Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Millociraptor At 16 Months!

Dear Millie,
Well, it's been over three months since I wrote to you last.  The reasons for this are two-fold.  1) I actually wrote an amazing letter to you that pretty much encompassed all you are right now, but had a glitch in the system and lost the whole damn thing; and 2)  Honestly?  The last three months you have vacillated between being the most amazing toddler ever and HOLY CRAP THIS KID IS KILLING ME.  And sometimes, it's just too much to try to break down and summarize.

But, for sake of making sure you can read about all the joys and misery that were YOU at 15 months, I will attempt to re-create the genius that was the former letter I lost.  Hang on tight.

The last few months have been such a roller-coaster ride for you.  So many developmental changes... most notably, you've decided that Tubby-Time is the greatest thing in the world.  This from the child who screamed as though I was setting her in a vat of boiling grease every time we attempted to wash the stink off you.  But now?  I can't keep you out of the tub.  With water or without... you can usually be counted to either be in the tub, or be perched on the edge of the tub like a canary. (Yea... found you like that the other day when I wandered into the bathroom looking for you.) And, whenever you hear the water running, you run to the bathroom and almost before I can take your clothes and diaper off, you're into the water, laughing and splashing all over the place. And your love of water isn't solely for the tubby.  You love going to the river and fishing with Daddy.  Well... helping to fish.  You're not a big fan of actually standing in the river, but you do love to throw rocks into the river and scare the fishies away.

You are also jabbering all the time.  And you can say a few words:  EEEEEE!, OH!, Mama, Da, Dis, Dat and AAARRRGHHHH!  You are always pointing at something and saying either dis? or dat? and I am required to tell you what each thing is.  Lately, it's been almost exclusively ceiling.  And you've tried to say ceiling.  Seeeeeing. But, occasionally, it's tree (reeeeee), wall (aaaaa) and flower (owerrrrr).  Your favorite book (besides Where The Wild Things Are... and let's be honest, you go banana's over that book, but don't we all) is a little cardboard book with pictures of different animals in it.  I point to each of them and say things like:  "What sound does a lion make?" And you roar.  Which is great... until I point to the pictures of the zebra, butterfly and pig and ask you what sounds they make... and you roar. This is true for all the non-roaring animals in the book. Except for the bee.  With the bee... you really try hard to make a buzzing noise.  And, if I were being honest, I suspect the reason you roar at all of the animals in the book is the reaction you get out of Mommy and Daddy.  We crack up every time you roar at the butterfly.  Because it is just so... you.  Refreshing, happy, content YOU.

You don't verbalize words great yet, but man you no EXACTLY what I'm saying to you.  You can point to who Mommy, Daddy, Hazel and Millie are. I can tell you to go find your blankie or throw your diaper away and voila.  You toddle off to do exactly as I've asked.  Now if I can only get you to bake me some cookies, life would be perfect.

You love doggies, too.  I can remember when you were just a few months old and your Aunt KC brought over her dog Gus and you FREAKED in my arms and started crying.  These days?  You can't get enough of Gus or any dog that happens to wander in your immediate vicinity.  You llllooooovvveeee doggies.  And when we watched Gus for Aunt KC last week, we'd let him come into your bedroom to wake you up and it was like giving you crack first thing in the morning.  You never settled down and all you cared about was "Gusssshhhh."  Almost makes me want to get another dog.  ALMOST.

You have really bloomed in the last few months.  You are so much more interactive than your big sister was at this age.  Your love to make faces at everyone. And you particularly love to tuck your chin, raise your eyebrows and stare at me at the dinner table, until I do the same thing and end up forehead-to-forehead with you, before we both start giggling.  You give the best kisses and always make sure you punctuate each with a 'MWAH!'... something I may have accidentally taught you!  You have a beautiful smile... one that takes up your whole face.  The phrase grinning from ear-to-ear?  You look that up in the dictionary and there's a picture of you! 

You love to snuggle with dolly's and you love to hug and kiss Hazel.  Especially when she's upset about something.  Which, let's be honest, is about 88% of the time these days.  And oh my.... do you idolize your big sister.  You watch her closely and you emulate everything she does.  EVERYTHING.  That's why I've taken to calling you Re-Run.  It's like watching Hazel do something... in an instant replay.  Sometimes, it's better... sometimes it's worse... but it is always a replay.  If Hazel pushes a stroller around, you MUST push a stroller around.  If Hazel sits in a big girl chair when we go out to eat, ain't no way we're getting you into a high chair.  If Hazel gets pigtails, you want pigtails. Sadly, your hair is too fine and short to get even one in, but that's okay because you're easily distracted by whatever Hazel is doing at that moment that you need to do that you never notice.  If Hazel is crying about something, it won't take long for you to chime in.  Those are the mornings that Mommy ends up needing a coffee just to stop the shaking.

You're still a magnificent sleeper.  And you're still so even-keeled about most things.  Nothing ever really seems to bother you.  Even when your sister steals your stroller, you calmly go get the other stroller and go on about your day.  That being said, there are days when you have no problem dealing with your big sissy through brute strength.  Seriously, baby girl.  You've got some serious muscle definition in your arms.  Which comes in handy when you're trying to manhandle your older sister.  Which is daily. 

The tough times in the last few months have been when you've been teething.  Specifically, teething all four molars at the same time.  Yea. Those were fun times.  Those were times that you were whiny and jealous and needy.  Those were times when the saying:  "When Millie Ain't Happy, Ain't NOBODY Happy" rang ridiculously true.  Those were times when the nickname Millociraptor came into play because of your very distinct cry of AARRRGGHHHH... which indicated that something displeased you.  Or pleased you.  Or was simply... there.

You are such a special little girl, Millie.  The spirit and life you bring to our family is simply beautiful.

And I don't know why we waited a whole 16 months after having Hazel to have you!!!


Conversations With a Two-Year-Old

Because in 20 years, I want to remember some of these conversations. 

"What's dat, Mommy?"
"Dat!  Wookit!! What's dat?"
"That looks like... a leaf."
"Noooo.  Dat's not a weaf."
"Yes it is.  It's a leaf."
"NO!  It's  NOT a weaf!"
"I think it is.  See?  It's green and..."
"Well what is it, then?"
*And then inspiration*
"Hazel, the sky is blue."
"No.  The sky is not bwue...."


Sniff. Sniff. Hmmm.....
"Did you just go poopie?"
Whispers conspiratorially: "No. We don't go poopie in our pull-ups, Mommy."


"You are good."
"I good."
"You are kind."
"I kind."
"You are smart."
"I fart."
"Um... no. You are smart."
"I fart."
"Say I am ssssmmmmart."
"I ffffaaarrrttt. I FART! I eat some farties!"


"I not a she, Mommy!"
"You're not? What are you?"
"I'm a girl."


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Currently Trying To Get My Number Back

Written yesterday. Published today.  Because it took me a full day to be able to semi-laugh about it.  

I cannot tell you how much this morning sucked.  Hazel cried and whined all. morning. long.  

She also hit me.


So, she had a timeout in her room.  Where she did even more whining and crying and FREAKING THE EFF OUT.  

(And here's where I should admit that since we discovered that our house was about to burn down for the last, oh, year because of a faulty breaker, we have had to turn off the power to my bathroom and her bedroom.  So, even though I opened the blinds in her room, it's not light.  Not dark, but not light.)

So, there's that.  

And that makes me the mom that puts her kid in a room that doesn't have light... because the only other option is to go all wolf spider on her and eat her just to stop the MOTHER LOVIN' WHINING. 

And Millie - or Re-Run as I'm now calling her - has to do whatever her sissy does.  And apparently, no one cries in Millie's presence alone.  So... you can imagine the cacophony of whining and crying at the house this morning. It was really something.  Really. I think I made a great impression on the neighbors.  Once again.  Which is why the windows remain closed at our house even in the summer.

Benny says they whine because I respond to it.  Which is totally true.  And I know it.  And it's making me miserable.  Because I was really getting the hang of having a 2-year-old, and kind of enjoying being able to Love and Logic her to get what I want.  But now?  Now she's turned into a master of insubordination and outright defiance at anything and everything I say or do.  Last week?  I was told not to whistle.  BY A TWO YEAR OLD.  Two days ago, I was told not to touch my hair while I was driving her to school.  BY A TWO YEAR OLD THAT I BROUGHT INTO THIS WORLD. A two year old who I would die for without a second thought told me to stop touching my hair.  Because it was somehow offending her two-year-old sensibilities of what is permissible in her world.  And in her world, she is apparently in charge of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE.  And DON'T TOUCH YOUR HAIR, MOMMY is a totally acceptable request.  And if I'm unable or unwilling to execute that order, the tantrum that I have just asked for is End of the World-worthy.

Which is why we've started gently reminding her to use nice words like please, thank you and 'YOUR HAIR LOOKS PRETTY, MOMMY... and that Mommy is in charge.  And sometimes Daddy is in charge.  But mostly, it's Mommy. 

To that end, I'm also miserable because the insubordination and an overall failure to remember who is in charge around here when it comes to most things often leads to timeouts.  And I really hate  the timeouts because... OMG, 2-year-olds in timeouts are total you-know-whats.  And then you feel like an even bigger you-know-what because you put them in their room with no light to turn on... but seriously, that temper tantrum thrown on the floor of the living room or kitchen is not only unacceptable, it's also dangerous. At least the room has carpet and a soft bed for her to throw herself onto with a reasonable expectation of not busting her head open.


So, today I practiced the art of not losing my mind while they both whined and cried ALL UP IN MY GRILL while I was trying to get ready for work.  I practiced the art of stepping over each of them as they lay on the ground, kicking their feet in the air and screaming at the top of their lungs for no other reason than because I made the 2-year-old eat off of an orange (oh the humanity!!) plate this morning, rather than the pink plate she wanted.  You know, the one she only wanted after she saw the 1-year-old eating off of it.  I gracefully made my way around them as they (yes, plural) sobbed uncontrollably because I didn't put the 2-year-old's strawberries in the blue bowl and OMG... what am I trying to do, KILL HER WITH THE PURPLE BOWL?  

So, yea... I just ignored it, thinking it would stop.  And with Millie, it did.  She eventually got distracted by her thumb and a few well-placed Cheerios on the ground (cuz I cheat that way).  But, Hazel... I mean, she can't whine and cry forever can she?  CAN SHE? And if she does whine forever, won't that mean eventually, she'll be someone else's problem?  Someone who gets paid to put up with this?  Like an orderly at a mental institution?  Because if this keeps up, one of us is gonna end up in a mental institution.  And honestly?  Not sure if I care which one of us it is... 

But I digress.  After the tantrum had gone on for a few minutes, I decided to time it to see how long it would last before she cried herself out and went on about her day.  

Thirty. Minutes. 

Thirty minutes in the house and then the 15 minute drive to day care. FORTY. FIVE. MINUTES.  Cried the entire time.  

The. Entire. Time. 

But - and this is why I think know she's got my number - as soon as we pull up to day care, she stopped crying, put on a happy face and acted as if the morning NEVER. EVEN. HAPPENED 

Mother of all that is unholy in my life. I just got punk'd.