I just realized that it's been a while since I wrote in my blog about my two beautiful babes, Miss Mia and Baby Li. Lord knows, we've been spending a lot of time inside these days what with there not being a sun anymore and everything....Most afternoons we go to the Marheinke Markthalle, the indoor market about a ten minute walk from our apartment. It's a bit pricey of course, but you can get great produce there and a decent cheap lunch at one of the many food stands. They also have an ice cream place (gold star from the girls) and a toy stand with lots of cheap goodies (double gold stars from the girls). Mia especially loves it there. On any given afternoon I might say to her, "Mia, do you want to go to the library/museum/playground/zoo?" to which she'll inevitably answer, "No mama, I just want to go to the Markthalle."
One of her new favorite games is to roll this jumbo silver marble, which I bought for her at (you guessed it) the toy stand, down the stairs and across the hall. She's very careful not to get in anyone's way and there's plenty of room, but she (or rather I) still get some scowls from the sour puss Germans. I'm sure I'll get Berliner Schnauze about it someday (Berliner big mouth- I SO need to write a post about this...) but I already know what my answer will be: Eine kinderunfreundliche Kultur ist eine tote Kultur." A culture unfriendly to children is a dead culture.
Besides irritating Germans with her child-like frivolity (a lot of Germans, or at least Berliners, still most definitely believe in the virtue to be seen not heard and of course kept on a short leash....), Miss Mia is also very much in love with her stuffed duck, LuLee, which she chose out herself from a thrift store in Oakland. That he's a duck is no coincidence considering that she was obsessed with this vintage cartoon of the Ugly Duckling for a good four months.
The first time she saw it she came to me and burst into tears. "Mama, nobody loves that little duck. He was all alone." For weeks afterward she was obsessed with the good mama versus the bad mama and how important it is to keep your babies warm and safe, pretty heavy stuff for a three year old. But she's such a sensitive little soul. And a good mama to her little duck I must say. She actually lost him today on the way zum Bäcker with daddy. Jasper re-traced his steps while Mia got frantic, but no LuLee anywhere. Finally, he saw a woman who lives at the home for the handicapped on Blücherstrasse where the duck was lost and for some reason he had a hunch. He asked her if she had seen the duck and, low and behold, she pulled it out of her purse. Later Mia told me: "Mama, that lady was so nice. My duck was all alone and she took such good care of him. She kept him warm and safe."
While Mia is sensitive and sometimes thin-skinned, Baby Li is a gregarious little creature that just lets everything roll off her back (and also doesn't take her mama's scolding the least bit seriously...) I often call Mia my little cloud while Lilly is my little mountain. Solid. Compact. Jolly enough to constantly make even Berliners smile. She looks quite a bit like I did as a child and I love to dress her up in vintage dresses I find on my thrifting escapades. This little cherry red rick rack number is exactly like something I would have worn circa 1976.
While Lilly also likes watching the Ugly Duckling, it doesn't have the same effect on her as it does on Mia. Mostly these days she likes to watch these cartoons we found about Ganesha and Krishna on YouTube (god bless YouTube!) Really great stories. I love what brats the Hindu gods sometimes are, not to mention the fabulous Indian accent and turns of phrase. The two videos below are her two current favorites.
(I'm not sure why Brahaman's two hot young daughters were any good for "settling the burning sensation" in Ganesha's body, but maybe you have to be a god to understand these things.)
(Hmm...That snake also has four hot young wives. Maybe they are onto something.)
In addition to being schooled in Hindu mythology, Lilly seems to have her first pre-school crush. The lucky lad is the new one in the group, a Lebanese boy named Malikikin. Lilly literally called his name in her sleep a few nights ago and since then says several times a day: "Malikikin is a nice boy." Ah, young love.
Well, I better be off to bed as it's quite late. Tomorrow we might bake cookies again with the vintage cookie cutters I bought from the shop the Pink Cobweb when I was in California. I'm pretty sure I had that pig when I was a kid. The others in the set include Humpty Dumpty (both Mia and Lilly went through a huge Humpty phase, though it has died down a bit), Jack and Jill, a windmill and lamb and a rather sinister looking clown. I remember how much I loved using cookie cutters when I was a kid and how beautiful the cookies always were. A few days ago the three of us put on our aprons from another etsy shop, Boojiboo, and started baking. I never realized how hard it actually is to use cookie cutters. Jack and Jill looked like monstrous blobs and Humpty was hardly recognizable. But the cookies still tasted good and the girls had fun. Come to think of it, that's all that really matters.