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.