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Posts Tagged ‘daughter’

S has memorized the How To Be An Annoying Younger Sibling Handbook. Hell, she may have revised the thing, adding new chapters such as “Sitting on Big Brother’s Head – Appropriate Situations to Employ This Most Dangerous Tactic,” and “When Hurting Yourself is Worth it in the Spririt of Getting Big Brother in Trouble,” and “Let’s Make Sure Mom Drinks Tonight.” My sweet little girl pulls hair, claws eyeballs and puts her own fingers into L’s mouth for him to bite. In her defense, she only does this stuff when she’s bored. And she will handle a whole minute of boredom before resorting to these measures.

She’s most bored when L watches TV. This is problematic for me because I plug L into the TV when I have something to do. Like cook dinner, make a phone call, or not kill him. So while I’m super busy cooking, talking on the phone, or not killing, S is in the other room stirring things up. She’s instigating a monster, and she knows it. She will sit on his head, (keep in mind, she’s usually not wearing anything on her bottom half,) pull his hair and claw at his eyes until he retaliates. In his defense, he has a HUGE tolerance for this type of crap. I have seen him watch an entire Wild Kratts with his sister on his head. When he does retaliate though, he does so with gusto. A swift twist, push and throwing maneuver and S is thrown from the couch altogether. He may leave it at that, or he may leap down after her and then the two are a blur of legs and arms as they wrestle it out on the floor.

L weighs 45 lbs. S weighs 23. Fighting is in L’s DNA. S doesn’t stand a chance.

This morning, L is plugged into a movie while I try to pack up all of our stuff as we can finally head home after a week of living with my parents. We have our electricity back and I can’t wait to get back to our normal lives. S does not want to watch a movie. So, naturally, she grabs a handful of eyeball. Like a pitbull, once she’s latched on, nothing can get her off. L is screaming and I’m yanking on S but she’s glued onto that eyeball. I finally free L from her clutches and put S into a time out. She does not stay in time outs so I am re-putting her in the corner again and again and then something strange happened.

A man came in and scooped her up. He gave her a hug and asked her if she will promise to be good. Through pathetic fake tears, she promises. He then releases her back into her freedom. WTF? Who is this man? He looks like my dad, but can’t be.

When I was growing up, my dad was the scary one. When we were naughty we quickly asked our mother, “Please don’t tell dad??” I think he still doesn’t know about the brand new ski jacket I lost in the 5th grade. (Sorry, Dad.) So who’s this softy letting my daughter out of her time out? I could have used this guy 30 years ago.

I guess the moral here is that we all have to wait about 30 years. Then when our terrible children have terrible children of their own, we can do whatever the eff we want. We can be the nice guy if we used to be the mean guy. We can give them Sugar Puff Honey Crack O’s for breakfast and then give them back to their parents. We can babysit and keep them up way past bedtime. All this is to say, that one day, we will have our revenge. Good things come to those who wait.

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There was a time not so long ago when all I wanted was for S to talk. I worried, fretted and blogged about it. As everyone promised, she eventually did start talking. Now I have a different, somewhat predictable problem: I can’t get her to stop! She chatters constant nonsense from the second she opens her eyes until she finally falls asleep.

She is loud and has nothing interesting to say.

The unceasing high-pitched noise has me overstimulated at all times. I can’t think straight. I swear we could replace water-boarding with 24-hour recordings of her and prisoners would confess everything.

She does say cute things. My favorite is that she calls animals by the sounds they make. When she sees a monkey she calls it “ah-ah-hoo-hoo.” Obviously, I show her monkeys all the time. She thinks the happy birthday song is actually “happy cake,” but she can’t pronounce cake very well. She proudly belted out her version at my father’s birthday recently:

Happy cock is Papa! Happy cock is Papa! Happy co-ock is Papa, Happy cock is Papa!

What drives me crazy is the noise she fills all quiet space with. The talking for no reason, with nothing to say. We can drive for 20 minutes with her repeating, “Go home, Mommy? Me in? Go home, Mommy? Me in? Go home, Mommy? Me in?” The fact that I answer her has no impact on her continuing to question if we are in fact going home, and if I’m going to let her inside rather than leave her out in the car. (WTF?) Worse is when we’re not going home, then we have this conversation:

S: Go home, Mommy?

me: No, S. We’re going to the market, then we’re going to pick up L, then home.

S: Go home, Mommy?

me: No. First the market, then L, then home.

S: Pick up Unna? [Her name for L]

me: Yes. First the market, then L, then home.

S: Go home Mommy?

me: $#%&*@!

This can go on forever. Nothing makes it stop, except one thing that is even more loathsome than this conversation – playing a certain children’s CD, but only repeating an irritatingly chipper version of “If You’re Happy and You Know it.” I try not to do that until I’m considering driving into a lake.

So, be careful what you wish for. I wanted her to talk and I got it. Apparently she’s making up for lost time. God willing, her neck will grow soon and her vocal chords with it and the pitch of her voice will come down a bit. I’m not even going to bother hoping for the volume to come down. She and her brother have 2 volumes: shouting and screaming.

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Dear S,

It’s hard for me to write a letter to you because most of my thoughts and feelings about you aren’t really expressible as words, only as sickeningly saccharine pet names, squeezes and snuggles. I can’t figure out how to describe the sentiment behind nuzzling your belly, play-eating your haunches, and tickling your toes. How do I express your giggles as I toss you into the air, flip you upside down and spin you around? Or what it’s like just walking with your tiny hand in mine? It’s impossible. You are not a thing of words; you are a thing of visceral, devastating, hopeless love and attachment. It’s all I can do on a daily basis not to eat you. (I know that sounds weird. When you have a baby of your own, you’ll get it.)

S sitting in a chair 2 days old. I had so much fun in the hospital with her. Best 4 days of my life.

You’ve become such a big girl in so many ways and I’ve been lucky enough to witness you grow. You are easily the most affectionate person I’ve ever known in my life. And for the most part, you are unflappably happy. Unless you’re not. And when you’re not you let us know. For a person so small in stature, your volume is alarming.

Mmmmm, puzzle....

Your vocabulary grows by the day, but it’s still quite limited. You have some of the important words, and several words I wouldn’t have pegged as obvious first words:

Your best words are the 2-year-old trifecta: no, mine and me.

You can’t say L’s name, so you just call him “Unna,” which is the same word you use for “other.” As in, he’s the other one. (Trust me, you’re not saying brother. You can say that too, but it sounds more like “budda.”)

Many of your words are only meaningful to me, like “boo” for “shoe” and “boop” for “milk,” but some other words are said with perfect clarity. These are a surprising bunch like “money,” “elbow,” “hot cocoa,” and “goggles.”

Except when you use that tone of voice which is the exact perfect pitch to reverberate in my head and drive me clinically insane, you are seriously the most adorable thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. (Except L when he was your age, who was also impossibly cute, but harder to see because he was always a blur of motion.) It takes all of my restraint to stop myself from constantly picking you up, squeezing you, and smothering you in kisses, tickles and nuzzles.

I love that you are happy to play by yourself. I love that you are happy to play with me. I love that you are laid back about transitions from one activity to another. I love that you smile and say hello to everyone you see. I love the way you giggle. I love the way you run. I love the way you jump.

I do not love that you still hate the car and spend most of your time in it screaming.

I love that you go to bed so easily. I love that you wake up happy. I love that you eat just about anything I put in front of you. I love how much you love your big brother. You find him hilarious and you try to copy everything he does. Most of the time, I wish you wouldn’t.

Fashionista

S, my sweet 2-year-old, I’ve said a thousand times over the last two years that I want to stop time to freeze you where you are because you are at the height of your cuteness and sweetness. But you just keep getting better. (I am aware that the age of 3 looms ahead of me, but I prefer to live in denial.)

I love love love love love you impossibly much.

Love,

Mommy

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I may be a genius. Or maybe I’m just emerging from the rock I’ve been under. Either I just figured out a great little trick, or I’ve been unaware that every other parent out there already knows this, and how could I not?

Some background:

L is happy to have a bucket of water dumped on his head pretty much anytime, anywhere. The upside to this penchant is that he’s been happy in the bath since he was a baby. (Although he was decidedly unhappy in his first bath, if memory serves.) Washing his face and hair was never a problem. Then came S, who is quite delighted to be in the water. Is happy as anything playing with the toys and bubbles and washcloths. But woe be to the person who tries to touch her! And may the person who pours water over her head be forever damned!

I’m the meaner parent, so pouring water over S’s head is my job. My wanting-to-complete-the-task impulse is stronger than my feel-bad-for-miserable-toddler impulse. (This is not a surprise.) Luckily, S has had barely any hair until pretty recently. Not sure if you remember or not, but not long ago I made the comparison between S’s hair and that of a certain celebrity:

I'm not kidding. S was a dead-ringer for the Captain.

Good thing for S, her hair has since grown out a bit, into a toddler-chic shag do. Suddenly she needs conditioner. This involves so many more cups of water poured over S’s head. So much more misery. My Efficient v. Empathetic scale started to move.

Here comes the stroke of genius (or my personal discovery that the sky is blue):

I use leave in conditioner in my hair, why not use it in S’s?

This has changed my life. Well, my evenings. Well, the evenings in which I bathe my children. If you don’t do it already, try it!

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Let’s see, what have I been up to today? Well, trying to beat the heat, S and I have spent many happy hours in the bathroom drinking apple juice.

I have sung many verses of:

(To the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”)

Tinkle, tinkle on the potty,

how I wonder when you’ll pee?

You sit on the pot and you sit and you sit,

but nothing ever goes into it.

Tinkle, tinkle on the potty,

how I wonder when you’ll pee…

 

I’ve also sung many rockin’ refrains to the tune of “Let the Sun Shine in”

Let the pee come out,

Let the pee come out.

The pee-ee

come out!

 

All to no avail. The child is happy to sit on the potty, but as soon as she get the urge to go she either stands up and goes into the other room to pee on the hardwood floor, or she cries for her diaper. This sucks.

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Thank you all for your kind thoughts, words of experience, etc. The evaluation was actually a lot of fun. S had a great time. Three women were here for 2 hours of high level toddler entertainment. The evaluation is comprised of 5 areas and they were only able to complete 3, so we’re not officially done. They come back on Tuesday morning to finish up and give me more information but they were able to tell me that S does qualify for early intervention.

I don’t have a heck of a lot more to tell you at this point. I’m happy that she qualifies and am confident that with some focus and direction she’ll be a chatterbox like her brother in no time.

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I spend most of my time here talking about L. Once in a while I write about S’s adorable-ness, but she definitely takes a backseat in terms of the percentage of my angst she causes compared to her brother. So here’s something you may not know about her: she doesn’t really talk yet. At 21 months old, she is waaaaaaaaaaay behind her peers. While they are putting together simple phrases and consistently naming the objects around them, S says only a small handful of single words. Words like up, mama, dada, more, bye-bye, boo-boo. It was nearly a year ago when I was told to worry that she didn’t know a cow says moo. Guess what? She still doesn’t know.

S can understand anything that is said to her. She can follow a series of directions and will point to the correct object when I name it. Her problem is clearly not cognitive. Is she just lazy? She is actually quite able to tell me a whole story with a combination of charades and simple words. She can, for example, convey that she has a boo-boo on her head because she was on the couch and L pushed her off causing her head to hit the coffee table. Since she’s so good at communicating this way, why bother talking?

Whatever the reason for her delayed speech, my it-will-work-itself-out approach hasn’t been effective (yet). So today I’m having her evaluated to see if she’s eligible for early intervention. I imagine that she’s going to fall just to the normal side of the upper limit of what would qualify. Meaning that she’s speaking at the bottom-most possible level of what is considered normal. And this will be fine with me, because I do still believe it will work itself out. It’s just taking longer than I anticipated.

Funny thing is that when L was about 19 months old I had him evaluated for the very same reason. He had 3 words, which only I could understand: “ma-em” for milk. “cheese” for please, and “do-do” for thank you. (So polite!) I set up the appointment and by the time the team of evaluators arrived at my door a few weeks later, L was totally talking. And hasn’t stopped since. (rim-shot) I attributed L’s lateness to the fact that he’s a boy, and that he was too busy figuring out how to run, jump, climb, and break dance to bother learning to talk. But not only is S a girl, she also spends a lot less time break dancing. Anyway, I fully expected her to start talking before the evaluation date, but it’s in an hour, and she wasn’t talking this morning and she’s sleeping now, so I think that’s not happening.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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