Guess what I did yesterday?
North Carolina has early voting, which is pretty cool. I headed over while Cate was napping, since Dave was working from home. I had read all kinds of nightmare stories about long waits, screwy voting machines, whatever, so I went into it with great hesitancy. And really, it was totally undramatic. The wait was about 20 minutes, which was nothing (I had brought a book with me, so it went by quickly). North Carolina uses paper ballots, so no worries about computer glitches. And… yeah. That was it. Nothing to it, really. But it felt really good to fill in that bubble next to “Obama/Biden.”
[/end political talk]
Back to the toddler updates: we seem to have entered the Age of Elmo. I knew it was coming eventually – it seems to hit every toddler at some point – but it officially started yesterday. We were playing with Jillian, the little girl next door, and she had various Sesame Street characters on her sweatshirt. Cate pointed at Elmo and said, “MELMO!” Later when I was changing her diaper, she noticed Elmo on her diaper and said “Melmo, melmo, melmo!” It’s kind of weird since she only watches Sesame Street maybe once or twice a week at the most, but I’ve heard stories about how Elmo has sort of a magical gravitational pull on kids this age, so I’m not really surprised.
Today I took Cate with me to Target, and she started to have a total meltdown about halfway through the store. She wouldn’t ride in the cart, she wouldn’t walk, she didn’t want the Cookie Bribe, she didn’t want her sippy cup, she just wanted me to carry her, but when I did, she kept squirming because I wasn’t holding her at exactly the angle she wanted to be held. (Have you ever tried to hold a 28-pound toddler while pushing an overloaded shopping cart with one hand? It’s challenging.) Finally as I was making my way past the toy section, I spotted some Sesame Street toys. I grabbed a small Elmo doll, showed it to her, and it was like someone magically replaced my child with a new, happier model. For the rest of our trip, she walked happily through the store, holding onto “Melmo” and talking to him. I was thinking that I would just use the doll to distract her until we were done shopping, but I ended up buying it for her. Elmo only cost $5, and I figured it was worth it since he made her so happy.
Also: I really have to start bringing my camera outside with me more often. Cate is completely enamored with the older girls in the neighborhood, and the feeling is obviously mutual. Yesterday there were three girls serenading Cate with “Row Row Row Your Boat” over and over again to make her dance. And she did. For ages. They try to invent little games with her – they’ll say “ready, set,” which Cate knows is her cue to scream “GO!” and then they all fall down. It is seriously, seriously funny.
A few minutes ago, two of the girls, Rebecca and McKenzie (both of them are in the third grade, so they’re about 8-ish, I think?) knocked on the door to see if Cate could come out to play. I told them that she’s napping, but I’ll bring her out as soon as she wakes up.
In case I haven’t said it already: I love it here. I’m so happy that we moved when we did. I love this neighborhood, I love this house, I love that there’s a Super Target only a couple of miles from us, and I absolutely adore that there are so many kids around for my girl to play with. We are having so. much. fun.