May 15, 2007

Why are they called "fairy tales" even when a fairy isn't in them?

I realized something a little horrifying the other day. Our upstairs bathroom has absolutely no mechanism available for unlocking the door on the OUTSIDE of the door. You know, if perchance a toddler should accidentally get locked IN the bathroom and you need to use one of those teeny-tiny dummy keys on the OUTSIDE of the door? Fortunately, no accident has actually happened, but obviously we will need to switch out the door knobs. I'm just grateful I noticed it before a true emergency happened. I'll be damned if some particle-wood door thinks it's going to stand between me and my baby - I own an axe and am not afraid to use it.

Mama Bear
I allow Arun quite a bit of freedom to run around. When we are Border's, he runs around. When we are in the front yard, he runs around. When we are in restaurants, he runs around. Frankly, I am very comfortable with fairly closed environments where I can keep an eye on him. In our front yard, he knows the street is off limits. Period. No exceptions. He went into the street once to follow the cat and another time merely started to go into the street. Both times, we immediately told him No!Going!In!The!Street! and we immediately came inside (we've been hanging out in our front yard since he was a newborn and seriously - only twice has it been a problem. He KNOWS he has to go inside if he disobeys and under NO circumstances does he even WANT to go inside. Talk about Love and Logic.) Okay. There, I've set the picture - our kid gets a lot of freedom. However, parking lots are a completely different story. I grip his hand with an iron grasp - I am terrified of parking lots and would prefer to still carry him, but I'm not physically able to do so as much any longer. So, on Friday as we left Office Depot we were crossing the path to the parking lot. There are stop signs telling drivers to stop. We were barely halfway across when a gal driving a mini-van barreled on past us. I about had a heart attack. If Arun had been able to wrangle out of my grasp, this would be a very different post. The adrenaline gushing through my body quickly turned to White Hot Fury. I noticed which section of the shopping area she went to and had a good idea where she was headed. I loaded us into the car and headed that way. Sure enough, she was at Quizno's. I guess she was really fucking hungry to be zooming around like that, eh? So, I go into Quizno's and she's at the counter placing her order. I walk up to her and ask is she is the person driving the grey mini-van out front. She looks at me in confusion and says yes. Then, I inform her that she had just barreled on past us in front of the Office Depot around the corner, running a stop sign in the process and if my son had gotten away from me, she could have killed him because she was that close to us. The gal was in utter shock, flustered and slightly embarrassed. I walked away and turned around at the door. I could see her shaking her head as if in mock protest towards the Crazy Pregnant Woman and so, for the benefit of the entire restaurant I informed her loudly again that there IS a stop sign outside Office Depot and she DID run it and she should DEFINITELY drive back by there to verify it for herself. Sheesh. No, I am not proud of what I did, I felt no vindication and it was slightly embarrassing for me to the extent it made me nauseous. However, dammit. DAMMIT. If it makes her think hard the next time she encounters a crossway with a fucking STOP SIGN, it was worth it.

Papa Bear
I've been exposed to a spate of Man Bashing in recent weeks at various gatherings or out and about on the Blogosphere. That always leaves me shaking my head. Nah, my man is not perfect and most definitely some days it's like living with my own personal tornado as he leaves a trail of socks, dirty dishes, laptop cords, discarded printouts, belts and spilled food stuff in his wake throughout the house. But Whoa. He is the most excellent father that it still blows me away. And even then, we don't agree on how to do everything. Still, for the most part, I leave him be to do his Daddy Business how he sees fit because I realize that he is providing Arun with a very different perspective on things. And that counts for something, which is why I try not to complain when he does it wrong, er....differently. My #1 Advice to a new mother is to leave the baby with her husband, leave the house and ASK NO QUESTIONS. Your husband will figure it out and they both will be the better for it.

Baby Bear
Arun has been blowing me away with the Adorable lately - he's all Sunshine and Rainbows and Kittens about the little stuff - like the alphabet and numbers, I kid you not (he noticed there were letters on the wall at the grocery store yesterday and it MADE HIS DAY - letters! Whee! Geek.) Anyway, this Unbearable Cuteness of Being is why I didn't feel the need to escape on Sunday because holy crap! I might have missed out on something. So, lately he's been all about "helping" these days - putting things away, wiping up spills, retrieving things for me. For sure, I want to ride this gravy train for as long as it will last (kindergarten, pleaseohplease?)

A Job Well Done

Actually, this WAS helpful because then I didn't have to bend over to empty the silverware tray. I'm still not entirely sold on his inclusion of the sock, though.

Kittypatta Food
For whatever reason, he thought the kaddipatta plant needed some food and that KITTY food would suffice.

Perfect Penmanship
What is crazy about this is that I have never, ever been able to hold a pen the correct way and X, our resident Southpaw Indian anyway, was out of town when he started this. I don't think Arun learned this from us and he seemed to have done this on his own. Which strikes me as just plain WEIRD.

Watching the Master
He was in total awe of the notebook and crayon that I gave him. Now, he can scribble in unison with Steve, his Jukebox Hero.


KateGladstone said...

First — "fairy tales" got that name because "fairy" didn't originally mean "magical human-like creature." Until 600 years ago or thereabouts, English-speakers called a magical human-like creature a "fay" or "fae" ... and "faes" lived, of course, in "Faery" (= "fae" + "-ery") a/k/a "Faery Land" the realm of magic and enchantment. (Talking about "Faery Land" — which people later on started spelling "fairy land" — made it easy for the next generation to interpret "fairy" as meaning the country's best-known residents, not the country itself)

"Faery tales," then, mean tales about things that can happen only in a land of magic and enchantment (for instance, stories which include talking beasts). So now you know why tales of Faery — "fairy tales" — can include GOLDILOCKS and LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD and scores more that include magic but no fairies.

About your right-handed boy's use of a handwriting position more commonly seen among left-handers: about 1% of right-handers (also about 50% of left-handers) naturally hold a writing-tool in this position and probably cannot change. According to University of Chicago research on hook-writing (the technical name for this position), people who hold the pen/cil/crayon in this way have their brain's language-centers on the same side as their writing-hand (instead of having these centers on the opposite side as most people do). According to neuropsychologist Jerre Levy, who conducted the medical and other research establishing this, where your brain puts its language-centers depends on genetics, just as handedness does: just as you shouldn't try to persuade a left-hander to become an "imitation right-hander," for very much the same reasons you shouldn't try to persuade a hook-writer to become a non-hook writer.

Kate Gladstone
owner, Handwriting Repair
director, World Handwriting Contest

Jenny said...

Holy crap Cagey. Did you ever expect to get such a real answer to one of your rhetorical questions? Lol.
Also? Its totally a Quiznos thing, I think, with the idiots. A couple of years ago I witnessed an accident involving an Airborne Express driver, who was quite injured but lucid, and I was the only person who stopped to help him, people just kept on driving by. I was on my way to pick up a call in order at Quiznos, and so when I finally got over there, this guy behind me was complaining that he had such a hard time getting there because of traffic because some idiot caused a wreck. I kind of lost it on him. I turned around and said, "You know what? People were actually hurt in that wreck. Maybe if you weren't so focused on stuffing your fat face you would think about that." The Quiznos girl dropped my money she was so stunned. He stammered around, red faced, while I just stared him down. Then I took my change, took my sandwich and as I got to the door, a construction guy stood up from his table, held the exit door open, and winked at me.

Jenny said...

PS also, the writing thing? The fine motor skills for grasping a pencil correctly don't really start kicking in until age around 3, so unless he is still doing this at age 5, then I wouldn't worry about it, and when he is a preschool setting they will work on that with him anyway.

Tina said...

Our Son #1 is so like your son--our driveway goes onto a rather busy street. It has 2 cracks in it, and we told him "Don't go past the 2nd crack". He won't go past the first crack. I can be outside weeding and know he will not go near the road. I've never had to worry about him. Son, not the same. He's a runner. No logic when there is the thrill of the run, I guess. He doesn't seem to care he has to go inside--he got to run towards the street! We spend much more time in the backyard right now.

Cagey said...

Kate Gladstone,
I LOVED your response - I have a hoard of trivia and facts books, so yeah - I totally dig that sort of info.

Good for you! When I see a wreck, I never know whether I would be helping or hindering by stopping.

Not really worried, just curious. I write really, really strange with the pen positioned between my middle finger and my thumb - my hand cramps any other way. However, the mystery has been solved - when I showed X this post, he said that actually IS the way he writes, so Arun may very well have picked it up from him.

Some folks think we are crazy for letting our kid run around outside in the front, glad to know we aren't the only ones. We have a clear curbing and he isn't allowed past that on the driveway, on the sidewalk he's not allowed to even go into the grass fronting the street.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Being a pedestrian is an occupational hazard. Last week I nearly got hit by a BUS, a CITY BUS that ran a red light/pedestrian crossing and came within inches of hitting me. People on the street were actually screaming and I had to sit down and get over my panic attack when it happened. City buses and cars routinely turn right when there are people in the crosswalk (when the white light is flashing).

If I could have tracked him down and yelled at him I would have, I guarantee you that. One time someone came within inches of hitting me (right turn on a pedestrian crossing) and I smacked my hand on her hood and flipped her off.

Add to this the irresponsible drivers in their canyaneros...I am bitter, I will say that. I will admit to being a total speed freak on the highway, but not in parking lots/residential neighbourhoods. Most accidents seem to take place in these locations to begin with.

A daily swipe with death is de rigeur here. It's infuriating but I don't know what to do about it. Gas prices are closing in on $4, we have a shiny new metro, yet people still don't ride it.

Just be glad you don't live in "there are feets on the end of my calves???" car-hellhole L.A.. You'd have an aneurysm!!!

(PS, am still tired, had to work late yesterday on account of audit today...recap is coming, I promise)

Leah said...

I'm glad you said something. I know that nauseous/embarrassed feeling well, but I think this was a great situation to have laid the smack down.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Also, does the doorknob have screws on the outside or is it just tightly fitted in there? Because if it has screws then you could take the whole thing out as long as you keep a screwdriver in your bureau drawer for emergencies.

My sister was prone to locking herself in-many a time my father has taken the whole doorknob out. But we lived in a really really old house in Canada.

Diana said...

I am standing up applauding you and had I been in that Quiznos, I totally would have blown raspberries at her and possibly chucked a pickle or two in her direction.

You so totally rock! Sara from time to time tries to escape my ironhanded grip of death in the parking lot. Scares me shitless as it always happens when she's in a wild, run blindly among the cars mood (go figure).

In our house, the sock would be dirty and balled up a la Charles, who also trails crap and garbage around the house after him. He truly messes the house up more than both kids and the sheddy dog five times over. Still, that's one of his few flaws, so I keep him happily.

Modern Day Hermit said...

I think it is awesome you said something, people are just morons. I call the cops on people who don't strap their kids in on a routine basis and have called in areas where people don't abide by the school zones. It always gets me when someone who is carting kids around doesn't pay attention to the children on the road.

I could never live with the guilt of hitting someone, especially a child. I couldn't sleep for three days when driving from STL to my parents house and we hit a racoon!

I am so jealous of your curry leaf plant but just as I was almost completely blind with a jealous rage due to Arizona's plant importing laws those adorable pics of Arun made it all better, haha.

flybunny said...

High Five Cagey! I am still scared to death of parking lots and the girls are way beyond old enough to know better but I always tell them, I know they know what to do I am worried about the idiots driving.

And scarily enough, when Audrey unloads the dishwasher the silverware drawer looks eerily similar but I will take all the help I can get!