When I was dating Danielle, during one of the trips to her house I asked to see old family photos. That was a big tradition in our house as I got the bug for documenting things with photography from my mother. Each of my brothers and I have about two dozen photo albums full of photos of us from back when you had to pay for film and pay for development. They had but a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the photos my mom did, but one photo that cracked me up was a photo my future father-in-law had taken of Dina (future sister-in-law) and one of Danielle’s cousins punished, crying against the wall. It was a funny image, but baffling that it’d be something worth capturing, especially in the film days. And I saw him do it with the new generation of kids as Danielle’s cousins started having kids.
It was funny and bizarre to the point that we made joking references to it all the time. Then a funny thing happened when I had kids. Sometimes I would take photos like that, too. (Although this photo was actually taken by Danielle) I think there’s something funny in a wrong way about it, but I think it comes from the fact that kids – toddlers especially – cry for everything completely out of proportion to the offense. I think it ends up inuring the parent and eventually stops serving its purpose. And at that point, I think it just becomes funny to document it so later you can point to the photo and say, “dude, we just put you in a basket – what were you so pissed about?” (Especially because this was Scarlett’s favorite activity – to be put in these baskets and pushed or pulled around the room) I don’t get many comments on my blog any more – not even from Dan and Kai – but I’d be curious in seeing what other parents think.
I like to imagine that she was going full blast into this tunnel and skidded to a stop to see what was behind her.
I just noticed there’s a watermelon on the ground next to Scarlett. That isn’t some kind of asian ritual, shame on you if you thought that. Anyway, Scarlett had her first day of school a while ago. I guess it can be an emotional time for some parents – that’s what I’ve heard on the grapevine. For me the only emotion was excitement! I was curious to see how she’d do in school and what she’d think of it. She’d never been in daycare, but we did do a couple one-week classes this summer and she seemed to enjoy those. Turns out that school appealed to some of her nature – wanting to know things and wanting to be around other kids. She’s excited about school every day and sad on the weekends when she doesn’t have school. Couldn’t ask for a better start to her educational career.
Nothing more to add.
It’s a recurring theme that we forgot that our kids are people, just tiny people who perhaps haven’t finished developing all of their mental and emotional abilities yet. You expect them to eat the same thing every day and like the same TV shows and songs. But we aren’t like that, why should they be? That’s often made pretty evident to me with Scarlett and photos. Sometimes she’s dying to be in photos and ends up photo bombing everyone. Other times it doesn’t matter how much it means to me to have a photograph of a particular event or moment in her life. She does NOT want to be photographed and nothing can make her participate.
Stella loves anything she can climb on. Scarlett hasn’t developed a love for climbing trees, but Stella might. Put anything in front of her that’s a bit off the ground and she’ll try to get on top of it. Not sure if she’s trying to reach what the adults and her big sister can or if she’s just climbing it for the same reason people climb Everest: Because It’s There.
Sam is quite different and I think this photo encapsulates their differences well. Stella’s munching on a hard ring while Sam plays with a plush Panda toy and sucks his thumb.
Sam constantly reminds me of Linus from The Peanuts. He loves nothing better than to cuddle with a nice soft blanket or toy and he can’t keep his thumb out of his mouth. I was successful in keeping Scarlett from getting into that and we had to make Stella stop because she kept throwing up. No luck with Sam, but I’ve yet to see a mentally stable adult sucking their thumb, so we’ll get through it eventually. (First time parents should remember that with everything – like potty training – have you ever seen someone who doesn’t have mental issues who isn’t a potty trained adult?)
The funny thing about this age is that the kids start making all kinds of faces at the adults. But for the most part, I doubt it really means anything. For the most part they’re learning by imitating and trying things out and seeing what kinds of reactions they get. But we can’t help but ascribe intentions to their facial expressions. Then again, we do this with inanimate objects, it’s part of what makes us human. (Or at least puts us in a small category of animals)
I am flabbergasted at the level of detail in the items created for the Calico Critters toy franchise. I’m not surprised it’s Japanese (although I wouldn’t have been surprised if it were German either). But what fascinates me more is how Scarlett uses the toys to approximate her life. It reveals what she pays attention to and what she imagines is going on in the heads of the adults around her.
I took this photo back in August. I’ve said it before on the blog when talking about Scarlett, but it’s incredible how much the babies change in their first year. Sure, at this point it’s 100% of his life. But eventually you reach this age where you don’t really change all that much from year to year. You get a little fatter or skinnier and maybe lose a little hair, but it’s on going back multiple years where you really see the change. But look at Sam closer to birth:
Sam’s on the right. The fundamentals are there, but it’s a very different face. And between when I took the photo and when I’m writing this he’s tripled the amount of teeth in that mouth. It’s just incredible how much they change.
Ever since I first took a macro photo, I’ve been drawn to the form. I think microscopic photography often turns the everyday into the abstract. Macro photography can do that at times, but more often than not, it just lets you have a good look at something that you don’t normally get such a good look at. My favorite macro shots to take and to take in are of insects. They’re skittish so it takes skill to capture it. And they look so alien compared to mammals (which is why they’re often the template for aliens in movies). This guy was resting near my front door and I ran inside to get my camera and hoped he’d still be there when I got back.