Friday, Jun 26 2009
View LYNNABEL's food & exercise for this day
Ellen is exactly 1.5 years old this week.
She has been using more and more words that are actually understandable - “sank u”; “wow!”; “hat”; “head”; “nose”; “shoe”; “Tibby!”
She has several words/sounds she uses in direct imitation of the rest of us. She says, “Oh!” when she sees something new or unusual. She says “um” when looking at two or more things to choose from (think me standing in front of the fridge with the door open); and my personal favorite “two!” when “counting”.
Actually, I have lots of favorites. She looks up at when I walk in from work, and says joyfully, “Da-da!” Which always makes me laugh. Close enough, I think. I remember Will using “dada” to refer to either Steve or I for a some time at a similar age.
She imitates facial expressions of consternation and acts out pantomimes of concern that she must see enough from the rest of us to feel that she’d better learn how to do it. I should probably find this alarming, but mostly I’m just mesmerized by her.
I think - and this is such a mind trip for me – she made her first attempt at dress-up the other night. I was cleaning out some of my old swimsuits in her dresser, and she tried to put on one of my suit tops. I helped her get the straps over her arms and she wore it for the rest of the night. Complete with a purse that a friend gave her that has a little “e” on it. Where do girls learn these things?! I think the majority of it is her strong desire to imitate, but it still freaks me out a little bit. I have visions of her wanting to dress up as a Disney princess, Hannah Montana, and High School Musical. I can’t wait to see how Steve handles the first dress-related tantrum. Actually, he won’t care if she goes the grocery store in tights and a belt, ala Stephanie. It is me that will have the challenge of overcoming my baser self to let her do her fashion-thing.
Really, though, I just want my children un-snotty, short finger-nailed, and with clean faces. Those are my no-negotiating standards. Its why I spend inordinate amounts of time digging in their noses (I know, I know) and obsessively hording wipes for drive-by swipes at their faces, and clipping nails at odd moments. They can wear pretty much whatever they want that is weather appropriate, as long at the other things are take care of.
Ellen has sprouted some more teeth this last month, which has been pretty painful for her. I’m happy for the sake of her eating, though. She is finally able to chew things to a degree that gives me peace of mind. She drinks at least 5 cups of soy milk a day. Crazy, huh? But she loves it and its good protein, and keeps her hydrated.
She sings! “up a-buv-a-wa” – which, as you can plainly tell, is from “Twinke Twinkle Little Star” – “Up above the world…”
She is a different child from Will in this way – we generally do not have to remove objects from her surroundings as she will listen to “no touch, Ellie”. Simple instructions like, “Let’s go upstairs” are generally met with agreement, where Will wouldn’t respond to verbal instructions without some time of physical assistance or intervention. I guess in some ways she is just more compliant, but in other ways she is more challenging – for example, she has an unfortunate tendency to mini-tantrums, for no real reason that we can discern. I hope it’s a phase. Its hard to mind too much since she is so engaging and angelic the rest of the time. A girl’s gotta vent, I guess.
She laughed (spontaneously) at a Sesame Street episode on TV the other day. I don’t know what she found funny, but she did. It sounded and seemed like a such a mature thing to do that it really gave me pause.
Will is 3.65 years old this week.
Potty training has had mixed results. He is able to use the potty for pee almost completely without incident. He’s had 3 accidents total, which seems pretty good. He needs some reminding and prompting, but we can generally trust that he isn’t going to have an accident while away from home. Pooping is a-whole-nother thing. He won’t poop on the big potty anymore. After a week of doing it, he quit.. He has pooped on his little potty twice since then. Usually he poops in the diaper he wears for naps and nighttime. The pull-ups gave him a rash, so we went back to diapers. Its discouraging. However, I really don’t think I can push Will or Steve any more until either Will isn’t napping or is out of his crib. I’m guessing neither one will happen until fall. Until then, it really has to be up to Will.
After lots of work by Steve, Will is getting fairly proficient at recognizing and naming letters of the alphabet. Similarly his recognition of numbers is solid up to 9 (after that he still separates 10 into “1” and “0”). Last night we had a fun time having him “add” five fingers from one hand with fingers from the other to get 6 or 8.
Will says ”pie-kee-porn” for “porcupine”. He pronounces his own name as “wee-yam”.
He and I are doing swimming lesson on Tuesday nights for 6 weeks. It has been tons of fun before and during and immediately after. When we get home, though, he has a melt down. Not sure why – extra tired, I suppose, and not used to such focused one-on-one with me. He’s not swimming on his own, but he is jumping off the side to my arms and taking quick pushing off of the side to reach me. He’s not crazy about going under water, but loves the rest of it.
When I get home from work, Will always asks Steve if they can go outside and blow bubbles. This is because they can’t do that with Ellen, so they look forward to me being home so they can do some big boy things. Unfortunately, Will wines and wines about it. Steve has been saying, “No, Will, we need to spend some time with Mommy, who works very hard for us, and make her something to eat before we go outside.” This is repeated almost daily. Last weekend when Will woke up from his nap, and found me home, he said to Steve, “Can we go outside and blow bubbles, please, or does Mommy need to eat first?”
By the way, have you ever seen a cuter thing that a skinny little boy body in Sesame Street briefs? I haven’t.
We don’t eat together as a family as often as we should. Usually, I eat my dinner at the kitchen table while Steve watches the kids (he tends to eat later in the evening). I’m almost always reading when I eat. I realized how often I read when I eat when Will said to me as I was sitting down to lunch, “Do you need your book, Mommy?”
A few probably normal but alarming things – Will has been saying some unpleasing things like, “I’m gonna cut you” and “I’m gonna yell at you”. He says it experimentally, as if he is not sure what it means or what the reaction will be. We ask him not to say that, and try to move on to other things as quickly as possible. I’ve also told him, when he has persisted, that I will leave him alone until he stops saying things that hurt my feelings. Seems to work, but I’m not crazy about it.
Will did incredibly well at the dentist a week or so ago. I was tremendously proud of him. He carried on a solid, engaging conversation with the (impressed) hygienist. He politely asked her name, asked her questions about everything, and told her things about his life. His teeth are fine, and were cleaned. Yippee.
Steve bought a trike for Will. Its one of the 9,876 things we have assembled since moving to our new house. Seriously – if I never see another set of poorly written, unclear assembly instructions translated unevenly from Chinese or Russian or German again, it will be too soon. Will is working on learning to ride it but hasn’t quite got it down yet. He plays outside with a red wooden toy barn that my dad made for me when I was Will’s age – isn’t that sweet?