Happy Halloween, 2016

Baguette has never been that into trick-or-treating. From her perspective, Halloween is when you knock on your neighbor’s door, and they answer it–but then they don’t let you in. What’s the point of that?

It’s always been a struggle. Not because it particularly matters to us whether she wants to, but because we want her to understand what it is, and see if she can find a way to make it fun for herself. There would be a parade at her day care that she had to be wrangled through–the teachers made those costumes–and then in the evening we’d try to get her out into the neighborhood.

Each year, it was harder than you’d think. There was the time she refused to wear layers (shirt and tights were fine, but not the elephant part of the costume). After many tears, she decided to wear all of her Elmo clothing. It worked. The next year, she rejected the costume we’d bought her AND the one from day care, finally settling on my shirt worn backward. The year after that, we laid out every costume and clothing item we could think of, and she chose soccer ball fleece PJs–although once she was done with her abbreviated neighborhood circuit, she added Anna’s ball gown from Frozen.

This year, we looked at the restrictions required by the school and settled on gray leggings, gray t-shirt, and elephant headgear (we bought two headbands with ears and a hat). But yesterday I pointed out that she’d spent the week saying “I am a fire fighter” and “I am a doctor,” following a LOT of viewings of Elmo’s World DVDs. And I remembered that at some point, someone had given her a doctor costume. So I unwrapped it, and she instantly fell in love with the idea. She wore it all afternoon, and tried to sleep in it, and put it back on enthusiastically for this morning’s parade at school.

Small girl in scrubs costume running
Paging Dr. Baguette

She was still wearing it when Mr. Sandwich picked her up, and didn’t take it off until they were in the store looking at fire fighter costumes. They brought one home, but its velcro fasteners proved unacceptable. Out of all of the costumes we’d spread across the couch, which one did she pick?

The elephant-ear headband.

So we headed out with our elephant for trick-or-treating, but it turned out that Baguette had no interest in that–she just wanted to go for a walk around the block.

The whole point is to have fun, and for the first time, Halloween was really fun for her.

I couldn’t be happier.

10 Things I Found in My Closet

This week’s Monday Listicles asks us to share 10 things from our closets. Ta da!

  • A pile of clothes to be donated.
  • Clothes for donation

  • An empty shoebox.
  • A shoebox with unworn crosstrainers.
  • A backpack filled with emergency supplies.
  • Another backpack filled with emergency supplies.
  • A lobster-print bathrobe.
  • A gorgeous bag from Siren Handbags.
  • Siren Handbags

  • An Elmo doll with a broken eye.
  • A teddy bear, complete with choking hazards.
  • A Ren Faire costume I’ve never worn.

Happy Halloween! Or, Costume Drama

Weeks ago–right after Baguette broke her leg–we went to Costco and explored the Halloween costume options. Mr. Sandwich brought her an array of choices, and she picked the elephant.

It promptly became a stuffed animal.

So we weren’t sure whether she’d wear it. But we weren’t too worried, because we had been given a tiny UCLA cheerleader outfit, and we figured that would work if the elephant didn’t.

What we utterly failed to consider was that somehow she has determined that she will not wear layers unless one of them is a jacket or a sweater. So both the elephant costume and the cheerleader dress led to crying and screaming.

Elephant and UCLA cheerleader costumes
Each of these looks delightful but is wholly unacceptable.

Not anyone’s Dream Halloween.

After we read a few books and calmed down (all of us, frankly), Baguette decided that she would wear her “Elmo shirt.” We added red pants and “Elmo shoes,” and then she topped it off with three hats. Somehow we made it to several houses on our block, but she went back and forth on whether or not she wanted to take candy from relative strangers, which, when you think about it, is probably not a bad thing.

Now, some might say she was dressed as Elmo, and others as an Elmo Enthusiast. But if you are a loyal watcher of old Sesame Street episodes, you would realize that she was in fact dressed as an entire episode.

La la la la, la la la la, Elmo clothes

A Few Things Baguette Is Saying These Days

  • “Alicious! Mmmm!” (With a smile, often just after throwing the alicious food on the floor)
  • “Daddy Elmo I play drums.” (Followed by drumming. I am unsure about how to punctuate this. Is she telling Daddy and Elmo? Is she telling Elmo’s father, but she’s unsure of his name? I can’t fault her on that, since Dorothy the Goldfish thinks it’s “George,” but apparently he’s been identified elsewhere as “Louie.”)
  • “Super Mommy! Super Daddy!” (I’d like to thank Sesame Street and Super Grover for this one.)
  • “Want to see Zoe. Hi, Zoe!”(This girl does love her Sesame Street characters.)
  • “Bed!” (Often at completely implausible times, like 30 minutes after waking up.)
  • “Wow! A guitar!” (Sometimes it’s a violin, but to be technical, it’s a ukelele.)
  • “Shoe! Shoe! Shoe! Shoe! Shoe! Shoe!” (About shoes that are much too small.)
  • “Chug, chug, puff, puff, ding dong, ding dong.” (And here I thought “I think I can” was the most important phrase in The Little Engine That Could. Shows what I know!)
  • “Flower!” (Yelled angrily as we approach the house. Evidently she cannot wait to begin our evening Family Walk so that she can assault the neighbor’s garden and uproot their decor.)

Talking About Sleep (But Not Doing Much Actual Sleeping)

Saturday was weird. Baguette woke up and then decided to nap at 9:45 a.m. for abut 45 minutes–just long enough to get a second wind. She finally fell asleep again at 3:30, which is about three and a half hours later than I want her to nap so that she stays on schedule for day care.

Even when she was awake, though, she was only interested in me. We went to the park, because she loves to run free. Except that this time, she sat down on my lap and leaned back against me. Very sweet, and I savored it–but hardly the outdoor exercise I wanted her to get.

After her belated nap, we went out for frisbee. This does not involve playing Frisbee, although I can understand why you would think that. No, that’s what we call “going for a walk around the block” at our house. Why? Not for Baguette, although I can understand why you would think that, too. It’s actually for Wicket. This dog loves to walk, and when we say “walk,” her ears perk up and her eyes shine. She’s ready. So if you don’t put her in the harness and leave right away, she concludes that she has done something so horrible that no walk is forthcoming, and she starts to cower sadly. The guilt was too much for us. We started spelling it out, saying, “Should we go for a W-A-L-K?”

That worked really well, except that after about a month, the dog learned to spell. So we came up for a code word, and that’s been working for about two years (This is what inspired us to refer to Baguette’s baths as SCUBA. Seriously, it works. Although I’m still surprised that the Dog Who Can Spell hasn’t picked up code-breaking.)

After frisbee, Baguette was bouncy with energy–again, all over me. She wasn’t particularly interested in food, but she did enjoy SCUBA. Apparently that washed any residual tired right off of her, because she clambered all over me for over an hour. There was no distracting her, not even with Red Puppet (again with the code words).

This inspired the following conversation:

Me: Do you think maybe it’s the pajamas?
Mr. Sandwich: You mean, they’re inspiring her?
Me: Maybe. It might be the red stripes giving her energy.
Mr. Sandwich: Or the shark.
Me: Like a shark, she can’t stop moving.
Mr. Sandwich: Ever.
Me: Maybe.
Mr. Sandwich: I’m pretty sure that’s it.

Meanwhile, Wicket will sleep at the drop of a hat.

It’s Not Easy Being Rapunzel

Tangled (2 of 2)

Baguette has long been obsessed with my hair. She plays with it, pulls on it, hangs from it. At the salon, I have to ask my hairstylist to rinse out as much of the color as humanly possible–because Baguette chews on my hair.

I thought, “Maybe if I buy her a doll, she can use its hair instead.” So I went to Toys R Us (which gives me the same sensory-overload migraine that I get at IKEA) and bought her the doll with the longest hair I could find.

She barely acknowledges that doll.

She loves Elmo, so her grandpa bought her an Elmo doll. She didn’t care. I bought her Ernie and Bert, and she didn’t care. She’ll point at them, name them, and move them out of her way.

She has a slight affection for her blanket, which she likes to take in the car on the way to day care.

But what she really wants is my hair. Apparently that’s her lovey, and there is no substitute.

Recently she discovered the comb. We’ve been using it on her hair, of course, but she learned to say the word. When we get home at the end of the day, she wants me to sit down so that she can stand behind me and comb my hair. She takes the comb to bed. Her first utterance this morning was “Comb.”

I want to cut my hair short, but I’m going to wait. Right now it would be too traumatic. But not for me. For Baguette.

Photo by Brett Jordan, via Flickr.

Stubborn Little Girl

Mule

“Elmo!”

“Say ‘please.'”

Silence.

“Baguette, ‘please’ is a nice way to ask for something you want. Say ‘please’ and you can watch Elmo.”

Silence.

“I know you can say ‘please.’ I’ve heard you do it before. Say ‘please.'”

Silence.

“Okay. No Elmo.”

Silence. Baguette then throws herself across my lap, as if to say, “If I can’t get my way, I will make it impossible for you to do anything but hold me.”

Time passes. Baguette gets up and decides to eat yogurt.

“Squacky!”

“Say ‘please.’ You can watch Pajanimals if you say ‘please.'”

“PEAS!”

Well. I guess we know who’s really important in the Henson pantheon. And I’d just like to point out: we won.

Now we just need to win 999,999 more times.

Photo by magnusfranklin, via Flickr.

A Grownup, On Sesame Street

Let me start with this: I still love it. I’m a little bewildered by the monsters they’ve introduced in the past two decades (who is the blue monster with long, ratty yellow hair? I need a wiki that is photo-based rather than name-based), but I totally get why this was my mom’s favorite kid’s show. And I’m enjoying the chance to see Baguette discover new characters she recognizes and loves–Elmo’s her favorite, but not the only one she’ll watch now.

However, there’s one set of characters on whom I’ve done a 180:

That’s right, Bert and Ernie.

When I was little, Ernie was happy and fun, and Bert was grouchy and glum. As an adult, I have a much better understanding of Bert. It’s clear that he’s grouchy and glum because Ernie, while upbeat, is also batshit crazy. Bert wants to sleep? Ernie’s playing a trumpet. Bert wants to read? Ernie’s clucking like a chicken and hanging from the ceiling like a monkey.

So as Mr. Sandwich and I sit with Baguette and watch Sesame Street, we can’t help but come up with reasons why we’d rather be roommates with Bert than with Ernie. Sure, Bert’s square. But consider what that means in a real-world roommate:

  • Bert takes out the trash.
  • Bert cleans the lint out of the dryer.
  • Bert knows how to use a plunger.
  • Bert doesn’t leave dishes sitting around for days.
  • Bert makes sure you get your mail and your phone messages.
  • Bert pays his half of the rent on time.

Ernie? Ernie lets lions into the house.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Rain Study 2

Actually, I like the rain, except when I have to commute in it. But I do think that the rain predicted for today and Sunday is going to put a damper (that only sounds like a pun) on our usual activities.

What do you do with an 18-month-old who would love it if I just sat next to her and let her watch Elmo all day long? Because I’m not going to let her do that.

Photo by amandabhslater, via Flickr.