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The Ice(wo)man Cometh

When we moved to Texas from New York, we
traded our old refrigerator with its do-it-yourself ice cube trays
for a brand new fridge with an automatic ice machine in it.
Doesn’t sound like much of anything, but I’ve noticed
everyone in the family uses ice more now that we don’t have
to refill the trays or wait for the water to freeze. And even
better, our new fridge has the freezer on the bottom, with a handy
pull-out drawer that contains the ice machine. And that means the
ice machine is at the ideal tot level.

And no one loves that more than Cora.

I honestly don’t know what it is,
but that girl loves her ice. I think it’s partly the coolness
factor, but mostly that she’s at the toddler stage of loving
to take things out of one place and put them somewhere else. So any
time she hears that freezer drawer slide open, she comes running,
begging to help put ice in the cup.

Well, I shouldn’t say “running”; I mean,
she’s only twelve months old and doesn’t
“run” so much as she “plods”. But if anyone
in the family opens that freezer drawer, within thirty seconds
you’ll hear that “slap slap” of her bare feet
moving determinedly towards the kitchen. And if she finally arrives
at the kitchen only to find she’s too late and the drawer is
closed, the sad look on her face will often move the adult to open
up that drawer again “just because”.

We load up on ice in our drinks fairly frequently throughout the
day since we’re outside in the Texas heat for (too) much of
our play time, and I’ve learned to gather all the water
bottles at once when it’s ice time; that way Cora will have
plenty to keep her occupied, and she’ll get into a great
groove filling up one bottle after the other. She loves picking up
one ice cube, dropping it into a bottle, then trying to fish it
back out again from the cool water. I try to convince her to leave
the ice in the bottles, but sometimes I’m not so successful
and she ends up putting the wet ice back into the ice drawer.
I’ve learned that if she starts fishing for ice, it’s
best if I take fresh cubes out of the drawer, hand them to her, and
hope they distract her from her Journey To The Bottom Of The cup.
Continuously handing her fresh cubes keeps her busy dropping them
in bottles, and before she knows it we’re topped off and
ready to go.

Which leads her to the next “fun” part of the ice
drawer – shutting it. That girl thinks it’s the coolest
thing to put her little hands on the drawer, put her whole body
into it, and close it. Go figure.

Cora likes the ice drawer so much that we’ve learned to use
it as a distraction when she gets into trouble. If Maddie’s
set up one of her elaborate role-playing games – like
yesterday, when she lined up all seven Elmos, her Abby Cadabby, and
Cookie Monster in the library, gave them all books, and told them
“school is starting!” – just the sight of the
C-Monster walking down the hall is enough to send Maddie into
full-on panic mode. “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Cora is coming and
she’s going to mess up my school!” (Maddie knows to
call for Mommy’s help, since the alternative – shoving
Cora away – doesn’t end well for Maddie.)

Ice drawer to the rescue.

“Cora,” I call down the hallway, “Do you want to
come help Mommy put some ice in my glass?” I’ll rattle
the freezer drawer tantalizingly.


Then the unmistakable “slap slap” of those little feet
ponderously turning from the library and heading towards the

I’m not sure why she’s so in love with ice right now,
but I’m not looking a gift ice machine in the mouth.
It’s a cheaper distraction than a mound of new toys, and
it’s better for her than chocolate. Bring it on, frozen


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