2012.09.26 Honey, I shrunk my Crocs!

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

Who shrunk my Crocs?

That’s what I thought upon seeing the tiny hot pink Crocs, a miniature version of my own, sitting at the base of the stairs the other day.

Ah, Caroline’s home. 

Toys scattered everywhere. Little piles of little clothes, removed quickly from her body as pajamas replace them before she knows what hits her. Wet clothes hanging over the shower doors. The long box of Bruynzeel markers tucked among the framed photographs atop a bookshelf.

I love it all.

Even when it means doing laundry late on a Saturday night. I never do laundry late at night, not after David goes to bed anyway. I have had one too many bat encounters in the basement, where the washer and dryer are, to ever willingly go down there when I don’t have a fully functioning and awake knight in shining armor close by.

But Caroline and Rosie were leaving the next morning and I felt responsible for all those afore-mentioned wet clothes. It’s my fault for not removing every last interesting-to-an-18-month-old-curious-little-girl item in her path. 

And pretty much everything is interesting to her, but especially the bookshelf in the corner of the living room which contains all the catchall cigar boxes and tins and pencil boxes full of crayons, embroidery thread, little pads of paper, stickers, old Scotch tape, beads, glue, ink stamps, colored pencils, regular pencils, and those afore-mentioned Bruynzeel markers.

That box of Color Express Mega-Point markers from Holland proved the most problematic for me. They are supposed to be washable, but they are as old as when Maddie was in elementary school I would guess. They’re like new, however, still vibrant and moist, and every time Caroline opened one she pulled the cap off across her stomach and dragged the thick marker tip along her shirt in the process, fat marker tip after fat marker tip meeting resistance with her shirt.

She’s at that stage of wanting to do it herself...and how can you squelch that independent streak? Inwardly groan and know that you’ll be scrubbing those marks out...and hanging those little wet clothes over the shower doors.

I love those markers...they have little elephants on them...and Caroline, with her love of elephants, seemed destined to find them...or maybe it’s our love of her response to “What does an elephant say?” She makes a close approximation of an elephant trumpeting and raises her hand up past her head as if it’s an elephant trunk.

Language and brain development unfolding...it’s such a gift to witness.

Tonal inflection is everything when Caroline speaks. 

“No, no,” she’ll say in a soft concerned voice, the second “no” stretched to two syllables. She means “Oh, no!” and she says it whenever something isn’t quite right.

“The eensy weensy spider crawled up the water spot, down came the rain...” we sing, and she’s saying, “No, no,” with deep concern for the spider about to get washed out.

When a bright lightbulb catches her eye, she squints, points and says, “Ow!” Rosie and Taylor have drummed it into her that zoning out and staring at lightbulbs will hurt her eyes. She extrapolates that to the pre-flash of a camera...witness that on my facebook page in a photo taken by Andi Rorick.

Stars in the sky, the star design on her pants, metal star decorations on people’s houses sets her singing, “Twinkle, twinkle, little star...”

“Momma told the doctor and the doctor said, no more monkeys jumping on the bed,” she sings, and wags her pointer finger.

Maddie, also home for the weekend, can’t distinguish Caroline’s words or what she’s singing.

“What’s she saying?”

But she can totally appreciate the cuteness factor.

When Caroline declares “all done” in turn as she observes each of our empty plates at dinner, I thrill inside that she’s gone from declaring she’s “all done” with everything from eating to reading a book, to observing that other people are also “all done.”

She’s so aware and so curious and so smart, so why can’t she comprehend that she can’t splash in the giant dirty greasy puddle in the parking lot? I love how she throws her head back when things don’t go her way. She is just so sweet even when she breaks down...and so incredibly sharp!

My heart just sings that someday soon we will get to repeat this, that baby Ryland, home after 84 days in the hospital, will be singing about monkeys and spiders and stars—and a miniature version of David’s blue Crocs will be sitting at the base of the stairs.

  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
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    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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