i was explaining the theme of the day (thanksgiving) to eva, explaining what it means to be thankful for something. i listed some of the things i am thankful for, and asked what she is thankful for. her response: red, and blue, and green, and yellow, and purple.... my first thought is that the concept had gone over her head, but for all i know she really is thankful for colors.
instead, i offer you a list of her aspirations. eva is fond of saying "someday when i grow bigger and bigger, i will..." go or do or be a whole assortment of things. here's a sampling from the last several days (or what i can remember).
someday when i grow bigger and bigger i will
be a woman
eat spicy ("ficy") food
go on a big, big roller coaster with lots of people
use pointy things
go back to new york city
wear these bigger clothes, because then they will fit me
play bowling with papa
go there and do funny tricks (indicating the "ninja warrior" obstacle course on TV, because larry told her she could as part of her ninja training)
help take care of panowah
learn how to play a guitar
drive all the way to where austin texas turns into seattle and see the space ("face") needle
drive mama's car (hopefully not those last two at the same time)
go climbing like the monkey mans (meaning rock climbing like larry)
do lots of things
i like all the varied plans she is making for herself. i'm glad i get to be along for the ride.
right now she's snuggling larry on the couch because she's sad that he's leaving for madrid in the morning. "you will fly in an airplane to 'fain' and that's a long, long way away." "i want to go with papa and stay in a hotel!" "papa, i'm going to help you pack." she gets that he'll leave and then come back, but more and more, she's truly sad to see him go. lately we have to go to the driveway and wave pretty much any time he drives off somewhere. it will be interesting to see how she reacts during this coming week.
it will be equally interesting to see how this tired, pregnant mama reacts, too. ha.
we just spent five lovely days in new york city, along with larry's parents. i used to go to nyc nearly ever year, but haven't been since eva was born, so it was really nice to get back. i'm no new yorker, but i was pleased to find that i still knew my way around better than i might have expected. in just a few short days, i feel like we really saw a little bit of everything, which made me happy since rita hadn't been to new york since a brief trip when she was young.
eva, as expected at this point, was a great traveler. naps on the fly in the stroller, cooperative about going wherever and whenever, all-around cheerfulness (minus one or two brief bouts of sleep- or hunger-induced whining). she seemed positively charmed by the city -- the tall buildings, the taxis, riding the subway, the crowds and views on the street -- which made me happy. we hiked all over midtown, went to the top of the empire state building, strolled through central park, had a pint (not me :) at an irish pub in the east village that opened in 1854, saw several museums (she was the only child we saw at the guggenheim that day, hmm wonder why -- but she was asleep when we went in then stayed happy so why not go with it?), and ate lots of yummy food (that one mostly thanks to farah's guidance -- including some great ethiopian food, made possible by rita's generous offer to stay with eva at the hotel.)
the things that made the biggest impression on eva (other than having her grandparents nearly undivided attention for several days straight!) seemed to be riding the carousel in central park -- that thing is fast -- and having a sugary tea party with an "alice in wonderland" theme at a place called alice's tea cup. she had tea and scones, finger sandwiches and cookies, and best of all, chocolate mousse! very fun, and just about the cutest thing ever.
we stayed at flatotel, which was really nice -- we were in a two bedroom flat, so we could spend more time all together. i don't think they get many children there, so that could really go either way, but it seems eva sufficiently charmed the staff. riding the elevator one morning, eva stood holding on to the railing as usual and, looking up at the mirror on the ceiling, excitedly asked "do you see everybody?" and of course, everyone looked up and saw each other looking back. well, it turns out one of the other riders was the general manager of the hotel. upon our return that evening, the concierge came running after us with the cutest teddy bear dressed in the signature flatotel robe -- he said the GM thought eva was charming and wanted her to have it. how sweet is that? eva loved it and snuggled it in bed that very night; i was pleased that my child made a positive impression, haha. (in general, i was impressed with the staff there -- especially the bellhop who managed to get us a cab during shift change at the beginning of rush hour to newark of all places in the rain -- all in under 10 minutes. amazing.)
all this travel has allowed eva to have experiences she couldn't have at home. and on this trip in particular i was interested in what things she learned. she will tell you that (from our 27th floor room) the taxis look small since we're up so high but when we go down they look bigger. she knows the difference between a monorail and a subway train. she knows the weather is different different places. she can point out the chrysler building and central park, and knows how the subway works (she was running around the house today saying "please stand clear of the closing doors" -- that and ringing a handbell saying "happy holidays!" like the salvation army bellringers we saw). i don't know if she'll remember all the trips we've taken this year, but i think somehow it will be in there, contributing to her sense of the world -- or something. maybe all that will happen is that she'll remain enamored of subways and taxis, but i think maybe as she grows up strange and new things won't seems so bewildering, even if she doesn't consciously know why that is.
great trip, and a memorable one. and we're glad to be home with no trips coming up any time soon (well, excepting larry's departure for madrid on friday. but other than that...)
my daughter is, at this moment, pushing her doll stroller around and around (and occasionally over the dog). but, apparently, she's not my daughter. she's a boy, and i'm a man, and lemma is a boy dog. this boy, when asked, announced that his name is sentimenta. "hey man, say 'bye, sentimenta! have fun at the airport!'" (i comply.) "watch out, boy dog, don't block my stroller. this boy is pushing the baby sister to the airport, to go to the other austin texas where the sky is pink." or, sometimes sentimenta takes the baby to go get groceries. you go for it, sentimenta. don't forget we're almost out of cream cheese. (i don't point out, because i don't need her to know, that her first major foray into playing "boy" is by doing decidedly female-gendered activities. that makes this mama smile, truth be told.)
i previously discussed how reading books is her favorite activity. i'd say if she's not reading books (or, beginning two days ago, playing with the bathroom sink a.k.a. "swimming pool"), she's pretending to be someone and setting up scenarios for us. ah, the joys of imaginative play. i know it's good for kids, but i hope this level of pretending to be elsewhere doesn't mean she's (already) trying to escape her own life, haha. (ha?)
she's been doing this for quite some time (generally pretending to be a baby, or going to the airport), but it really amped up starting a month or so ago. first, it was "meerkats are everywhere" (she does a mean meerkat impersonation). then, in ND, she suddenly decided that she was anna (one of her new little friends). "what is this anna doing?" "no, i'm not eva, i'm anna!" after a few days, she decided she was (her cousin) sarah and i was (sarah's mom) karen, while anyone else around was either an additional karen or uncle john -- and any ajacent dog became a cat. this one persisted for a long while. during the flight home, sarah gave way to baby eliza and i was told i was "big sister anna". i finally figured out that anna and eliza are the only pair of young sisters she really knows, and is (obviously) exploring the role of big sister via these identities.
and now she's sentimenta, dear son to this man (gee, could she be exploring gender? i love how at least sometimes toddler explorations are transparent). oh, don't forget the imaginary sisters from august, bohp and panowah (though bohp has all but disappeared and panowah has transitioned into a new role). she also likes to be my dentist (though i believe that's just a premeditated ruse to be allowed to stick her fingers in my mouth), or to take her sick dog to the "vetinahwian". and sometimes, just to confuse me, "now sarah is being jennifer", my hair stylist, and she pretends to cut my hair. oops, i mean "karen's" hair. (c'mon try to keep up!) we often have parties and picnics or ride in a taxi or subway, and last night eva was the officiant at a wedding and (re?)married larry and i, ending in an uncharacteristic couple-plus-tiny-officiant hug. (even more unorthodox, the officiant was clad only in mardi gras beads and brightly striped rain boots.)
i do love her imagination, and i like getting a glimpse into what she's thinking about via play. perhaps the only drawback is that it makes me wonder why we own all of these toys... or any toys. she honestly could care less about them. ah, to simplify! it's on the agenda, as soon as i have a bit more energy...
speaking of that (and the other hints), the slightly old news is that i'm pregnant (12 weeks today). i can only think of a few people who i haven't spoken to in person, and i'm not sure they really read this anyway. i wrote a few posts about it along the way but didn't publish them until now. they can be found (oldest to newest) here, here, and here (or just scroll down). i'm hoping to start feeling better soon, and am excited about my first midwife appointment tomorrow. i've been explaining to eva that we'll hear panowah's heartbeat. however, that's a hard sell to a two-year-old who has no concept of the circulatory system to begin with. (i just mentioned the midwife appointment again, and now she's running around playing midwife. of course.)