Her understanding of things really amazes me. On Easter, Brad did the Resurrection Eggs with the kids. She was wiggly and squirmy and we didn't think she paid attention to any of it. But like a week later she was talking to my mom and I heard her say "Jesus died and they put him in a cave with a rock as tall as Daddy and before he had to get in the cave he washed people's feet to show them how to do nice things." I was amazed, especially that she remembered Jesus washing his disciples feet at the Passover. I love how she said it was to show them "how to do nice things." I don't know that I understood it that well for a long time. Also, be aware that the standard unit of measurement for something very tall is "as tall as Daddy." This will be important later...
Selah came into the world believing herself to be a vegetarian. She loves fruits and vegetables and pasta and rice. And pretty much all dairy products (chocolate milk is at the top of the list) so I suppose she isn't vegan. She's just not a fan of meat at all. She's never taken a bite of a hamburger, ever. Brad asked her once why she didn't like hamburgers and she said in her duh, you should know this voice "Because it's got cow in it, Daddy." Apparently cows are friends, not food. Pretty much the only meat she eats is hot dogs. I know, I know. That's the most disgusting meat there is. I buy the turkey hot dogs that are nitrate/nitrate free just to make myself feel better, but still. Yuck!
One thing she does love is pickles. If we ever go through the drive-thru at Subway, we get her apples and a little cup of pickles. (Because she sure isn't gonna eat a sandwich!) One night we were at home, and Brad was eating a sandwich. In a show of fatherly love and sacrifice, he took the pickles off his sandwich and offered them to Selah. He had no idea this simple act would produce a dramatic meltdown worthy of an Oscar. She wanted pickles after he had offered them to her, but she couldn't accept the ones formerly belonging to his sandwich because they were "dirty." Everybody knows no drama queen three-year-old will eat a pickle with sandwich cooties on it. Everybody but Brad apparently, who was bewildered by her reaction.
"NO DADDY!" she wailed. "I don't want your pittles! Those pittles are dirty! I want my OWN pittles!!!"
He tried to explain to her that he was giving her his pickles, still not understanding that they might have a crumb or some other offensive speck on them.
"NO! I want some clean ones from the fridgeadattor!" (Refrigerator)
He tried in vain to convince her that a pickle in hand was better than a pickle in the refrigerator.
"I.WANT.MY.OWN.PITTLES! I DON'T WANT YOUR PITTLES!"
Losing patience, Brad said "The pickles in the refrigerator are mine, too. All the pickles in this house are my pickles. I bought them."
*alligator tears* "NOOOOOO! I NEED MY OWN PITTLES!"
Brad: "Then get a job and buy some."
Korban: "I want a job!"
Like I said, she's a big fan of animals. The other day she told me "Mom, I want to get a cat for our house. But I want one without paws."
Selah: "Yeah. One without paws. That way it won't scratch me."
Me: "Selah, I'm pretty sure a cat couldn't walk without paws. Do you mean you want a cat without claws? Like one that's declawed?"
Selah: "Yup, nothing to scratch me with. Nannie's cat tries to scratch me sometimes. She thinks I'm aggabatin (aggravating) her, but I'm not."
Me: "Of course not...."
She has given up naps, her reason being you aren't supposed to sleep when the sun is up. No need to waste good daylight. Most beautiful words ever on a Saturday morning: "The sun is up and we are supposed to be up too. But first we need to lay in the bed and get snuddles." (Snuggles.) So much sweetness!
Bless Korban, he still wets the bed sometimes at night. When Selah was first potty-trained, I put her in Pull-Ups faithfully every night. After the first package or two, I got tired of throwing away dry Pull-Ups every morning and got brave and let her sleep in panties. She has seriously only wet the bed once, and that was hilarious. She slept late one day. We had already started our day and Korban and I were in the kitchen with his teacher. I heard Selah crying and went to check on her. She was sitting in the bed and when I walked in she said "Mama, Korban peed in the bed and I'm laying here in it!" She wasn't just trying to blame him, she genuinely thought he had peed in her bed. Because she wouldn't do a thing like that. I thought it was so cute and funny. That evening when Brad got home I asked Selah to tell him what happened that morning. She said "I woke up and the bed was wet and I thought Korban had peed in it but it came out of ME and I was sorry about that." Happens to the best of us...
As far as travelling goes, she mainly wants to visit three places. Puerto Rico (or as she says it "Toad-A Rica"), China, and Africa. She has very specific reasons for choosing these three locales and she is convinced that she and Korban can go all on their own without any assistance from me and Brad. Her love for Puerto Rico developed after a conversation with a family friend in which he told her about growing up on a military base in Puerto Rico. She loves frogs, and he was telling her about how big the toads were there and how he and his friends used to catch them. She was completely amazed by this and the story has grown every time she has told it. She saw my mom later in the day after first learning about these magnificent toads, and was telling her Nana all about it. She told Nana that in Puerto Rico the frogs were "as tall as Daddy"--which our friend definitely did not say--and that she was going to go down there and catch one. Remember I'm afraid of frogs, and I'm not feeling her excitement over these creatures. So I asked her what she was going to do with such a big toad. She looked at me like I had totally missed the point and said "Ride it!" Of course. Because every little princess needs a six foot tall toad to ride. Forget kissing a frog to find a prince, my girl is going to start a toad rodeo!
As for China, she started talking out of the blue one day about how there is a beautiful Great Wall in China and that she wants to go see it. I was blown away because I really had no idea how she knew about the Great Wall of China. I puzzled on that for a while, until I happened to notice an episode of The Wonder Pets in which they visited the Great Wall of China. I thought she had been reading Wikipedia or something when I wasn't looking, but it was just Nickolodeon. Thanks, Nick! Anyway, she also informed me that after she sees this big, beautiful wall, she is going to build another wall for the people in China. All by herself, with a little help from Korban. Just because she thinks the people there might like that. Nice, huh?
Africa is the most recent place that she has decided she wants to visit. She plans to go to Africa to go on an "ah-far-ee." (Safari) She wants to go to Africa to see elephants and lions and tigers and dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. This gave me a momentary pause. Both of my kids LOVE dinosaurs. We have seen them in museums, and in books, and on TV, but I still didn't realize until here lately that Selah thinks that they are still walking around on the earth. Forget the birds and bees discussion for a minute, how you explain extinction to a three-year-old? I tried. Really, I did. After she told me all about her plans to go to Africa to see her beloved dinos roaming free with the elephants and such, I said carefully "Selah, baby, you wouldn't see dinosaurs. They're extinct." She looked at me curiously. "Which one of them stinks? The T-Rex? Some of them are mean." Trying to keep a straight face I said "No baby. Not stink. EXTINCT. It means they used to be alive here on the earth, but they're not anymore." She considered that for a minute and then said with full confidence "That's not true. I've seen 'em." Conversation closed. We'll visit that one again at a later date.
Really, I understand how she came to this conclusion. Any of you guys ever seen those animatronic dinosaurs? They had an exhibit of them at the zoo last year. She got to pet one of the baby dinosaurs and she was over the moon. It really did look real too. Very cool. We went to the Dinosaur Museum in Branson when we were there on vacation. And I mentioned in an earlier post that we got a good deal on a membership to the Pink Palace museum in Memphis. They have dinosaur stuff there too.
On our first visit there, I made a horrible mommy mistake. They had a dinosaur skeleton and some dinosaur statues that looked pretty realistic and the kids enjoyed looking at those. And then we came upon this:
The picture doesn't really do it justice. It's a huge t-rex. And when I sat my baby girl down in front of it to take a picture, I didn't know it was animatronic. I swear I didn't. We figured it out when the thing's giant head swiveled down to the back of Selah's little head and it said "RAWRRRR!" She was halfway across the museum before I could catch her. "THATONESREALTHATONESREALTHATONESREAL" she screamed as she ran. Notice in the picture that she's already a blur of motion and I'm laughing my head off. I'm a terrible mother.
At any rate, in her book dinosaurs are real, and they walk amongst us, sometimes when we least expect it. Yet she still loves them enough to go visit them in their true home of Africa. She built Africa in the playroom floor the other night. It was very cool. It looked like this:
It's kind of blurry but you can still see how proud she is of it. You like the dinosaurs mixed in there with the hippos and snakes and alligators and stuff? I do.
And this is what happens when her brother comes in and messes with Africa after she worked so hard on it. You see that face? That's the face of a drama queen. I especially like the stop sign hand she has thrown out there. You can't tell from the picture, but he picked up the tiger and knocked over the lion with it. Which infuriated Selah, because she said he made the tiger be mean to the lion (who has a name--it's Leo by the way) and her tiger is NOT mean.
I herded Korban off to the bath so that he wouldn't disturb Africa anymore. I overheard Brad telling Selah to pick her toys up so that she could be ready to take her bath and get in bed when I got done with Korban. I finished Korban's bath and passed him off to Brad to put to bed. Then I found Africa in all of its glory, still spread out in the floor with Selah admiring it. "I thought your daddy told you to put this away," I said to her. "He did," she responded. "But Africa is big, and I'm just a little girl, and I was really tired after building it." Well. Hard to argue with that logic, now isn't it.
This little girl keeps us smiling and I'm so thankful for her. I worried a lot while I was pregnant with her about how she and Korban would get along and about how she would handle his autism. One of my dear friends used to always tell me not to worry, that God would give us the baby we needed and that she would be strong enough to handle whatever life threw at her. Truly, she is. This afternoon Korban's ABA lady brought both kids mylar balloons as a treat. Later in the evening Korban was misbehaving and Brad took his balloon away and put him in time-out to calm down. Selah found me in the kitchen, all in a huff, trailing her balloon behind her. "Mom!" she said. "Daddy took Korban's balloon and then he shut the door and I can't get in there to give Korban mine!" Precious girl. God showed out when he made Selah!