Friday, February 28, 2014

how to move if you can't crawl or walk

The boy can make some serious distance at this point. Any day now I expect him to crawl into the kitchen after me. (But I'd like this to be after my visit to my grandparents, not before. But two weeks may be asking too much.) He's still not crawling though. He pivots. He rolls from one side to another (but not consecutively so he's goes places, just as a thing to do). He pulls with his hands, and he pushes with his hands. Occasionally he lurches, which makes him look like an inchworm.

When he pushes, it sends him backwards. But he realizes that it sends him backwards, and he just uses it as another method of locomotion. He sees what he wants, turns himself so he's facing away, looks over his shoulder and pushes. I love that he watches his backwards movement facing the way he wants to go.

This also means that when he backs himself so that a chair leg or piano bench leg is between his legs, he can no longer move, because he can't back up any further, or roll. It's awesome to watch this development.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

some thoughts about Babs

When she was very little (as in, someone still needed to carry her) Babs was a very serious child - at least out in public. She would stare at people as if she needed to learn everything there was to know about them. And she still is much more aware of relationships than my other two.

Yesterday, I registered her for what I call in my head "official preschool." They asked four or five social/emotional development questions, all of which could have had the same answer: it's complicated. Yes, she throws tantrums. No, I've never known of one to happen in response to an adult who is not her parent (or serving in a parental role). She is suspicious of other children, except when she really likes them. Are you an adult? She will either ignore your efforts at interaction while willing you to disappear, or she will talk to you for hours. It is not clear what moves an adult from outer to inner circle, or anyone for that matter. My daughter will never be easy to pin down (figuratively or literally). 

Some funny moments:
A few days ago she announced that she had waited long enough, and she wanted her "childs right now!" I can't help but think you should at least be able to wipe your own bottom before you take on other peoples.

There are many words we ask her not to say, like swear words (luckily she only knows one so far), shut up, hate, and ugly. Mostly we don't like these words because we can only handle "I HATE this dinner!" so many times. But she hears them in her TV shows (intense ones like My Little Pony) and her music (that Sandra Boynton), so then we discuss them. Today her baby doll was saying about the things she hated. (This is not the first time Babs has used her dolls as scapegoats to see what she can get away with in terms of inappropriate language.) I tried vainly to explain the difference when it's okay and not, and this was Babs' summary, "Baby's mom doesn't letter her use the word hate either, so she says it differently. She says it in Spanish."

We checked out the book "Suki's Kimono" from the library. It's a sweet book about a girl going to school for the first time, and wearing her kimono because it makes her feel special and remember her grandmother, even though all the other kids suggest she should wear other clothes. Finally, she is accepted for who she is. This is Babs' take away:"My favorite characters are her sisters." "Why?" "Because their clothes are so awesome!"

(Babs and her tape. She loves it, and will use as much as I let her, then just a little more.)

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Kiddo and Babs like to hide (in the same four places), wait for someone to come by, and jump out and yell "Surprise!" It is never a surprise because they are always there, and they are usually visible. This has been going on for a very long time. At first I indulged them, now I acknowledge them, but not always in a supportive way. (I once replied to their hiding behind the door in the entry way with "you know what would be a surprise? If you actually put on your shoes like I asked you to.") I keep waiting for this phase to be over, but that may never happen.

Despite the joy of surprising others, they hate to be surprised, so there is now a rule that you can only surprise mom or dad, not each other.

They used to hide between their beds, in plain view where I could see them as I walked in the door. "Hey Kiddo" I would casually say. One day she sincerely asked, "How do you know I'm there?" My first response was, how could I not know you're there? but I didn't say that because she seemed truly perplexed. I paused to think about it and then realized, I'm over a foot taller than both of them. I called her over to her doorway, and lifted her up so she was looking from my perspective. "Now do you know how I know you're there?" And she understood. When she came into the room, she couldn't see between the beds, so it seemed like a good hiding place to her. (I then showed her that if she laid on her side next to Babs' bed I actually couldn't see her, so she's there pretty often.)

The ironic part of the never ending game of surprise is that when the house is dark, and we think they are all asleep, Kiddo is the master of silent movement. She silently pads from her bed to wherever we are, and if we're lucky, we see her before she stands still waiting to be noticed in the shadowy corner. Both my husband and I have been seriously startled by these events more than once, enough to scare her by our responses (man-ly yelps and all).


The boy makes two consistent sounds: "dadadadadadada" and "mamamamamamama"

But perhaps I could call them proto-words, because they have meanings.

"dadadadadadada" means "this is a fun sound, I like life, I am content right now, I like this"

"mamamamamamama" means "life is miserable! why won't someone fix it? ahhhh!" It should be noted that this boy is not a whiner. He has to be really sad to let us know. (Unless of course it's nap time.)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

a conversation with miss silly

Me: Babs, go to the bathroom, and got get a brush for your hair.

Seconds later she comes back in with a wet washcloth.

Me: Babs, this is not a brush.

Babs (cocking her head, and raising an eyebrow): Are yah sure? It looks like a brush.

Monday, February 10, 2014

a note about my boy

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, well, here are a bunch of the words this picture tells you:
1) See how nicely my husband cleaned this room? I'm super grateful.
2) See that awesome yellow and green blanket? It was on my bed as I was growing up. It keeps me deliciously warm each night when I get kicked out of my bed by my daughter who had a bad dream.
3) Can you find my son? I'll give you a hint, he's not in the panda toy where we left him.
4) He uses his fat little belly (which is much less fat than it used to be) to pivot and scoot. It's classic.
5) The object that inspired such hard work in movement is the paper he is desperately clutching. He LOVES paper. If it is anywhere he thinks he can get to, he goes for it. I am more indulgent of this desire than I was with the older kids. Is that because Babs sweetly brings him paper as a present (because she heard me talk about how much he loves it)? Or is it because I just don't care?
6) He's wearing my favorite outfit for him right now. He's so adorable, but especially in dark colors.

There are other things this picture could tell you, but instead I'm going to see if I can convince the aforementioned daughter to go to sleep!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

choosing the right

Babs came out of her first class in Sunbeams (her sunday school class at church) wearing a large CTR shield. Her lesson was on choosing the right. She promised me on the way home from church that she would always do what I and her Daddy asked her to do, because she would choose the right. Her CTR necklace would help her. Although sweetly sincere, I wasn't expecting great changes in behavior.

A few days later, she was not choosing the right, and I tried to help her see what a better choice would be. She replied, sadly, but just as sincerely, "I can't choose the right without my necklace."

(Even more sadly, she won't accept the repaired version.)

Monday, February 3, 2014

lesson learned

Like any good parents of young children, we've tried to encourage them not to slice their fingers by playing/touching sharp knives. The other morning, it became clear that this lesson was well learned:

I was unloading the dishwasher while Kiddo ate her breakfast.

"Good job, Mom" she encouraged me.

"What?" I asked, puzzled.

"You put away the sharp knife without getting cut."

While teaching her not to touch the knives, we seem to have forgotten to point out there are still safe ways to handle them...