snippets

Snippets: talking V

We're at the grocery store, me and V. She needs more bubble bath. So I ask her, "Do you want Dora, Elmo, the Hulk, Cars, Mr. Bubble, Princesses, or Spiderman?" She looks at all her choices for a good minute. So many colors, so many options. I start to get impatient, "Which one, V?!" Finally she says, "But they're all so pretty!"

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Never a good sleeper, for the longest time V nursed to sleep in our bed. Finally, at 28 months old, we'd nurse for a few minutes and then she'd get in her crib and sleep there for a few hours before coming to our bed. Now she goes to sleep in her own twin bed. We don't nurse until later, when she comes to our bed and she's too sleepy and cranky to keep her feelings in check. Our routine is this: read two books, get into bed with at least one of the books, arrange animals, lights off, R or I count to 100, then we leave her to fall asleep on her own. The counting really helps her get ready for the few hours of separation. I lay down on the bed to count and she hugs my arm, "I'll have you Mama," she says. I know she'd rather nurse, but I need a break. I need it to end sooner rather than later. It's difficult for the both of us.

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Sitting at the table having lunch, V says, "Two plus two is four." She's been saying that for a while now, but then when you'd ask her what three plus two is (or anything else), she'd still say four. "That's right," I say, "but what's three plus two? Do you know?" "Yes," she says, and she thinks for a moment longer. "Five." "You're right, it's five. So then what's five plus two?" ... "Do you know?" "Yes," she says. She looks at one of her hands, fingers spread wide. "Seven," she announces. R and I look at each other, a little shocked. "Ok, well what's five minus three?" She thinks. "It's two." I look at her and think, I hope she's always this fearless with numbers.


Snippets: our day

This morning, we have cereal for breakfast. R and I have Special K. V has Kix. This is the second box of Kix I've ever bought for her. The first one was long enough ago that she doesn't remember it. She loves the Kix. She picks them up one at a time and eats them saying, "I see a Kick!"

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Last winter, V and I each got sick six times from January to March. This year, I've kept us home a lot. Neither of us has been sick, which is wonderful, but now V is afraid of all other kids. Last week I took her to the little inside playground at the mall. We got there right when it opened and stayed half an hour - until she started getting uncomfortable as the kidlets poured in. She wouldn't slide down the slide even once because other kids were there, and my natural-born climber needed help climbing up into the little red car they have. Today we were going to go to the park, but rain was threatening so we went back to the mall. She still avoided/ran away from the kids but she managed to slide several times, and she climbed up into that car on her first try, no trouble at all. I love progress.

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After dinner, R drove back down to Georgia, where he'll be most of the week. I've been relatively ok with his absence, but as he was leaving he told me he loved me and I couldn't say it back immediately because I didn't want to cry and make him sad. V sort of understands what it means when we say he's going to Georgia, to work, and will be back in a few days. She hugged him hard, but she's ok. I know that over the next few days, she'll mention him often, like she did last week, and that when we video call on Skype (love Skype!), he'll give her "kisses" and she will squeal and laugh as though he were actually in the room.


Snippets: very brave and very strong

Fifteen minutes trying to convince V that she must have her hair washed this week. She's screaming, BABY IS VERY VERY BRAVE AND VERY VERY STRONG! Once it's finished and the bubble bath comes out, it's as though nothing ever happened. A bubble bath cures all, even at 2. Even at 38.
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We nurse to sleep at nap. In the evening, we nurse again. She pulls her shirt up and presses her baby belly to mine. After a while, she sits up and hugs me. You love your mommy, you love your mommy! she says as I get up and put her in the crib. It's taken 28 months for her to be able to sleep in the crib for the 1-3 hours she's there every night, for that time so far away from me not to damage her psyche. I tell her, Here's your Tinkerbell pillow, here's your Tasha, here's your supersoft purple blankie. Good night, my sweet girl. You are very, very brave and very, very strong. Mommy loves you. Get some good sleep. Then I walk out the door, free for a little while before I have to start work.
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At her art class, everyone is playing with Play-doh. Bored of the Play-doh after 10 minutes, she's in the other room sitting on the floor by herself, reading their books. They have some of the same ones we have: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? and Guess How Much I Love You? She tells herself the stories while I walk back and forth between the rooms, making sure we don't miss the cue to start the activities. Later, when they bring out instruments, V finagles the triangle for herself (Baby have the triangle?!) and I know that I'm going to have to get her one as soon as I can. She loves it so and hits it in pretty decent time to Mary Had a Little Lamb, which the teacher sings way too fast for these two year olds to keep up.