juthwara: (Default)
Watching people wearing shorts coming into the library from frolicking in the park last weekend, it was hard to believe that we were closed three weeks before for a snow day. It's been gorgeous the past week (although less so the past couple days). Sunday, we found boxes of the most delicious strawberries for a reasonable price at Trader Joe's, grown in this hemisphere no less. Florida, actually, which falls in my zone of "not local, but at least within a day's drive." Better than California, at least. It was a reminder that it's not too long before we start getting good produce again locally, as the warm weather comes north.

***

I've been working on this entry for the past four days, with nothing more impressive than the above as my result. I don't know what it is lately - I sit down and the words just aren't there. I go through my days mentally crafting things to write and they go walkabout as soon as I'm in a position to type. It's always been a bit that way (I have some mental posts that I've been wanting to write since K was a baby), but it's worse lately.

I'm tired. The children have been off and sleeping badly since the time change. K has been extra... feisty lately, pushing boundaries in every direction. Alec is forcing us to be a lot more aware of baby-proofing, which is a lot harder this time around with an older child skipping around throwing up handfuls of choking hazards in her wake.

And I've been thinking a lot, about how much I hate pumping and I want to stop. I don't think I need to explain why exclusive pumping is a no-fun, very bad, extra spicy pain in the ass, do I?

Only I don't want to stop lactating. This presents...difficulties. I don't question that switching to pumping and bottle feeding was necessary, given that his suck was so weak that he wasn't gaining enough weight with a bottle with a newborn nipple. The fact that he gained 3 1/2 pounds the month after I switched to a faster flow nipple is proof of that. Even Dr. Sears says that dealing with a weak suck is very difficult and not likely to work out. I regret a bit not trying harder to get him back on the breast when he was three or four months old, when he was bigger and stronger, but still young enough that he probably could have been persuaded without too much difficulty. But as it turns out, I only have time and patience to do two out of the three: 1) take care of two small children, 2) pump, and 3) attempt to breastfeed. Since the first two weren't optional, the third is what slid off my plate more often than not.

So now I have a nine-month-old, and I'm torn between packing it in and searching the Web for any clue if it's possible to get a baby this old on the breast. Preliminary research says "Situation uncertain," although there are adoptive breastfeeding websites where people say they've managed to get an older baby to start nursing. What they don't really do is give good instructions as to how. It would be awfully nice to find some, if for no other reason than to be able to look at them and decide whether it really seems realistic or not.

So right now, I'm sitting here, not wanting to continue pumping but not wanting to stop because that would really be the end, and I'm not ready for that yet.

Sleepless

Mar. 17th, 2010 01:43 am
juthwara: (Default)
Oh lordy, I think somehow when we set the clocks forward Saturday night, it opened some sort of portal that allowed a horrifying demon-spirit through to possess my children. We set the clocks an hour later, so naturally they both woke up three hours earlier than normal on Monday.

One of the paradoxes of small children is that when they haven't slept enough, they don't drag around looking tired before requesting an early nap. That would be what their parents do. No, instead they became increasingly more manic and wild in a desperate bid to stay awake at all costs. Thank goodness [livejournal.com profile] longstrider took the afternoon off, so together we managed to pry our children off the chandelier and collapse in a family nap.

Today, K ran away from me in the school parking lot and went outside after I told her not to, so our trip to the playground got cancelled and my evening of solo parenting was off to a rousing start. I don't blame K for being upset, since it was a beautiful day. But repeatedly defying me, and then when I sent her to her room instead running into her brother's room where he was napping and screaming wore my sympathy a bit thin. One of the most wearing things about this sort of day is that K feels the need to cling to me as closely as possible to make sure I still love her, and still defy me at every turn to demonstrate that I'm not the boss of her. I look forward to her teen years so.

Alec, meanwhile, has started sleeping like a newborn again - eating every two hours, and not sleeping well anywhere but on a parent's chest, firmly swaddled. Hello, 37 week developmental spurt, no doubt made extra piquant by all of the physical developments he's been making lately.

I am so very tired.

On the other hand, K spent part of this afternoon calling me "Princess Horse" (which is to say she was the princess and I was her horse, not that I was a horse princess) and hitching me up to her carriage so we could go looking for dragons to slay, which she would do with one mighty swipe of her sword. And Alec manages to defeat any irritation you might feel when he loses any ability to play independently by being the most gratifying child in the world to pick up. Grin, grin, press lovingly against your chest, pull back and look utterly delighted, press lovingly again, Oh! It's you! My life is complete now! Now put me down so I can go chew on that power cord.

So maybe I'll keep them.
juthwara: (Default)
I passed the test for a new online job this week. It's doing the same thing as I did last year - evaluating search engine results - but for a different company. It doesn't pay quite as well as the last job and the company is definitely less personal - the last job involved a week of training over the phone and lots of personal communication, where with this job I was sent a training manual to study and all of the e-mails I've gotten have been form letters - but on the positive side, there will be a lot more flexibility on how many hours I work and when. Really, the main sticking point of the last job and the reason I didn't go back is have to work 20 hours every week, four hours every day, was just not compatible with my other job. Either I would go to work at the library on Friday and then come home to work another four hours, making for 12 hour work days, or I would work at home all week and work at the library all weekend, giving me no days off. If I could just have worked only four days, it would have been fine. But those Fridays were killing me.

More money will make life easier in general, but my big hope for this job is that it will make it possible to afford daycare again. I know the big advantage of working at home is theoretically being able to take care of children, but I've learned through painful experience that while I can be more or less happy taking care of children full-time, and I can be happy working while my children are cared for by someone else, trying to work without the benefit of daycare makes me a dull girl, and it's only a matter of time before the ghostly bartender appears in our kitchen. Right now, our current schedule of only having one day off together every two weeks is slowly killing me. For a brief, shining moment in January, I thought I had our Gordian knot of scheduling issues surrounding daycare unraveled, only to look at our budget and realize that daycare would take everything I make and as it turns out, we really need that money for frivolous things like electricity and water. Sigh. I love my job, but it mostly pays me in satisfaction and as a filler for the gigantic black hole that would otherwise be on my resume. I could make more money with a paper route.

*****

K crawled into my lap this afternoon, and I instantly felt the toastiness of a feverish child. Before I had children, I always used to wonder how you could ever feel a fever since children feel like little furnaces all the time. But now it's just obvious, like porn - I know it when I feel it. Poor little bunny. She had another bladder infection two weeks ago and we hadn't even managed to get her back to the doctor to get a urine sample checked to make sure the infection was gone, and clearly it isn't. She spent the evening feverish and in pain, although not so sick that she couldn't roughhouse with her brother.

Of all of the things I could have passed down to her, a tendency towards bladder infections is one I wouldn't have chosen, right up there with eczema and social anxiety. It's never comfortable to see your more difficult traits appear in your children, whether physical or personality. I can empathize when she's shutting down in reaction to an uncertain situation or the godawful annoyance of your skin freaking out for no good reason, which no doubt makes me one of the best people to help her. But I'd rather spare her the difficulty entirely.
juthwara: (Default)
* The combination of working both days this weekend, then having everyone home for MLK Day Monday has left me deeply confused about what day of the week it is. Not that I'm complaining - it was nice to be able to have a day off together after working all weekend, and the short week is an extra treat. But I'm drifting through the week never sure what today is - Tuesday? Wednesday? A week from next Friday? Who can tell at this point?

* After a dry December, a lot of our favorite shows are back - Chuck, Leverage, Burn Notice, White Collar and Psych. The alert will notice a certain similarity in all of those titles. I would say our appetite for hour-long spy/caper/mystery dramedies is completely sated for the moment.

* Speaking of caper/mysteries, we did manage to make it to a movie while we in Michigan, and saw Sherlock Holmes. We emjoyed it immensely, and not just because it was the first time we've been out together without a child since the night before Alec was born. It helped, of course, that Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law between them have 50 pounds of charisma in a five pound bag. It oozes out of their eyeballs, and they could make people enjoy watching them play Quaker Meeting. But the movie itself was pretty good. This is where I admit that I was never able to get into the Sherlock Holmes stories when I was younger. But I enjoyed watching a Holmes who was clearly flawed as well as brilliant, who showed the negative as well as positive sides of his genius.

* The other day, K brought a baby over to me and holding its hands behind its back, she asked me to tie them together. When I asked why, she said, "She's going to jail." Well. I tied the prisoner's hands good and tight. Far be it from me to stand in the way of the mighty hand of Justice.

*******

Last night was a poop in the bathtub kind of night, both literally and figuratively. It was the sort of night with two wailing children, two aggravated parents and a disgusting mess to clean up. It was a continuation K's ongoing poop issues, and I am sorry to report that we did not deal with it with the sort of patience and grace one would hope for. It wasn't really her fault, yet it was next to impossible not to take some of our frustration out on her. I wasn't terribly sympathetic to her tears, I said things that at the time were meant to point out the consequences of her actions but in hindsight were more like rubbing it in, and she didn't get a bedtime story, which wasn't consciously meant to be a punishment, but I'm sure it felt like it to her.

We all have evenings like that, and I'm sure there will be more. One of the things that I'm becoming more aware of as K gets older is that she's now old enough that she's going to be able to remember a lot of the things that are happening her. Six months later, she's still talking about the day the window shattered in the door, and I suspect it's going to be a lasting memory (a couple weeks ago, as we were going out the door, she patiently explained to me that I needed to be careful when I closed it). The window didn't shatter because I was angry and slammed the door. It was already cracked and I had my hand on the window as I closed the door, so I suspect it would have happened anyway. But I find myself wondering if K is going to remember it as the day Mommy got angry and smashed a window. It's a chastening thought.

But what can you do? Today, before I put K in the car after school, I asked her for a hug and apologized for having such a grumpy night last night, and that I know she doesn't have poop issues on purpose. I can hope that if she's going to remember the times I traumatize her, she'll remember these moments too.

And yet

Oct. 21st, 2009 11:08 pm
juthwara: (Default)
Of course, just when you're ready to set your child out on the curb for gypsy pickup, she manages to save herself by singing sweetly to her brother:

"Rock-a-bye baby,
Up the tree top,
When the cradle falls,
You'll fall asleep."

I think I'll keep her for now.
juthwara: (K)
Yesterday, I was THAT mother, you know, the one who has a firm grip on a struggling child as she marches them along, clearly at the end of her temper. The one people tsk at because what sort of abusive parent is so rough with their child?

In my case, it was because K decided it was funny to run away from me. I had let her run around on the grass with some kids at school pickup, and when I said it was time to go, she decided it was time to run instead. I can't let that sort of behavior slide, because what happens when she decides it's funny to run away in a parking lot or crowded store? So I grabbed her around her upper arm, because she was inclined to go boneless and there's a danger of dislocating a child's elbow by pulling them by the hand too hard; a very common cause of this is by a child going boneless while a parent is holding their hand. So while a hand around the upper arm seems much rougher, it's actually a lot safer.

Anyway, I eventually got us back to the car, although it involved at least a few feet of walking while holding each child around the middle. And K lost her promised trip to Burger King because if I couldn't trust her to stay with me in public, we needed to stay home.

Today, I was one of THOSE mothers, you know, the ones who futilely try to reprimand misbehaving children while not actually backing it up. The ones who are creating the next generation of delinquents with their permissive parenting?* We were having lunch before going to buy her Halloween costume and I had let her sit in one of the comfy chairs at Panera, which she took as license to use it as a jungle gym. Meanwhile, I really desperately needed to eat at least a bit before leaving and Alec was drinking with his eyes closed, giving every impression that if I fed him just a little while longer, he would fall asleep. And chances were good that I was actually bothering more people by nagging K than she was by climbing all over her chair. I should have left immediately when I saw what her mood was and knew it at the time, but I was desperately hungry, so instead I threatened and threatened until she moved into outright defiance and deliberate provocation, at which point the Halloween costume got cancelled and we headed home, because if I couldn't trust her to listen to me in public, we had to stay home.

Only first I had to stop to mop up when I discovered I had managed squeeze juice from the juice box I was carrying all over the carseat, and then had to deal with the boneless puddle of child on the floor of the car. I feel a certain amount of pride that this is the first point in the past two days that I started yelling, which was just about as effective as it usually is, which is to say that she started laughing. I feel so much sympathy for spanking parents at times like these, but I also know that times like these are part of why I don't spank, because I don't think I want to allow myself to use violence when I'm that angry. As it is, I can't say I was terribly gentle when I pulled her up and put her in her carseat.

On the way home:

K lost tv privileges for the afternoon due to egregious seatbelt violations

My back started spasming, not doubt due to having to haul around a struggling forty pound child

I had to stop suddenly, causing my large cup of iced tea to hit the floor

K announced that she had spilled her juice

I won't even go into what it took to achieve a bath tonight. I have rarely been so happy to see bedtime come tonight. I think four may kill me.

So any guesses on how many more times we have to go through this and how many more patient explanations it will take before she finally realizes that defying me in public will result in staying home?


*And this, of course, is how a parent can never win, because if you don't discipline enough, people give you the hairy eyeball for being too permissive, and if you do discipline, you get the hairy eyeball for being too harsh and a possible abuser. Think upon this the next time you find yourself judging a parent in public: you are only seeing a brief snapshot in time of their relationship with their child. Try to be charitable.

Take two

Jul. 27th, 2009 10:19 pm
juthwara: (Gigi)
Wednesday alone with both children went much better, with absolutely no property damage. We even survived a trip to the mall with sanity and limbs intact.

I've been pondering lately how much of when things go dysfunctional is my fault. Well, fault isn't really the right word. It's more accurate to say that things tend to go badly when I allow my expectations to become unrealistic. K is four, and as such, it's a given that she's going to throw tantrums, be defiant and experiment with how much obnoxious behavior she can get away with. That's the stage of development her brain is at, and I shouldn't expect anything different. I can and do try to respond to all of these undesirable behaviors with gentle but firm discipline. But it's easy to lose patience and instead of turning things into a game or pointing out what she'll be missing if she doesn't cooperate, resort to a stern voice and barking orders in hopes that she'll just do what I ask without nonsense or dawdling. This almost never works, of course. The stern voice works well in dog training, but usually has exactly the opposite effect I want when dealing with a child who is trying to push my buttons with defiance. It's so easy to slip into yelling when I'm tired and trying to juggle groceries and a crying baby and just want her to GET OUT OF THE CAR ALREADY. But while it's entirely understandable for me to lose patience in those situations where K is behaving in a provoking manner, ultimately what I can control is how I respond, which will hopefully result in better behavior on her part.

Changing my expectations has definitely made Alec's newborn days more pleasant than K's were. He is genuinely a better sleeper than she was at this stage, and it helps a lot that she had started getting reflux at this age which he doesn't seem to have (I think. It's becoming apparent to me that I have a bit of PTSD when it comes to K's reflux, and it makes it hard for me to tell how much I'm overreacting when he shows any reflux symptoms). But part of why he's a better sleeper is that I've recognized that he will only sleep well if someone is holding him. So that's what we do - stick him in the sling and go about our day. But with K, I put myself through a lot of stress wanting to be able to put her down and have her stay asleep, which rarely happened. I also didn't know how much sleep to expect from her at which age, so I went through stress over her not sleeping when it was that she was simply starting to wake up. With Alec, I don't have any expectations for his sleep at this age, so I enjoy when he's awake and interactive, and do my best to encourage him to sleep when he seems sleepy.

Mind you, it would take Yoda levels of zen to actually maintain the levels of patience I'm talking about about. I'm going to lose it with K, and just want Alec to go to sleep already or stop being so freaking fussy so I can just put him down for two seconds. But life goes better when I remember that it's changing my attitude that can make all the difference in a bad situation.
juthwara: (Gigi)
My first day alone all day with both children did not go as well as I hoped. And Mount Vesuvius caused a little bit of property damage.

It started out so well. [livejournal.com profile] longstrider was working late tonight, so I dropped him off at work at noon and decided to take K out to lunch. It was going just fine - Alec slept angelically, I got K a cookie as a treat and she happily ate her lunch,* and we made plans to go to the park and feed the ducks and play Pooh sticks. But then I got up to get K more to drink, and I'm not entirely sure what she did while I was gone, but by the time I got back, she had woken Alec up. I was displeased, to put it mildly.

I packed us up in the car, and amazingly, Alec went back to sleep. This was K's cue to keep playing with him - putting her hat on him, tickling his feet - no matter how much I told her not to, until she woke him up again. I was livid. But then, miraculously, Alec fell asleep again. Only to be woken up a third time by his hellspawn of a sister.

Fortunately, we were very close to home, or she may have gotten punted out a window. Instead, we arrived home, and I got our stuff and Alec to take inside and opened K's door so she could get out. At this point, she decided to pull her supremely annoying trick of climbing into the back of the car instead.

I know the solution to that trick is to just open the back to let her out and she'll stop thinking it's a great trick to pull. But when I'm already angry it's very hard to do that. However, I held it together and just left a door open while I took a howling Alec inside and changed his diaper. I was a bit calmer when I went back out to get K out of the back of the car, when she told me she had wet her pants. Which of course wouldn't have happened if she had just gone in the damn house instead of fooling around in the back of the car. At that point, I hauled her out of the car and growled at her to go in the house and change her pants. I was working up a lecture on the theme of not fooling around and leaving her brother alone when I told her to as I closed the back door a bit harder than normal.

It wasn't really that hard, but since I wasn't paying much attention to what I was doing, I had my hand on one of the panes of glass in the window as I closed the door. Which then proceeded to shatter.

Thankfully, K was about ten feet in front of me, so she was nowhere near the glass. I was able to stay surprisingly calm, as I told her to stay back and checked Alec for glass shards (none, thank goodness), then carefully brushed myself off. I went upstairs, put Alec down and went to deal with the small cuts on my hand.

The one positive aspect of this is that the breaking window cowed K into obedience. So she readily obeyed when I asked her to go play in her room for a while. Then I put Alec in the sling where he calmed down quickly and sat down for a few minutes while I contemplated dealing with the broken glass. Then I asked [livejournal.com profile] longstrider to come home. And ate K's cookie.

So I made it about three hours on my own with both kids today. K has blessed, wonderful preschool tomorrow so I have a day to recover before I face the gauntlet again on Wednesday. I've been thinking about how I can start the day better so hopefully I can deal with the horrendous behavior K's been favoring us with lately** with a bit more grace. Things like getting dressed as soon as I get up and making breakfast for myself before I give Alec his morning feeding, so I don't find myself still in my pyjamas and starving two hours later, feeling trapped and unable to cope. As for K, I'm hoping a combination of working really hard on keeping my patience, ignoring the button-pushing and maintaining firm consequences for the defiance will help. And of course, a cattle prod could work wonders too.


*Behold the power of not restricting sweets: K took one bite of her cookie, then demanded my apple and happily ate it all. This is because cookies aren't anything special to her, so she doesn't feel the need to gorge herself on them when she gets one.

** I never thought I'd say this, but oh my hell, I've found an age I hate more than 21 months. We've seen a return of the same delightfully piquant blend of hair-trigger tantrums and oppositional defiance, only now she's smarter and has a better vocabulary, so she can press our buttons with fiendish accuracy while mouthing off and hurling insults when she gets mad. Ah, the wonder years.
juthwara: (Default)
Is it a bit mean of me to be kind of glad that K didn't seem to have a great time when her preschool class went to Chuck E. Cheese this week?

I mean, I didn't want her to have a terrible or traumatizing time, but while my antipathy towards place like Chuck E. Cheese wasn't enough for me to make her stay behind when the rest of her class went to have fun, I didn't especially want to deal with demands to go back. Chuck E. Cheese is in the shopping mall right next to where [livejournal.com profile] longstrider works, so we would be dealing with it a lot.

I recognize that there are inevitably things that are suitable for children but not adults that parents will simply have to endure, like Barney or the twenty millionth repetition of The Poky Little Puppy. You don't feel right saying no because the only thing actually wrong with it is that it makes you want to scale a three story building with your bare hands to get away from it, and your child loves it. I accept this as a consequence of parenthood, occasionally sacrificing my sanity and unrended garments for my child's happiness. Into each life a little McDonald's playland must fall*. But that's not to say that I'm not happy to allow my child to remain in ignorance of the things I don't like as long as possible. I would have been happy to keep K from knowing about the existence of restaurants filled with mediocre pizzas, rigged video games and creepy animatronic singing animals that inexplicably attract children for several more years. We got lucky this time - she didn't seem too enthusiastic about the experience and said eating lunch was scary, which I think means she has the good taste to think the supremely creepy animatronic singing devilsanimals are in fact quite creepy. Good taste AND we can still pick [livejournal.com profile] longstrider up from work without having to worry about tantrums over going to Chuck E. Cheese. Lucky indeed.

This is just one example of the eternal problem of parenthood: eventually, you have to send them out into the world, and once you do, you no longer have total control over what they're exposed to.

This is both good and bad, of course. I can't count the number of ways preschool has been a positive influence on K's development, physically, mentally and socially. And then, we have days like last week, where preschool featured Enforce Gender Stereotype Conformity Day, which is to say I went in on Wednesday and saw a sign saying that tomorrow, the boys would wear blue and the girls would dress like princesses. Theme dressing days are pretty common at preschool, but they tend to be things like "wear pj's!" or "wear a hat!" not "make your mother's head explode by asking her to put you in a sexist, stereotyped outfit!"

And the real hell of it is that while I feel perfectly free to ignore theme days at preschool (or more often, just forget) or come up with a dozen ways to dress K subversively, I couldn't. Because one of the other influences of preschool is that all of her little friends love dressing up in princess dresses and now K does too. It would have broken her heart if all of the other girls were wearing princess dresses and I sent her in jeans. Otherwise I the only dress I would have sent her in on Thursday would have been the one I made from the dinosaur camouflage fabric last summer.

It's just life, of course. When they start out, you're their entire world, and slowly but surely they grow away from you and learn how to engage the world on their own as their own person with their own preferences and desires. But it's a process that can be awfully hard on all concerned.

*Well, in our case it's the local Burger King with an indoor play gym that we frequently find ourselves at on the nights that [livejournal.com profile] longstrider is working. Oh, don't look at me like that. She eats macaroni and cheese, apples and chocolate milk, gets healthful exercise and socialization climbing around the gigantic child habitrail with other children, picks up yet another virus** and we go home. I get the weekly serving of red meat my body seems to want right now and get half an hour of reading in. The only major downside is yet another piece of plastic crap for the landfill that will clutter our house for a while. True, I prefer Panera where she can get organic milk and hormone-free turkey, but until they install a tasteful wooden playground, Burger King will be where K campaigns to go.

**To the woman last night who was insisting that her daughter couldn't go in the playstructure without her shoes on because "it's filthy in there": precisely what terrible disease do you think she's going to pick up that she wouldn't have gotten from crawling around on her hands and knees? Also, the reason it's so dirty in there is because parents let their children go in with their shoes on, which is why they're supposed to take them off. That, and it hurts other chldren a lot less when they inevitably get clocked in the head by the child going down the slide immediately after them or accidentally kicked when they follow someone up the ladder too closely.
juthwara: (Default)
Thanks to the magic of Taxcut online, electronic filing and direct deposit, I had my taxes filed and return in my bank account by the end of February. Not to come over all superior or anything; I was highly motivated by the thought of getting our decently sized return as soon as possible.* Which is to say I'm not highly organized and efficient, just greedy.

I relate this more as a way of explaining why I was so oblivious as to why when I went to the post office at 5 this afternoon there were earnest peace activists handing me pamphlets on how much of my tax dollar goes to war and the line into the post office was out the door. I was preoccupied with scribbling out customs forms, so it took a few minutes and overhearing conversations of several surly people in line before it finally chipped a hole in my thick shield of preoccupation. Oh right. April 15. Tax day. That would be why the line in the post office was like a long winding queue leading directly through the depths of Hell.

I'm sure my stunning in-depth knowledge of current events impresses you no end.

Other than my mail-related cluelessness, life is fairly boring at the moment. I'm actually not minding the lack of daycare too much, although that will change if K has to spend many more days at work with me. We went to storytime today, something we havne't been able to do in quite a while because it seems like every storytime in the area is on Tuesday, a daycare day. I'm not even minding that K is clearly starting a new developmental spurt, signified by the horrifying lack of sleep and temperamental behavior. We spent 45 minutes yesterday locked in a battle of wills over picking up the mess she made, cycling between her attempting to ignore me, outright refusal and screaming meltdown.** And yet I still wasn't fed up with her.

I'm not sure what the source of the unexpected deep well of patience and zen is, but I'm not arguing. Clearly my mind is in its own plane of existence at the moment, allowing me to exist above such petty things as tantrumming toddlers and adults in long post office queues acting significantly less mature than tantrumming toddlers.


*And thanks to direct deposit and a relatively low social security number, we're going to have our tax rebate in the bank by May 9. I love the information age.

**I have to confess, it's hard to maintain the proper stern demeanor when she plants those little feet, puts her hands on her hips and glowers at me with an audible growl of frustration. I don't think giggling does much to help my authority though, so I (mostly) resist.
juthwara: (Default)
When my brother was a toddler, in the manner of most toddlers he had certain favorite books that my mother was required to read over and over again. Two of the most notable were I Am a Bunny and Baby Animals, which my mother could quote for years afterwards. My mother gave us I Am a Bunny for K's first Christmas, but while there are any number of picture books called Baby Animals, she was never able to find the one we loved so much.

But we found it tonight. It's by Gyo Fujikawa, an artist we really like - her board book Babies is one of K's favorites, and I spent many hours as a child reading Oh, What a Busy Day, which is now sitting on K's bookshelf.

It's a wonderful thing sharing the beloved books of my childhood with daughter, even at such a young age. K absolutely loved Baby Animals, and I'm looking forward to having Mom read it to her the next time we're home.

****

K has been driving us crazy in the sleep department lately. I prefer "refuse to go to sleep at bedtime and instead wreak havoc in her room and run around upstairs for hours" to "wake up in the middle of the night and keep us awake by wiggling around in bed with us," because the first at least lets me get uninterrupted sleep. But it still drives us around the bend.

The lack of sleep, I think, is due to the huge mental leaps she's been making lately. Just in the past week, we've seen a big improvement in language. She's more intelligible and uses more complete words and sentences. For months, she's been coming up to me with things she wanted opened and demanding "Op! Op!" This week, she suddenly started coming out with a very clear "Open!"

She's also becoming more social. She's starting playing with other children she meets on the playground - real playing with interaction, instead of parallel play. She's also become more outgoing with adults. She waves and says "Hi" and "Bye" to stragers without prompting, which often leaves a trail of bodies of people she killed with her cuteness in her wake. At the same time, she can still be quite shy when people focus their full attention on her. Often, she has to dive behind her stroller or my leg when someone talks to her, periodically peeking her head back out until she's more comfortable. This is also insanely cute.

Despite the sleep issues, being K's mother is pretty fun these days. I won't say that her newly developed snotty teenage attitude where she has to deliberately do the things I tell her not to as well as doing things just to bug us is particularly fun, but overall she's pretty neat kid to have.

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juthwara

May 2015

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