Significant mood swings. Not sure what is going on. Perhaps TOM, but I don’t think so. Perhaps seasonal? I wish I knew, because I keep having the realization that I will never progress career-wise the way I want to if I can’t manage my moods better. I have a little sticker at my desk that says “R. and T.L.T.” which means Relax and Think Long Term – it’s supposed to be a reminder to me that nothing is worth getting excessively upset over. I really wish I had a career counselor that I could discuss my concerns with. I think I’ll look into that and see just how pricey something like that is. I’ve come a long way in managing moods and periods of intense anxiety, but not far enough.
I’ve also felt very confused by my body lately – I’m not a person who would describe herself as wildly in touch with her body, but even for me, lately I’ve felt like it’s a foreign entity. I got my period out of nowhere, I’m having hot flashes at night. My hair won’t hold a curl, and I’m getting significant headaches again. No bladder capacity, poor sleep. All this happened this spring to me also – could it be allergies? Stress? End of summer blues? Just can’t figure it out.
Will is 3.7 years old.
Potty training has dominated quite a bit of my anecdotes about Will this time around. For example, when I asked him if he was doing the potty dance, he said, “Yes. It keeps it in, Mama.” Duh, Mama.
We had been struggling with getting Will resume pooping on the potty. After a great first week, he went on strike. Although it was entirely psychological on his part (vs biological), Steve and I never could say for sure, WHY he refused to do it. When asked, he would say he didn’t want to. We really couldn’t tell if there was some trick that would have unlocked the issue for him, or if he was not doing it simply as a gamble for power – “so you want me to do something, huh? Let’s see how BADLY you want me to do…” Either way, we inadvertently hit upon a combination of things that seem to have worked. They are a) ongoing discussions about how big boys poop in the potty, just like “Michael” and “Daddy” and “fill in the blank”, b) putting a very tall stool under his feet so his feet have something rest on while he sits on the toilet, and c) reading to him. I think I was expecting it to take 30 seconds for him to be able to poop once sitting on the potty, but it is more like 2 or 3 minutes. So, I think I was giving up too soon – but so was Will. The reading helps both of us wait long enough for his body to respond.
Anyway, the recent string of successes has made me so happy. In fact, Will said, to me the other day, “Am I going to make you proud, Mommy?” and later still, after a successful trip to the potty, “Are you not sad anymore, Mommy?”
Although I was sad and frustrated with him, I did work very hard to frame the issue in positive terms, not negative terms. I also worked hard to help Will feel positive about himself for all the things he does well. I’m sure I didn’t handle it all ideally – when do I ever – but I did my best and, ultimately, after some coaxing, so did Will.
Will is very expressive of his own and others’ emotions. I think he has a very highly developed ability to judge emotional states in himself and other people. There is no question that I worry about this (it seems to me that lots of heartache and insecurities come from being TOO concerned with how others feel), but I would also worry more if he was a girl, and if I didn’t think this is ultimately a good skill to have – emotional intelligence. He recognizes and describes his own and others’ fears, nervousness, concerns, shyness, happiness, excitedness, etc.
Some things he's said to me:
“I don’t want to be all by my lonesome.”
“Mommy, don’t brush my hair – I’m concentrating.”
“I’m very serious!” All of those said with his preschool lisp and sweet little boy voice. (“I’m vewy see-wus!”)
In conjunction with this emotional awareness has come the scowl and stomp. Freaking hilarious. It is all I can do not to let out gails of laughter.
He has started calling Ellen “sweetie” again, which is music to my ears.
He’s doing very well in the boat. I feel so RIGHT about our house and life when I see Will run down the lawn hill to the dock – amid the grass and water and sun. It all seems like such a good thing to be able to give a child. When I told him what the cattails were called, he said, “No, they’re called hotdogs.” And frankly, they do look much more like hotdogs on a stick than like cattails.
I’m waiting on some paperwork from Will’s doctor to finish his application packet the Forest Lake Montessori Preschool. School will start for him in early September. I’m so excited for him.
He and I are doing our second session of swim lessons right now. He’s getting much more comfortable in the water, but still refuses to go under. I know that will come as long as I keep him exposed to water on a fairly regular basis.
I was surprised to see Will as tall as my friend Missy’s son who is just a bit older – last time we saw them together, Will was much smaller. He may be gaining some height without me really noticing.
I’ve done my usual hackjob on his hair – it really doesn’t look to bad, though. His curls are still there and his big eyes and long lashes.
Ellen is 1.6 years old.
She’s changing and growing so quickly that my updates seems obsolete by the time I go to flesh them out.
Ellen nods with her whole body.
A month or so ago, Steve put up the wading pool on our deck, and we couldn’t believe it when Ellen launched herself into it, clothes, diaper, socks, and all. She was in heaven and couldn’t get enough. We didn’t even bother getting her into a swimsuit or swim diaper – and pretty soon her diaper had swollen up so much she could barely walk. It made us laugh so hard we just couldn’t take it off. Fortunately, she couldn’t have cared less.
She says, “Poo-poo” – maybe because she hears us talking about it with Will all the time. But, if you ask her, “Ellie, do you have a poopie diaper?” she will either nod yes or say no. And is usually spot on. If I had to guess I would say that she will be potty trained fairly quickly.
She says, “Catch!” when she wants to play with a ball.
She calls flowers “Flowies!” (exclamation mark included).
She can’t say “circle” so she says “round”. I find that particular brilliant.
She will point to virtually any animal you ask her to (in books, etc.), and will identify about a ten body parts (nose, tummy, head, hair, chin, knee, etc.)
She actually says, “OK” – I love it.
She looks until she finds what she is looking for – this persistent is admirable, to me. While it makes her more stubborn in some ways that Will, it makes her work a bit harder to master a skill or find a toy/object.
She whispers, “Love uuu” – never at normal speaking voice level, but always a whisper.
Some challenging behaviors:
She yells “Top!” at the top of her lungs when she objects to whatever you are doing. Of course, she’s saying “Stop!” – which, poor darling, she hears all the time from her parents and brother.
Running and crawling away when being changed. This is so supremely annoying. Especially with a dirty diaper. And she loses her mind when shut behind any kind of gate or door – which makes going on the pontoon with her unpleasant. Room-based timeouts with her are going to be brutal in a few years.