Career Options

Claire is showing distinct interest in a few career fields at this point.

We were recently looking at pictures of the visit we took to the Atlanta History Center  few months ago. This is where Claire manned a pretend fast food drive-through window, chirping “You want a combo?” over and over. These pictures got her going on this game again, but now she is a little more verbose. After accepting her offer of a combo, she’ll say something like, “Let me see if I can find a combo.” Then she pretends to find a combo and then says, “That’s a dollar-eight” with a big smile on her face. You can always settle up with two pennies, which is the flat cost of any transaction with Claire. This may not be a well-paying line of work, but she does seem to enjoy it.

Her other perennial favorite is being a doctor. Now she puts on a whole show. She’ll come up to you and furrow her brow to look real concerned and say, “You hurt your knee?” After establishing that your knee is hurt, she invents some way to treat it. Her methods involve pressing a random toy against the affected area, rubbing it with her hands, or kissing it. Then she proudly says, “You’re all better!” and scurries off to find another knee to heal. She seems to be a knee specialist, I guess because they work well for her height.

Claire used to have a real stethoscope, donated to her from her mom. But now, much to her dismay, it is missing. She is always looking for it and asking me and her mom if we have seen it. She likes to use it as part of her examination, listening carefully to our knees, and sometimes to our shoulders if we are sitting down on the floor. Our knees and shoulders sometimes say, “Mommy, mommy, mommy” or “Daddy, daddy, daddy” slow and steady like a heartbeat. She has also been know to treat a bad knee by pressing her stethoscope against it with just the right touch.

Other interests, practiced less often but just as passionately, include being a sailor, a pirate, a singer, a dancer, or a comedian who does a “dumb guy” schtick with a funny slow voice. She has yet to show real interest in my field, computers, unless it involves watching videos of herself on the iMac.

Striking Out On Her Own

Claire and I had this conversation in the car today, perhaps inspired by talk of the move to Texas.

Claire: Daddy, I’m moving to my own house.
Me: Oh really? Wow! (feigning belief) How big is the house?
Claire: Big enough, Daddy! Big enough!

She sounded pretty serious.


Today Claire was making her usual proclamations, such as “Muffin is furrrrry!” or “Cheese is yummy!” when I picked her up and held her in my left arm. After a few seconds, she said, “You’re comfy, Daddy.”

Besides feeling a little bit like a sofa, I couldn’t ask for a better compliment.

I want Grace!

Claire has been going to Grace during the day for over two years now. She loves Grace like another mom, and she is often upset to leave Grace at the end of the day. But once she gets home, Claire knows she is with her own family and does not ask for Grace.

Recently, however, with only about one month left in Atlanta before we move to Texas, Claire has occasionally started saying things at home like, “I miss Grace!” or “I want Grace!”. This is strange timing. We have not actually talked to Claire yet about moving, as it is supposed to be too early for a kid her age to understand. But maybe she is picking up on some subtle clues anyways. Maybe these kids are smarter than they act.


Claire has a history of being rather scared of ants. Sometimes we would sit on the white-painted wooden steps in front of the house, playing or just hanging out. On those bright white steps, a little tiny ant showed up easily, and Claire never seemed to miss one. She would yell, “annnnttt!” and frantically scramble up or down the steps, away from the minuscule intruder. Eventually her fear was moderated, and she would generally just avoid any ants she saw, gradually with less and less trepidation.

Now it is the ants who should be afraid.

Tonight Claire noticed a little ant crawling on the table during dinner. She said in a loud but not panicked voice, “ant!” Kit and I, out of habit, were reassuring her it was not going to hurt her, and there was nothing to be afraid of, as the ant crawled closer to her plate. Claire kept staring at it intensly, and then — whack! — she brought her hand up and down quickly and smashed the ant on the table. The fierce strike immediately stopped the ant, and Claire went back to eating her pizza.

I was a little horrified, actually. I don’t normally squash insects unless they are really being a nuisance. I am not sure where Claire even got the idea to smash it; from all the older boys she hangs out with, I guess. Nonetheless, I was also strangely impressed by her power and coordination. Claire normally sort of fumbles with soccer balls and runs around in circles giggling. But this toddler can take care of business if she needs to!