Week 156: Alarms, snow, and forbidden photos

It’s funny how families refine roles and responsibilities. Geralyn is responsible for managing our finances, most of the cooking, and the dry cleaning. Me, I’m responsible for winning the bread, killing spiders, and dealing with anything in the house that starts emitting a shrill beeping sound.

For example, take the other morning a little before 6:00 a.m. when I was yanked out of a deep sleep by an impossibly loud and discordant beeping sound and Ger’s request that I deal with it in the form of a knee to my lower back. I clumsily stabbed at every button on my alarm clock, then just mashed my palm across its every flat surface when the stabbing achieved no results. When the beeping persisted, my still foggy mind arrived at the only possible conclusion that presented itself: the robots are attacking. I think I may have even said this out loud.

Actually, it wasn’t robots. A winter storm had knocked out our power, and the beeping was coming from the battery-powered baby monitor on our dresser. This wonderful device is programmed to start shrieking in the event that its base in the nursery loses power, since the hyenas crouched outside the window have probably been waiting for just such an opportunity. There were no hyenas –this time– but there was a lot of snow so that later I got to take Sammy out in it. It’s weird that it actually takes a snowstorm to get her out of the house.

And unlike our last snowstorm this time the white stuff was sticky enough so that we could build a snowman. I think that this is a major milestone in our daddy/daughter relationship –the kind of right of passage that I’m supposed to make special note of. Next on the list, if I’m not mistaken, is for us to kill an innocent animal together.

Sam has continued to display more and more guile, but thankfully her attempts at deception are hamstrung by a short memory and an inability to think from other people’s perspectives. Exchanges like this one are getting to be pretty common:

“Sammy, stop doing that. You’ll put a hole in the wall. Sammy. Sammy! Okay, go take a time out.”

“But I don’t like taking a time out.”

“I know. That’s why we make you do it when you do something naughty. If you liked taking time outs we’d have you do something else.”

“Daddy, I… I like taking time outs.”

“Wow. Points for trying, but you’re still taking a time out. And that is totally going in the blog.”

Geralyn also had a disagreement with Sam over proper behavior the other day. Sam knows that she’s not to touch any of the following: the camera, the TV, the computer. And also I think we might have mentioned knives, prescription medicines, and hyenas. But definitely the camera, TV, and computer. So when Ger heard the flash and beep of her camera go off the other day she whirled around to find a chagrined Sammy holding the delicate piece of electronics and marveling at her first piece of photographic artistry in the camera’s LCD screen.

Of course, there were immediate admonishments, which Sammy’s new and sensitive artist’s soul did not take well.

Cheer up, Emo kid. I’ll buy you your own toy camera as soon as I can actually find one.

I guess I should talk about Mandy a little, too, but in truth there’s not much to tell. She’s still sleeping lots, most of it at night, which is mighty convenient for us as well. She’s lots more responsive and alert these days, able to turn her head and follow someone who has caught her attention.

I tried to see if she would watch a Baby Einstein DVD the other day, but her fascination with the brightly colored toys and classical music was short lived. Alas, but we’ve found other ways to adapt. I, for example, am able to play video games and prepare this week’s photographs with only one hand and a forehead while the other hand was preoccupied with jiggling Mandy to keep her calm until Ger was ready to feed her again. It’s an important skill that’s going to get big bold type the next time I update my resume.

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8 thoughts on “Week 156: Alarms, snow, and forbidden photos

  1. … so touching the attacking robots *is* fine?
    I’ve considered a camera for my daughter, but haven’t really had any luck finding anything that fits the bill. Reviews on the toys on Amazon are really mixed. A trip to eBay revealed that you can get a real digital camera (albeit very modest and dated) for about the same price. I haven’t decided either way, and my camera seems safe enough – for now. If you find anything you like, I’d be great if you could pass it along (the information, not the toy).

  2. That Sammy is a smart cookie, and her dad is a good photographer. The close-up photo of her is gorgeous.
    Jamie, I am sure you’ve seen the review on Thingamababy of the Fisher-Price digital camera for kids, and AJ’s story about letting his daughter use old digital cameras. I am curious about any other cameras you might have researched. We let our (heavily supervised) daughter use our camera to take pictures when she asks, and that’s worked well so far. We taught her that the first rule of taking photos is to PUT ON THE WRIST STRAP. But I would still like to get her a digital camera that’s studier than ours, for her personal use.

  3. I know I am terrible for saying this but the photo of Sam after the camera escapade is hillarious.
    I keep trying to figure out who Mandy looks like. She does not really look like Sam did at that age.

  4. Kevin and Bethany, regarding a camera: Thanks for the link, but all I really want is a plastic toy camera. I don’t necessarily want to give my 3-year old a REAL camera, no matter how rugged. She’d get a kick out of having something that just looks like one. In fact, she often picks up a wooden block and pretends it’s a camera. I’m just looking for something between those two extremes, and I can’t seem to find it.
    bethany, the funny thing about that picture is that I wasn’t even looking into the viewfinder when I took it. I was sitting on the floor with Sam and holding the camera in my lap. I just pressed the shutter release and got lucky. Autofocus FTW!
    Shawn, I laughed when I first saw the picture and heard the story. If that’s any consolation. 🙂

  5. Our daughter loves taking pictures, usually with me holding the camera steady while she looks at the lcd and pushes the button. We tried to find a childrens camera, but every review we found usually mentioned a tiny lcd and poor quality in the photos. We finally just gave her our old Fuji, it’s 1.3 megapixel and has a nice size lcd.
    If it’s more for fun and you don’t care how the pictures look, the Fisher Price model seems fairly simple to use.

  6. Jamie, our daughter has a little purple toy camera (similar to this, though ours cost 20 times as much), purchased at the zoo. It came with discs that have slides of animals on them, and when you put your eye to the viewfinder you can see the pictures. Click the “shutter”, and you can see a new slide. Annalie couldn’t be less interested in the slides, but she LOVES pretending to take photos with it. The main drawback is that it’s small and easily misplaced. (But hey, you could get a couple dozen of this one without breaking the bank!)
    Also, I once took photos of my daughter in time-out, Geralyn. They’re sad yet hilarious.

  7. Is the picture that Sammy took of the wall?
    I made the mistake of letting my 16-month-old son look at my camera’s LCD screen while I pointed it at a toy bus. Now every time I want to take a picture, he grabs for the camera because he wants to see that bus again!

  8. Yeah, it’s our kitchen wall. I may try giving Sam my old digital camera after all. It’s just been sitting in the closet since I got my DSLR and I doubt I’ll ever use it again.

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