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Hopes, Fears, and the Occasional Screaming Heeby-Jeebies

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March 7th, 2009


12:09 am - What Childey is Up To Lately
Agh. She says more funny things in the course of a day than I have the memory banks to record.

She has started on "why." Getting it backwards, of course, like she used to do with her pronouns: "Frito has whiskers is because he is a CAT!" She's not yet asking "why" about stuff, but oh, it's coming.

I am still mostly "Mommy," but every once in a while a very matter-of-fact "Mom" pops out. She seems so grown up when she calls me "Mom." (She seems very grown up lately, period.) Aaaand she occasionally calls me "Mother," because the kid-mice in The Secret of NIMH call Mrs. Brisby "Mother," so she has picked that up. It's a crackup, especially in context such as yesterday in the fish-pet store: "Let's look at more of these tank-swimming animals, Mother." Actual utterance. I nearly fell on the floor.

Still obsessed with animals. She knows who's an herbivore, who's a carnivore, who's an omnivore, and what all that stuff means. She knows who's lupine, who's ursine, who's bovine, etc. She's learning about tadpoles now, and we're going to a frog class thingy at a local children's museum next week.

She's generally becoming a functioning, participating little Person. She's not a baby any more!

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February 9th, 2009


11:59 pm - So Cozy
This afternoon, LT and I took a nap in Charles-and-my bed.

Usually LT naps in the car. I know. Shut up. But napping in the car does serve a purpose in that it gets me out of the house. Fighting the Chronic Depresso as I do, it's really important for me to simply leave the house on many days, even if it's for no good reason at all. So, car naps have been the thing for, well, um. Years.

Over last weekend, though, LT developed an interest in blankets. She never wanted to sleep under a blanket before, but last weekend something clicked and she thought it would be nice and cozy to have a blanket.

Today we built on that, and cajoled her into taking a nap in an actual bed, covered with actual blankets. And I partook as well. I've always loved napping with the girly. It's even nicer now that she is a substantial size and I don't have to worry about crushifying her in my sleep.

Charles being unemployed these last few weeks has also been pretty great for our lifestyle -- minus the not having any money thing, of course. We can take Leila out to fun stuff, and we both get to watch her have fun. Last Friday, we went to a local children's museum for a little class about opossums. She got to pet a possum and do a couple of possum-related crafts. Normally she hates crafts, but she did these happily.

The best part of Charles being home is, I can finally put dinner on the table when I want to! Which means 5 or 5:30, which is when I'm actually hungry, but not yet starving, like I often am by 6 or 6:30. We're done with dinner by 6 or earlier! And then LT goes to bed. Some nights we've gotten LT down with lights out by 7 p.m. and I feel so freeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I like it. A lot.

Now if we could just live like this AND have, um, income, that would be great!

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January 12th, 2009


08:59 pm - Another Lovely Day
This morning I took Leila to the library for the first time in, gosh, probably a couple of months. And she went in underpants. Pants too, of course. But under the pants, she was wearing underpants. You know, instead of a diaper. She wore underpants in the car! She wore underpants at the library! It was her first time wearing underpants out of the house and she kept 'em dry. Peed in the library toilet twice. Wooyay!

While we were reading a book together, Leila read the word "stop." I pointed to it, asked her what it said, and she just said it. Didn't sound it out or anything. She read it! It may be as simple as "stop is a sight word I didn't know she had," but whatever. It's a word, and she knew what it was. I threw a little party right there in the library. A couple of pages later, I asked her to read the word "mess." She hesitated, so I asked her what sound "m" makes. She told me, and then proceeded to sound out the rest of the word on her own and conclude: "Mess!" Party redux!

A little later, a mom and her four kids came in. Leila was careening around the room, hugging a large stuffed elephant that was obstructing her view, and she nearly crashed into one of the kids -- a little girl who looked about 2. I reminded her to watch where she's going & be careful, because she nearly ran into that little girl. And Leila turned to the little girl and said, "I'm sorry." Which made me wanna yell WOOOO HOOOO! Politeness! Courtesy! Consideration! She has it! It's in there! Mommy is not a broken record about please-thankyou-you'rewelcome-godblessyou-excuseme for nothing! IT'S WORKING.

The capper was, Leila decided when she was ready to leave (she often does this lately. I give her a couple of warnings that we're going to leave soon, but then she ends up telling me she's ready to go) and then started cleaning up her toy mess without me prompting her. What a good giirrrrrlll.

We went out to the main circ desk so she could get her handstamps (there are always a few seasonal rubber stamps on the counter) and they just happened to be snowflakes and a baby seal! She was thrilled.

We went home, had lunch, and spent the rest of the day playing with a bunch of her Christmas and birthday loot. It was fun. Charles came home for the night, and over dinner Leila and I regaled him with tales of all the grown-up things she did at the library this morning. Sheeeeee is peachy.

I need to get a new default icon for this journal. She's only barely a baby anymore!

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January 9th, 2009


09:26 pm - A great day
LT and I had a wonderful day today. I got up at a decent hour to get us out the door in time to make an 11 a.m. doctor appointment down in Fairfield County, over an hour away. (Charles and I still use a bunch of our downstate doctors because we like them.) Leila actually slept on the way down, from 10 to 11. Her first morning nap in months and months!

At the doctor's office she played happily and chattily with the stash of plastic dinosaurs in the waiting room. A woman waiting with us commented on Leila's vocabulary and how "smart" she is. The dinosaurs gave each other piggyback rides.

After the doctor visit, we went to the stupid ugly Trumbull mall, because their KB Toys is going out of business, and Leila had a ten-dollar KB gift card that we needed to use up. Leila held my hand all through the mall, and walked on her whole foot and not her baby tippytoes, and was generally a cherub. I caught at least three people (all older women) casting gentle smiles our way.

I got us pizza from Sbarro and she sat up in a regular chair and ate her pizza and did not lean and wobble all over the place. I made sure I told her how good she was being, how proud I was. Her sitty-uppy cuteness earned her more smiles from grandmotherly female strangers.

After we demolished the pizza, we went off to KB, where Leila picked out a dark green Beanie Baby bear, a large spiky-winged pointy-fanged purple plastic dragon, finger paints, and a My Little Pony that smells like a strawberry. You cannot pigeonhole my child. The whole shebang cost $10.66. Hooray for going out of business!

I got Leila out of KB with no trouble, and we headed home. About halfway there, I decided to call huskyprof to see if his Fam wanted some company for a few hours. So we popped over to visit The Prof and his dog, and about half an hour later the lovely ProfWife and ProfChild came home. The Prof himself slipped out to go teach a class, so Leila and I hung out with our ProfPals for a couple of hours, which was great. I can't wait until our kids are old enough and our bank accounts are secure enough that we can all go to Disney World together.

And then we went home and had some snuggle time watching internet videos on the couch, and then Charles came home and we had dinner. It was a wonderful day. She was cranky here and there, but mostly she was just so good. A level of good that I haven't seen since -- well, since before she turned two!

It's nice to know she can still be that easygoing. It's clear that she and I feed off of one another -- if I'm crabby, she's going to be crabby, and vice versa. Today it was smooth sailing for both of us. I feel like we've had a Girls' Day Out!

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January 7th, 2009


02:39 pm - That's What Little Girls Are Made Of
This morning I was reciting and singing a bunch of nursery rhymes to Leila, and we'd gotten to "What are little girls/boys made of," which she likes. I sing it to a tune that I can't remember if I made up myself, or if it's something from my own childhood.

So I sang to her about boys being made of frogs and snails and puppy-dog tails, and then about girls being made of sugar and spice and everything nice. "Like butterflies and flowers," I added. "Nice things like that."

"Are you made of sugar and spice and everything nice?" I asked her.

Her response: "No. Just spiders."

That's my girl.

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December 12th, 2008


07:50 pm - Potty Training Update -- Now With Bribery!
This past summer, we spent over a month jamming Leila onto the toilet at regular intervals to see if she'd go. In all those weeks, she peed in the toilet exactly once.

She could spout the whole potty training litany chapter & verse: "You want to pee in the toilet, not in your pants. Then you will be DRY! Being dry is GOOD!" But nothing ever happened. She clearly wasn't ready, so we stopped.

About a month ago, I decided to try again, and bought her some underpants. At first I had to practically pin her to her diaper table to get the underpants onto her. After a few days she accepted the underpants, and after a week and a half or so, she was asking to wear underpants.

What was going on inside the underpants was another story. She was having lots of accidents, which served to finally get her to understand that the pee was coming from her. This, of course, was a huge turning point, and she began telling us, "I'm peeing. I peed," whether she was wearing the underpants or a diaper. She began to find even the most slightly damp diaper intolerable. Hooray!

After a couple of weeks of this, it became clear that she could "hold it" for a couple of hours, but she wasn't always letting go of it when we sat her on the toilet. And so, more accidents. I was like, goshdarn, she can do it, I know she can do it, how are we going to move this process ALONG already?

This week I started a reward system. I hadn't wanted to do that, but damn it works. Every time she pees in the toilet, she gets a sticker on her toilet chart. She has something to connect the peeing to: toiletpee = sticker, hooray for me. So far we're using these awesome Animals of Alaska stickers clocktor got her when he and makebi went on their Alaskan cruise last year. She LOVES them and plans which ones she's going to choose, several pees out.

We've been at it for three days and she is peeing in the toilet like a champ and keeping dry in between. Usually we have to tell her, "OK, it's time to go sit on the toilet," but a couple of times now, she's been the one to say she needs to go. It's very exciting! I have only the tiniest glimpse of what life will be like with a toilet-trained child, and I am liking it, big-time.

Leila likes it too. After she goes in the toilet, we make a habit of yelling and screaming and high-fiving and then Leila goes hippityhopping around the house with nothing on her tush, yelling, "HA! HA HA! HA HA HA HA HAHAHAHAHA! I am laughing like a hyena! HAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!" The laughing is freaking awesome and I want to get it on tape, though I do not wish to embarrass the child by videotaping her bare butt.

Then we get her dressed again, wash hands, and she gets to pick out her newest sticker, which is then applied to the chart. She loves the chart and carries it around with her, talking about it, naming and describing all the animals, counting them, talking about which sticker she's going to choose next, etc. etc. etc.

So thank heaven for stickers. They are making my child pee.

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September 5th, 2008


09:30 pm - Cockroach Fashion for Fall '08
Leila is still really into the concept of Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches. We met one at Dinosaur State Park a few weeks ago -- it was the featured animal in the live animal demonstration that day -- and she was very impressed.

So impressed, that she will still bust out, apropos of nothing, with "YOU MET...A HISSING...COCKROACH!!!" And then we go into a little bit about the hissing cockroach, and what it says, and whether it's a boy or a girl, and whether Leila liked it, and blablabla.

This morning Leila added a few embellishments that I thought were worth preserving. Here is, more or less, what she said. Imagine me inserting very interested-sounding "uh huhs" and "oh reallys" and a gentle reminder that cockroaches don't have hair, every so often as the child basically filibusters.

Spaketh thee chiyuld:

You met a HISSING COCKROACH! And he said...sssssssssss. He said it VERY QUIETLY. And we had to be quiet and happy and clever, so we could hear him. Because he was very quiet. And you had to be quiet and happy and clever! And he was a BOY cockroach. And he doesn't have WINGS. And GIRL cockroaches wear barrettes on their heads! They wear pink barrettes. DARK PINK. They wear a dark pink barrette with a lee-ul SHEEP on it. Girl cockroaches wear barrettes in their hair. And the barrette has a LEE-UL cockroach on it! A lee-ul tiny cockroach! Is on the barrette!



And that was basically it. When I tried to get her to rehash this aria for Charles tonight, she just looked kind of embarrassed, but she did confirm that the barrette has a lee-ul tiny cockroach on it.

This, people. This is my child.

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August 18th, 2008


10:23 pm - Bra Baby
Leila likes to watch me put on my bra. I don't know why. She doesn't drop whatever she's doing when I put on my pants or socks, but the minute she sees me beginning to strap on the infernal contraption, she initiates our almost-daily Bra Convo, which begins with her announcing,

"Mommy is putting on herrrrr...?"

At this point, I am supposed to fill in the blank, even though she knows damn well by know that what I'm putting on is a brassiere, familiarly known as a bra.

"Her bra. This is a bra, woogy."

"Mommy is putting on her BRA!"

And then I usually go on to explain that bras are meant to hold up your breasts, and that she doesn't have breasts because she's a little girl, and little girls don't have breasts, but someday when she is a bigger girl and a grown-up lady, then she will have breasts.

And then I usually can't resist editorializing something about how I hope she will have nice breasts, "like Mommy used to have, before she had you."

I knew it was only a matter of time before Leila started parroting this stuff back at me. I have been waiting for us to be in the grocery store, perhaps squeezing the fresh produce, and for Leila to begin rhapsodizing loudly about someday being a big girl who has breasts.

Well, it's coming.

This morning, she stopped right in the middle of my bedroom floor, clutching various toys, to begin the Bra Discussion. Yeeees, it's a bra, Leila. You know it's a bra. Little girls don't wear bras.

"When you are a big girl and a big lady, you will have breasts!" she chirped.

"That's right, L.T." I said.

"You will have nice comfy breasts," she asserted.

I just smiled and made a mental note to inform the internet.

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August 14th, 2008


08:29 pm - Fever Update
An hour and a half ago, at 7 p.m., she was down to 100.2. Much better. I gave her the ibuprofen and tried with the Pedialyte, but she insists that it is yucky.

She's much perkier than before I gave her the Tylenol and ibuprofen. She's reciting her various books and making up a story about a girl blue dog named Mark. Whew.

I think we are going to try to swing the bedtime routine now. A bit late, but better late than never.

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06:50 pm - Sickies
The Beeb is running a fever of 103.7.

CRAP. This is bad. Ever since she had that febrile seizure in April '07, we're supposed to try to keep her temp lower than 102.

Crappitycrap.

She's in a lukewarm bath right now. It has cooled her off & perked her up to the point where she is requesting food. Charles is feeding her bits of peanut butter and jelly bagel. Tylenol has been administered, and after the bath there will be Motrin and Pedialyte and more undignified takings of body temperature.

Crap. I really hate this. I really, REALLY, REAAAAALLY don't want her to have another seizure. I know the chances of that happening are pretty low, but I'm freaking out anyway.

Must to go baste thee child with bathwater.

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