Sam and Mandy had a great week this time around, largely because my mom was in town. I don’t think she quite knew what she was getting into with Sam, who will soak up attention like a infinitely porous sponge. My mom made the mistake of spontaneously curling up her hands and saying “It’s the claw! The claw is gonna getcha!” Sam thought this was the OHMYGODBESTTHINGEVER and from then on out it was a constant stream of demands to “Talk to the claw” or “Do the claw” or “Let’s play claw.” This continued until I dropped the claw, with my mother attached, off at the airport to go home.
My mom also took Sam shopping at Toys R Us for a present. After initially flirting with the idea of some godawful Bratz thing (you know, those little girl dolls that look like crack addicts suffering from radiation sickness) Sam eventually fell in love with a big bucket of plastic dinosaur figures. She brought them home and built a “dinosaur habitat” –basically an enclosure built out of wooden blocks. When she insisted that I sit down and play with her, I amused myself by having a particularly resourceful Spinosourus repeatedly engineer his own little prison breaks. He broke through the wall, knocked over a tree to he could use it to climb the wall, had another dinosaur throw him over, dug a tunnel, and a engaged in a few other shenanigans. Each time Sam would shriek and chase after him so that she could put him back in the Jurassic pokey.
Eventually Sam shook her finger at the little plastic dinosaur. “You stay in the dinosaur habitat!” she said.
I held up the figure and said for him, “No way, man! I was born a free dinosaur. You can’t cage me!”
“I want you to promise not to escape any more!”
“No way,” I answered, making the little guy hop around. “Free the dinos! Free the dinos! Revolution! Revolution!”
“Okay,” Sam said. “Then I KILL YOU!” She made a gun with her index finger and thumb, pointed it at the offending dinosaur, then started making little “Pew! Pew!” sounds. “AND NOW YOU’RE DEAD!” she shouted as she snatched him and flung him aside.
I really should have explained that that was not a proper response, but I was laughing too hard. Malcontents take note: This is how Her Highness will deal with you once she has taken over the rest of the world.
Also, I hope you’re enjoying the pictures. It’s a scientific fact that people never get tired of watching children in party hats cram donuts into their faces. I read it once. Also, here’s a neat little parenting hack for owners of a new model that may be teething: Take a damp washcloth and put it in the freezer. When it’s good and frozen, give it to your child and sit back why she happily gnaws on it until the cows come home. Repeat as necessary.
Mandy continues to do fine for those of you keeping track. I swear she’s saying “Ma-ma” and “Da-da” at this point, though not consistently. She’s so different than Sam was at that same age it’s amazing. Even then Sam demanded attention and interaction, while Mandy is content just to know that you’re nearby as long as she has a steady supply of choking hazards to play with. Where these small chokable objects come from I have no idea, since I can make a sweep of an area and think it completely clean, then look over and see Mandy produce a crayon or crate of thumbtacks like Bugs Bunny whipping a mallet out from behind his back.
I have no idea how she does it, but Sam seems to have made it her new mission in life to ensure that Mandy remains free of such dangers. The problem, of course, is that Sam’s definition of choking hazard is quite fluid, and can encompass any toy –of any size or deadliness– that Sam desires to possess at any time. In this way, Mandy is often in danger of choking on books, blankets, or even stuffed animals several times larger than she is. Still, it keeps both of them busy.