Thursday, August 12, 2010

The kids

Vicodin makes me REALLY happy. Don't worry; I've only take one a day since the temporary crowns went on. But I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts, that's for sure.

I think my gums may hurt more than they're supposed to. I finally got up the courage to floss back there today after not doing it for two days. YEOW. If they still hurt like this tomorrow, I'll call the dentist.

It's a good thing I love my dentist so much (I floss now! Every day! And I don't hate it! This is how good this guy is!) because I hate everything else tooth-related.

Man, I have so many things to write about, but the funny just is not coming. So I'm giving up on this section now. Maybe once my tooth feels better.

The rest of this is just updates on the kids. Haven't talked about them much lately. I know some of you probably aren't that interested in that, so I figured I'd warn you before you waded through a page of KIDS! KIDS! KIDS!

The Child is entering the terrible twos. Her new favorite things is to test my resolve. Disciplining her is not my most favorite thing in the world, but it has to be done. On days when I get lazy and let her get away with things, her overall demeanor is whiny and unhappy the entire day. On days when I'm firm and consistent from the start, she's a ball of sunshine (aside from one or two "tests" in the morning).

We had an especially long back-and-forth this morning. It usually happens when I tell her or ask her to do something, and she refuses out of the blue. Usually it's something she ordinarily does with glee. Fifteen minutes later, she finally gave up and let me hold her for the next ten. She's so BUSY these days that I cherish those times when she does want to cuddle. Even if they're preceded by fifteen minutes of crying and swattings, and both of us are sobbing messes.

It's amazing to me that the child who inherited my people pleasing gene has such a stubborn streak. It's exhausting sometimes, but I really see the difference on the days I do my job.

The good? Well, she's talking up a storm. A few weeks ago, her behavior turned HORRIBLE for a few days. That week at church was kind of a nightmare. She took a very long nap that Sunday, and then slept like a rock that night. When she woke up, she was using sentences. Not, "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog," but, "I see you." Creepy! And, "Want -----," and, "This is -----," and a few others.

She doesn't talk much when we're around other people (sometimes her shyness worries me; maybe I should make her get a waitressing gig), but at home she never shuts up. And I could listen to it all day (MUST record some of this so she can listen when she's older). She'll sit down on the couch with a book and read to herself for half an hour at a time. "Baby? Man. Boy. Babyman. Emmy? Want bread? Baby bird. MAMA BIRD! Ooooh, Gwace!" with a bunch of nonsense mixed in.

The kid is an outstanding mimic. She's not mastered all the sounds of the English language, but she has inflections and intonations down perfectly. Whenever she surprises me with some disaster (cat food dumped out, crayon all over one of her books, water knocked off the coffee table), the first thing I almost always say is, "Ooooh, Grace!" with much annoyance. She started shouting that at random a few weeks ago. She sounds just like me.

I don't think I'll be getting away with anything anytime soon, either. It's like having a brutally honest mirror held up to my face at all times.

She's still painfully shy. She's gotten better about dealing with it, but I still worry sometimes. I don't know what to do about it. Emmy still needs to be carried much of the time, so going places with her and Grace is hard. She's too large to go comfortably in the wrap (the holds that work for a baby her age mean my teeth and or chin will quickly become embedded the back of her head), and she hates the sling more than anything on Earth.

I can't focus on more than one thing at a time. They always said I'd learn once I had kids, but those were the same people who told me I'd become a morning person. If I'm holding Emmy, and Grace is screaming, and someone is trying to talk to me, my brain shorts out. I love my friends, but hanging out with them while I have the kids is completely exhausting. So I avoid it. And, of course, that just digs the hole deeper. Feh.

Other than that, though, Grace is a delight. I look forward to waking her up in the morning. It wasn't so long ago that I couldn't say that.

I'm going to admit to something that's going to sound strange, and maybe kind of awful here. Grace stopped sleeping for several months while I was pregnant with Emmy. I have never been so exhausted in my life. And it went on for so long. And it wasn't just that I was sleep deprived and pregnant. Grace's behavior was pretty bad much of the time, too, because she was sleep-deprived.

I stopped liking her for a long time. I loved her, but I didn't like her. I didn't enjoy her most of the time.

I didn't realize how miserable I was until we were past it. The resentment (that word is a little strong for what I'm trying to say) didn't start going away until Emmy was a couple months old. How awful is that? I'm not blaming Grace. She was a baby, for Pete's sake. But that's just how it was. It's such a relief not to feel that way anymore. I'm so thankful.

Emmy is rolling all over town now. No more leaving her on the living room floor to gape at the ceiling fan while I tend to Grace for the duration of lunch. If I'm going to be out of the room for more than ten, I need to strap her down. Diaper changing has become an Olympic sport. It's like trying to tie down a cloud of gnats.

She can't sit up yet. I blame it on her ridiculously long torso and bowling ball head. That and her intense desire to eat her toes, even if it means diving head-first onto the floor or ramming her face into the front of the Bumbo. But she IS getting up on her hands and knees and rocking already. She face-plants immediately, which is hilarious, but she can get up there.

The two of them are night and day. I think Grace was just mastering rolling at this point, but she could sit.

When do children first start to develop a sense of humor? Emmy has taken to pressing her face up against the nearest smooth surface, blowing a raspberry, and then looking around for a reaction. If you giggle, she rewards you with a face-splitting grin. I swear this is the baby version of making jokes. I also know I'm biased.

Music stops her dead. Grace likes music, but I don't think she really responded to it until she was much older. Emmy was just a couple of months old when I discovered that playing the flute would make her stop whatever she was doing (screaming, most likely) and stare in wonder. I was practicing piano for church the other night, and I turned around to see her across the living room, staring at the piano like a herd of sparkly unicorns had just burst from the top.

Oh my. It's 1:30. I may want to go to sleep, yes?

1 comment:

  1. I love your comparison between trying to change Emmy's diaper and attempting to strap down a cloud of gnats. :) My second was the same way. Ultimately I found that it worked better not to strap her down. She considered the strap a challenge but would be still much better if I didn't do it. Plus, knowing that there was nothing holding her there and that I was completely responsible kept me more attentive. Nowadays I usually hold on to an ankle, I figure if she attempts to dive-bomb from the table at least she'll just end up dangling by a leg. Of course, she's a lot older than Emmy. About the same weight, though. :)

    That's really cool about the music! Maybe she'll retain that love of music and be a musician someday. My husband was playing around with a new recorder he bought today, and it was rather shrill. I taught the girls to pretend to be doggies barking at the noise. Bad Mommy.

    It's really awesome how honest you are about not liking Grace for a while when she was having that really rough stage. I think it's absolutely true that there are points when we just don't really like or enjoy our kids, or when we prefer one over the other because one of them is easier/behaving better/more understandable to us. It's a good thing we've got that mother-love going to get us through those patches!