Friday, August 20, 2004

Cows and baths

"Cow." Cow, cow, cow, all through breakfast, all through lunch. For days. No beef on the menu.

Finally, I draw the line from Helena's haphazard pointing finger to the case of Moosehead at the side of the kitchen. I guess the moose kind of looks like a cow, in the same metaphysical way a horse kind of looks like a cow when you're not yet 2 years old.

I've explained the difference, but still she persists. Only now it's because she thinks instead of saying "moose," I'm saying "moo."

Do I have to explain everything around here?

Actually, no, I don't. The kid's a whiz at puzzles — fitting shapes into their moulds (animals, geometric figures) as well as interlocking pieces (decidedly abstract in shape when seen as parts apart from their whole).

I'm going to have to step up the challenge — the challenge for me being to find something that inspires without bringing on tantrums of frustration. I think a trip to the dollar store is in order.

I love that place: cleaning supplies, my favourite biscuits (Italian!), and more toys than Helena should be able to hope for. I derive immense satisfaction after having formed that initial impulse — that my baby deserves a new toy today — from pulling some coins out of the sofa and trekking down to the dollar store, being able to bestow on her the gift that is plywood puzzle made in China, or generic brand plastic slinky.

This week's new word: "foufounes."

Helena is so extraordinarily happy and cuddly and giggly on coming home form her grandmother's place. Except she seems to want more baths. At least that's what I gather from the excited squeals of "bat, bat" every time I remove an article of her clothing or change her diaper, and from her walking in on me in the bathroom while she struggles to remove her own clothing, pointing "bat, bat." I guess that's a good thing. We're just too lazy to comply.

I miss baths. I had a bubble bath recently, my first since the two awkward ones I'd had in late pregnancy, and found it terribly unsatisfying. When I was single, I indulged about once a week. Now, it's a question of time — not in preparing the tub or even taking half an hour out to clean oneself. It's a mindset problem. It takes substantially more than half an hour to be able to let go of the day to be able to truly enjoy the bath. And I really don't like our bathroom.

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