Tuesday, March 27, 2012

shhh... don't tell my husband

Kiddo found me in the kitchen today and announced that she was dressed up as a super hero. We'd recently found the cape we have, and the stickers for a cool super hero decal, and she was all decked out. She thinks this will make a great Halloween costume, which it would. After explaining to me how she was a super hero, she then informed me she wanted to practice flying, and started climbing onto a kitchen chair, from which she intended to jump to the (laminate) floor. That seemed overly harsh to me, so I suggested that she jump from the (shorter) couch to the (carpeted) floor in the connecting room. This seemed great to her, and she enjoyed herself for a while.

Then she suggested that I come and catch her when she jumped. I told her absolutely not, and explained that it is really hard to catch people that way, and we wouldn't be doing it. We did refer to jumping into pools, and how we'd get a small pool for our backyard, not to be confused with our neighbor's big pool... and she kept jumping happily.

And I kept on doing whatever it was I was doing (unloading the dishwasher) and listening to the happy squeals of two small girls playing with each other. I looked at them, took this sweet picture, and went back to the kitchen.

Then, the mother voice in my head said, watch them. So I did. I looked up in time to see Babs stand on the couch, Kiddo raise her hands expectantly, and Babs jump into them. I then watched Babs' momentum knock Kiddo to the floor, with Babs falling on top of her, and Babs knock her head on the couch. (Not seriously, as indicated by her rolling over, laughing, and climbing back onto the couch.)

I still can't formulate the words to express my utter amazement at this scene. I, of course, but a stop to it immediately. Kiddo can barely catch a ball coming straight at her - how could she possibly think to catch her little sister, who weighs in at 75% of her size (although Babs was coming straight at her!)? Did she completely not listen to my explanation of "this is why we don't jump off the couch into people's arms?" How often, when I think I'm explaining something, do I just sound like an adult in a Charlie Brown video to her? to others?

Now I see that picture, and realize that there are clearly two smiles, and the grip of death around the older one's head.

Cherry Blossoms

Given where we live, we're committed to a monthly adventure to enjoy the amazing resources. Last weekend we headed down to the District for cherry blossoms. We were there just before peak, but they were still wonderfully beautiful, and the crowds were thinner that our last visit (but still hefty).
We had a picnic of snacks, and asked a complete stranger to take our picture. We had two happy, yet tired girls at the end. My husband had to carry Kiddo back to the car while I pushed Babs in the stroller. Kiddo did perk up when we got to the actual parking garage because there were mirrored windows there, and she loves her reflection.
Is almost 2 not the best age ever? (A rare moment when she is not gleefully running away from us.)

not yet

Three people in this house are super excited about potty training Babs. The one who will be primarily responsible for it (me) is not. (Not to say that Babs won't have a lot of work to do with it too, but her work is different. And she'll forget the pain of the first few days.) Whenever I think of it, I can't help but think about pee every where, and a mad little girl, and an overwhelmed mom, and I put it off. (She's not even 2, this is not unreasonable.)

She will ask to use the little potty sometimes. But mostly it is because she has figured out that if she does, some one will most likely read to her. (She will also request to be put to bed early for that same reason of reading books.) The real reason she loves to sit on the potty is that Kiddo is sometimes there too. And Babs is up for most anything that Kiddo is doing.

Case in point: Kiddo bumped her leg today, so she walked over to me, pulled her pants up past her knee, and showed me her injury. Babs followed right behind, crying about her knee that also needed to be loved better, and then her other leg too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

scripture time

This morning Kiddo woke up before I could read my scriptures, so I was trying to do it while she was sitting next to me, which meant we did a lot of talking, and not so much reading.

Her: What are you doing?
Me: Reading my scriptures.
Her: Why?
Me: So I can learn about what Heavenly Father wants me to do.
Her: (very excited) Can you teach me and Babs?
Me: (fairly humbled) Yeah.

Her question meant a lot to me because I've been thinking a lot about needing to teach them the Gospel. And it's a reminder to me that I need to be diligent in this effort.


Kiddo asks me lots of questions right now. Many of them are in the form of "why?" A lot of time it pushes me to the edge of my patience. (For example, I fell down the stairs on Monday. As I'm crying at the bottom of the stairs, trying to stop crying and assess how seriously I'm hurt, and reflect on the absurdity that my iPhone is still playing my quiet music, she keeps asking me why I fell down the stairs.) But sometimes the questions are about our beliefs, and answering of the why of the Gospel, and it's nice to remember that this is a choice I freely make to keep the commandments. And I'm happy about it.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

library fun

I managed to get my children dressed and out the door for story time at the library this morning. Except there is not story time this month. So, we just looked for books instead. The girls were good, they picked out some books, read them quietly at the tables, and we did just fine. I decided that it was a beautiful day, so we should then go to the park.

I announced we were going, and started to walk out of the children's section. At this moment, Babs changed her mind about being good, turned around and started running and laughing loudly through the stacks. I used echo-location to track her down, intercepted her on row 2, and started looking for Kiddo.

I quickly found her, but not quickly enough to stop her from pushing open the clearly marked (if you can read) emergency exit, and tripping the incredibly loud emergency alarm.


I now had one kid firmly grasped in each hand, and herded them out quickly. I passed the librarian who was going to disable the alarm on my way out. I told her I was sorry. Should I have done any more?

Perhaps the hardest part of the experience was trying to control my frustration at Kiddo. Her actions were at least motivated by trying to do as I asked, as opposed to Babs, who was just being willfully loud and obnoxious. (Oh, her laugh when she is running away from me in stores. Pure joy at the thrill of the chase!) Kiddo didn't know any better. I told her we were leaving, so she headed to a door. I was mad for the sole reason that I was embarrassed. That is not grounds for yelling at your child. I'm grateful that I remembered that before I yelled.

(Lest I misrepresent myself, I did sigh heavily, snap at her a few times, and take multiple deep breaths once we were all belted into the car before I was ready to be nice again.)

Monday, March 12, 2012

play acting

My brother talks about how it wasn't until his first child was four or five months old that it finally, truly sank in that this kid's parents would never come and pick her up, in fact he was the parent. He felt a little like he had been play acting, and it took him a while to feel comfortable with his role. (Rest assured, he is super comfortable and good at his role now, as he was then.)

I feel that way as I walk around my minivan, strapping my kids in, closing the doors, driving off and around town. It feels completely normal, and yet totally bizarre. When will my mom come and tell me to go get my homework done? Maybe that's why it's weird... the last time I drove a minivan consistently was when I was in high school. Now I'm not, in fact I have two kids, and a house, and I'm an adult. When did this happen?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

sick day

I spent a significant portion of Thursday night up with Babs, willing her to breathe normally, or at least normally enough so that I didn't feel like taking her to the ER. She had that nasty croup-y cough that keeps parents up at night (literally). And, I took one for the team, letting my husband sleep so he could function at work the next day.

One of the most disconcerting parts of the night was that every time I walked past Kiddo's room, her breathing sounded bad too, worrying me that they would both be sick the next day. And, they were! We hunkered down Friday, and didn't do much except visit the doctor for a diagnosis of ear infection for Babs and an encouragement to give her some steroids for her airways that night.

We are officially on the mend now, with Kiddo never having got too bad, and Babs definitely feeling better. There is still some coughing and nose oozing though. After giving our talks today in Sacrament Meeting, we all came straight home from church for some much needed rest. Hopefully tomorrow we'll all be back to our regular routine of work, preschool, unpacking, and playing. (But don't be fooled, that all important playing never stopped.)

Monday, March 5, 2012

super quiet

I signed Kiddo up for preschool today, then left her there for her first day. As we walked out the door, Babs looked at me and said "Weh elno go?" I told her Kiddo was staying for preschool, while we were going home for a nap.

I guess she took me seriously as she fell asleep in the car. So I actually have some time to myself. There's no singing from the second bedroom, and no worn out comments from me like "Kiddo, go back to your room."

I think this will be good for all of us.

(Is there a picture? Of course not, why would I take a picture? Blegh, I forgot. Then I meant to afterwards. Forgot then too. Maybe for Day 2. But Kiddo really enjoyed her first day.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

who's the boss?

Babs is a little pusher, and hair puller. She still likes to pull Kiddo's hair. She pushes Kiddo off chairs or stools that she would like to be on. She gives Kiddo hugs that start sweet, and end up knocking Kiddo to the floor (where they both roll around laughing, so it's not that bad). I believe this behavior is limited to her sister, but with only two weeks of nursery under her belt, it's hard to be sure.

I can tell when Babs is pushing Kiddo around, because I'll hear Kiddo announce "I'm bigger than you!" The problem is, Kiddo lets herself be pushed around, down, all over the place.

Teaching her that she's bigger was supposed to help her figure out that Babs can't move her unless she lets her. This was supposed to help Kiddo stand her ground. But Babs still seems to be winning. Kiddo is a gentle soul, it has not occurred to her that she can push back.

Should I tell her?