25 April 2012

X files - 24 Months Old - Not a baby, not yet a girl

thats right. i used a britney spears song title as the inspiration for the title of this post. what of it? it works. X is not a baby anymore, but she not really a little girl. she is an in-between toddler: the years of tantrums and meltdowns and brain and body blowing up and out at amazing speed. hopefully the pace doesnt break my neck, time will tell. im not very sad to wave goodbye to the baby years, though the evolution of walking and talking was a delight to behold. im sure the rest of the journey will be just as fascinating.

* note: now that she is 2, im not sure if i will keep X files every month or every 3 months or something. we shall see *

amazing/amusing phrases: you want me blow on it so i can eat dinner, you too tired to climb the stairs, you want to talk about it on mamas lap
obsessions: looking at poop (her own, bird poop on sidewalks, and most especially puppy poo), looking for flowers, stomping in puddles
food: reindeer
good books: if you give a pig a pancake, if you give a moose a muffin, stinky cheese man and other fairly stupid tales, tub people, strega nona, pete the cat i love my white shoes, the true story of the three little pigs, good-night owl, somebody and the three blairs, 20th century childrens book treasury
(indoor egg hunting; looking for shells; smiles at the park)
(sitting in her little kid chair. she loves that it is her size; sly smile)

X-citing developments:
1. teeth #17, 18. they decided to show up! hooray! 2 more to go.

2. sleep. what a joke. even after the teeth popped out i cant get a good nights sleep. i think the lifetime slept-through-the-night count is at about 4 nights now. i am trying to be patient.

3. car seat. we finally flipped it around (forward facing). after her most recent growth spurt, Xs legs were now long enough to firmly touch the seat back of the car. this new restriction seemed to piss her off to the point of making even a 5 minute drive no fun. she has always hated the restraint created by the car seat and this was just a level of uncomfortable she wouldnt tolerate. i was all for keeping her rear-facing for as long as it made sense (certainly some kids can tolerate rear-facing for much longer, and thats great). but, now that she is forward, she seems to like seeing the traffic lights and talking about what we can both see out the front windshield. weve also been letting her play and climb around in the car while its parked (a good cold weather activity to get out of the house), and she is much more pleasant about getting into and out of her car seat this way. plus, it helped her become more independent in the car routine process, which is always good (i open the door and she can climb up in to her seat and sit down so that all i have to do is buckle her).

4. personality.
- she is obsessed with gross bodily functions (poop, barf, pee). she makes pretend games to encompass these obsessions. when we go outside we are always on the lookout for puppy and bird poop. one of her favorite things at our natural history museum is the display of different animal poops. in fact, when we visited the natural history museum in helsinki, she viewed their poop collection and correctly identified the bunny poop (out of a dozen or so other poops in the display)...i think she has a future in scatology. and she likes other gross things. outside she always points out trash and broken bottles and identifies decayed food bits (someone seems to be doing a banana peel experiment on our street, there are peels in various states of decay up and down the sidewalk). in fact, our street is so littered with student trash that we often have long relationships with the trash outside (i kid you not, there was a plastic bag stuck on a stick that we visited religiously for 2+ months until it finally blew away). i find this amusing, and she doesnt try to touch any of it, so, really i dont care, but the people walking near us must get a good laugh.

- she also loves finding flowers. this spring has been so much fun. starting with the crocuses i drew her attention to the flowers and what they look like before the flower comes out. hearing her say "ooh, ohh! i did not see that. ooh, ooh. daffodils!" is hilarious. and she is learning their names, or at least the local ones that we see growing out of the ground. and we can watch their growth progress every day when we explore the neighborhood.

5. communication.
- she has created a demonic/satan voice when she is being demanding. its pretty red-rum-from-the-shining creepy.

- she has developed a sigh for expressing disappointment or melancholy. its really funny. and she uses it at the right times.

- she says "sure" a lot now in response to things like "X, can you please pick up your animals?"

- she has been doing a lot of "this happened...but this did not happen" to describe different variations of typical situations. 

- one night while getting ready for bedtime i was telling X that her toys were getting ready for bed too. she saw kitty laying nearby and said kitty was sleepy too. i agreed. she said "she lost all her fizz" (a line from her "happy hippo, angry duck" book). and later when she was dawdling while eating her pre-bedtime snack i said that the animals/toys were waiting to go to bed. X said "be patient kitty!" lol.

6. crying spells. in keeping my eyes and ears open, im arriving at the understanding that her crying spells are close to the "trying threes" meltdowns. we do see occasional "typical" tantrums that i think of as being "terrible twos", but im increasingly seeing her shift to the meltdown behavior. so, its helpful to know its a thing that regularly happens and that we just need to set ourselves up to be calm and work through the particular thing that is causing the insanity. this will prevent me from going to the doctor unnecessarily again. damn, that was ridiculous.

7. homeopathy update. we are still working on remedies for her stomach stuff, its inching along slowly. but i will say that i am very pleased with homeopathy in the pain and sickness arena. for teething pain, cold symptoms (runny/stuffy nose and congestion), and coughing, homeopathy stuff has been fantastic for us.

momma mentionables:
1. *TMI alert* pooping at work. yeah, im going there. ive noticed that im so X-focused when we are at home and/or together that my body rarely relaxes and gives itself a break in the form of notifying me that it is okay to take care of bodily functions. or perhaps it knows the joy that is having a small child routinely follow you in to the bathroom and stare at you and talk to you about various things while you are trying to relax and relieve yourself. when will i get my privacy back? age 8? cant wait. thus, my body recognizes when it is at work. every single time. im alone in a quiet place, uninterrupted for 30 minutes and my body starts saying..."hey, you know what would be awesome right now...? going in to a public bathroom, closing the door and sitting in silence." disturbing the kinds of things you look forward to once you have kids.

2. men. i realized, or reminded myself of something. i like being in the company of males (this is not to say that dave isnt a man, or to sound like he isnt "enough"). ive always had male friends and have felt most relaxed with the flow and straight forwardness of male conversation. i like the honesty, the bluntness, the say-what-you-mean no-need-for-translation words they choose, and hell yes i love the crass. i had lots of male friends to play with in my neighborhood as a kid, i have brothers and a loud mouthed dad, i hung with boys at the lunch table and in class in high school, i have phil as a very close friend (and im lucky enough to have dave be understanding enough to let me keep him), i had glen as a friend and coworker in france, i had jean-jacques to be a friend and paternal presence in france, but here...ive got nothing.

yes, ive made some mom friends, and it is very important to know moms of kids who are Xs age, and moms who can help give you a sounding board. and i do very much value the women friends i have from pre-X life. i just think that, on average, men make me most comfortable with myself. i dont even have to talk, i can be happy just listening. if i do speak, i dont have to make sure my filter is properly working. as long as they dont hold back in my presence, i feel most at peace with men.

i re-discovered this while we sat with half a dozen frisbee guys during a break dave had in a tournament. they were poking fun at their buddy who was soon going to have a vasectomy. you can just imagine the jokes they were making...this went on for 30 minutes. i havent smiled or chuckled so much in a very, very long time. THIS is the part of me that i feel has shriveled and nearly died. and i really have no idea how i can sustainably nurture it back to life. as a stay-at-home mom (basically) i have very little possibility of hanging out with a group of males, let alone having them "let their hair down" if ive got X with me. the closest ive got is my new (additional) boss who is male and swears. i like him. it makes me smirk when we have meetings (i probably look like i have an IQ of 9 when i do this), and occasionally i throw out a "crap" or "hell" and a tiny spark lights up in my chest.

anyway, the only other thing to add to this discussion is that i also realize that most of my closest women friends have really fun partners. sometimes i wonder if i like the women all the more because they offer me a chance to hang out with their men. :) and i think, with that sentiment, i may have a solution...to find moms who have cool husbands so that i can get both of my basic needs met. i think thats right, because the few moms im most "attracted to" (tee hee, is that the right phrase?) seem to also have cool partners. so i guess my compass is still working, i just need to keep listening to it.

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