Friday, September 30, 2011

There's a Man Here Who Wants Your Bras

Last night, I sent Andrew on a thankless errand, an errand of the type that might make any man question the wisdom of having gotten married, or having gotten married to a particular woman: I arranged for him to pick up two secondhand nursing bras I purchased from someone on my neighborhood parenting listserv. Andrew is, it has to be said, adamantly against my purchasing used nursing bras, and I completely understand this. It is a strange thing to buy used, I admit. But when really good nursing bras cost $40-50 or more, and when my size in the first week post-birth might be radically different from my size a week later (or even just days later), it just seems logical to me to have a couple of larger-size options that I can wear a few times then set aside. Anyway, I purchased two secondhand, high-quality, large-size nursing bras that I will put in my hospital bag in case I have a repeat experience this time around of being horrifyingly, nightmarishly, grotesquely engorged. Fingers are crossed that I wasted my $10.

Anyway, the woman I bought them from lives nearby, but too far for me to walk, so earlier in the day I told her my husband would be over in the evening; we agreed on 8:30. Andrew drove over and, at the appointed time, buzzed the woman's apartment. Her husband answered. "Hello," Andrew said. "I'm Andrew. I'm here to pick up something for my wife."

The man said, "Oh. Really? What are you here to pick up?"

"Well, I'm here to pick up some nursing bras," Andrew said.

There was a long, awkward pause. Then the man said, "I haven't heard anything about this." Andrew explained that this meeting had been arranged between me and the man's wife. The man invited Andrew in and said he would call his wife.

Andrew waited uncomfortably while the man made the call. "Honey," the man said, "there's a man in our apartment and he's looking for your bras. [pause] Ah. When were you planning on telling me that?" He hung up and walked into another room to find the bras. When he came back, he held out the bras and said, "Well, this is one of the weirdest things that's ever happened to me."

"This is very strange," Andrew agreed.

The man put the bras in a bag, Andrew gave him the money, and the errand was complete. "You have a really nice apartment," Andrew said. And then he came home with the bras and this truly classic husband story.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Mysterious Tongue

I had a very strange experience yesterday at my first-ever acupuncture appointment (a Hail Mary attempt at moving my placenta). When I’d talked to the acupuncturist on the phone, she said she’d worked with placenta positioning before and seemed fine with having me in. But when I arrived at her home yesterday afternoon, she said she’d actually been feeling uneasy about it because she felt it would be a waste of my money—if I weren’t so far along in my pregnancy, there’d be more chance of the upward-pulling energy having an effect. Furthermore, she’d double-booked my appointment. To apologize, she said she’d do a basic stress-relieving session at her kitchen table for no charge while her other patient was having his full treatment.

So that’s how I found myself with five needles in my head, sitting at this woman’s kitchen table while a housekeeper tidied the counters and a young man (her son?) talked on a cell phone in another room. Before beginning the needling, however, the acupuncturist asked me to show her my tongue. “Oh,” she said in surprise. “That’s not what I expected at all.” She had me stick out my tongue again. “It’s so red,” she said, her voice again full of surprise. “I would have expected you to be more fatigued, more irritated.” She seemed unable to explain my mysterious tongue.

Anyway. That was my acupuncture experience. So much for Hail Mary passes. (Of course, if my ultrasound on Monday shows movement, who’s to say it didn’t do some good?...) In the meantime, my doctor told me this morning not to leave town. Four weeks to go.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Parenting: October Issue

I have little to say about this issue, mostly because I was rendered speechless by this issue’s cover image and main headline. The image is of Tori Spelling and her two children, dressed up as “Old Hollywood.” The headline: “Tori Spelling stars in our Halloween Spooktacular!” To make this issue even less appealing, the following headline is the following: “We adopted our baby on Facebook!” It was enough to make me consider not reading the issue at all. Nonetheless, I persevered.

The first thing to point out is that the magazine has once again undergone a redesign. GoNe ArE the RaNdOmly capitalized section titles; in their place are tiny, nearly unreadable section titles, half in lowercase, half in ALL CAPS, like this: “right now | BUZZWORTHY”. (I have a suggestion: Why not just use the standard initial caps for titles?) We still have a ridiculous amount of celebrity nonsense, including interviews with someone from Gossip Girl and someone named Natalie Morales (am I the only one who doesn’t know who these people are?), and an instructive bit on how I and my child can dress like Heidi Klum and her son.

One interesting change: Each article in the “offspring | AGES + STAGES” section is now tagged with a colored circle noting what age group it applies to. For example, an article about teethers is flagged for “Baby 0 to 1.” It would be even more useful to do this for articles across the entire magazine. Perhaps the process would alert the editors to some of the age-questionable content that’s been cropping up in issue after issue.

Enough stylistic notes. On to the meatier stuff, like an article in a section called “Family | bonding for the modern tribe”—section title in a larger font, no all-caps; the inconsistencies in this magazine’s design are making my head spin. But onward. The article is called “Bone-chilling White: Classic Halloween with a modern twist. The result: a spooky all-white party your kids will never forget.”

COMMENTARY: Or is it a party YOU, the super-sophisticated parent, will never forget? This article seems targeted to the sort of people who have professionals cover all their books in white paper, or who display their books pages-out, to avoid the apparently annoying, cluttered look of bookshelves. This all-white party (white is always a smart move with kids!) features, of course, white-mummy cake pops ($4 each), as well as the following snacks: white-chocolate Dutch mints, white Jordan almonds, and Jelly Belly Champagne Bubbles. Um…yum? Is this seriously what you’d serve kids excited about Halloween-candy overload? Is there even a kid out there who likes Jordan almonds? Don’t those just seem like the choking hazard to end all choking hazards? I certainly wouldn’t want to be responsible for a bunch of toddlers running around an all-white room, screaming with their mouths full of hard, large, difficult-to-chew Jordan almonds. Yikes. It gives me a Halloween-y chill for all the wrong reasons.

But I think someone at Parenting was listening to my COMMENTARY about cake pops a month or so ago, because this time we are given a tip on how to “Mimic the Cake Pop look for cheap: Skewer Peeps with lollipop sticks.”

SUB-COMMENTARY: Overzealous Copyeditor, time to pack your bags. Not only is there no consistency in capitalization after a colon, there is also no way on this earth that “cake pop” is capitalized. And why do cake pops have to be mimicked? Isn’t a cake pop just a new take on cake? So wouldn’t a regular cake, or some other sort of small cakes, be the right substitute? If you want an original kind of cake at your party, and you take away the cake pops and replace them with Peeps, then suddenly you have no cake at all. This can’t be right. Someone get me a calculator FOR LOGIC.

The six-page spread devoted to Tori Spelling and her family deserves no COMMENTARY.

Until next time…

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Bits

Just as I am unable to stand or walk for long (or short) periods without being seized up with contractions, so too am I unable to formulate enough coherent thoughts for a long blog post. And so I will recount some random recent bits.

We went to Ikea on Saturday to get Lucia her birthday present (adorable table and chairs). She was fairly docile for most of the shopping, which we tried to do quickly; but she eventually began writhing in her stroller constraints and making one loud, persistent demand: “BUNNIES. BUNNIES.” Annie’s-brand bunnies, both cheddar and honey graham, are her current favorite snack. At home, when I suggest alternate snacks, she says “Bunnies” with a decisive nod, as though there were clearly no question about what snack should be served. At Ikea, “BUNNIES. BUNNIES” became more and more wildly proclaimed. Instead of giving her more bunnies, like I should have done, we decided to go eat lunch at the cafĂ©. Of course Lucia did not eat even one bite of her mac and cheese, spitting it out with a hideous grimace as though it were lighter fluid.

One morning last week, Andrew sat down on the couch with his computer and Lucia piped up from across the room, “Check email.”

One of Lucia’s favorite things to do right now is to go “Fast! Fast!” When we go for a walk, she takes off at a run, yelling over her shoulder, “Fast! Fast!” She is surprisingly fast. The running-while-looking-over-her-shoulder thing is becoming a problem at home, however. Twice last week she took nasty spills after 1) running full-force into an (open) door, so hard she was thrown backwards; and 2) hitting the side of her head on the corner of the kitchen table. The hazards of her need for speed.

Lucia has discovered the art of direct address. Instead of just saying “Hi” or “Bye bye,” she now adds in the target of her greeting: “Hi, Mama!” “Hi, Dada!” “Bye bye, birds!” “Bye bye, doggies!” It’s pretty cute. She also does this for inanimate objects: “Bye bye, glass!” (a pile of broken glass by a tree she points out each time we walk past); “Bye bye, stick!” “Bye bye, flowers!”

Lucia’s reunions with Bibi, her blankie, have gotten extremely joyous. Our family rule is that Bibi doesn’t leave the house unless we’re going away overnight, and Lucia accepts this with no fuss approximately 99% of the time. When we approach our apartment building after being at the playground or wherever, she begins excitedly chanting “Bibi! Bibi! HoBibi [home to Bibi]!” And when we unlock the apartment door, she races inside, finds Bibi, and squeals “BIBI!” while holding him aloft, victorious. It is hilarious.

And now it’s time to wind up these bits and go to bed.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Lucia is wielding two-word sentences right and left these days, and she’s come up with a few shortcuts for things she says frequently. “Homama” is her version of “home to mama,” which is what I say when an animal at the park scurries away, or when a child in a book goes off somewhere. “She’s going home to her mama,” I say. Lucia nods and agrees, “Homama.” Even at the end of our Five Little Pumpkins book, when “the five little pumpkins roll out of sight,” she announces that they’re going “homama.”

There are some things, like bathtime or going grocery shopping, for which Lucia wants to be accompanied by both Andrew and me. At these times, she makes her request known by saying “Daddymama.” It’s two words blended into one, with the emphasis on the first “ma”: “DaddyMAma.”

This morning, for the second time since moving here, I went to church, trying to shore up our status as bona fide parishioners so we can have our new baby baptized without having to get married for the fourth time. The idea of going to church has for some reason stuck with Lucia, who handily learned the word “church” the last time I went. This time, Andrew got her dressed and so forth while I was out, and they planned to meet me outside so we could then go visit Barbra and Chris. “Soon we’ll go see Mama,” he said a few times, and Lucia took up the chant: “Gomama. Gomama.”

Also, on an unrelated note, when (on the rare occasion) I am not at home with Andrew and Lucia, Lucia will make her toy phone ring and then say, “Hello? Mama! Hi!” with an excited squeal. That’s both adorable and kind of heartbreaking, and when Andrew told me that the first time I wanted to run into her room and wake her up for a snuggle. (I resisted.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Letter to Lucia: 23 Months

Dear Little One,

One morning this week, when you led the way to the living room—your arms full of your stuffed-animal entourage—and we sat down on the couch to read the first book of the day, I was shocked to see that seemingly overnight you looked older. You were wearing mismatched pajamas and just seemed more kid-like as you giggled over something and smiled your toothy smile. After a while you said “Eat! Eat snack!” and we went to the kitchen for breakfast.

Each morning, we go outside with Daddy and wave to him when he goes to work. But now you join me in asking him if he’s remembered important items. Each morning I ask if he has his phone; now you, as we emerge onto the stoop, say, “Phone? Keys?” It is very cute, and helpful. (It would have been even more helpful this week if you’d asked Mama if she had her keys; I locked us out for the first time on Tuesday.)

You’re growing fast, and your 18M summer clothes are pretty much unwearable now. But you are too slim for 2T pants, so we are in an awkward in-between stage. I’ve gotten you a lot of 2T leggings, and you fit into pants with a size range of 18-24M and an adjustable waist. You looked very cute in all your summer outfits, but now I’m ready to see you in jeans and long-sleeved shirts once again (though of course I’ll resent the socks for hiding your cute little feet).

Your ability to tell little stories is one of my favorite things to watch right now. Last week you were out for a walk with Daddy and fell and scraped your knee; Daddy carried you home, comforting you all the way by saying you’d go home and show Mama your boo-boo. Now, periodically, you remember your scraped knee and reminisce about what happened: “Fall. Boo-boo. Knee. Show Mama.” And you still delight in talking about the pond in New Hampshire: “Pond! Wa-wa. [frog motion] Daddy. Swim. [wildly swimming arms] Toes.” I had to take your beloved beads away for a while this week because you were hurling them around the room; I explained that we don’t throw beads because they could hit someone in the eye. When you got the beads back later, you remembered: “Throw beads. Hit eye.”

You’ve been very adaptable lately, now that we no longer take our long walks to the park or go out in the afternoons. I miss our outings, but you’ve seemed content enough to just hang out at home, entertaining yourself for long spells. You seem to have accepted that Mama does a lot of sitting on the couch these days, and you’ve gotten used to bringing over books and toys. I still feel guilty about limiting our outside time—you adore your walks—but we do get out most mornings, even if we stay close to home. And since the intensity of my Braxton Hicks contractions is directly proportional to how much I’m on my feet, there’s not much I can do to change things right now.

Bathtime has gotten very cute and also very trying. Though Daddy always gives you your bath, you now demand my presence as well, and you won’t walk into the bathroom unless you are holding both of our hands; we journey to the bathroom as a group. Once in the tub, you play happily—too happily, at times. You have some cups that you like to fill with water and hurl at the walls—which is fine, until you decide to hurl the water the other way and it gets all over Daddy and the floor. And once out of the tub, you ardently resist having your diaper and pajamas put on. This week, in fact, you flipped yourself over and lunged away so quickly that for the first time you actually fell off the bed. Daddy was not happy, but after some initial frightened tears, you were fine.

It’s time for me to go through your toy baskets and put some of your outgrown toys away for your little sister. You have many things you still like to play with, but for the most part the toys in the baskets are no longer that interesting. Your attention is focused on things we don’t keep in the baskets: crayons and markers; your collection of small animal figurines; your Mardi Gras beads (still!); your toy stroller; your shopping cart (often piled with your stuffed-animal entourage); stacking cups; books; and your two buckets. From your baskets, you sometimes pull out your bag of My Little Ponies, your Jack-in-the-box, a toy “laptop” that says words and plays songs, and blocks.

When I write your next letter, you’ll be two, and just twelve days away from becoming a big sister. Let’s enjoy these final weeks as a threesome, little one. You won’t remember them, but we will.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Baby. Mama.

First, a breakthrough: This morning, when I brought Lucia to a friend’s house for our weekly babysitting swap, she put on a wobbly but brave face when I left and, my friend texted a bit later, cried for only twenty seconds before going off to play with little T. She played happily the whole time (I heard her laughing when I got to the door at pickup time!) and greeted me with a big smile and a cheerful “Hi!” instead of dissolving into plaintive tears at the sight of me. I was thrilled.

Perhaps because of the more trying episodes in weeks past, or perhaps because this is just a stage she’s in, Lucia has become extremely focused on babies and mamas and the fact that one can’t be (and usually isn’t) without the other. When she spots a baby on the street, she not only says “baby” but also “mama” or “daddy,” depending on who’s pushing the stroller or carrying the baby. She says the word-pair seriously, with a little nod of approval: “Baby. Mama.” “Yes, a baby with her mama,” I say back. “Yeah,” she affirms. Then sometimes she points to me—“Mama!” As though pleased to rediscover her own mama right there as she always is.

When we read books, she examines each picture for babies and mamas, pointing out each on every single page. Humans, animals, it doesn’t matter—every baby has a mama, and anything small is a baby. In Blueberries for Sal, a current favorite, there are a few pages where Little Sal can’t find her mama—and when Mama finally reappears, Lucia jabs her fingers at the page and yells “Mama!” excitedly, as though her own mother had been lost and found. She likes finding the mamas in books almost as much as she likes finding cats.

In books featuring human or animal families, she diligently names each member of the family: “Baby. Mama. Daddy.” (She gets a bit confused when there’s a baby and an older sibling, and we’re practicing saying “sister.”) And then she sits back and waits for the next page, the world just as it should be.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Body, Betrayer

Last week, I had another ultrasound, which showed that my placenta still has not moved. At the doctor’s appointment that followed, a C-section was scheduled for me at the end of October, at 37 weeks. I will continue to have scans right up until then, so there’s still hope, but still. My doctor also prohibited me from traveling, warning me that if I went anywhere I could be stuck in a hospital there for the rest of my pregnancy. Also, because she revealed that the awful belly discomfort I’ve been having in the evenings is actually contractions, I’m now to “rest” in the afternoons. She has three children, but I suspected for a moment she’d never been around a toddler.

So, no good news, just worry—and a search for a mother’s helper to allow me my afternoon “rest.” The search so far has been unfruitful; Park Slope is full of mothers, which is probably the problem—finding a mother’s helper just may be as competitive as finding a good apartment. The woman I was slated to interview tomorrow cancelled tonight because she’d just taken a job with another mom.

Low placenta, stubbornly contracting uterus—and, next, terribly burning eyes. Andrew, Lucia, and I went to Rockaway Beach Saturday morning, which was wonderful—it was a cool, cloudy day, and we spent over two hours there. Lucia adores the beach, just adores it—running into the waves, laughing if they knock her down, sifting small clams (which she calls stones) in her sifter, collecting shells in her bucket, carrying shovels of sand from one place to another. She could have stayed all day (and, indeed, tried, making our departure a wrestling match with a boneless, shrieking tangle of toddler limbs). Once home, she took a two-hour-and-fifteen-minute nap.

This was a very good thing, because this is when the irritating cloudiness I’d been experiencing all morning became excruciating pain. I’d put my contacts in that morning after applying sunscreen (washing my hands beforehand, of course), but thought nothing of it; I assumed my contacts just had to be tossed out. When I took them out, however, I was still gazing out through fog. And then my eyes started to burn, so hideously that I wondered if I should go to the ER. I couldn’t open them. This went on, without improvement, for the next nine hours, which I spent lying on the couch with a cold cloth over my eyes. A Google search revealed that getting waterproof sunscreen in your eyes can lead to days of terrible pain. Fortunately, by the next morning, I was okay.

Anyway, I’m fine now, but I relay this story not because it’s likely to be of much interest to anyone but because it just adds insult to injury—as if I weren’t already uncomfortable enough, I had to get sunscreen in my eyes. I’ve kind of had it with my body. It is not doing its part to help me live my life. It is, instead, in revolt.

Andrew, already picking up the household slack as I try to “rest” every afternoon, had to deal with everything all afternoon on Saturday. Lacking supervision as he’s shopped and cooked the past few days, Andrew has become a regular patron at a very expensive gourmet grocery store nearby, returning home with $7 pints of ice cream, $5/pound New Jersey peaches, and $4 quarts of organic milk. On the bright side, he’s been making some amazing food.

Lucia was very sweet on Saturday when she woke up from her nap and found Mama “sick” on the couch with a washcloth over her eyes. She approached quietly and snuggled. Then she piled all her favorite stuffed animals by my head. She tucked Bibi at my shoulder. I then felt her little hands again—she was handing me my lip gloss. Then she handed me my glasses. She let Andrew feed her dinner, and then they took a nice walk. All very cute.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

30 Weeks, New Hampshire

Belly with field of mint.

Mint, Moth, Turtle, and NO CLOTHES!

We spent the long weekend in NH, a rejuvenating few days of quiet and fresh air and green grass under bare feet. Lucia learned several new words: mint, because Andrew discovered a vast field of wild mint growing by the driveway and we spent lots of time harvesting it and piling it in a wheelbarrow; moth (“mof”), because lots of them flutter in the windows; and turtle, because after a long night of rain we discovered a tiny black turtle that had crawled into the tray of Lucia’s bubbles. We delivered him safely to the pond.

The pond was the focus this trip. She asked for it constantly. There’s a floating dock attached by a rope to the regular dock, and this is where she wanted to be. It is not a sturdily floating structure—part of it dips down into the water when you walk to the edge, and it all tilts from side to side precariously. But Lucia loved being right down at the water’s surface, and she ran from edge to edge (stopping our hearts, even though Andrew was right there in the water beside it and could have grabbed her in a second had she fallen in), filling her bucket at one side and dumping it out at the other. She pulled out lily pad-type things by their stems and examined the gelatinous undersides. She sat on the edge and kicked her feet in the water. She greeted frogs with excited cries of “Hi! Hi!” and loved when they hopped or swam away. And she really loved when Andrew swam into the middle of the pond. “Shim! Shim!” she’d call out. “Daddy, shim!” Then she’d turn to me—“Mama, shim!”—and seemed disappointed when I’d only put my feet in.

Unfortunately, the drive home proved horrendous once again. We’ve figured out a way to manage my back pain—stopping halfway through for a stretch—but the downside is that this stop wakes up Lucia. On the way there, she fell right back to sleep. On the way home, she did not, and spent the rest of the drive throwing up. We stopped once to clean her up, and it was…everywhere. Bibi got the worst of it, Elmo took a hit, and the carseat and her shirt were a mess. We stripped her down in a parking lot. “No clothes!” she exclaimed cheerfully from the trunk of the car. “Cold!”

She got sick again just outside of Brooklyn, so we just plowed on home. At midnight she was running around the apartment in her diaper, screaming happily, “No clothes! No clothes!” Chasing a toddler around to get her into her pj’s is not what a seven-months-pregnant mama wants to be doing at that hour. Good thing the weekend was worth it.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Tiny Dancer

Wednesday night, we joined a friend and her toddler for some live kids’ music at a park near home. The place was crawling with toddlers—ordinarily the sort of scene Lucia would hate. But the music was great—and Lucia absolutely loved it. She was so excited about seeing other babies dancing, and kept pointing to the wiggling crowd and saying “Baby!” Though she stayed close to me, she, too, danced maniacally and giggled nonstop with a huge toothy smile. Andrew met us there after work, and though I’d planned on leaving halfway through so we wouldn’t miss bedtime, she was having so much fun that we let bedtime slide by half an hour. (The horror!)

A mom from our playgroup wound up sitting behind us, and she was shocked at this wildly laughing, dancing Lucia. Lucia ordinarily wants nothing to do with anyone in playgroup and stays by my side the whole time, venturing forth now and then only to retrieve a toy which she then plays with at a safe distance from the others--who, admittedly, are usually all boys (though sweet ones). I was reminded, as I am so often, of my favorite dentist-office story, “The Two Carolines.” Except the two Lucias in this case aren’t the rude one and the polite one but the cautious, quiet, observant one and the free-wheeling Tiny Dancer. Those who witness the latter are truly privileged!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Big Talker

Lucia’s language is progressing every day. It’s truly an amazing thing to witness. She adds new words all the time by herself, and she picks things up quickly and permanently when I suggest them to her. Yesterday, when she was asking for “Book!”, I suggested she say “Read book, please,” when she’d like to be read to. She is now pretty consistent at saying “Read book!” and does a very cute “Peees!” when I remind her. Then she’ll keep saying it—“Peees! Peees!”—making it impossible not to do whatever it is she wants.

She asks for her "blue hat," tells us when she's dropped something ("drop Bibi!" "drop cat!"), asks for more, which is still "mai" ("Mai cheese!" "Mai apple!") She says "Bye, bye, cat" and "Bye, bye, stick" or whatever else we're leaving behind. She says "Baby cry" when we hear a crying infant. Two-word phrases are a standard milestone for two years old, I've been reading, and I'm hoping my little A-student hits three words this month. We'll be hitting the workbooks shortly.

She talks all the time about the pond in NH, telling an elaborate story in a series of single words—pond, wawa, baby, Mama, toes (we put our toes in the pond), [jumping frog motion], Dada. Now, when asked what Daddy does in the pond, she says excitedly, “Smim!” She came up with the word all by herself, and the look on her face when she said it the first time was priceless. So pleased!

She still says cute mixed-up baby versions of many things; here are just a few:

bubbick = bucket
monick = monkey
bihm = bib
shim = spoon

But by far her favorite sentence is “Watch Elmo.” She knows we don’t watch any Elmo videos until evening, after dinner, but occasionally something short-circuits in her toddler brain and she runs through the house yelling, “Watch Elmo! Watch Elmo! Watch Elmo!” She seems to sometimes be under the mistaken belief that if she says it louder, I’ll acquiesce. And sometimes, when she thinks she might have a chance of reaching me subliminally, I’ll look over at her beside me and meet her little eyes and realize she’s whispering almost inaudibly, “Watch Elmo.” “After dinner,” I whisper back, which either makes her giggle or makes her angry, depending on her mood and tolerance for Mama whispering.

She’s also gotten very good with names. She knows and says the names of some of the children we see regularly. She also knows Barbra, Chris, and Baby Alex, and some pretty random others: our upstairs neighbor Sasha; our kind but loud neighbor a few doors down, Milly; and the man who cleans our halls and manages the garbage cans outside, Charlie. She likes to wave at Charlie. She is terrified of Milly.

Bucket O' Treasures

Lucia has taken to carrying around a bucket o’ treasures now whenever we leave the house. She always takes a stuffed animal or two, and she always has her bucket in the stroller, but filling the bucket prior to leaving home is new. It started Monday, when I went to a stoop sale and bought her a few trinkets—two tiny star-shaped slinkies, a tiny rubber duck. For the rest of that day she wouldn’t go anywhere without them, and what better way to carry them than in her “bubbick”? They are never far from her at home, either. Yesterday, her bucket collection grew to include her beloved (and, of course, tiny) cat figurine, Elmo, a beanbag monkey, and her favorite stuffed cat. Despite my diligence, when we reached the playground, I realized Elmo was nowhere to be found. I grabbed Lucia and began retracing our steps. At the end of the block I encountered another mom, who held Elmo up questioningly. He’d been found.

Today Lucia walked the entire way from our apartment to Prospect Park, which is nearly one full mile. She carried her bucket the whole time, today filled with her treasured three stuffed peas and their peapod. Of course, the peas occasionally hopped out and rolled down the sidewalk. I can’t forbid her from taking her treasures along…but it would be nice if we could keep track of, say, one treasure per walk. A goal to pursue.