Thursday, September 11, 2008

More Tales for the EFFC*

*The Elaine Frances Fan Club. (Not to be confused with the EFCA.)

If you know me at all, you know I'm all about the children's books. Some of my very-very-very-very-most-favorite-ever-since-I-was-a-little-girl (well, there are actually a lot of those, but these are truly my MOST) are the Frances books by Russell Hoban (illustrated by his ex, Lilian Hoban. I'm not sure if she was his ex- while she was illustrating the books or after. Interesting. I'll have to research that. But I digress.) The books are about two badgers who are sisters. Frances is the big sister. She's smart and precocious and sensitive and likes to make up little songs. Then there's Gloria, the little sister. First off, she doesn't factor in much because she's just a baby. However, later we find out that Gloria is brave and funny and kind of in-your-face. And cries a lot. Are you seeing any parallels here?

Anyway, here are this week's tales of Gloria, er, Elaine. She likes to eat. And she likes to color. She spends her days trying to wear me down into giving her things to eat. Here's a usual breakfast for her. A container of yogurt, possibly two or three. A piece of cinnamon toast. Probably two. A handful of dried cranberries. Then two or three more handfuls. Tea with milk and sugar. About 45 minutes passes after breakfast. "I wanna treat," she announces. "No way," I counter. She bursts into tears. "Just one treat!!!!!" she wails. "Absolutely not; you just ate breakfast. You'll get a great big Santa tummy," I answer. She cries some more.

8 minutes later. "I want some gum."

10 minutes later. "I want to color." "Are you going to color on your hands, your face, or the table?" I ask. "No." "Say it back to me. Say: 'I will not color on my hands. I will not color on my face. I will not color on the table.'"

12 minutes later.

(This is her in the naughty chair.)

Look closer.

"Why would you do that?" I ask. "I need lipsticks," she replies. And in case you were wondering, I guess lions need lipsticks too.

[Also for anyone saying, "Uh, Alice? Isn't insanity defined as doing the same thing yet expecting different results? Who is the maroon who keeps giving this kid markers?"]

So, we head out of doors to the Japanese gardens. I believe that's called the "parental redirection."

Happy Gloria.

Looking for fish. "Yeah, I hope as soon as you got that shot, you yanked her back. She looks like she's about to go in headfirst," said Darren.

Enjoying a beautiful fall day running over a bridge, repeatedly.

Then we went to swim class. Instead of having her teacher all to herself, two other little girls were in the class too. They were all supposed to sit on the side of the pool and take turns. Yeah, Elaine. Not real big on taking turns yet. While the other girls were doing their thing, she got up and went to get a noodle out of a container. I saw the teacher say something to her, her lower lip come out mutinously, and her little bottom sit back down on the side of the pool. With bad grace.

In the changing room afterward I said, "What did your teacher tell you?" She buried her face in my shoulder. I heard, "She say, 'SIT.DOWN.ELAINE.'" I said, "Well, she's your teacher. You're here to learn to swim, not goof around. You need to do what she says." She wasn't done yet. "Den she say we not go down da slide today. She say dat!" in an outraged voice. I almost expected her to add, "Can you believe it?" "I MAD at her."

Later in the afternoon, she ran upstairs to our bedroom where I was straightening up. "Daddy tell me NO!" she roared, tears streaming down her face. "He say 'No berries'!" "Daddy's about to take you to supper. He doesn't want you to get full beforehand. So, no, you can't have cranberries now."

I'm sure you can guess how well that went over. And then later I found her down in the kitchen, calmly munching them anyway, her little fists full of more. She had gotten them out of the cabinet herself.

That naughty chair does a booming business, I tell you.


ARF said...

She's not naughty. She's hungry and bored. Both acceptable conditions if processed properly.

She clearly needs a puppy.

I need lipstick too. Maybe some burnt sienna or purple.

Go Gloria.

-The President

Becky said...

Every girl needs lipstick. It's a must! Remember Mom's worthy advice?

Melanie said...

Too funny! I take such comfort in knowing that our Dec. babies are so similar! I showed these pictures to Cole - he called her Frances - isn't that weird? Seriously he's been saying stuff like that out of the blue. He saw a baseball glove on tv yesterday and said, "Base.ball." He loves seeing the pics of Lucy and Elaine so thanks for sharing once again!

Juliet said...

Elaine looks cute in her chair...even if it is the naughty chair.

Love the pictures of her at Anderson's gardens.

ARF said...

I've been obsessing, I mean thinking. (It's easier to focus on someone else's dilemma than your own, no?)

Me thinks.

Protein for breakfast. She's not getting filled up. Larger paper to draw on. Fine motor skills are not developed yet-she needs more room to make her mark. (U-haul sells boxes of packing newsprint which will easily cover a table for $5.00-ish) Washable markers. Duh. (She wants lipstick because she's seem someone else wear it. Her beloved Mother.) And...I don't think the naughty chair is supposed to have a view.

You gotta stop seeing her as naughty and start seeing her as not what you're used to. Different isn't bad.

Yours Truly.

I have no children so I'm simply speculating.

Alice said...

We call it the naughty chair a la Super Nanny. And we're using crayons more often now--wax and skin, not as easy a mix. The gardens and swimming and such: that's to widen her horizons so she can have fun and do things while other people are in kindergarten. We don't see her as the Bad Seed or anything. She's quite lovely. She makes us laugh and laugh. It just makes for fun blog material.

I'm hoping she can write a book someday--The View from the Naughty Chair--and support me in some swank nursing home.

Oh, and you have no idea how cloooooose I am to getting a puppy for her. I keep restraining myself just a little longer. I found a breeder and everything.

Ann-Marie said...

And what's so wrong with a Santa tummy? I mean, writing to you over my own. He's so jolly!

Yeah, yeah. I know.

I love the hat! She's like a little fashionable newsie!