The Mysterious Case of Kirsten and Scarlett

Sept 30, 2008 6:09 PM

For the past few months, mul­ti­ple mem­bers of the fam­i­ly have noticed the star­tling­ly sim­i­lar appear­ance of Kirsten and Scar­lett.1,2 They both seem to be devel­op­ing at prodi­gious rates that just leave their sib­ling in the dust. Dad said, “They both have legs that could sup­port ele­phants.” We are pret­ty sure this was meant as a com­pli­ment but you won’t hear me say­ing that to any­body over age two.

So the ques­tions becomes is this the “Arnaez” look, and can we say that their speed of devel­op­ment is due to some “Arnaez” gene?3 Or is it that they are females and Arnaez. There is some­thing very inter­est­ing going on in these two. There are a cou­ple of pic­tures of them both star­ing direct­ly into the cam­era and an expres­sion that could be read as “Real­ly? Youse tak­ing my pic­ture?” — It’s a wiseguy look, com­ing from these baby girls.4

I thought Macon­nel, when he was 3 or 4 months old, looked like Ivan, espe­cial­ly when Mac got mad and turned beet red. Now I keep think­ing Scar­lett looks like Ivan too and I won­der if that what an “Arnaez” looks like.5

As for the Mac update, today when I got home from work, I walked into the liv­ing room and Mac was sit­ting in a chair, sort of bounc­ing up and down, and was singing the “ABC song (won’t you sing with me.)” He has a low, almost com­i­cal­ly low, singing voice for a lit­tle boy,6 and while I’m sure he sort of under­stands what count­ing is: He will count his cook­ies, his grapes, the fresh black­ber­ries that are just ripen­ing7 and the steps as he walks down them; I don’t think he con­cep­tu­al­ly gets the alpha­bet in any mean­ing­ful way, but heck he has to start somewhere.

  1. I keep think­ing they look like Ivan. []
  2. I was going to post the pic­ture, but I sus­pect both Lau­ra and Jenn would have some seri­ous objec­tions. I’ll email you the pic­ture if you like — just let me know. []
  3. It is at this point that Jenn will like to point out my essen­tial­ly epis­te­mo­log­i­cal­ly solip­sis­tic phi­los­o­phy or as she puts it: “Ego­cen­tric.” []
  4. I won­der, if like Scar­lett, Kirsten has start­ed say­ing, “Da-da” at a very ear­ly age and pret­ty much con­quered any sort of inde­pen­dent will that said Dad had. Per­haps mine only last­ed a few min­utes, and was quick­ly wiped away, know­ing that this is a very lit­tle girl, and I am her dad. []
  5. So then I start think­ing and won­der­ing well if Ivan looks like an “Arnaez”, what do I look like? I sus­pect I look like my mom’s dad, but I’m not sure. []
  6. I final­ly got it on tape []
  7. We had a scare recent­ly when I unwise­ly intro­duced him to the con­cept that he could eat berries. We spent the morn­ing pick­ing black­ber­ries and eat­ing them, and even­tu­al­ly we ran out of pick­able berries, so I turned around to head home, but Mac found anoth­er set of red berries, lat­er iden­ti­fied as Rock­spray Cotoneast­er, and pro­ceed­ed to start eat­ing them. Any­way, we called poi­son con­trol and they men­tioned they con­tained cyanide and we would need to watch Mac for any signs of sleepi­ness. I’m still kick­ing myself think­ing that Mac would be able to tell the dif­fer­ence between Cotoneast­er hor­i­zon­tal­is and the Himalayan Black­ber­ry:Rubus arme­ni­a­cusn

    But as Rousseau said:

    S’il tombe, s’il se fait une bosse à la tête, s’il saigne du nez, s’il se coupe les doigts, au lieu de m’empresser autour de lui d’un air alar­mé, je resterai tran­quille, au moins pour un peu de temps. 


    If he should fall or bump his head or make his nose bleed or cut his fin­gers, instead of rush­ing to him with an with an expres­sion of alarm I will stay calm, at least at first. 

    Émile, ou De l’éducation — Livre second 


Scarlett stuff

Mulling it over,1 I think Scar­lett is already start­ing to devel­op por­ten­tous char­ac­ter­is­tics. What­ev­er she wants to do, with a brief inter­lude of frus­tra­tion, she will do.

What I mean and am try­ing to con­vey is that she seems to be reach­ing dai­ly mile­stones; every­day she just seems to get bet­ter at anoth­er thing: grasp­ing, grab­bing, talk­ing, wav­ing, say­ing “Hah­h­h­hh”, crawl­ing, pulling her­self up2; play­ing, real­ly play­ing, with Mac instead of mere­ly get­ting rolled over and so on and on. That she is attempt­ing so many things all at once makes it hard to grasp exact­ly how much devel­op­ment is going on.

Some days I just stare at her and watch her brain get big­ger right before my eyes.

For most part Scar­lett is not a cry­ing baby, but she is still loud.3 Most of her screams are from sheer frus­tra­tion when­ev­er she falls down from stand­ing up on her own. So what hap­pens is she will pull her­self up on the ottoman and then try to reach up fur­ther and climb up on it, when sud­den­ly her trunk starts to jig-jag about as the momen­tary orches­tra of synaps­es and mus­cles, that had suc­cess­ful­ly got­ten her up on ottoman her, decide to take five and leave Scar­lett high and dry and unteth­ered. Soon the the wild trunk oscil­la­tion will over­pow­er her lit­tle hands’ death grips on the ottoman and she will come crash­ing down and let out a peel of pure cheesed offishness.

  1. I have decid­ed that I need to get this post up as by the time I think it’s fin­ished, it will be way out of date. []
  2. more on that lat­er here []
  3. see pre­vi­ous post []

Scarlett Squealing

Down­load PDF here Sept. 21, 2008 8:06PM There is almost so much to write about Scar­lett and Macon­nell already I don’t think I’m going to catch up1 so I just thought every­one might want to be pre­pared when they meet Scar­lett again. As you all know, there is a small bet that she will be walk­ing by Thanks­giv­ing, but extrap­o­lat­ing from the avail­able evi­dence, it seems like it might be next week that Scar­lett is tak­ing her first steps and maybe anoth­er week before she is ask­ing to bor­row the car.

I thought Ivan’s kids were loud and nev­er imag­ined that my kids would be so, but Scar­lett has not only exceed­ed expec­ta­tions but can squeal at such a high pitch that for just a few sec­onds it appears that her mouth is open and no sound comes out, but in actu­al­i­ty what has hap­pened is her pitch has gone ultra­son­ic2 for a few sec­onds and then she returns back to earth and fol­lows it with a sur­pris­ing­ly raspy “WHar­rr!“3 The expres­sion at these times is the most inter­est­ing bit: There is not a hint of dis­plea­sure or irri­ta­tion, but more of an open, arched eye­brow, eyes wide open sur­prised look that sug­gests even she is aston­ished by just how much noise she can generate.

At these times, Macon­nell is usu­al­ly doing some­thing4 that has caught our atten­tion which makes me won­der if it isn’t some sort of atten­tion grab­bing maneu­ver she has engi­neered. Usu­al­ly though, Macon­nell is deep into his almost-Tal­mu­dic study of Elmo and all things Elmo, 24 hours a day, but he has def­i­nite­ly dis­cov­ered he has a sis­ter and has com­menced try­ing to stomp, smoth­er, bat on the head with base­ball bat, rip any and all play­things from the fist of, but also will give kiss­es and hugs and pats on the head to his sis­ter, Scarlett.

  1. But not for lack of try­ing, I’m told that I’m already try­ing to pro­vide so much doc­u­men­tary pho­tographs and video, that I have been told to not out­put so much, i.e., look­ing at five pho­tos of the kids is OK once every week or so, but being pre­sent­ed with upwards of 100 to 150 pho­tos of pret­ty much the same exact pose or com­po­si­tion tends to wear thin, I’m told. []
  2. which explains why the dogs already seem a bit cowed by her and lay low when­ev­er she approach­es []
  3. It sounds almost like the Whas­sup! com­mer­cials I was show­ing her, but had no idea she would pick up. You can watch them here Also a good remake is here. []
  4. When he isn’t watch­ing Elmo, he be count­ed on to be try­ing to: 
    • rip the cat’s tail off
    • exit the front door and escape into the front yard
    • reach up and over onto the counter thus demon­strat­ing that there is less and less space that can be con­sid­ered safe
    • climb up and jump off any and all avail­ble seat cush­ions or stair steps that have result­ed in some real­ly amaz­ing crashes
    • on par­tic­u­lar stel­lar days, not only escape out the front door but escape with cars keys
    • throw all the cusions of the couch onto the floor and pro­ceed to eat what­ev­er and I mean what­ev­er he finds under­neath and between the cush­ions. Eecchhh.