Sunday, June 16, 2013

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: An Update on the Ladybug

There are two qualities about my Franny girl that are combining to really keep us on our toes.  First, she has an amazing capacity for finding things.  I posted a few months ago about her knack for spotting and collecting tiny "treasures" anywhere we go.  I don't know how she does it.  It doesn't matter where we go, if there's a lost marble or penny or other trinket, she'll gravitate to it almost immediately.

 Second, she continues to be endlessly fascinated with anything that moves or breathes.  It doesn't matter if it's a bunny or a roly-poly or a fish or a beetle or a puppy or a salamander. 

Well, you can imagine where I'm going with this.  In the past three weeks, she's found and captured a caterpillar, a salamander, a tiny millipede-looking bug (ew!), an inchworm, two turtles, a number of roly-polys, stinkbugs, and ladybugs, and a grasshopper (which she brought, unbeknownst to me, into the car and then accidentally let go.) 

Every one of them, she LOVES.  She will hold it in her hand, kiss it, and say (in the voice most people use to talk to babies), "Oh, sweet little cricket!  He's going to be my pet.  Looook at this beautiful little cricket.  Do you want to pet him?"  (See video with inchworm here.)

Anyway, I'm now going to tell a story we are calling, "Franny to the Rescue."  
Craig recently acquired a number of baby chickens, geese, ducks, and turkeys.  We are going to raise them on the farm, but we are keeping them under heat lamps in the garage until they get big enough.  On this particular day, the kids are with Nana and Papa, and Craig takes the birds out and lets them run around the yard while he cleans out their pens in the morning.  They all return to him, except the tiny baby turkeys, who have disappeared into the hedges.  

These hedges are THICK (the kids call them "the jungle.")  Craig cannot find the turkeys, and finally gives up.  I'm thinking, too bad Franny isn't here.  If anyone could find a tiny lost turkey, she could.  

That night I return home with the kids.  The turkeys have been out all day, and Craig has given them up for dead.  I start trimming the hedges.  Franny says, "Mom, I will help you find those turkeys."  She darts into the shrubbery, and less than a minute later calls out, "I found them!  I have them both."  And she comes tromping out with a turkey tucked under each arm.

An update on the Doodlebug

Finally.  I am done with school and we are back in God's Country.  :)

We are so happy to be back, and I am enjoying this time with the kids so much.  I always said my favorite time with the kids was from 9-18 months, because you could just see the little wheels turning in their heads and actually watch them learning new things every day.  Well, I think this might have that beat.  Both the kids are changing so fast and growing into such amazing and interesting little people.

The Doodlebug will be starting kindergarten in the fall. He still has the kindest heart in the world.  He is incredibly perceptive about everything around him, curious and inquisitive, empathetic and insightful.  

In the past few months, Atticus has learned to ride a bike with no training wheels and cast a fishing line (he's amazingly good at it).  He's becoming quite the little reader, and he also has an incredible attention span for being read to.  We have been working our way through all of E.B. White's books (Charlotte's Web, The Trumpet of the Swan, and Stuart Little.)   

His imagination is exploding, and it shows all day, every day.  He's interested in Star Wars, drawing, and writing.  He listens to the news on the radio and asks questions about what he hears.  

Craig made him a bow and "arrows," and here he is playing Robin Hood. 

He dressed himself in this picture, if you can't tell.  I'm loving the stripes-and-plaid look.

Here he is cutting leaves from the tree with scissors and putting them into his [awesome Gremlins] lunchbox.  He also cut each individual leaf into multiple tiny pieces.  This was one of those things that kept him occupied for hours.  He would have kept at it as long as we let him.

(If anyone is having trouble finding activities to occupy their preschooler, might I suggest allowing them to climb on stepladders with scissors while mutilating the landscaping?)

And I'll leave off with this, another bedtime conversation:

Atticus (out of nowhere): "I'm going to be a father someday.  What will I need?  Hmm.  Well, first I'll need a nice ring.  But I don't want just a plain ring.  I want one with something on it...(long pause).  Like the Statute of Liberty!"

Me: "Okay, that's an interesting start.  What else will you need to be a father?"

Atticus (matter-of-factly): "Well, a BIG bed.  And a house with four rooms.  One for me, one for the Wife, one for the son, and one for the daughter."

Me: "Are you and your wife not going to share a room?"

Atticus shakes his head no, wincing.  He says with this huge sigh, "I just want to have my room be nice and quiet."  I almost died laughing.  His dad probably feels the same way half the time, at least.  :)

I ask if his wife isn't going to sleep in his bed with him.  
He shrugs and says, "I guess if she gets scared she can."