May 1, 2007

Stuff My Daughter Does (Or, Toddlers Are Strange)

My daughter tells stories often about things that happened weeks or months ago. She's still talking the peacock and how she shared with it. Of course, she shared rocks. She told us this by rocking back and forth in her chair. It took me a while to catch on but I ended up amazed by the skill with which she told the story.

My daughter kisses my knees. When I come home from work, she helps me change. When I take my pants off, she screams "knees!" from wherever she is, runs to me and gives both my knees kisses. Sometimes several kisses. Being my knees is a pretty cool gig.

My daughter is singularly obsessed with Paul Newman and his vast array of products. We've actually tried Newman's Own stuff simply because she loves Paul so much. His spaghetti sauce is, incidentally, pretty darn good. At dinner-time in our house, you can often hear cries of "Paul!" Sometimes followed by "knees!"...if I take my pants off during dinner. Which I try not to do.

My daughter enjoys sirens. We live close to a firehouse. When the engines roar into action and flip their sirens on, Mia's attention is captured. Almost immediately she makes the "diamond in the sky" sign from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I have no idea what the connection is. The mind of a toddler has got to be a strange place.

My daughter will often sing one song for twenty minutes. This song consists of every word she knows, repeated at least a couple of times. We all sing along, Beth and I occasionally throwing in a helpful suggestion or two. Between verses we clap, congratulating ourselves on successful usage of dog or Paul or knees or hammer or umbrella. It might not win a Grammy, but it's a damn fine song.

My daughter makes sure we know when something bad or unexpected has happened. She even has a word for it - uh-ohey. Spill some water? Uh-ohey! Accidentally pantsed yourself? Uh-ohey! Tripped over the pile of pots you secreted away from the kitchen? Uh-ohey! Systematically plowed over a herd of little plastic farm animals with a truck? Uh-ohey!

My daughter maintains and updates her own banned book list. Since she was tiny, we've read Goodnight Moon together before bed. She's learned that Goodnight Moon indicates that she will be expected to sleep in the very near future. She is, therefore, not at all interested in reading Goodnight Moon any longer. The other night, she asked Beth to send the book away. Beth sat on it. Whenever Mia doesn't want to go to bed now, she holds Goodnight Moon next to her butt.

My daughter randomly runs to me and gives me giant hugs. Sometimes they last two or three minutes. I don't know what wonderful thing I ever did to deserve these hugs or the little girl giving them to me, but whatever it was, thank god I did it. This sweet little girl embraces me, loves me without question or reservation. And I hug her in return, sniff her hair, kiss her cheek and wrap her in two arms and a blanket of unconditional love.

Posted by Chris at May 1, 2007 7:05 AM

Wow. Clever girl. She's so cute I don't know how you refrain from constantly nibbling on her toes, apart from the fact that I imagine she can now kick you pretty hard in the teeth if you try...

So. Cute.

Posted by: E :) at May 1, 2007 7:50 AM

Mia rocks! Of course, cool parents make cool kids...

Posted by: Alissa at May 1, 2007 7:50 AM

Your connection with her will last a lifetime. I'm having lunch with my dad today and will relish in the hug I'll get to both give and receive.

Posted by: sarah at May 1, 2007 7:55 AM

She's adorable! Your post is so sweet and I'm sure you'll enjoy looking back on it in a few years.

Posted by: Recovering Overachiever at May 1, 2007 8:15 AM

I love reading about how Mia communicates, I thought the rocks thing was so clever! We must lose those kind of thought processes as we get older.

Posted by: Katherine at May 1, 2007 8:33 AM

Okay, you got me all teary eyed this morning with that. You know the love of your toddler is something to cherish, and remember, because when they hit their terrible teens and yell that they hate you, these times will see you through.
Now that Amanda is 30 we have these kinds of moments again. No, she doesn't kiss my knees, but she and I have a deep love going that's really beautiful.

Posted by: Maribeth at May 1, 2007 9:05 AM

Thanks for cheering me up.

Posted by: ann adams at May 1, 2007 9:25 AM

i love this post. she's such a unique little character. it's amazing to me how toddlers are alike in so many ways...but there are those little differences that really make them who they are. like the knee kissing. and the paul newman obsession.

Posted by: ali at May 1, 2007 9:50 AM

Toddlers may be strange, but they're wonderful...
I can't wait to have my own someday.

Posted by: suze at May 1, 2007 9:53 AM

That is the cutest thing I've read in a long time, especially the Goodnight Moon part. It makes me look forward to having a toddler of my own one day.

Posted by: Jessie at May 1, 2007 9:54 AM

What wonderful stories! They make me smile. Thanks for sharing them. They help me to remember when my son was a little boy.

Lucky for you that you have such great knees

Posted by: cassie-b at May 1, 2007 9:56 AM

This has to be one of my all time favorite posts.
Very sweet.

Posted by: Jenn at May 1, 2007 9:56 AM

If she likes Paul Newman, she's going to grow up allright.

Perhaps you could employ Paul in your parenting strategy.....

"When you disobeyed and threw your carrots on the floor, you made Paul Newman curl up into the fetal position and cry."

Posted by: Phil at May 1, 2007 11:11 AM

Sounds like one wicked awesome kid.

And one wicked awesome dad, too.

Posted by: Elaine at May 1, 2007 11:44 AM

My guess is that the "like a diamond in the sky" reference is to the blinking lights on top of firetrucks. Not that I've ever been accused of thinking like a toddler . . .

Posted by: Betti at May 1, 2007 11:58 AM

The last paragraph? yeah... that's the way it is supposed to be. Embrace it and keep it close to your heart. All too soon she'll be moving out. *sigh*

Posted by: sue at May 1, 2007 12:15 PM

I love it. I didn't cry, but it could have gone either way.

Posted by: mox at May 1, 2007 12:16 PM

Sniffle. Sniffle.

My eleven year old still randomly hugs me without warning, although it's usually at home where his friends can't see him. I cherish those 2-3 minutes more than anything else on the planet.

Posted by: krystyn at May 1, 2007 12:40 PM

Gah, so sweet! I love the knee kissing and lingering hugs. I don't get any of those. But a couple of the others reminded me of my Cricket. However the Paul love is definitely an original!

Posted by: Mama C-ta at May 1, 2007 12:59 PM

It's those kind of things that really make you realize that having kids is just amazingly great. I get such a mushy feeling inside whenever Zoe does something clever or sweet all on her own with no adult prompting.

Posted by: Colleen at May 1, 2007 1:40 PM

Wow. Will you be *my* dad?

Posted by: A Girl Gone Mad at May 1, 2007 2:53 PM

Awww... How sweet!!! Thanks for sharing. And? I think my knees are jealous of your knees. I guess I'm gonna have to get me one of them things you call an "offspring"... One of these days. Until then, I'll just read and enjoy your stories!

Posted by: ironic1 at May 1, 2007 4:05 PM

She is such a cutie!

Posted by: Beth at May 1, 2007 4:42 PM

These posts (and pictures) never get old. They make me all warm and fuzzy feelin' inside. Which is saying A LOT since I read this blog while at work, the place that induces violent fantasies. Like the one where I staple my Boss' hand to the wall.

Posted by: Tink at May 1, 2007 5:04 PM

I agree with Maribeth. Enjoy it now before the teenage years set in. When she's yelling I hate you or worse yet, rolling her eyes and saying "Daa-aad, you're so dorky!" The dorky thing might hurt worse than the I hate you!

Posted by: snakeepoo at May 1, 2007 5:54 PM

Came over from the Blogger Awards... just had to comment that this post was hilarious. Kids kill me.

Posted by: aimee/greeblemonkey at May 1, 2007 7:08 PM

Aww - too sweet! Is she being all Pete Townshend with her guitar?

Posted by: Beth in StL at May 1, 2007 8:19 PM

She is so sweet, and probably the most adorable little girl I have seen in ages. Enjoy the sweet kisses from her, some day she will want money and your car instead :)

Posted by: SleepyNita at May 1, 2007 8:38 PM

How cute :) She is growing up so fast...and if my eyes aren't deceiving me, she's becoming fairer headed too :)

Posted by: christina at May 1, 2007 10:42 PM

Makes me want a kid. Can you take a kid to law school or what?

Posted by: Janet at May 1, 2007 10:55 PM

I LOVE this list!

It made me smile today.

Posted by: Cartwheels At Midnight at May 2, 2007 5:07 PM

I love my own little 2.5-y-o tater bug to death and think she's the cutest thing ever to set toe to dirt, but I'm crestfallen to admit that your little lass has mine beat in the hair dept. That color...yowza.

Posted by: nicheplayer at May 3, 2007 4:30 PM

She sounds like a pretty awesome little person. But then again, we already knew that. :)

Posted by: Zandria at May 3, 2007 11:46 PM

Aww, how sweet. And the knee kissing thing is hilarious. Oh who am I kidding, all the funny things she does are hilarious. :)

Posted by: Teenuh at May 4, 2007 8:27 PM

Mia is just wonderful. You and your knees are very lucky. And the mind of a toddler, what a mysterious thing. Who else could appricaite the Teletubbies and all that other weird crap they like to watch.

Posted by: nila at May 5, 2007 7:51 AM

Thanks so much for sharing such a sweet story! I know you already know, but I'll say it anyways, she's Absolutely Perfect! From the "knees" to the "moon" I love hearing about her precious going-ons!!
Besides, it's much easier to comment on her than on your Doc Martens or Pres. Bush! :)

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