Adventures with Beth and Josie

So, Beth is becoming rather enthralled with the idea of Cecilia being “in Mommy’s tummy.” She likes to cuddle Cecilia at rather odd times. Which means that sometimes, spontaneously, even in front of people, she’ll suddenly decide that she wants to “kiss the baby” or “snuggle Cecilia” and she’ll lift up my shirt. Yeah. Not a good thing. Although cute.

At dinner this evening, we had pork chops, mashed potatoes, and corn. Josie loved the potatoes and corn but ignored the pork entirely. So, she’d finished everything else, and I speared a piece of meat on my fork and held it out to see if that would interest her. She shook her head. Oh well. So I ate it. Then I tried another piece, thinking, well, maybe now that I’d done it, she’d try it. Still no go.

But then Beth started to think this was a pretty funny game. So she spears a piece of pork chop from her bowl onto her fork and holds it out to Josie. And what does Josie, that traitor, do? She opens her mouth and reaches over to bite it off the fork. Beth thought this was hilarious, so she ate about half her pork chops herself and fed the other half to Josie. Josie loved it. I guess this shows exactly how early peer pressure starts, huh?

Then, at dinner, Beth was looking avidly out the window at the clouds. “Look, there’s a lion in the sky! God puts lots of animals in the sky, because he loves us and he loves animals. He always forgives us and loves us.” It’s a bit funny but also nice when she starts putting God and Jesus into her everyday conversations. I’m glad that He’s part of her life and that she’s starting to “get” Him. At the same time, sometimes her idea of Him steps into some pretty odd territory. But today was okay, and then she even started talking about how much He loves her: “This much!” with arms as wide as they go.

I got some kids’ CDs from the library, but they pretty much stink. I don’t like any of them and need to sneak them out of the car ASAP. One of them is nursery rhymes, sung in the worst way possible (by the way, when did “ashes, ashes, we all fall down” become so bad that they had to change it to “pussycat, pussycat, we all fall down?”). They’ve changed lyrics all over the place, possibly in an attempt to make them seem friendlier, but it’s just annoying. And Beth has this thing where, the moment a song starts, even if it’s the first time I’ve heard the song, too, she starts asking, “What’s this song about? What are they saying?”

Have you ever tried explaining what “ring around the rosie/roses” means? (Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Black Death thing is an urban legend.) Or “hot cross buns?” “Black sheep, black sheep?” “Hey, diddle diddle?” They’re just nonsense words. But she wants to know what they all mean, what they’re talking about. It. Was. Driving. Me. Crazy.

It wasn’t until we’d been listening to some fun Christian CDs by “The Donutman” and I’d been answering this same question that I realized how much easier it was. “What’s this song about?” “Well, it’s about Paul, and all the hard things he went through in order to tell people about God.” “What’s this song about?” “It’s about how we should do good things for each other instead of ourselves.” “What’s this song about?” “It’s about how God created the world and everything in it.” I’m not saying that Christian songs are the *only* ones with content, even her Disney Princess songs are easier to explain than nursery rhymes. But it’s definitely true that sometimes I don’t *want* her to really understand what her precious princesses are singing about. And don’t even get me into the huge misinterpretation of American history that is Pocahontas.

We went back to the park with the swings “where the kids with the bikes were!” today. That’s the park Beth and I walked to a few days ago, and all the kids were riding bikes/trikes/scooters around, and she couldn’t keep up and wanted her own bike. Well, this time, we brought her scooter. In the back of the stroller. And I pushed the kids in the double stroller to get there. Can I just say, distances are *so* much shorter when you have the kids safely strapped into a stroller, even if you have to push it, then when they’re walking along at a snail’s pace asking how much farther every 20 seconds? It didn’t feel like a long walk at all today.

There weren’t any other kids there when we arrived, but it felt a bit like arriving at Mesa Verde and wondering where all the people went, because they’d left their cooking fires and utensils and everything just as if they’d stepped out of the room. Except in this case, it was toys. The place looked like a messy child’s room for a television commercial. There were 12 bikes/trikes/scooters/ride-on toys strewn all about (yes, I counted). Half of them were lying across the path as if they’d been dropped in mid-ride. There were 5 construction vehicle toys in the one dirt area. There were My Little Ponies all over the picnic bench and the ground around it. There were pails and buckets and shovels through all the mulch area. Seriously, it was a mess.

And a frustrating mess, too. Beth had to push toys out of the way of the path for her to use her scooter. Josie was driven crazy by all the tempting trikes and ride-on toys, and threw tantrums when I told her she couldn’t ride on them because they belonged to somebody else. I found myself wishing that those “somebody else” would put their toys away so that I could take my kids to the park without worrying about them using other kids’ stuff.

The thing is, I doubt the kids who left their toys would mind, really, if somebody else used them while they were gone. Some other kids came to the park after a bit, and they were using the toys, and I’m pretty sure they weren’t theirs (because one mom, watching her toddler climb onto a trike, was talking about how he was so interested in trikes and she’d have to buy him one soon). But, I don’t want my kids thinking that it’s okay to use other people’s stuff without permission, even if they aren’t there. That mom came to that park frequently and lived nearby, so she might have an understanding with the moms of the kids who left the stuff around. Who knows. Anyway, I was glad when the wind picked up and I felt a couple of drops, good excuse to head back.

We made it just before the rain. Good timing, us!

Beth practicing on her new scooter

Beth practicing on her new scooter

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