Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Emily's Antics

When it's time for Rosey's nap, a flood of relief overcomes me. She sits on the potty first, then it's stories, then I settle her down with her blanket and her dolly. She likes to rub the tag on her receiving blanket, and the satin ribbon on her dolly's dress. Initially, when she began this comfort technique, it took me awhile to figure out why she kept turning her receiving blanket every which way, apparently looking for something. I love it that kids come up with these endearing ways of comforting themselves. It's just so sweet when you discover them. She doesn't like it when Daddy puts her to bed; he doesn't get the tag thing and he doesn't whisper sweet nothings. Nevertheless, when he comes through the door at 3 pm, she is one happy girl. She LOVES her daddy!

Timothy used nursing as comfort for two-and-a-half years. It was every two hours during the night for two full years. How in the world did I survive? The mothering instinct and the human body never cease to amaze me. There was no outward sign that I was unhealthy from the lack of sleep, nor do I remember feeling particularly crumby. He would have continued had I not fallen pregnant with Emily Rose; my milk diminished around the ninth week gestation, as it did this time.

Back to Emily. When she wakes up, I'm so happy to see her! I go in there and sing and dance for her. My voice is terrible, mind you, but when you make up your own songs, not being able to carry a tune doesn't matter - or so I like to think. She likes my serenading, even though she probably deems it unworthy of recording. If I dance on the queen bed in there, she's even more forgiving of my voice.

If you were a fly on the wall during her waking hours, you would know precisely why I feel the flood of relief at naptime. Let's start with mealtime. She drinks from a regular plastic cup, and though she's good at it, you have to watch her like a hawk. Pieces of food can make their way in her milk, presumably from watching someone (okay, it's Daddy) dip graham crackers into his milk. If grahams taste good dipped, why not my broccoli, or my chicken for that matter?

She's great with a spoon and fork - miraculously so - compared to the boys at the same age. But she's not great at keeping her plate close to her chest, so some spoonfuls make their way down her front. Bibs aren't much help. Then there's the fact that she can't stand her hands to be messy. I always give her a napkin, but if she's already used it enough (who knows what standard she has set for when a napkin reaches this overused status) she'll use her hair to wipe her hands. Lovely.

She eats Frosted Mini Wheats for breakfast, about half the time, along with some banana and a bit of OJ. The mini-wheats fit wonderfully on her spoon, and all is well, until she takes to pulling them apart and studying them. These wondrous, wheaty, fiber-filled strings end up EVERYWHERE. The clean up is oh so joy-filled, if you know what I mean.

Speaking of joy-filled clean up, let's talk about lunchtime. Daniel and Timothy weren't given peanut butter until 2.5 years old. Pediatricians now believe that holding off has little if any value, if there are no food allergies in the family. So we began giving Emily peanut butter at eighteen months (a thin layer only). It is, decidedly, a wonderful food. Full of good stuff, made palatable by some sugar and fat. My kids are all lean and we stick to lean meats, so the extra fat is probably needed.

Recently Emily has taken to pulling her sandwich apart, so she can lick off the peanut butter, thereby getting a direct hit of the best part of the ensemble, in her opinion. The problem is that some of the sticky stuff gets on her hands during this operation. Of course she hates that. It eventually makes its way to - you guessed it - her lovely blond curls. They wipe things off real good, thinks she. The edges of the table all around her area are also full of peanut butter, before the relaxing (NOT!) meal is over.

She has learned how to turn knobs, so merely shutting the bathroom doors is of no value. Our never-ending babyproofing solution was to lock the first door, and put a gate up before the second door. Our bathrooms happen to be right next to each other, for some crazy reason. The door is not easy to unlock, but so far no one has had an accident from the effort.

After she sits on the potty, I stand her on a preschool chair so she can wash her hands. If someone forgets to put up the gate - she somehow instinctively knows it immediately - she scurries down the hall to the second bathroom. She moves the chair over to the sink and turns on the water. The horror of this practice is that once recently, I caught her standing there with the hot water on full blast. She didn't stick her hands in it, thank God. The grace of God is at work in this girl's life, let me tell you. I now have to go get the preschool chair every time I put her on the potty. We can't keep it in there anymore, and my belly is now too big to pick her up for hand washing.

The boys didn't fall in love with washing their hands, but Rosey thinks it great. She loves to turn the Dove soap around and around in her hands, like she's seen us do. Makes her feel grown up. Girls like to feel grown up, I'm learning. Boys like to be pampered much longer, or so it seems.

Timothy cracks me up about the hand washing. If you ask him if he remembered to wash, he'll tell you that he flushed the toilet with his foot. "My hands didn't even get dirty!" He smiles at us while saying it, as though we should be amazed at his cleverness. LOL Unfortunately for him, Mommy is of the opinion that as soon as you step foot in a bathroom, your hands need washed.

My Emily also has these amazingly strong hands and fingers. She can hang from a cupboard, a fence, her crib rail - you name it. I definitely do not remember the boys hanging, with their whole weight, at this same age. I once heard a speech teacher from my school tell a parent that if a child can hang from a monkey bar, without help, that indicates they're probably ready for potty training. Potty training, speech, handling spoons and crayons, etc. are all fine-motor skills. She is not potty taught yet, but I really think we are choosing the right time to start the process.

I just know we're headed for more trouble soon, due to her amazingly strong fingers (and I guess arms?). Any day now, I expect her to be UP ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER, looking for the graham crackers. I just hope I can keep up this hyper-alertness, so as to catch her in the act before disaster hits.

Never a dull moment. That's why, when it's time for her nap, a flood of relief overcomes me.

1 comment:

Terra said...

What a great post! I could have written that one. My daughter is almost 2 1/2, and shares many of the characteristics you just described. She always has to have a napkin to keep her hands clean, thankfully, we are out of the hands in the hair stage! She is a monkey, too. We have rings in our basement, and she swings totally upside down. She also hangs upside down from the side of our island, and it scares me that her hands will slip and she will land on her head on the tile - ouch!

My daughter loves the new blueberry muffin frosted mini wheats!

Have you tried the covers that clip onto doorknobs. They are wonderful! Also, do you know that you can turn your water heater down to 120 degrees to avoid burns from hot water?

Again, great post!