came to the rescue. So when she watched Frozen last night, she was dressed like this:

little girl dressed as Elsa from Frozen

But I did let her know that even queens have to help make their beds in the morning.

Thoughts on Measles

I have been vaccinated against measles four times.

FOUR!

The first time, I was one year minus three days.

The second time, I was going into the third or fourth grade, and my school required that I get the vaccination again because they required that you get it on or after your first birthday, and as I mentioned above, I got it three days shy of my first birthday.

The third time, there was a measles outbreak at colleges in the Midwest, and my mother decided that this put me in danger in California, and insisted that I get the measles vaccination again. The student health clinic asked me if I wanted the MMR, and I said, “No, just measles, please.” (The outbreak did spread. This in no way prevented me from being irritated with my mother.)

(Then, when I applied to grad school, they required that I also be vaccinated against mumps and rubella, but I couldn’t get the MMR because I’d gotten the measles vaccine that fall, so I had to get two more shots separately, which I also found irritating.)

(I am easily irritated.)

The fourth time was in 2011, when I got the MMR.

So that’s four measles vaccinations, which seems like plenty.

If I get the measles, I am going to be so pissed.

toy syringe from child's doctor kit

Grown-Up Day

Last Friday was my birthday, but I didn’t really plan anything, so Mr. Sandwich and I took today off. Baguette stayed in day care, which means:

GROWN-UP DAY!!!

Which, naturally, we spent watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Sure, some people might schedule couples’ massages or elaborate al fresco lunches, but we live not in a commercial but in the real world of total exhaustion.

Also, we like superhero movies, and we never get to see them in the theater.

Plus, you know what you can’t do while watching a movie in the theater? Put all of your clothing in a pile on the floor and sort out what to keep and what to donate. Well, I guess you can, but only until you are thrown out of that aforementioned theater.

And now we are approaching the time to pick Baguette up from day care, which means we will finish the day of superheroes and wardrobe productivity with a trip to the pool.

It’s pretty much perfect.

Baguette, of Late

The last six weeks have been pretty incredible. Toward the end of December, both Baguette’s day care and our workplace closed for the holidays. At the same time, her evening ABA therapist got married and took a few weeks off. We did schedule one session with the therapist who goes to her daycare, but for the most part it was a real break for all of us.

We’ve discovered that these breaks are very important. Routine lets Baguette learn new skills; the breaks are when she shows us what she can do. And when this break ended, she kept going. Here is a not even remotely exhaustive list of the new things we’re seeing from her.

  • She answered a question with a specific response: When Rockin’ Elmo said, “What do you want to do now?” she answered, “Run on the grass.”
  • She didn’t just quote, but imitated the “how do you wrap a present” segment from the Elmo’s World about birthdays.
  • On New Year’s Eve, she let Bestie watch videos with her on the iPad.
  • One day, after several viewings of a “Happy Halloween” Sesame Street compilation on YouTube, she came up behind us when we were in another room and said “Boo!”
  • One evening, she said, “Want carry you.” Then she jumped up into my arms and yelled, “Whee!”
  • Another evening, before bed, she sang first the first two lines of her favorite lullaby by herself.
  • She played with her Connect Four game and took turns with her stuffed lion.
  • When coloring, she enhanced a drawing of an elephant to show it spraying water with its trunk.
  • This morning, she used her Sesame Street-inspired gift-wrapping skills to help wrap Bestie’s birthday present.
  • At the zoo:
  • * “The elephant is eating the carrots”
    * “Look, an elephant”
    * “I see a lion”

  • After climbing and playing on the elephant statue at the zoo playground, she ran back, hugged it, and said “I love you. I love you.”

small girl sitting on statue of elephant

To a lot of people, these developments may not sound like much. But for Baguette, and for us, they’re huge.

She’s communicating in ways she never has before. She’s expressing a complexity of thought that is new. She’s interacting in ways that we haven’t seen.

Because not only will she let the lion take turns at Connect Four, but when she completed a task at day care and her teacher asked her if she wanted to pick a friend to jump with, she walked up to one of the little boys in her class and held out her hands to him.

It’s hard to know who was happiest about this–us, her teacher, or the little boy, who apparently was overjoyed that the girl who talks to no one had picked him out of the group. But probably the answer is that we were happiest. Because we know what it took her to get here.

Progress

A week ago, Baguette was coloring in broad swaths of marker. Now she can do this.

coloring book page with Big Bird

All.

By.

Herself.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not this precise all the time. But she suddenly gets what the lines are for, and pays attention to them. She matches the colors of the characters, whether it’s Zoe or Clifford the Big Red Dog. She’s doing SO MUCH right now, and it’s incredible to see how all of the hard work we’ve been doing, all of the hard work she’s been doing, is helping things come together.

Some Days, All You Have Is a List

Because that’s all I can come up with at the moment. Here’s today’s list:

  • Three years ago, I thought Baguette would be making her bed soon. Nope. But maybe that’s something we can start.
  • We have started having her help feed Wicket in the evening. Baguette seems to enjoy doing that, once we get her attention. Wicket definitely enjoys it.
  • One of Baguette’s favorite things to do right now is play catch. Soccer ball, football, lacrosse ball, it doesn’t matter. And she’s getting pretty good–she can throw fairly accurately and with strength, and she can catch while walking toward me.
  • When I say “favorite,” I mean we play catch for 30-45 minutes a night. In the dark.
  • I’m actually going back to the gym. People say, “Good for you,” and I respond, “Look, I’m just trying to stay alive.” Seriously. This is my goal.
  • Thanks to this worksheet from her day care, I know what Baguette’s handwriting looks like. I can’t wait to see more.

handwritten word "ten" on a worksheet

Things I’ve Been Thinking About

Baguette has done a lot of cool stuff lately. This will be a post of its own. It’s that much stuff.

  • I’m glad the holidays are over, but I could really use a vacation. Good thing there’s a three-day weekend starting tonight.
  • We’re playing a lot of football.
  • Sometimes we play leopard.
  • Leopard

  • Sometimes we play both at the same time.
  • I had my first session with a personal trainer today, and I am so sore I can’t walk down steps, and no one will sympathize because they’ve all been working out for years.
  • Eating a huge burger and fries with a beer may not have been the most productive response, but it worked for me at the time.
  • Unexpectedly running into John C. Calhoun must have been terrifying.
  • This Christmas, it occurred to me that I don’t know if Baguette knows about Santa. Then it occurred to me that we also haven’t taught her anything about Jesus. Then I started to wonder what, exactly, she thinks is going on at Christmas. So I bought her a book of Bible stories, and am reading her one a night before bed. I also contradict them with my commentary. I am not sure I’m helping.

Happy New Year!

So we planned a quiet New Year’s Eve at home with just the three of us. This was to follow a morning of snowshoeing at sort-of-nearby Mt. Pinos, with Bestie and her parents and another family.

Baguette had a lot of trouble getting to sleep Tuesday night; she and I were up until at least 1 a.m. Still, we were on the road at about 7:45 this morning and at the parking lot at the top of the road just over an hour later.

But then something very unusual happened: Baguette refused to get out of the car and play in the snow. Our girl loves the snow; she’ll put on all her gear and ask for it in August. We’ve made two other snowshoeing trips this month, and she had a blast both times.

This morning, though, she was tired. And it was cold. How cold? It was 13 degrees Fahrenheit in that parking lot. While that just means adding a layer of clothing for Mr. Sandwich and me, it has quite a different meaning for Baguette. I guess she’s not completely impervious to cold after all.

Bestie and her parents couldn’t make it, and eventually we packed up and headed back down the mountain, spotting the third family on their way up as we were on our way home. (Although by that time, we’d have been pretty much done even if Baguette had been willing to leave the car.)

So then a lot of texts went back and forth, and Bestie and family came over to our house for an impromptu New Year’s Eve dinner of take out from a local Mexican restaurant. We cut technicolor snowflakes out of colored copier paper and finished up with ice cream for dessert

A good time was had by all. And Wicket didn’t even have to wear a hat.

Happy 2015, everyone!