Sunday, April 26, 2009

Alternative Napkins

Not to make it sound like I'm picking on Celeste here or anything, but she has a really bad habit of running her fingers through her hair. Not that that's a bad thing in and of itself, just she does it when she really needs a napkin instead.

Everyday last week, she came home from nursery school with Cyndi Lauper-esque streaks of vivid color in her hair. Not such a big deal. During dinner, we try to catch her and stop her before it happens, but if there's something messy on her hand, it's going to end up becoming a hair-care product.

Thankfully, she's gotten a lot more tolerant of having her hair washed.

Today, we went to South Mountain Creamery for their spring family farm festival. It's the third such event we've been to there (on top of just stopping by to feed the calves two or three times), and we all enjoy it: the hay ride, the surrey ride, seeing the cows get milked, feeding the calves, baby chicks, the hay slide, the fresh ice cream, etc.

Now how does going to the farm coincide with Celeste's napkin habits? Well, while we were in the calf barn, Celeste grabbed a handful of the dry food out of one of the calf's buckets and held it up to calf so she could lick it out of her hand. The calf was happy to oblige and Celeste was having a great time. And then, her hand went up and through her hair — cow spit, grain bits and all. Another couple who were watching their son watch Celeste feed the calf made quite a sound as I'm saying "Celeste, no!" and watching the hand approach her head in what seemed to be slow motion. And then she grabbed another handful, fed it to calf, and did it all again.

Lather – Rinse – Repeat

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Worms Go In, the Worms Go Out

The girls were chalking on the sidewalk this morning, while I was pulling some weeds in the front yard when a few earthworms* and two grubs (Cyclocephala ?) came up with the clump of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea). After squishing the grubs, I picked up a worm and took it over to the girls.

Celeste ran up on to the porch, which isn't really a surprise. Her first instinct is to move away quickly from most animals and other things that aren't dogs. Quinlan, however, overcame her sister-induced fear and came over to take a look.

She got a bit giggly about the dirt that was all over the worm, and how it was twisting and then moving along my hand. Celeste eventually came over to look, but Quinn was the only one who would touch it. It took a little while, but she finally let me put the worm in her hand.

Quinn and the Worm 1Quinn and the Worm 2

We put the worm back in the soil and a few minutes later, Quinn was back looking for it and wanting to hold it again. (She also was convinced the first worm had been a boy and this time she wanted to see a girl worm; I passed on trying to explain hermaphrodism to her.) After the third time holding a worm, I suggested to her that the worms probably wanted to get back to digging in the yard ... and it was time to go in for a snack.

*I'm not putting a scientific name for earthworm here because I have no idea what family of Lumbricina the individual worms in question were, much less their species. In googling around to see which species were common to suburban Maryland, however, I found out that the vast majority of earthworms in North America are non-native invasives. I had no idea. One fairly recent study of worms in the Baltimore–Washington suburbs found that most of them were non-native; another study found that only three of the 12 species present were native.