But Millie... WOW. Polar opposite. So, the first day of shoe wearing... pretty much ruined her life. The second day didn't go much better and I bailed on even fighting the fight and she went to school in socks. The third day, I was gearing up for another knock-down-drag-out cluster, but managed to distract her with a little Super Why. (Side note: Super Why = my guilty pleasure for being able to contain the kiddos while I get ready for work in the mornings when Benny isn't home. And I don't even care if you judge me for it. THINGS. GET. DONE.)
And since that day? Guess who has been fascinated with shoes? Guess who can't get enough of shoes? Guess who insists that I put shoes on over her footy pj's at night and in the morning when she wakes up so that she can walk all around the house making loud noises with her shoes? Guess who brings me her shoes, and then turns around and plops her little diaper-padded booty on my lap and lifts up her foot for me to put on said shoe EVERY. WAKING. MOMENT? Oh, and guess who will wait for me to put on her shoes, and then toddle off... find a different pair of shoes, bring those over and then plant her booty on my lap so that I can put those shoes on instead?
On another topic, guess who has taken to hiding all but one pair of shoes from her 1-year-old because she's got other things to do than put shoes on and take shoes off ALL DAY LONG?
So... yea, I'm raising a bit of a shoe freak right now. I'm sure that this, too, shall pass. She is, after all, her mother's daughter. And her mother never wore shoes when she was a kiddo. As evidenced by her size 11 wides. And the amazing callouses from running around the farm barefoot. Seriously... how I still have all of my toes and didn't end up with tetanus is beyond me.
It's hard not to compare my two girls and their development, these days. Hazel started crawling at about 8 months, and while Millie didn't start crawling until about 9 months, she had perfected the Army Man crawl for about a month prior to that. Hazel started experimenting with walking at 11 months, but wasn't exactly efficient with it until she was about 14 months old. In fact, Benny was always positive that she was going to crack her face open or knock out a tooth whenever she walked outside so he became the helicopter parent that we make fun of now. Millie didn't start walking until she was about 12 months, so just a little behind Hazel. But already, she's a pro. She's almost running. And she LOVES it. There is nothing she likes better than to stomp down the hall in her shoes with her mouth wide open, her eyes twinkling and making her favorite animal noise.... ARRRGGGHHH. (That, by the way, is the sound she thinks every animal makes: bears, tigers, elephants, kittens, zebras... butterflies.)
And OMG... when she finally figures out how to bend her knees and sees how much more efficient that is than walking like Frankenstein's monster, we're really gonna be screwed.
And the teeth thing... we don't worry about it as much with Millie as we did with Hazel. The reasons are many:
1) At 1 year, Hazel had all but her first year molars in. Millie has um... 4.5 teeth.
2) At 1 year, Hazel always fell face first. For the love... at 2.5 years, Hazel still falls face first. Millie has figured out pretty quickly that the butt hurts less than the face.
3) With 2 kiddos, Benny and I have perfected the art of the unconcerned: "Dust yourself off!" parenting when one of the kiddos takes a tumble. Which is to say we utter this particular phrase 25 times a day. 75 times a day on the weekends. 150 times a day on summer weekends.
Millie knows how to climb down the stairs backwards on her belly. She also knows how to get off the couch/bed feet first. Hazel refused to go down the stairs any other way than the way Mommy and Daddy did. Which meant that she didn't get to be around stairs by herself for a long time. Of course, it wasn't that long ago that she road a choo-choo train down the stairs... and survived. And always exited head first from the couch of bed. Because she
But honestly, these two kiddos could not be more different in the way they approach the world. Hazel is a Daddy's girl. Always has been. When she actually needs Mommy or wants Mommy, there's no greater feeling in the world. But, first choice? Always Daddy.
Millie? Millie is, and will likely always be, a Mommy's girl. Sometimes she'll snuggle with Daddy which makes him happy. But end of the day. Mommy rules. Which is something she needs to teach her older sister.
Hazel has always liked to get out and mix things up. At 1 year, she wasn't shy at all. And a friend of ours, who happens to be a cop, once called her "An Abduction Waiting To Happen". This is because Hazel would go up to complete strangers, hold her arms up and grunt until they picked her up. Hazel always quickly adjusts to her environment. Millie likes to sit on Mommy's lap and check out the sitch for about an hour before venturing out and seeing what the deal is. But usually, she quickly returns to sit back on my lap and watch. And forget about strangers... Millie is NOT down.
Hazel has about a dozen "bwankies" that she likes to play with or sleep with. But not a particular favorite. It doesn't matter which blanket I send to school with her or put in bed with her, she's happy. Millie... Millie has to have a particular blanket that Grandma Paskins made for her. And if she doesn't have that blanket or if she somehow loses it during the night, things get bad. Very, very bad. This means that we don't often get to wash that blanket. And I'll be the first to admit that today, I smelled the blanket... and almost gagged. THAT THING NEEDS TO BE WASHED THIS WEEKEND. It could start walking on its own at this point.
But it's not just the blanket that smells. Seriously... I'm worried that Millie is going to end up being the stinky kid in class because that kid HATES baths. Hazel has loved baths since day one. During her AWFULNESS (her first six weeks of life), baths were the only thing that would calm her down and stop her never-ending screaming. Millie never liked baths and the only time she would cry was when she was IN the bathtub. She started getting the hang of it a few months ago and loved playing with Hazel in the tub, but about a month ago, she slipped in the tub and got water in her face. I was right there and there was no chance she was going to drown. (In fact, this may have been an example of me taking the "Dust yourself off!" too far.) But ever since then... holy mother of everything that is unholy and unnatural. I can't get her in the tub. And if I do get her in the tub, I can't KEEP her in the tub. I've tried everything. I've even gotten in the tub with her so she could sit on my lap. NOTHING. DOING. Every time we take a tubby, it's a scene straight out of Carrie. Minus the blood. Add the poop. Because while she didn't actually poop in the tubby, this was only because she wasn't IN the tubby. But because of my natural athleticism, I was able to grab toilet paper and catch the poopy as it came out of her bummy. Because that's what good mothers do. And that's what good mothers will hold over their children's heads when they start to smart off when they're 15.
Yep... but with that being said, I am well aware that tubby time is what Millie's going to hold against me when she gets older. And because of that, Millie doesn't get as many tubby's as she should be getting. It always ends up with me soaking wet and Millie in tears. And Hazel sometimes in tears because obviously something is wrong and she's not getting the attention she should be... so how about we all break down and cry?
We can't keep Millie in her high chair. The kid is always maneuvering around and you look away for one second to slice her some strawberries and you look back to see her standing up in her chair, facing backwards... clapping. She's a freaking Houdini. I've tried buckling her in. I've tried holding the tray close to her body so that she finishes eating instead of getting distracted by something shiny. But... no go. She still manages to get out. It's like a challenge to her. And because of that, tonight (despite my very real concerns that CPS will somehow find out about this) I'm going to use a belt to strap her to the chair... by strapping it under her arms so it's similar to the car seat. Because it's either that or put her food on the floor so I don't worry about her falling out of the chair if I turn my back. And while the floors are clean today because the housekeepers made a visit yesterday, I cannot make that promise for the next three weeks.
Meanwhile, Hazel who never had an issue in the high chair, finds it a double-standard that I don't take Millie's food away when she keeps getting out of her seat. This is because Hazel has become a total squirmy butt and will not stay in her booster... or perches on the arm of her booster... so that she can put her feet on Millie's tray. Or steal Millie's peaches. And because at this point, I'm at the end of my very short rope, and have warned her three times, I take away her food because "Obviously you're done because you aren't sitting in your chair like a big girl." Yea... I hate nights that have me uttering these words. But what Hazel doesn't understand is that if Millie doesn't eat all of her dinner, she wakes up in the middle of the night to eat. Which is something Hazel NEVER did. Because Hazel always ate like a horse at this age. It's only been recently that she's become picky. And for that, I blame day care... but that's a whole different post about the nutrition day care and schools and the government think are appropriate for kids.
But yea... Millie's been waking up in the middle of the night to eat. I think that she's actually just thirsty, but holy crap. Try going in her room without the perfectly warmed bottle of water (because guess who won't drink cold water?) and watch the 1-year-olds head explode. It has been months since either Benny or I slept through the night. If Millie doesn't wake up? Hazel has a nightmare and has to be comforted. If Hazel sleeps through the night, Millie is sure to get thirsty and raise holy hell in her room at 3 a.m. until you finally give up the power struggle and go get her some freakin' water. Or find her blankie for her.
But for all of their differences, the girls do have a couple of things in common.
1) They love each other. Almost as much as they hate each other.
2) They are both smart. Scary smart.
3) They both keep us on our toes
4) They both have parents who love them more than anything in the world
5) They both need a bath.