Friday, Mar 27 2009
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It is finally sunny today, after days of gray cloud cover. It makes me feel hopeful to see the bright blue sky. Even if its cold.
Will is 3 years and 5 months old. He is a nightmare right now. I’m not exaggerating. Its horrible. And it feels like this stage has lasted for months and months already. He is the most powerful person in our family, and he knows it. He can keep Steve and I from talking to each other, and he can make Ellen’s little life terrible. Steve and I are brought low by it at varying times, individually. Yesterday was one of my lowest points with him, and I’m not proud of how I responded. I almost give up. I’d rather have a spoiled, jerk-like son than deal with the spikes in (my) temper and blood pressure, and risking doing something I will regret. Nothing is or has worked, except occasionally the threat of taking toys away. He won’t stay in his room for timeouts, and its virtually impossible to simply leave the room since he’ll follow. I feel trapped, and I am mad as hell at both him and myself and the situation.
That aside, he said two endearing things to me over the past week or so. One was an observation about the weather one night as we were driving home from MOPS. It was raining and windy and cold. He said, “Mama, its hor-bah-bull outside!”
The other was a statement that he was going to ride on an airplane soon and that I couldn’t come. I asked why I couldn’t come, and he said, “Because I’m going on my job, Mama.” (This is of course a reference to my recent trips to DC and Indy which were explained to him as job-related, even the Indy one, because I didn’t want him knowing I was seeing family without him).
I can’t remember if I’ve recorded his utter aversion to group clapping? He HATES it. But when I tried to explain to him that when Joseph thanks the people who made the soup at church, and everyone claps, its because that’s Joseph’s job to thank people. That seemed to carry much more weight with him than any other explanation, and last week he said he was willing to try soup supper again after church. We’ll see. Maybe I’m tell him its his job to quit being a terror.
He’s also on a violent anti-Sesame Street kick, after a show where the nighttime sheep moved Bert’s bed. He gets in a panic any time he thinks Sesame Street is coming on TV.
I think he needs to be in preschool soon – I think it would be a good outlet for his energy and I know he would like to see other kids more often than he does. Steve doesn’t agree. And in this area, I can’t move the Immovable Object that is my husband.
One last item concerning me with Will, and this is ENTIRELY my issue. I have never wanted to be a parent who gets concerned about a physical aspect/trait of my child, unless it was a medical issue. It seems to me that a) you can’t do anything about it unless you are willing be drastic ala plastic surgery or growth hormones. Appearance-wise, all you can do is make sure your child is clean, well groomed, and healthy; and b) What if your child sensed your concern about his/her physical trait in question? What a horrible feeling for him/her!!
So, all that said, I find myself concerned about Will’s height. And hating that I’m concerned. Objectively, Will is shorter than most 3 year olds. I don’t understand why this is concern for me unless it is that I have very deep-seated, unexamined ideas of what “manly” physicality is. I just assumed I’d never have to be worried about height or weight since both our families are average or a bit taller than average and generally healthy weight-wise, aside from some cousins. I hate this. It probably comes from the same place as my compulsion to dress Ellen in pink and purple, and freak out when Steve puts her in one of Will’s old very boy-ish jammies…I don’t like either of this tendencies.
And I don’t see how I can stop feeling them.
Ellen is 1 year and 3 months old. I continue to feel like I don’t do enough for or with her, and that her life is subsumed in the black hole of negativity that Will is and creates right now. I have taken her to the Children’s Museum a few times by herself and I love doing that. Hopefully, after we move, I can get into more structured activities with her.
One thing she has been doing lately that makes me laugh is this: Whenever her diaper is changed, she starts scratching her tummy and lower self and you can just FEEL her intense pleasure/plain with this itching. He face gets serious and focused, and if she were a groaner you would hear that. Have you ever seen a big, hairy guy start scratching himself with zero self-consciousness? When this is the cuter, baby girl version of it.
Her little body has morphed in a lean, mean, muscled machine. She is solid and strong, and I just delight in it. No more hair than last month. And really not much progress towards walking. She is standing more often without holding on to anything, but few if any tentative steps. It probably doesn’t help that every time she stands up, Will is there to “help”.
I continue to be amazing she isn’t talking more. What she does do that cracks me up is go into LONG discussions with points, subpoints, footnotes, eye-contact, and emphatic theories with lots of pointing. And? Its UTTERLY unintelligible. She usually does it when Will starts talking – obviously to imitate him, but it so precious. She gets louder as her speech continues. And then she points to something random in the vicinity and that’s it. It’s a great performance.
“Mama” now means “pick me up” vs identifying me as a person. She says “uh-oh” when something falls.
She does the ubiquitous baby-pointing at objects, and it is cute when Will notices and says, “Yah [he sounds Scandinavian] thass-ah twee, sweetie.”
She eats cereal (Chex and Cheerios) slightly dampened to make them easier to chew, apples, carrots, and pears. She has rejected kiddy hot dogs, but I think she will be tempted into more things since she is seeing what the rest of us eat. We’re keeping her on formula instead of transitioning to whole milk, and will probably do that until she is two, and then we’ll see about fortified full fat soy milk.
I had my 1-year review this week at work, and it went very well. My boss actually felt the need to apologize the amount of my raise! In this economy, there should be no apologizing for anything other than lay-offs, is my opinion. He and I reviewed some of my accomplishments during the last year and I discussed my goals for this year. This is the first non-large-company review I’ve done, and it was very different from what I’m used to. And if I weren’t a self-starter, or self-directed to the extent I am, it wouldn’t be effective. Fortunately, I am, so essentially I write my reviews and set my own goals, and just get guidance/input where needed. This is how it should be at my current level, I think, which is significant but still sub-executive. If I were at the executive level, I would expect more concrete goals around numbers, but for now, this is great. We spent a long time discussing The Horrible Situation. (Courtney, this is the sich that I told you about at lunch). It was a good discussion, and after using the word “infantile” in the beginning, I became cool, calm, and displayed utter bewilderment by the degree of animosity coming my way from the colleague in question. I’m going to leave the issue there for now, and deal with anything else that comes up when/if it does. My boss did express his deep regrets over the situation, which was nice to hear.
Our lake house dream is a go. I’m so thankful. It really is our dream, warts and all, drama and all. Now for packing and moving and listing our current home. Ugh.