From an email to my sister on 10/26…
my mouth hurts.
when i got home yesterday nothing nothing nothing had been done – the kitchen was a mess, bill was still lying on the couch with his migraine, and oh yeah, alex was pitching a fit in the car because i wouldn’t let him stay in there and listen to his dinosaur cd til the very end. i had to remove him from the car, maneuver him into the house, pull his shoes and coat off while he writhed on the floor like a…a….a tantrum-throwing-4-year-old-boy, and then carry his flailing angry little body up the stairs and dump him on his bed. Oh yeah, while he was still in the car trying to elude my grasp, he looked at me and said "Stupid!" which, as we all know, is not nice. He stayed up there shrieking and wailing until I felt like dealing with him, and he finally apologized and that was it, and that stuff i made didn’t come out as good as i’d hoped – good thing i made plenty of guacamole. julia needed to go potty only 4 times or so last night. the last time i was just at the end of my patience (there isn’t much to begin with it seems) and i asked her "are you all done?" (from doing nothing but singing and swishing her hair) and she said "nope!" and I said fine, i’m setting a timer. You have one minute to do SOMETHING. After that – back to your crib. I’m sure there are parenting magazines and experts who don’t recommend setting a timer for your child on the potty – so fine, she’ll need therapy for something ANYWAY…so the timer goes off, she has done nothing but sing "the wheels on the bus" and swish her hair, so I tell her it’s time to go back in her crib, and I lift her off the toilet, and ALL THE TORTURED DEMONS OF HELL SCREAM FROM HER LITTLE MOUTH. And then she flops down on her knees and cries, because i am so mean, and so fine – FINE – I put her back on the toilet and I swear she used every ab muscle in her little body to squeeze out one single drop of pee – basically a big F.U. Mommy – and then back to her crib, quite agreeably. And then – Mommy – I need some juice….so I grabbed the cup from her in the dark because FINE – and she laughed. LAUGHED AND LAUGHED. And I brought it back to her and she laughed some more. Mere, did I do something really bad to someone in a previous life? I must have.
Oh my…uh…oh my. I dont know what to say. What do you do in that sort of situation? You cant laugh, because then she will think you think its ok to have fun in the middle of the night when youre supposed to be sleeping. I just dont know.
I don’t know either, Mere. I don’t know. I don’t know. I feel my sanity just slip-sliding away in those moments. She just laughs if I get angry. They both think it’s hysterically funny. I don’t know what to do. Well, this morning they were both saying "No!" to everything – come on, it’s time to brush your teeth, hold still, let me brush your hair, etc. No no no no no. With smiles. Julia sat down on the little stool in the bathroom with her back to me – didn’t want to put her pants back on after going potty. No! And she plunked down with a proud little grin. So I finally got them out the door and into the car. Then they wanted to listen to the dinosaur CD. And I said no, because they weren’t doing what I’d asked them to do earlier, so they couldn’t listen to this now. Not much reaction to it. Then when we were driving by Toys R Us, Alex said (as he does every time) that he really wants to go to the toy store soon. And I said "yes, I know, but this morning when I asked you to come brush your teeth you kept saying no, so if you’re not going to do the things I ask you to do, you’re not going to be going to the toy store any time soon." Kind of a long speech, but I kept the words simple, hoping it would hit home.
There was a bit of silence, and then he asked "Is it closed?"
From an email on October 25…
Julia is thrilled that I moved my rolltop desk upstairs…she likes to go hide in that corner now…and crawl under the desk and peek out with her impish little smile.
She really knows how to use her eyes, too. Not just to see with – but the LOOKS she has mastered already!!!!! She is such a ham. She was singing in the basement the other day…I think she was singing ring around the rosie or something…and in the middle somewhere, she’d just stop and say "I’m dead" and fall, face down, on the floor. And then laugh. And get up and do it again.
She was singing "baa baa black sheep" last night – "…one for the after and one for the day…" something like that.