Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Munchkin Report

In addition to traveling the continent and wheeling and dealing for real estate, I have a toddler; this used to be a mommy blog. Dammit, I want to start writing about my kid again. Herewith, the Munchkin Report.

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Did you know that Munchkin can sing "Twinkle, Twinkle" all by herself? More or less in tune, with all the correct lyrics in the proper order? And that there are precise actions to accompany each line she can perform while singing? Huh.

Less successful in terms of correctness but possibly even cuter is her take on "Old MacDonald," a perennial favorite here at Casa Breach in times of celebration, naptimes, car-ride distraction, and hurt assuagement. Basicially, it's been our go-to song for about a year. Munchkin's solo version goes a little something like this (tune optional):

Old Mac-Don-o had ... a ... FARM!
E-I ... Oh!
On-a farm a PIG!
E-I .. Oh!
(snort snort snort)
Old Mac-Don-o FARM! Pig!

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Retrieving Munchkin from daycare with Pynchon the other day, I was mobbed by small toddlers. Pynchon picked up Munchkin for a hug, and I lifted up E., a little girl at least 6 months older than Munchkin. Overcompensating for her weight, I nearly threw her over my shoulder: she weighs 24 pounds. She seemed so wee to me.

At just 21 months old this weekend, my bruiser of a toddler weighs 33 pounds, and measures somewhere upward of 35 inches. When I am wearing my down-filled jacket and mitts and she is bundled in her snowsuit, I can hardly get enough of a grip on her to heft her up.

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Because Munchkin is so ... substantial, sometimes we forget that she's still just a wee toddler, younger than she looks, younger than her speech might suggest. Munchkin knows, though: lately, she has really been insisting on "Pick-a up! Pick-a up! Carry you!" She is, oddly, getting easier to carry around. Longer and leaner, she cleaves tight to me, a slight outward extension of my own centre of gravity, and together we still weigh less than I did right before she was born.

Perched on my hip, she happily watches me stir the noodles, wipe the counter, open the blinds, water the plants, all the while absentmindedly rubbing my shoulder, and sometimes leaning her head into the crook of my neck.

Lately, she has begun to turn to face me directly, eyes darting between both of mine, then over my face, then back to my eyes. "Glasses off!" she demands, and when I comply, she grins, looks more closely at me, and delightedly raises both her hands, fingers outstretched, to cup my face. The gesture is tender and full of wonder all at once. Sometimes--oh, what times!--she darts her face close in to mine, and kisses me on the lips, a sweet wet smack that seems pure uncontrollable impulse.

I think she loves me; I think she feels happy and safe in my arms. What a gift it is, to be able to provide such comfort and joy to someone.

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Munchkin uses language to invent, and to organize her experience.

Driving home from the grocery store after a mommy-daughter outing, I tried to distract her from her calls of "Latte! Latte! Grande latte!" by pointing out a bus pulled over to pick up passengers.

"Look, Munchkin," I said, "There's a bus stopping!"

She turned. Examined. "Pick up a-people," she noted.

I agreed. "Where are the people going, Munchkin?" I asked her.

"Mario house," she replied, without skipping a beat. 'Mario house' is the mall, where there is a small set of coin-operated toddler rides, among which can be found Super Mario riding a 'dragon'. Because the mall is where Mario is found, it is called 'Mario house'. Similarly, Munchkin gets her hair cut at 'Emily house,' the salon where Pynchon's stylist works.

I don't know what impresses me the most: Munchkin able to imagine a destination for a set of people waiting to board a bus, a destination different from her own? Or that she is organizing her world into categories, where people and objects are associated with the 'houses' in which she regularly encounters them?

14 comments:

Beck said...

Of course she loves you. She's wild about you - you are her mama. It's a bit overwhelming to totally think about, but true.
We have the opposite situation with Our Baby, who weighs 24ish pounds and is nearly a year older than Munchkin (I think) - we treat her like a wee little baby when she's really NOT. Poor bug.

alejna said...

Such a lovely update. The singing sounds ever-so-cute. So do her displays of affection towards you. And how great that she's showing an imagination already.

Have you gotten any recordings of her speaking or singing? I really think you'll enjoy them later on. I use my laptop for recording, and just save the files away.

Munchkin is not alone in the substantial department. My daughter is about the same size, though a whopping 3 months older. I think I must be getting some seriously strong biceps from the lifting. (Unfortunately, unlike Munchkin, she often does not make herself easy to carry. Occasionally she does, though. And it's dandy when she holds on.)

Lisa b said...

I love the songs. My favourite memories of my three and a half year old are of her first songs. BTW shw weighs 32 pounds.
Munchkin needs a new moniker.

Cloud said...

What a nice update! My heart is still melting every time my Pumpkin says "Mama". (She did it again tonight!!!) I can only imagine how wonderful a kiss must be.

Pumpkin is almost a year, and not yet 20 lbs. Someone I work with has a 4.5 month old who weighs as much as she does. The variation in baby sizes amazes me, especially since I suspect there is little correlation with final adult size.

Jenifer said...

It is true that babies in general vary wildly in weight and height and then all of a sudden it just kind of evens out.

I do miss the baby days sometimes and that magical time when you can literally see the light bulbs going on.

nomotherearth said...

wow - cloud could be talking about me, but she's not. The Little Guy is 18.2 lbs and turned 4 months on the 3rd. The Boy turned 3 mid-January and is just under 35 lbs.

I love Munchkin's version of Old McDonald.

Christine said...

oh she a little doll, that girl of yours.

and i experienced both extremes--my girl was TINY for a long time and everyone thought she was a year younger than she really was. my son is BIG and now everyone thinks he is a dumb 4 1/2 year old rather than a normal 3 year old.

Running on empty

Bon777 said...

You have a bright little girl on your hands. I remember saying with my first son, "I'm his first love." It can be intense just how in love with us they are at this age. Savour it now while you can because they grow so quick.

Her Bad Mother said...

WB sings this constantly. But it goes:

Old MacDONNALL has a... COW
E-I-E-I ... MOO
And on this cow (pause) FAHM (pause) he has a...(dramatic pause) COW
MOO-MOO-MOO-MOO-MOOOOO.

(sub sheep, duck, chicken, whatevs to cow. you get the pic)

Kyla said...

She IS so bright. Those are concepts KayTar can't grasp at all. People are scenery for her, decorations in her own story...they have no stories (or feelings or destinations) of their own.

Your Munchkin has a few pounds on KayTar, but BubTar was like that too. It has been so strange having a dainty KayTar after our little Chubby Bubby. Now he is a rail thin school aged child and I miss that squishy baby!

That scene of the two of you was just lovely.

Mad Hatter said...

Old Mac and Twinkle are to toddlers what Smoke on the Water and Stairway to Heaven are to first time guitar players. The are THE classics that will never go out of style.

kittenpie said...

OH, I love the wee hands on your face. I still manage to get that occasionally, and it is just so lovely - until it ends in a forehead bonk. Thanks, kid.

(And may I add that mine weighed in at 33 pounds at the doctor's last week at two months shy of four years? I, too, am finding her getting hard to carry for more than a block, now. Oof.)

gingajoy said...

I remember the first time Jack consciously told us a fib at about 2-- while it was *wrong* we also sat back and marvelled in his ability to understand deception and the duality of language and meaning. (god. how sad we are!)

Hope all is good at Mimi House. Sorry to be so absent!

the new girl said...

I love this post. Thanks for the update. I welled and almost wept at your description of carrying munchkin around.

Oh, my heart. The crook of the neck. The Glasses OFF! The smile. The kiss.

*sigh*