Zuzuday: stories

Once upon a time, there is a little girl who is 4 years old, her name was Zuzu Dora the Explorer. And then no one came. But then, Dora heard someone, it was just her backpack. She didn’t know what to do to find the people. Then she said, ” Oh they are at school!”. And then she went to school and then she saw her cousin Diego and then she saw her friend  Boots. And then she found her baby girl and her baby boy and found her Mommy and her Bapi. And then she made a snow angel in the snow. And then she lived happily ever after. The End Again.

by: Zuzu

corner view: seeing through the eyes of a child

Let me preface this as a new activity. I had a couple of ideas. Zuzu has a camera and one of these days I’ll figure out how to get the pictures off of it and actually share her work. Yes, she considers it her task to take the pictures some days. Someone has to! I also have a handful of her paintings to share. And then there is this. Lately Zuzu and I have been talking about writing down her stories. My girl loves to talk, to pretend, to create a little world. A dear St. Louisian friend used to routinely write down her daughters dreams in a book. I was charmed by the idea. I often ask after Zuzu’s dreams over breakfast. What I’ve noticed though is they tend to bear a striking resemblance to what I said my dream was, a recent episode of a favorite show or a little play I saw her engaged with her dollies in the night before. I’m not entirely clear that she is aware of her dreams yet. For weeks now we’ve talked about writing down her stories though. Our plan is to take a photo; she chooses the type she wants to write about, and the general timeframe, and then she’ll narrate the story that the photo inspires. I’ve heard enough sweet stories from her that I was excited to do this and thought this week’s corner view would be a lovely start. I will say, I was a little disapointed when the first story was obviously about Dora the Explorer. I didn’t want to edit her or impose my specific expectations on her though. I wanted her to think for herself and be proud of it. Sure enough she was. After I read it back to her and she added in a few more details she informed me that Dora was her, Boots was the Quail and Benny was her Daddy. She then asked me to print it so she could share it with her Daddy. I grinned at that and as he was reading it aloud I was struck my a clear memory of a tween-aged me bent over a yellow note-book writing out a script to The Smurfs. I guess she comes by it honestly. On to her first written story…

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was 2 year’s old. Her name was Dora. Dora really wanted to go eat some ice cream. MMMMMMMMMM. And then her best friend Boots came to have some ice cream with Dora to. But Boots got the wrong ice cream. But then he gave it to Benny the Bull. And Benny the Bull had the wrong ice cream and he gavbe it to Boots. It was the same ice cream as Dora. So now Dora and Boots had the same ice cream because they were best friends.

And then them loved each other and they went exploring and they found a crystal. And them really wanted to see some sites. And then them found the crystal kingdom with lots of color crystals: red, yellow, blue and green.Then them found a snow princess story. With a mean witch that locked the princess in the tower and then Dora and Boots came to save the princess. But then the snow fairy melted but Dora smiled into the crystal and saved the forest.  And then them lived happily every after. The End.

Corner view is a weekly Wednesday date hosted originally hosted by Jane, currently by Francesca. A topic is given and you can see impressions; be it in photographic or poetic in form from around the world:  Jane, Dana, Bonny, Joyce, Ian, Francesca, Theresa, Cate, Kasia, Otli, Trinsch, Isabelle, Janis, Kari, jgy, Lise, Dorte, McGillicutty, Sunnymama, Ibb, Kelleyn, Ninja, Sky, RosaMaria, Juniper, Valerie, Sammi, Cole, Don, WanderChow, FlowTops, Tania, Tzivia, Kristin, Laura, Guusje, Susanna, Juana, Elsa, Nadine

Mommaday: those tenderhearted milestones

You know the ones I’m talking about. The first time you see your child, the first time they look into your eyes, the first time they tell you they love you. Well imagine the overwhelming pride and love you feel when that happens coupled by the genetic similarity of both of your children reaching it in the same way. As the parent of a child with special needs you often hear up and coming parents lamenting their fear that their child won’t know them. Will never call them Momma, won’t care for them anymore than anyone else. Well folks. I’ve said it before and I get to say it again. Your child will know you. You will have those tender moments in one form or another. And when you see your children reach it in a similar way, you’ll smile at your unexpected genetic prowess.

The milestone here I couldn’t have predicted, read about in a baby development book or dreamt of involves the first time my dears verbally recognized me as their Momma and a separate entity from them. When Zuzu was about 9 months old and dreadfully sick with an ear infection her fever shot up, as they tend too in the middle of the night. She snuffled quietly as we ran the cool tub hoping it would drop the raising temperature. The moment we set her hot little self in the cool water she shreaked out her very first “MOMMMMMAAAAAAA!” in pure unadulterated anger.

This past friday the Quail and I sat on the kitchen floor with an informal dinner that she was nearing the end of. I had a baggie that contained the 3 left-over chicken nuggets from a previous dinner. She had finished her first and I was reaching in to get the next when Zuzu sidled up and helped herself to the third nugget. The Quail hath no fury, like a woman whose stomach has been betrayed. She bellowed her newly acquired “TOPPPPPP!!!!!” and held out her palm ala crossing guard. When that ceased to make her sister return the nugget, she looked furiously at me chuckling at her outrage and turned the wrath of her palm on me and bellowed clear as day:

 “YOU!!!!! TOPPPPP!!!!!”








Yes. your children will know you. And despise you.

Zuzuday: Zuzuisms….

Is she in our land, Momma?

Are we going to Santa Claus’ lair?

I’m doing my homework!

Let’s send a story to Uncle Scott- he likes scary bats so let’s send him a scary bat story!

I get really cranky when my mom and dad put stuff on my way-up-high noodles.

Don’t flush me down the potty mommie, then I’ll disappear and I’ll get lost!

Stop right there Butcher!

Momma I had a bad dream and you had to come to to the castle tower to save your dears and bring the police!

Ok babies, sorry I can’t rascal with you today!

Cause we don’t know like leprechauns!

Zuzuday: Anything you can do…I can do better….

I can do anything better than you! Unfortunately the spotlight that the girls are vying for is the medical one. As I mentioned yesterday, the girls both got sick a couple of weekends ago rather suddenly. Generally speaking; October through April, we have to RSVP maybe to most of our invitations.

The end result of that Saturday afternoon of fevers and goop was the start of regular maintenance breathing treatments for the Quail and an ear surgery for Zuzu. Her ENT had said last spring that if her tube in her right ear didn’t come out on its own by fall we would need to schedule surgery to remove it. Well that bloody goop that came gushing was actually the result of the tube being in her ear too long. She got a routine infection, as she’s prone to, but this time the goop pressed the remaining tube up against her eardrum. Generally it’s never a happy feeling when your MD looks at his intended and says, some version of, “Oh, that’s not good.” No, indeed. It’s not. So she was given oral and eardrop antibiotics and the removal surgery was scheduled.

Do you take your 4-year-old to the doctor? If so, then you won’t be surprised by this little tale. When the kind MD started describing the procedure to remove her tube (or tooth* as she insists he said); Zuzu interrupted him with the following:

Zuzu: “Momma, is he a real doctor?”

Me: “Yes, Zuzu, he’s a real doctor. Go on Dr. B.”

Zuzu: “Momma, how do you know he’s a real doctor?”

Dr. B: “Well I didn’t pick up my license at the Holiday Inn Express!”

Me: “That’s enough Zuzu, quiet please. Go on Dr. B”

Zuzu: “Ewwwwwww….. Momma, he prescribed poop! That’s a butt word! We don’t say butt words!”

Me: “No he didn’t prescribe poop Zuzu, please be quiet. Go on Dr. B”

Zuzu: “Yes he did! It says poop right here! We don’t say poop!”

And on it went until Dr. B finally left and said that the nice nurse would come finish up with us.

So tomorrow we’ll head over to the hospital for what should be a fairly short and routine procedure. The doctor said she’s welcome to show up in her jammies and with a lovey. I’m thinking I might follow suit.

*Oh and that little “misunderstanding” of tube vs. tooth. Well the conspiracist in me is fairly certain she understood what he said but is opting for pushing the tooth version. Just the other night as she was going to bed she explained to me that she has to go have her “tooth” removed this week and that she’s going to put it under her pillow and then the Tooth Fairy is going to come and leave her a surprise! She explained it so earnestly that I didn’t have the heart to explain that the Tube Fairy isn’t so widely believed in these days.

Quailday: Eye on the prize…

She’s getting there! And Momma may have a heart attack along the way! If you’ll notice she chose to do her first “all-by-her-own-self-pull-to-stand” trick on a slippery surface. I literally stopped in mid air with a quick mental debate to snap the picture when she got up or swoop in for a rescue. You can tell by the quality of the photo that I went with a compromise.

This picture was probably a month ago. In physical therapy we can help her with minimal assist to stand and then play and she’ll stay up for a record 19 minutes to date. She’s definitely getting stronger in her core. Now when she starts her lopey crawl down the hall to us she will manage to stay up on all fours for a stride or two before dropping back down into military motions (army-crawl). Her transitions from one area to another and one toy to another have her spending more time in a tall-kneel and her need to continue a daily read-a-thon have encouraged her to take matters into her own hands and pull up!

Our dear Mattie who comes in to spend one-on-one time with the Quail at her school 3-4 days a week sends us a daily update of how the playtime went and I have to say it is one of my high-lights of each day reading about this little bird’s antics. Be it, sweet, sleepy, naughty, into everything or insistent behaviors. Mattie and her have developed a happy rapport and I really get the sense that Mattie gets what is going on in the Quail’s sweet noggin and has the ability to make the most of it and go with her flow. Today’s note demonstrated her using her newfound strength & language to further her campaign platform for longer storytimes for all children:

“Then, I got out her toys and she wanted her Puppies book. I read it once and she signed “book” and “please” so I read it again and then again. She kept signing “book” and “please” so I put the puppies book in the red toy bucket. She crawled over to get it. She tried to lift herself up but didn’t quite get it so she sat down and I heard her say “doggie” and then she signed “book” and “please” again (Ms. Patty heard doggie too). I told her to go get it and that’s when she pulled herself up. She grabbed the book and plopped back down so I read it to her again.”

Way to fly little bird!

corner view: humor


a rousing game of peek-a-boo...

In our home; the range of what we find funny is vast. We rolick with delight in the Quail’s early morning rounds of peek-a-boo, post-kidlet-bedtime-viewed episodes of The Daily Show. Lovey’s Rocks- both Yacht and 30, our favorite modern day Desi & Lucy‘s antics and Zuzu’s newly acquired skill of telling knock-knock jokes. 

Here’s the thing- the repertoire; well, objectively speaking- is sorely lacking. The two-drink minimum dinner entertainment viewed nightly in our home usually starts like this: 

Knock, knock....

Zuzu: “Knock-knock” 

The ‘rents: “Who’s there?” 

Zuzu: “Banana” 

Zuzu: “Knock-knock” 

The ‘rents: “Who’s there?” 

Zuzu: “Banana” 

Zuzu: “Knock-knock” 

The ‘rents: “Who’s there?” 

Zuzu: “Banana” 

Zuzu: “Knock-knock” 

The ‘rents: “Who’s there?” 

Zuzu: “Orange.” 

The ‘rents: “Orange who?” 

Zuzu: “Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?” 

Once we make it through Act 1, Acts 2-6 follow with the banana being replaced with any item in viewing distance. The girl’s got great generalization skills. What can I say? 

That being said- could you help a beleaguered family out by supplying some new knock-knock resources we could foist upon her? 

I’ve learned to cope with Zuzu’s other newly favorite brand of entertainment- repeating what I say verbatim by supplying her with items I like to hear. Early on I learned that just being silent wasn’t enough to redirect the, ahem, behavior . It just made her eyes sparkle more lustrously as she eagerly asked, “Momma, don’t you have something you want to say?” ; then articulates the exact tone of my, “No.” right back to me.  If I have to have my words mockingly replayed, it might as well include sentences like, “Oh my Momma, what pretty hair you have today. Oh Momma, I love you soooooo much. You are just the best Momma ever!” Zuzu usually tires of repeating this long before I tire of hearing it. If only I had thought up this response back in fifth grade when it was every boy’s favorite game! 

Oh- and I’m not joking about the knock-knock jokes…help us out people! 

Zuzuday: This moment brought to you by Dr. Sal Severe…

I’ve been trying to shine up my parenting skills. I’ve been reading and re-reading Dr. Sal Severe’s: How to Behave so your Preschooler Will Too! And we had our first obvious example of it paying off. This morning my Fashionista was gathering clothing options to get ready for school. I tried to interject with a suggestions of different pants than the one she was intent on. I was all ready with my explanation as to how it matched her shirt.

Her response, quite polite and calmly presented I might add was, “Momma, I love you, but I want to choose which clothes I wear.”

Absolutely Zuzu! Way to be a big girl!

Quailday: Yawn! Stretch! Nigh-nigh…

Our Quail’s a little tired today. We’ve started waking her up in the morning before I go to work. She’s given up her morning nap and is at just one midday 2 hour nap. So there is some definite sleep adjustment going on in our nest. Our student who works with her and her teachers have commented that she seems tired. We may have to go back to just letting her sleep in the mornings. On the weekends she’ll sleep till about 7:30-8am. Which is great for Momma! She’s the opposite of  Zuzu who is more likely to be the first one up. So likely in fact she’s taken it upon herself to turn on the their bedroom light first thing and then come let me know the baby is awake. But the morning time is nice for me to get to spend a little bit of time with her and Zuzu now that I’ve stopped pumping and nursing. Not a lot mind you, I’m still catching up on my sleep- but some. It’s been this early morning quiet when Zuzu is off assembling her bumble-bee self or deciding on breakfast or trying to get a grown-up to put on Dora or Kai-Lan or Max & Ruby for “just 1 episode…pleeeeeaaasseee!”

Well it’s this early morning wake up that we’ve used to practice going from laying down up to sit. As far as I had seen she still needed some assist to get her going. But today- breakthrough- both Mattie our student and Lovey reported her going from laying down up to sit. Lovey didn’t get to see the process- just the end result but Mattie witnessed it! Yay!

Then tonight when I took her in a little earlier to try to get her a little extra sleep- well we started our night-night rounds of telling the flowers and animals and numbers on the wall night-night. We had a brief period a month or so ago of her screaming when she realized we were putting her down to bed and her bottle wasn’t in her mouth. It was brief- literally from the air-lift over her crib to the settling on the mattress- but it was loud and disruptive. Lovey added this into the routine in hopes of it triggering a light that the bottle was coming and she didn’t have to get upset once she recognized the routine. Tonight we started in the usual order, Nigh-nigh flowers, nigh-nigh Giraffe…and then, she did it- on her own she said, “Nigh-bird!” Apparantly she wanted to speed things along. Good girl!

There was also a quiet little “Big sistah” sounding grumble from the crib this early morning. She’ll learn soon enough not to encourage Zuzu until she’s fully awake and armed!