Harper in action.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Our LITTLEST Theologian...

...or maybe he just read Daddy's latest blog and wants to keep on pace with his big sister.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our Little Theologian

With Easter fast approaching, we decided to teach Harper Jo about the meaning behind the holiday. We want her to have a grounded biblical knowledge of painted eggs, and chocolate bunnies. We have a sticker book that McCall purchased and as soon as I'm done with it, and understand who all the characters are, I'm going to tell Harper all about it. (Not the story of Easter, I'm going to tell her about the sticker book Mommy got me and how cool it was. Seriously folks, I'm here all week.)

Now I have some personal hang ups about telling a two year old a story that is basically the execution of an innocent man who, oh yeah, also happens to be God! First of all, it probably won't instill her with a lot of faith in our justice system (regardless of the fact that the story happened 2,000 years ago under the Roman empire). Secondly, despite the happy ending, it's also primarily a story about betrayal, brutality, and death. I'm beginning to wonder if the story of Easter is inappropriate for children. Maybe, we'll just celebrate Christmas again.

Despite all my concerns I've still showed her the sticker book, spending lots of time on donkey riding and palm branches and kind of rushing through plotting to kill Jesus.

So last night Harper and I were in her room with her new Fisher-Price Discovery Channel View-Master Learning Projector (View-Masters have come a LONG way since 1983!) learning about farm animals. Lo and behold there was a slide of a donkey. I asked Harper, "Who rode on a donkey?" There was a brief pause and then she said, "Jesus!" And then, and this is what blew me away, she added, "In Darusalem!" "That's right," I said, "in Jerusalem."

So the sticker book is an early success. I just hope that when Easter rolls around and we ask, "What do people shout on Easter?" She'll say, "He is risen!" and not "Crucify!"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

She's a Very Chased Girl

Harper has developed a new game she loves to play. Each day after we pick her up from preschool we usually spend some time in the front yard playing. This helps to wear her out a bit and we all get to enjoy the blue sky and exhaust from the rush hour traffic.

Recently, Harper has taken to running around in the yard yelling, "Try to catch me, try to catch me!" She is not satisfied until one of us starts chasing her. And it doesn't matter what game we might actually be playing at the time. We might be drawing with sidewalk chalk, or playing with Nerf rockets, or pushing Marley in the baby swing. Whatever it is, it quickly dissolves into, "Try to catch me, try to catch me!"

Sometimes we play outside with Harper's neighbor friend, Sofia. But Try to Catch Me is an exclusively one way game. Harper has little to no interest in chasing anybody else. In fact it's pretty funny to see two little girls running away from each other with nobody chasing either one of them. After a while she's back to one of us imploring us to resume the hunt.

The funny thing is, it's not like there's any doubt that we can catch her. There's really no trying to it. The one advantage she has is that McCall and I are usually pretty tired by the end of the day and we're kind of sluggish. In fact, to a curious pedestrian we might even appear like a scene out of some horror movie: two zombies slowly stalking a toddler yelling, "Try to catch me, try to catch me!" Call it Late Afternoon of the Living Dead.

I've been saying it a lot recently, but I can't wait for Marley to start walking. He'll love trying to catch her. Then the two of them can play with each other and McCall and I can sit on the porch and take part in the newest parental craze sweeping the nation: keeping an eye out for potential kidnappers.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Night and Day

I can't believe how different Marley and Harper are. And it's not little things. It's really big things that create a significant difference in our experiences with them. You may recall (though probably not) my post about how much Harper hates to sleep. You should check it out, it's a good read.

Anyway, while she is still as adamant about not sleeping now as she was then, Marley is so easy. We lay him down, he goes to sleep. Usually we give him a bottle, but there have been times when I put him in his crib, and he'll wind down and go to sleep on his own. This has never, ever, ever happened with Harper. From the time she was very young, I'm talking weeks old, she would scream and wail against the prospect of being put in her crib to go to sleep. As soon as she could pull up (which was pretty early) she would stand at her crib side and cry until she started coughing and choking.

Harper took her first steps at eight months and was walking confidently by nine months. This excited us because we thought we must have the most brilliant child ever. However, now it feels like we got a truncated infancy stage and have had an extremely long toddler stage. Marley on the other hand is right on track. He's just started experimenting with standing and should probably be walking by his first birthday (as opposed to climbing up steps and going down slides like HJ), so we're getting an idea of what real babyhood is like.

One thing that really frustrates me about Marley is his extreme dislike of laying on his back during diaper changes. If Harper had this issue I do not remember it at all. Marley, as soon as I lay him down, starts fussing. He squirms and writhes and as soon as I let him go he flips over onto his belly and starts trying to crawl off the changing table. The only thing I can do is try to distract him with a toy or something. Thankfully, Harper is pretty much potty trained at this point so we're only changing diapers for one kid. And I'm so thankful because Harper's toddler dukes are not pretty in her training potty. And her bottom is much easier to clean after sitting on the toilet than if she were to sit in it for a minute before being changed!

One way that they are very similar, though is their appearance. Marley looks like a mini version of Harper. Their first pictures are almost indistinguishable as seen below:



















Harper and Marley as infants. That's Harper above, and Marley on the right. Or is it Marley above, and Harper on the right...?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mr. Marley Man Update

I can't believe how quickly Marley is growing and learning. In just the past few weeks he's had so many breakthroughs. He recently started sitting up all on his own, and I anticipate that he will be standing soon and at some point will start walking.

I didn't want him to ambulate too early because Harper was SO quick to walk that it seemed we were chasing her right out of the womb. But Marley has gotten so big that it's just become painful to carry him around. My arms are constantly sore and I can't wait to be able to put him down and have him not fuss about being limited by his inability to keep up with the rest of us. I mean, we go on walks around the neighborhood and all he does is cry about having to crawl on the sidewalk.

He's also started patting his lap, and clapping his hands. We play a game when he's in his highchair. We say, "Pat, pat, pat," and he pats the table top. Then we say, "Clap, clap, clap," and he pats the table top. Then we say, "No, clap, clap, clap!" and he pats the table top. So we say, "Fine, pat, pat, pat," and he claps. It's a lot of fun. I call that game Stratego.

Then just today we discovered that he can wave goodbye and say Mama. As I reported below, he's been able to say Dada for a while but today was the first time that we heard Mama and it really seemed that it was directed at McCall. She got so excited. Then I asked her if she really wanted Marley to be able to ask for Mama. After all, one of McCall's biggest frustrations is that Harper almost exclusively wants her Mommy. Very seldom does she ever ask for Daddy. Hey, it's not my fault, although it probably doesn't help that when she does say Daddy, I correct her. "No, no, no, you mean Mommy. Now try again."

The goodbye wave is cute, it's the classic baby wave which is actually more of an open-shut action with the fingers and less of a wave. I don't quite get how babies see a wave and mimic it as this finger flex motion but whatever. Although there is a part of me that's concerned that when I blow Marley a kiss he mimics this by flipping me the bird. Probably just a phase.