As someone who has killed hundreds of houseplants over the years, I am particularly proud to announce Frida’s 5th birthday. I have fed and watered her every day for five years. At this point she can make her own breakfast, so I think we can chalk up a win in this phase of the project and turn our attention to the next one, “How to Raise A European Who Doesn’t Smoke.” Wish me luck.
Yesterday, Frida claimed that bananas didn’t have seeds (as she was pinching off her banana’s bitter bottom tip.) I explained that if she put the pinched-off part in the ground, it would grow into a banana tree, make bananas, those bananas would have seeds, etc. Frida thought for a minute and said, “What was the first banana?”
Kids react to the emotions around them, so maybe it’s my fault that she was so excited about the next 30 minutes’ discussion of cell division and chromosomes and how single-celled organisms evolved into fish and bananas and birds and monkeys and us.
We as parents want a better life for our children than we had, so by God I’m making sure that Frida doesn’t go off to college thinking that evolution is intentional. (Thanks again to my sister Nancy for taking me aside freshwoman year to straighten me out on this concept. Nothing makes me sound more like an idiot than spouting off about how evolution decided to do something.)
This morning Frida said, “Will you tell me about the fish and the bananas again?”
Better than pie for breakfast, that.
(Although you should by no means assume that Frida is someone who can or will get dressed for preschool without making one of us cry. We might be interested in science but we’re still human.)
Max is talking and talking and singing and talking. He can say, “Max get straw,” while balanced on a chair, up on his tiptoes, reaching into a cupboard. He likes to choose what he will wear (hint: it will be red.) He’s an excellent snuggler and will eat all the persimmons you give him. He has been having more frequent heart problems – episodes of tachycardia and some other times that he cries and says he feels yucky in his chest – so we’ve scheduled some more testing and are always packed for an ER visit. This also means that he’s not travel-ready, so he didn’t come with me and Frida to Colorado for Christmas, and he won’t go on January/February’s ski trips. Tobias and I started feeling sad about that and then remembered that Max is three, so maybe a fabulous ski vacation in the Alps wasn’t going to make his top-10 list anyway. Taking a ride on the subway, followed by a hot chocolate in his favorite pajamas, takes up #1-8 on the list. #9 is pressing elevator buttons and #10 is being allowed to join Frida’s ballet class, which I will start lobbying for after his birthday in February. Max isn’t going to live forever; if he wants to spend his time on Earth in a red tutu, I’m going to help him make it happen.