Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ander & Zaza Appear in an E-Mail to Far-Away Alissa


Ander has nearly filled his sketchbook.

We have now officially become Parents, as we (okay, I) spent the wee hours of Saturday night/Sunday morning holding Ander's poor birdy shoulders as he barfed and barfed and barfed. We (okay, I) may never eat lasagna again, if you take my meaning. Can you believe he made it to such a ripe old age without ever having a barfing episode? ("Except for that time when I was in preschool and I was sitting on the red sofa and I coughed so hard that I threw up what I had just eaten?")

I kept him home from school Monday, and he painted with his acrylic paints for the first time while Zaza napped. It was like watching somebody prepare for a tea ceremony. He had his smock, and his brushes, and his acid-free paper taped to the table, and his blue
Alissa pencil, and his piece of plexiglass. And then he drew a bird so so so carefully in this slow but somehow simpler-than-normal way so that you could tell he was thinking about where the colors were going to go, and then he picked eight different tubes of paint, and I made tiny blobs on the plexi for him, and then he so so so so slowly painted everything in -- the bird's wing was painted entirely left-handed and I thought you had to be in the room with us somehow, perhaps in the breeze that was spinning your postcards on the mobile we've made for them. It was fascinating to watch him figure out how to pull (and not push) the brush, and how fine he was about going over and outside the outlines he had drawn, completely okay with how the painting was different than the drawing. Today he keeps going over to the piece of blue rickrack we have strung up as a drying line, running his hands over the shiny-bumpy-smooth-lumpy surfaces of the dried painting.

Zaza can say (with varying levels of clarity) MOON and BIRD and HAPPY and SORRY and YEAH PLEASE and UP HIGH -- and also DRAW and PAINT. She has finger-painted and watercolored, and now demands to draw ("DAW! DAW! DAW!") whenever Ander is doing so -- she hunches over the paper, nose hovering over its surface, making tiny tiny marks, then pushes back, makes bold strokes and swirls, and insists that she has drawn a BABY. Today I wrapped her in a smock, put her on a stepstool in front of the easel, and gave her her first tempera paints: blue and yellow. When Ander came home from school, she dragged him by the hand through the house to ohso proudly show him her very very greeeen painting where it's drying in the window. He was delighted by her taking him by the hand, but less-than-enthusiastic about her actually having painted (his territory). Still, he said "Nice painting, Aliza!" before drifting off to play with the pretend pizza-making set.

I just finished reading Lynda Barry's
100 DEMONS which gave me strange dreams and made me laugh and cry and also haunts me.

the dishes are piled on the counter.
I ate peanut butter-filled pretzels for dinner, and watched Grey's Anatomy.
I'm up late writing to you and giggling over the shocking availability of
Sunshine Family dolls on eBay.