Still Can’t Read

Claire was in her room looking at a pile of her books before bath time this evening. Then she brought a big board book into the bathroom where I was drawing her bath and getting everything ready for bedtime. She asked me to read the book, and I said sorry, not right now, I am busy. She threw the book down and started crying. Usually she gets a little annoyed, but not that upset, when I tell her I’m busy. So I asked her what was the matter. She looked down, with tears in her eyes, and said in a quiet voice, “I’m too little to read it.” It was so sweet and sad. Then Kit showed up and read the book to her and cheered her up. I am afraid Claire has a pretty long wait before she can read books “all by her own self”, as she says, but it is nice to see she is motivated.

Many New Questions

Claire has started to ask some rather interesting questions about the world.

For example, you may recall that she likes to pretend to be working at a fast food drive-through, sticking her head out and saying, “You want a combo? You want cheese?” It still cracks us up. Lately, she has extended this game to sit-down dining, holding a notepad and crayon in hand, saying, “You want bar-b-que? You want Diet Coke?” Anyways, the other night at dinner Claire said, “Combo? What’s that? I’ve never seen a combo.” It must seem funny to her. Every time you ask for a combo, you get a hamburger, fries, and a drink instead. But what the heck is a combo? It must be some kind of food. Does it taste good?

Claire also noted recently that she has never seen a dinosaur. This is a pretty remarkable observation. She has seen most of the other animals we talk about, at least at the zoo or the aqauarium. She has seen elephants, lions, meerkats, whales, sharks, birds, and countless other fun animals. But what is with these reclusive dinosaurs? There is no dinosaur display at the zoo. I told her that is good because they are awfully big and fast and scary, to which she agreed, “Yeah!” and did a big roar sound. I also told her they have a dinosaur skeleton on display at the airport, but that did not especially interest her.

She also seems to be grappling with the seemingly arbitrary distinction between girls and boys. This topic came up during dinner when her school friend Nathan was mentioned as being a boy. “Girls and boys. What’s that? That’s silly!” This one I could not readily explain other than to say that they’re all just kids. But she has a good point. Why do you have to specify someone’s gender every time? You might as well use different words for kids with different colored hair.

It is a strange and confusing world indeed.

Catching up

The last couple of months have really gotten away from Kit and me. It has been sort of a perfect storm. Being chief resident at Emory takes up lots of Kit’s time on top of her regular demanding work. Plus she is constantly studying for various massive tests to complete her residency. My job at Verizon got out of hand trying to deliver an especially difficult project (“Option 4 IP Provisioning Automation for MLFR”) under tough circumstances. And we are trying to get our house cleaned up and remodeled to sell this spring, as well looking into our upcoming living situation in Dallas. Fortunately, we had many visits and a ton of help from the grandparents, which really helped save the day. My parents came to Altanta and watched after Claire for the better part of a weekend while Kit and I scrambled about. And among many other things, Joyce even painted our whole kitchen all by herself.

Of course, this is a blog about Claire, not about Kit and me. But it is interesting to note that this has probably been the most challenging few months in our lives. Fortunately through all of this, we have managed to keep Claire mostly happy and healthy, although she did have a runny nose through most of January.

But niceties like this blog fell out of the routine. Now things have cleared up for me at work for the moment, and it is time to catch up on this blog. I am afraid I have missed a few funny / interesting / cute things that Claire has done lately, but I am now going to backfill some things I still remember. Plus I had some written down in rough draft but never published all the way back to last November. I will probably not catch up on everything, but as I get these finished some entries will magically show up “before” this one.