Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I would say that my daughter is fairly oblivious to her surroundings as she moves through the world. (One reason it terrifies me to have her driving. Driving + Oblivion = BAD.)

I am an observer of the world, especially the natural world. Plus i like to share what i see. I have spent seventeen years pointing things out to her as we have been out and about.

"Look! A Butterfly!"
"Mmmm, smell this rosemary."
"See the new snow on those mountains."
"Those leaves are amazing!”
"It looks like the birds are having a convention on the lake."
"Can you hear all those frogs?"

And on and on and on, pretty much constantly. She always looks and says "Oooh, pretty," or somesuch, rather than, "Shut up about the damned flowers already."

Yesterday as we were driving (she was driving, i was clutching the arm rest) home, she said to me, "Oh, look at the mountains mommy."



flutter said...

I love this! did she drive into one of them?

egan said...

Well, it was really nice yesterday. She could have said the same thing today about the moon or the mountains.

She's catching on. What else have you been brainwashing her about?

Scott from Oregon said...

Give her a camera, and ask her to start really looking....

Diane Mandy said...

Ok, this is off topic, but your line about 'smell the rosmary' reminded me of my father, who didn't understand the American expression to "take time to smell the roses." Whenever his children would be goofing off at the family-run restaurant, he'd exclaim in his broken Greek accent--"You're just smellin da roses. Now get back to work."

tt said...

Success, however small, is still success. Good job Meno! Perhaps many,many years from now, she'll be showing those things to you; when you've forgotten how to look for them. Daughters are good like that. ;)

Marshamlow said...

I get yelled at for clutching the arm rest. Perhaps you are more subtle in your terror.

Allison Horner said...

My mom always did (& still does) that with us, and I truly believe it did teach me to "stop and smell the roses" once in a while.

Great lessons to learn in life!

Anonymous said...

LOL at flutter.

Yesterday I was in the supermarket parking lot having an in-depth discussion with Lorenzo about the carriage return. One leg was bent. This one, this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one are not bent. Seven legs are not bent. How did this one get bent? Who bent it? When? Why? This one is not bent, and this, etc.

A grandmotherly sort walked by and offered me a murmur of support, but really, I had the time and didn't care a whit. I like to hang around and look at things.

Lynnea said...

...another helpless child has been programmed! Muahahahahaha. Mother's of the world unite.

furiousBall said...

That's an incredible shot of those leaves (you take that?)

I can't wait to have my kids in my hammock this spring, staring at the clouds and talking about the trees limbs above us and any bugs that come by. Ahhh. nice.

Unknown said...

So it just took a while to sink in, eh? :)

peevish said...

I'm always so pleased when I see I've managed to imprint something positive. I hope it balances out all the neurotic negatives I'm also responsible for.

meno said...

flutter, Ha! no, but only because they were too far away.

egan, it has been GORGEOUS here the past few days. I am also working on getting her to believe that sex is bad and icky.

scott, she has a camera, but you make me think about encouraging her to use it more often to record her world.

diane, ha ha! Guess he took the negative view of rose sniffing.

tt, i hope so, and that she will be showing me the things she sees that i am missing.

marsha, i don't get yelled at, but she does say "It's OKAY mommy" in an exasperated tone.

alli, and you will pass it on too, even if it isn't to your kids.

de, that's a precious story. It's great to get their view of their world.

maggie, i know, next she'll be thinking that i am always right!!! No? Maybe not.

furious, well, yes, i took it, but it's really just a snapshot of what was there. I have a bit of an obsession with fall leaves.

andrea, a long while, she's got so much more to think about.

peevish, you mean that tendency that she has to be sarcastic isn't good? Well, it's probably from the Mister's side of the family anyway.

Joan said...

Okay...looking at beautiful mountains is a nice way to pass the time...from the passenger seat...while clutching the arm rest...not from the driver's seat!

Dick said...

Well, this is good as long as she is also keeping her attention on her driving. Maybe both of you could go on walks with your cameras and have fun comparing your photos when you get home?

Bob said...

that's funny. she choses NOW to start observing the world? If she had said "oh, look at the new speed limit sign" we might all feel better about the newest teenager on the road.

Anonymous said...

Joint attention! Gotta love it. Hope the blood's returned to your knuckles.

QT said...

We are kindred spirits in that - I am always and forever noticing those things. Heck, if it is the right time of the month, I will usually start crying a little too.

Liv said...

What grabs me is that you have a 17 year old who calls you Mommy.

amusing said...

I'm with Bob.
"NOW you are noticing stuff! Stop noticing stuff! Keep your eyes on the road!"

heartinsanfrancisco said...

It is indeed gratifying when all those years of dragging them outside to see sunsets pays off.

TTQ said...

I love that she called you mommy.I still on occasion use mommy, oh and I'm not above crawling into her big sleigh bed with her in it. I can't think of a safer place to be.

But then after awhile she kicks me out and I have to go home to my house.

sari said...

when i was young(er), my family would all go to the fair and we'd split up and take pictures of things and then compare them all afterwards. it was a really fun way to see how we all looked at things.

it's always nice when your kids appreciate things other than, you know, wii or something like that.

Anonymous said... my house, it was (and is still at times) always my kids saying, "Mom, look!" "Mom, watch this!" "Look at me!" "Hey Mom, okay, NOW look, for serious!!".

Constant barrage, I tell you.

gary rith said...

Isn't great that now she should be watching the road ahead she is looking at the scenery instead?

jaded said...

She's just brown-nosing. Tomorrow she'll be asking all about YOUR car and then she'll borrow your keys and leave mango body butter in your trunk.

Mermaid Melanie said...

I am SOOO guilty of this.. Look at that person. oo lovely display in the window. Look snow on the mountains. Dont' the mountains look purplish in the sunset? Look a hawk! I always loved that building.. etc.

yikes. I have a son too. crickee!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing, the influence we actually wield just when we think we have none?

Anonymous said...

scott, she has a camera, but you make me think about encouraging her to use it more often to record her world.

On the other hand, maybe she should be more encouraged to just enjoy the "nature", with no expectations attached.

Hey, I'm a granny (actually, Dah, now). Aren't I wise? I'll be 54 tomorrow. That makes me wise, right?

Anonymous said...

I remember a time of decision, in my own life, over what to call my mommy. It was in the seventh grade.

This is how I came to realize, peer pressure is an ugly thing if not done wisely. I admire Em. I suspect that one should never underestimate her.

Isn't she you're daughter, after all?

meno said...

joan, it was just a brief glance, she wasn't staring at them. I have been encouraging her to look ALL around while she is driving to be aware of what is happening around here, not just in front.

dick, i bet we could have fun with that. If i could drag her out for a walk that is.

bob, see answer to joan. I've been trying to get her to notice her surroundings for years. Speed limit signs come before mountains.

maddy, my knuckles are in a permanent state of whiteness these days.

qt, i would like to invite you for a hike. We could notice things together.

liv, pretty sweet huh?

amusing, see my answer to joan. Noticing is a skill needed to drive. If i survive this that is.

hearts, do you have kids? Without regard to your kid state though, it is gratifying.

ttq, Em is not above curling up with me too. But i'd rather kiss a rattlesnake than curl up with my mom.

sari, Wiiiiiiii. We don't have a Wii yet. But all kinds of other crap to keep us indoors.

jennifer, Em did that too, when she was younger, but it usually involved me watching he do something.

gary, oh ye of little faith!

patches, if she does i'm writing her out if the will.

melanie, guilty? I think it's a good thing. Teaches them to notice pretty stuff.

invisible, i would encourage her, but not require it. Most walks i go on are sans camera for just that reason. You are a granny? A young granny though. :)

Lynn said...

I think I better get extra cushioned arm rests for when Elle and Sport start to drive...oh and valium...lots and lots of it:~)

Wayfarer Scientista said...

looking at the mountains, not the road...hmmm...

luckyzmom said...

You are discribing something that fits me to a T. One of my children now respond like Em and the other not. I still do it and am often teased about it. I just love to share cool stuff.

Anonymous said...

My kids will usually look at what I'm pointing out. Look at the mist rising from that roof! Look! A hawk! Screeee! Look at that beautiful moon! And sometimes they ignore me and then I say, "Yes, Mama, that's beautiful, thank you for pointing it out." And they continue ignoring me as I blather along, blather blather blather.

But, sometimes they will be telling me something and I realize 10 minutes into it that I haven't been listening. Oops.

Anonymous said...

Meno, mission accomplished. Brava!!

Susanne said...

This is so great! I spent about 25 years being annoyed at my mother for pointing out the sights to me. ("Well, yeah, it's a tree, so what?"), and probably will spend the rest of my life pointing out things to my son. For now he seems interested... (I think he got that from his father.)