Two Wonderful Girls. One Day At A Time…

Archive for November, 2009

Conspiracy Theory

October 7th, 2009.  It was nondescript day at the end of our trip to
the east coast.  We took the girls to Doylestown, PA to visit the James
Michener Museum.  The museum was hosting an exhibit on Jim Henson and we
thought it would be a great opportunity to learn about the genius
behind Sesame Street and the Muppets.  After spending a fun couple of
hours at the museum, we decided to grab a late lunch at a local Thai
restaurant.  Iris was getting a little cranky (which happens when she
hasn’t eaten in a while) and was really quiet.  While sitting there
waiting for our order, for whatever reason, Robyn takes her sippy cup
and pushes it towards Iris.  Iris, in her petulant mood, pushes it
back–only to have Robyn do it again.  Iris pushes it back again, this
time with a smile on her face.  Robyn, undeterred, pushes it back
again–also with a smile on her face.  Cherise and I see trouble ahead
and we gently say "OK, that’s enough".  But now, Iris and Robyn are
locked in their game.  Back and forth they go, faster and faster until
finally the sippy cup gets away.  At this point, they’re laughing
hysterically.  Then it happened…

The girls locked eyes. 

They smiled at each other. 

They connected. 

And life may never be the same…

see, to this point, the girls haven’t necessarily been sisters as much
as cohabitants in the Khaund household.  There’s nothing wrong with
that.  After all, Robyn isn’t mature enough to play Iris’ favorite
games and Iris is one of many cast of characters that Robyn sees in a
given day (and probably the least accommodating).  In some ways, I
think Iris has treated Robyn like a curious wonder, sorta like if we’d
gotten a dog.  She loves Robyn and loves having her around, but
currently more as an amusing diversion.  It’s more a relationship of
observation with Iris commenting on Robyn ("oh, look at what Robyn is
doing now!") and communicating through Mommy instead of directly
("Mommy, can you tell Robyn to move?  She’s blocking my way!").

But something had been brewing ahead of the "Sippy Cup Summit". 
Robyn’s growing interactivity and Iris’ increased comfort with Robyn
was leading them to behave like (gasp!) sisters.  At the end of a crazy
week filled with hotels, weddings, museums, and lots of time in the
car, perhaps their bonding was accelerated.  All I know is at that
moment when they locked eyes, I swear you could a see a full
conversation in the three seconds that it took place.

"That was a great game."
"I love how we kept going even after Mommy and Daddy thought we’d stop."
"As if we’d listen to them.  Hahaha."
"Hey, you’re fun!"

"Yeah, so are you."
"We’re gonna torture our parents for years to come, aren’t we?"
"Yes we are."
"I love you."
"I love you too!"

I added the last two lines because I thought it was cute.  But I’m
telling you, in that instant when I spotted the two of them, I took a
huge swig of my water and realized there was no turning back.  I
wouldn’t be so concerned if they weren’t so damned smart.  To think
that when I was single, I said I wanted to marry someone smarter than
me. I never considered that the kids would be smarter than me as well. 
We all know genius is far more capable when compounded.  Hewlett &
Packard.  Gates & Allen.  Jobs & Wozniak.  Lennon &
McCartney. Rogers & Hammerstein.  Bert & Ernie.  And now, Iris
& Robyn.  But unlike the others, none of them had the same
parents.  We can only hope they take pity on us. 

Iris the dancer and Robyn the bookworm

It’s been too long since I last wrote, so here’s a little catch up on the latest news from Iris and Robyn.

Iris has undergone a transformation from a shy girl to a wild dancing spinning dervish.  She started a dance class this fall, and she loves it!  I had thought she might be too shy to dance at Sandy’s cousin’s wedding, but her alter ego appeared and whirled me and many others around til we got dizzy.  (apologies to the bride and groom especially)  And then she was the life of the party at her friend’s 4yr old birthday last week – dancing around and handing out ribbons and bells.  Who is this kid?

Iris’ intelligence has also emerged in various interesting ways recently:

  1. The Parenting Expert – Iris was getting dressed one morning recently and said out of the blue:
     (Iris) “mommy, play a get dressed game with me.  Each time I put on something you say a base – first base, second base, third base, then when I put the last thing on, you and I together say ‘home‘.Okay?” 
    (Cherise) “Sure!  Is this a game you play with daddy?”
    (Iris) “no, I came up with it myself.  When I have a kid who doesn’t want to get dressed, it’s how I’ll get her to put her clothes on.”
  2. The Mathematician/ Spatial Visualist – driving in the car on the way to preschool Iris suddenly burst out with “mommy, a diamond is a dancing square”
  3. The Joker – what do you call a witch who lives at the beach?  A sand-witch!  Hahaha!

Robyn at 14-16 months old has been an explosion of learning.  Our tiny baby is transforming into a speedy sprinting daredevil toddler before our eyes!  Her bravery is a new experience for us, since Iris was (and still is) almost always terrified of slides.  Not so for Robyn.  She slid down her first tall slide and I saw the look of fear in her eyes at the fastest part, but then she got right up and wanted to do it 10 more times!  At our friend Jill’s house there’s a high slide with 3 bumps in it and a tall ladder to reach it – something Iris has never tried.   Again not a problem for Robyn.  She sat at the top by herself cackling with glee before launching herself down to me.

Robyn’s favorite thing right now by far though is reading books.  She flips through pages of board books, magazines, or the newspaper, by herself or with others, especially when she wakes from nap (she can spend half an hour entertaining herself just reading books in her crib!  Sooo nice.)

And Robyn has moved from sign language on to speech!  Her first words were mama, dada and koka (Assamese word for grandpa).  Here are Robyn’s new words:

  1. Habirday – yes, after so many family birthdays, this was Robyn’s 4th “word” ever.  And she loves to say it over and over again.
  2. Uh oh – also repeated often, and with a grin when things drop from the high chair
  3. Mommy, Daddy – in that earnest voice that is so sweet now but eventually will be exhausting
  4. Duck
  5. Ater (water)
  6. Si-too (side two) – when she’s ready to change sides when nursing
  7. Shoe – yes, another child with a shoe fetish.  She must try on multiple pairs of shoes daily, even if they belong to her sister or even daddy
  8. Baby – so adorable how she’s fascinated with dolls or even photos of babies anywhere
  9. Bowl
  10. Car
  11. Up
  12. Book
  13. Apple
  14. NaNa (banana)
  15. Gigi (what she calls her great grandma)
  16. Whoa, Whee

Animal Sounds

  1. Baa baa
  2. Moo
  3. Hoo hoo ha ha (monkey) – this is also the sound she makes to get out of the tub since her bath towel is a monkey
  4. Sniffing sound (pig)
  5. Rah (lion, tiger, bear)
  6. Raow Raow (dog barking)
  7. Baoooa (with finger up and down as elephant’s trunk)


  1. Bird
  2. Dog
  3. Tree
  4. Airplane
  5. Baby
  6. Goodnight
  7. Shh – sleeping
  8. Can point to her nose, mouth, ears, eyes, feet, hair

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