One day Anni was twirling and singing one of her original compositions.
"It's my gift!" she declared.
Dizzy, she fell with spectacular gracelessness.
Laying on her back on the tile floor she began flapping her arms and legs
as if she were making a snow angel.
"Falling down is also a gift!" says she.

Friday, September 24, 2004

OoooooWeeeee! Anni is sick. And how. So we had our first E.R. visit of the season on Wednesday night. Anni has croup, and she was having trouble breathing. They put her on oxygen for a bit, and gave her a big ole' dose of steroids (although nothing compared to what they give for rejection). After a few hours, her breathing got better and we went home. No biggie. With the increased steroids, her breathing has been better, but the sleeping is not so good. You try sleeping after a burst of medicine that makes you feel like a giant exploding head (or at least so I've been told). No complaints, though, as we were happy not to be sent to Chicago for treatment. She is already feeling much better. I left her downstairs quietly watching Dragon Tales this morning while I put Frankie down for her morning nap. When I came back downstairs, Anni was standing on the arm of the couch with her arms spread wide. "Annika, what are you doing???" "Playing a game." "What game?" "The standing on the sofa game." Of course. How silly of me. I do love the relationship that Anni and Frankie are developing. Although Frankie does sometimes tire of Anni's attentions, she certainly seems to watch Anni most closely for clues on how to navigate the world. And Anni loves showing Frankie how to do all sorts of cool stuff. One afternoon before Anni got sick, I let Annika give Frankie her afternoon snack of plain yogurt. They were both delighted with the set-up, Anni especially. She just loved how Frankie would open her little mouth for her to pop the spoon in. And Frankie loved that Anni was just as delighted as she at the lovely squooshy mess that yogurt makes when used as a hairstyling product. As I've breastfed Frankie exclusively, Anni never got the chance to give Frankie a bottle, which was too bad. But on the other hand, feeding with a spoon is so much more fun. The whole process is so much more interactive. Sometimes Annika will just cup Frankie's face in her two hands, so gently, and say, "I love you baby sister." Those are really the best moments ever. Walking down the store aisle one day, I stopped with the cart to select a new variety of baby food for Frankie to smear over her naked body (she rips off all bibs with a purely disgusted air). Anni was looking around nearby when I heard her say in a voice full of affection and love, "Mommy, I want to give my baby every bandage." Huh? So I looked over to see what she was up to, and I saw that she had selected a container of Nestle Good Start formula. It took me a moment to figure it out, but it came to me eventually --the slogan of their commercial, heavily rotated on Nick Jr. in the mornings, is "Give your baby every advantage." So if I ever wondered if those commercials are having an effect on Annika, I guess question answered. Still, I was pretty surprised that she had managed to pick it out, as there was a huge array of formula on that shelf. I guess that's one nice thing about the Disney channel and PBS--no commercials. Despite being a bit shocked to see how effective advertising was on my child, it was still a sweet moment to see Anni choosing something for Frankie in an evidently nurturing spirit. She has also become quite excited lately about the idea of picking something out to give Frankie for her birthday, so I guess we'll need to make a shopping trip some weekend. Of course, Anni has pretty expensive taste when it comes to picking out toys, but she seems to be grasping the concept of "costs too much money."