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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ellen Aces Her First Job Interview

The snow has been piling up here since yesterday morning and I've been wishing I was out in it. Here's a conversation from this morning.

Me: I want to go skiing. I think I'll leave Ellen to babysit you kids. What do you think?
Jane (8 years old): I will babysit!
Me: Hmm. I'm not sure you're quite old enough yet. Ellen, would you take care of these kids for me? Do you think you could babysit them?
Ellen (a grin spreads over her two-year-old face): Yeah.
Me: What do you think you'll make them for lunch?
Ellen: Ummmm . . . Pood. [Food.] Onions.
Me: OK. And what will you do if the children misbehave?
Ellen: Hit them.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Girl Can Dream

I called my neighbor after church on Sunday to meet us outside and take our picture as a family, since we were all dressed up already. No one else shared my enthusiasm for the idea, but family pictures are important, so I was willing to be the bad guy for now and let everyone thank me later. Once I'd gotten Ellen out of the high chair, made Peter abandon his industrious efforts to get lunch for the kids and had Zuzu put her dress back on, we headed out.

Here are some of the shots we were able to get before the camera battery abruptly died.

I like to kid myself that had the battery not died, we would eventually have gotten one where everyone was smiling naturally and looking at the camera. This despite the clear evidence here that Adam wasn't going to support that plan, no matter how long we stood there squinting in the cold.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Instructional Post on Small Children and Snow Play

There are no gloves for children younger than 4 that will keep their hands warm and dry enough while simultaneously allowing them the use of their fingers. It is contrary to the laws of physics. If you put mittens or thick gloves on your younger-than-four year old, she will take them off so she can use her fingers. If you put thin gloves on, she may leave them on, but the gloves will quickly be soaked through and useless. Also, the chances your small child will be warm enough in an article of snow clothing is inversely proportional to the chances that your small child will be able to move in it.

If your small child wants to play in the snow, you will spend 15 minutes getting your child ready to go out in the snow. Your child will play happily in the snow for 15-20 minutes and then will come back in, wet, and demanding hot chocolate. Your house will be draped in wet snow clothes. Half an hour later, your child will want to go back outside, and her clothes will not be dry yet.

In spite of all this, you and your small child will both derive immense joy from her going out to play in the snow everyday.

Completely unrelated to snow play: small children are able to fit themselves very nicely into bathroom sinks.