Molly has decided to decorate the wall on her side of the room with posters. It started when the girls’ nanny Jackie helped Molly and Claire make a big crayon drawing of the own names. Molly and Claire both immediately wanted to mount it on the wall above their beds.
After this, Molly was inspired. She scrounged up some posters that came with some of her books, some of her favorite characters. There are the standard Disney princesses and The Pigeon. We’ve been really into the Mo Willems “Pigeon” books. They are short and really fun to read in silly voices. Molly even does an amazing little tiny voice for the little tiny chick in The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog. Anyways, The Pigeon is a funny bird and a bit of a troublemaker. And now he takes his place along side the princesses on Molly’s wall.
Claire is sticking with just her name poster for now. I told Claire that in a few years, she and Molly would be putting up Justin Bieber posters. Claire was horrified. “Whaaat?!?! No way, Dad!!!” is all she could say. I hope she is right.
Dinner with the kids is usually pretty nice. The girls tell us a little bit about their day, or at least Claire does. Molly usually doesn’t remember much about the day and sometimes thinks we are having lunch instead of dinner. She has no idea what day of the week it is. She really lives in the moment.
Tonight, dinner was a challenge, sort of a throwback to Molly’s toddler days. Molly convinced herself that she did not like her cheese pizza. She objected that it had too much sauce on it, actually any sauce at all. Eventually Molly worked herself up into a full-blow fit, crying loudly, holding up a limp slice of pizza and pointing at the sauce on it. I reminded Molly the she had enjoyed lots of pizza with sauce on it just like that before, but of course logic would not help right then.
Claire got agitated by Molly’s loud fussing and yelled, “What are you crying for!?!”, like a parent at her wit’s end. This, of course, made Molly more agitated and loud. Meanwhile, Claire was on this kick about choking. She kept asking, “Am I choking?” and “Did I chew this enough?” I told her that if you’re talking, you’re not choking. So she would say to herself, “I’m not choking.” throughout dinner as she ate and Molly continued to cry. Craving some somber music, I had The Joshua Tree on but had to kill it; it was only adding to the cacophony.
Recently, Kit’s work hours have made it tough for her to get home in time for dinner. By the time Kit got home, everything had calmed down. Molly had collected herself and was enjoying some salad with ranch dressing but was still red and splotchy from crying. Kit said Molly looked hot. Claire and I said in unison that Molly had been crying. Molly asked us to please not talk about it. She was a little embarrassed from crying, which I guess is the difference between a four-year-old and a three-year-old. Molly would go a little crazy later at bedtime too, but she ended up falling asleep with a stomach full of pizza which had she eventually remembered that she liked after all.
Molly is officially not a baby an more. Today she discovered the last vestige of her babyhood, an old container of diaper cream. In a grand symbolic gesture, she decided to throw it away. Well, at least it was a grand symbolic gesture to me. I think Molly just wanted to put something in the fun panda bear trash can.
We went for a swim today at the new Westenfield pool. It was just rebuilt from the ground up — a brand new main pool, a kiddie “beach access” pool, new changing facilities, plus lots of bench space and shade. I love this pool.
We took the girls there for the first swim of the summer. And this was the first family “free swim” we have done in almost a year. Both girls are a lot stronger swimmers than a year ago. Claire can fully swim on her own, even in the deep end. Molly can swim in short spurts on her own, and loved jumping into the pool from the side. She did this over and over — just in, and then a short swim of 5 to 10 feet to me. We had the usual awkwardness of “who has Molly”, and traded off some so Claire and I could go swim in the deep end. Claire and I pretended to be a dolphin family (pod?) swimming in the deep end.
After a while, though, Molly was shivering. Then she was turning a little blue. The pool was too cold! That is not something we normally even have to consider in Austin in the summer. But there was poor slightly blue Molly. She was blue and cold, but she did insist she wanted to stay in the water and swim. Over her protests, we got her wrapped up in a towel and got home, where the girls put in try, warm clothes and enjoyed a hot chocolate to warm up. Yes, that’s right. Hot chocolate to warm up in June. There were no complaints form the kids over that!
Claire has been wanting to start her own YouTube channel, focused on acting out stories with her My Little Pony toys. We finally got in online!
Here is the first creation in Claire’s series, which is a story straight from Claire’s imagination with a running time of about 15 minutes. Claire was the “idea man” in this effort, writing and acting out the concept. I did the camera work and editing. Claire has been working on other concepts with her nanny, Jackie.
Claire calls her channel My Little Pony Mysteries and More. The “mysteries” part refers to her plan to open “blind bags” for some of her videos. I am hoping to get Claire into stop animation and do some extra cool stuff.
Claire is a huge fan of “collector” channels on YouTube, like Disney Collector and Bin’s Toy Bin. Forget boring old TV, Claire is glued exclusively to these niche channels (and My Little Pony). She even sent a fan latter to Bin and hopes it will be read on YouTube next week.
Molly has been dabbling with writing for a while, but she is taking it to a new level. The other day she asked for a sticky note and how to spell “ball”. Then she wrote “ball” on the notes and stuck it to the well above a beach ball. She said she wanted us all to remember there was a ball there.
She also wrote her name on a piece of paper, although I forget for what purpose. I think she is gearing up for pre-K in the fall.
Molly has been using her words really well lately. Her vocabulary and speech make it possible to have something like a normal conversation with her most of the time. Still, sometimes the conversation is a little last than 100%, like this interaction between Kit and Molly today.
Kit: “We got a donation from Molly. She’s going to give away this toy cart.”
Molly: “Donation? What is a dalmation?”
Kit: “You said you would donate this cart.”
Then Molly, dressed in a kitty ballerina outfit, shrugged and returned to playing with her other toys. Molly probably has no idea we are going to give her toy cart to someone else.
The day after school ended, Claire got to go to a birthday swimming party for one of her friends. She started off summer break in style, jumping off the diving board with her friends over and over.
Originally, this was going to be a bad weather make up day due to several snow and ice days this winter. But the AISD Board of Trustees and the Texas Education Agency basically would take action and “designate March 3, which is already a regular, full instructional day, to serve as a bad weather make-up day.” Huh? I heard the Texas state legislature was also somehow involved in this scheme, which requires me to hire a sitter for the day. But it works for the kids and the teachers, and they do deserve a Friday off!