Monday, September 19, 2011

New Thing #44: I Love Cats...and the LP

So today we did the most amazing never-been-done-before New Things that will reshape the LPs lives and stay with them forever. I will win "Mother of the Year" for my creative thinking and dedication. I hit the ball out of the park on this one.

Or...maybe not so much.

Okay, fine, I don't even know if today involved anything New. Hold back your applause and accolades. I'm trying to get us back into Normal Life again and it seems to require baby steps. Today we went to the library...but not our usual branch. The LP were delighted to play with the Thomas the Tank Engine table that appears to be de rigueur at every branch of the Hamilton Public Library. When the LP, Auntie J and I went on our Long March (and no, that for once is not unnecessary capitalization, go look up your Chinese history if you don't believe me, it is one of the few things that stayed with me from my undergraduate Politics of China course...well that and "pig iron" is an actual term) to the library back in May, I checked out a book called "I Love Cats" for the LP. For some unknown reason, LP1 loves this book. I mean, no offense to the author, but it is just a short, illustrated little rhyming ode to cats. We returned the book in late May but she still mentions it all the time. In fact, on Thursday when Grandad was over, he asked her what her favourite book was and she mentioned it. She followed it with a very sad, "but it is back at the library." Obviously I had to get this book again for her today. If a two year old can remember a book she was read four months ago, it is significant. I've read it to her three times today already. I think we are going to have to buy this book because I'm sure that taking it back to the library will upset her all over again.

Since I'm already thinking about LP1 being upset, please allow me to share how I very accidentally upset her tonight. While we were reading "I Love Cats" before bed we came across a picture of a cat watching fish. LP1 asked me why the cat was watching the fish and I didn't even think about it. I said "because cats eat fish". She turned around and stared at me. "MOMMY! No they don't!" I automatically answered with "yes, they do" but when I saw the look on her face I decided to let it go and keep reading.  LP1 thinks about everything and dwells on things. When I was later tucking her into bed she looked me right in the eye and said, "Mommy, cats DO NOT eat fish." I could tell that she was bothered by the thought of a cat eating a fish so I asked her what she thought cats ate. She looked at me, so seriously and said "they eat CAT FOOD!" I couldn't help but laugh. I told her she was right and she settled down, ready for bed. Knowing LP1 as I do, I have no doubt that either we will discuss this again soon or she will ask someone else what cats eat.

I find that every now and then I have these moments where I take for granted how innocent the LP really are. I never thought that a cat eating a fish would be an unsettling thought. I now realize that they probably have no idea that tuna fish was once an actual fish, swimming in the sea, or that a piece of chicken belonged to an actual, clucking chicken or that ham comes from a pig. How do you explain to children that animals eat other animals so that it doesn't traumatize them? I know our children are still young but I think this is coming. I don't want to destroy their innocence. I find it funny that I've thought more about how one day we'll have to have to talk about sex and body parts than where their food comes from. I should have realized it would come up one day...eventually they are going to realize that Mommy is a vegetarian and Daddy really loves bacon. Maybe it won't be unsettling for them. Maybe I'll get Daddy to handle this one.

Hmm...I've taken us way off course here. So we went to the library and came home with no less than 38 books. I kid you not. Our receipt was roughly as long as the one we get when we go grocery shopping. I am definitely not complaining, though. The LP love being read to and I love reading with them, so I know we will read all 38 books several times...and I know one in particular I will soon know off by heart!

LP2 also really enjoyed the library. He was happy to play at the train table and to watch the other kids. As his personality emerges even more all the time, my heart just gets bigger. He has this habit of stretching out his arm to say hello to someone and giving them an enormous grin. I saw him do it to several children and then to the father of two of the little girls he was playing with. It is heart-melting. Seeing how happy he was to play with the trains and to take in his surroundings was really lovely. He is such a laid-back, joyful little guy. I feel that both LP are little rays of sunshine but in their own unique ways. They truly have blessed our lives.

Hmmm...I seem to have gotten way off the Thomas the Tank Engine track but I think I will just leave things as they are. The library was good, we went to the store, we had a visit from Grammy and Grandpa and we checked out another daycare provider. A busy but good day. After the LP were tucked into bed, I headed out for my weekly ballet class. If you would ever like to see what an elephant that has been shot with a tranquilizer gun looks like, please come watch. I don't think the National Ballet of Canada will be calling me anytime soon.

I'm not sure yet what we will do tomorrow but I hope it will involve more quality time with my LP. And yes, another reading of "I Love Cats".

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