Thursday, May 27, 2010

High Glitz and Summer Education

“High Glitz” and “Spray Tans” are terms that most 5-year-olds are not familiar with, unless said 5-year-olds are involved in the world of beauty pageants. My rising kindergartner is familiar with these terms but she’s never competed for a crown. She has, however, sat on the couch with me on a rainy afternoon, captivated by the high drama of TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras. She enjoys that show so much that, given the choice between it and Sponge Bob, she’d choose Toddlers and Tiaras. I’ve always been very clear about the fact that beauty pageants are not something that I plan on being involved in and she’s OK with that, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the antics of those crazy pageant moms.

Yesterday, after several requests, I caved and sat down with her to watch an episode. Her brother, home from his last day of first grade, decided to watch it with us. He was drawing and watching it intermittently until the pageant started and he noticed the baby division. I could almost see the light bulb go off in his head as he put two and two together, “Mommy. We should put Harper in beauty pageants. She would definitely win. We could use the money she wins to go to Disney World.” I told him that pageants were a racket and that no one really makes money after dropping $800 on a dress and then a couple more on the entry fee. He was disappointed but it didn’t last long because he began a new art project, a book. He frequently makes 3-4 page “books” out of illustrated stories he puts together sheet by sheet. Tatum and I finished watching the show, cheering on our favorite 4-year-old stepford hussies while Truman colored and drew and asked me how to spell words like, “Pageant” and “trophy.” I could see where this was going.

After the show was over, Truman handed me his creation. It was entitled “Beauty Pageant” and told the story of baby Harper’s rise to pageant domination. It depicted Harper with olive skin (spray tan) in a poofy pink dress (high glitz) with big hair and an even bigger trophy. See? Our summer learning has already begun!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Body Art

Our youngest was our happy accident. We didn’t expect her but now we cannot imagine life without her. She’s nearing 15 months old now, walking everywhere and systematically testing every single parenting philosophy I’ve ever held. She has yet to sleep through the night on any consistent basis. She refuses to let me feed her without a fight. She is clinging to nursing like some kids cling to a pacifier (I had the other two weaned by 12 months). She won’t take a pacifier. She eats at least one piece of non-human food per day and she is into everything, EVERYTHING.

Her latest exploit involves markers. She’s obsessed with them. Despite our best efforts to keep them out of her reach, she finds them, opens them and begins her magnum opus. This budding artist’s masterpieces all start out the same way. The medium is her body and the starting point is her inner ear. She immediately sticks the marker tip as far as it will go in each ear, colors as much area as possible and moves on to the rest of her face.

So far all markers have been washable. Here’s hoping it stays that way!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Five Years to the Day

Today, I am thankful for Tatum. Born five years ago today, she is an unpredictable, bubbly, lively ball of energy that speaks her mind and refuses to take no for an answer. She delights ever-so-slightly in her brother’s misery and in being older than her four-year-old friends and she feels right at home in the red tiara she strutted around in tonight. More than any child I have encountered, she relishes every second of her birthday celebration, savoring each gift, each birthday wish, each snapshot taken, each wish made and every drop of attention showered on her. To every person she encountered today who gave her an
“in” to speak to them she said, “Today’s my birthday” and waited for the well-wishes to pour down on her. I love her. Today is her day and, as such, it is a day of thanks for me. Tatum: you rock my world. Happy birthday!