Middle of the Night Stream of Consciousness

November 27th, 2010

Thanksgiving was lovely. Thankers included the Hills of Irvine, Jeremy Sr., Xtine, David, David Gordon, and us. And Connie and Eric and Chelan stopped by. We enjoyed a bit of the beautiful day over in the park. Whole Foods supplied a delicious dinner. Megan supplied delicious pies. The kids played nicely. It was just a really great day.

Since then, Vibble’s had an on-and-off fever. When the fever is on, she just wants to watch BBC Oceans or Road Runner and snuggle. Poor hot little thing.

It’s been a hectic couple of months here. Sick, well, sick, well, sick, well … adventures, sleep-cycle-shifts, a two-year-old who opens the fridge and gets what she wants out of it. Who loves her friends fiercely but has a quick temper and a mean right hook. Who had to be held down at the dentist, but got over it long before her mother did (guess only one of us was traumatized by that whole stitches incident). Who mostly eats eggs and lollipops and bread. Who reads her books a lot, but is otherwise rarely still, or, if she is, is still in an upside-down yoga pose of some kind. Who needs a lot of jumpies and outlets for her go-go-go, and who is pretty damned impressive in her agility (everyone says so, we’re rather proud of her). Who doesn’t use the potty yet, but does sometimes enjoy sitting on the potty for a long time … only to hop off and pee on the floor, and then get back on (I’m not in any rush to potty train—I actually like diapers, with all of their control and convenience and predictability—so in your own time, Vibble, that’s fine). Who is only willing to get dressed if watching TV, and none of that Dinosaur Train, that’s way too tame [rolls eyes], give her Spongebob [wince] or [double-wince] Dora, or something similarly shouty and strobe-like in imagery, with commercials for things she drags me to the TV to show me, like, Did you know about this? A Barbie CONDO? Electronic hamsters? A baby doll that not only walks but falls on its FACE??? (Oh, look at that, you’re all dressed now! [Click.])

Who responds to the darkened screen on the TV-that’s-hooked-up-to-cable by saying dramatically, “Oh no! What HAPPENED?”

Who responds to the Apple-TV-TV by dumping toys out of containers to use those containers as stacking step-stools in her quest to be as close to the actual screen as humanly possible. (Is your name Violet, or VIOLET-GET-DOWN? I forget.)

Who is squarely in the “MINE!” phase. Which is tense for parents on the playground. Thankfully, our playgroup is a more comfortable place to work on that. Unfortunately, Vibble is about an 8.5 on the “MINE!” Richter Scale. Familiar scene: Here comes one of Violet’s friends in tears, possibly injured; and here comes Violet happily behind, holding some toy. We’re working on this, we all are. Violet included. I think, actually, she works pretty hard to be even that good. Fight the demons, Honey.

Who is truly a marvel in her gymnastics class, even if she outright rejects the concepts of “class” and “teacher” and “Hey, look, here’s what we’re all doing now … Oh? No? Not you? Um, ok …” (Wait, is your name Violet, or VIOLET-STAY-WITH-YOUR-TEACHER, I forget.)

Who love-love-loves to paint! EVERYTHING! Paper is for wussies, don’t you know. Paint your face, paint your toys, paint your friends!

Who is now aware when her photo is being taken.

Who sincerely enjoys live entertainment of any kind.

Who blows our minds with what she remembers.

Who misses her parents when we’re apart, but who has a good time without us, too.

Who says to me throughout the day, “Hi, how are you?”

Who wants her shoes off, but would wear the same dress forever if she had her way. (Doesn’t matter which one, just don’t take it off, it’s MIIIINNNNNEEEE! Same with the diaper. “Oh no! MINE! What HAPPENED?!”)

Oh, it HAS to be a dress. A dress makes the best disguise. (“What a cute little—OW! It bit me!”)

Who is still not talking too much, but who is about to start getting a little more help with that, and a few other things, for a bit. (Recent conversation … Friend: “Wow, she has her own little language!” Steve: “Yeah, we’re hoping she learns our language soon.”)

Who has begun to play imaginatively in the most adorable ways, especially with her dress-up play clothes and in her little kitchen. (I think this is my favorite little-kid phase of all, with each of the kids I know.)

Who secretly knows all kinds of things—her shapes, for instance—but isn’t always willing to let on. Again, the theme here is: ON HER TERMS. Always. We’ve learned through extensive experimentation that with this kid, forcing/enforcing anything is generally counter-productive, no matter how committed/consistent we are. It just rarely leads where we want to go, in so many ways. She’s not in charge, far from it, and she often has to do things she doesn’t want to do. But we’ve had to adopt a parenting style that allows for a lot of flexibility and a diagnostic approach—’Why is she doing XYZ? Why does she object to ABC?’ If we can figure out the “why” with her, and talk about it, and address it, and oftentimes, just show an awareness of it, we make a lot more headway. She’s just not someone who is very often open to suggestion. She doesn’t really care if she pleases us, or if she is doing what everyone else is doing. She doesn’t respond to threats, and she only sort of responds to rewards. She’s moody, and sometimes the “why” is simply that: She’s in a mood, and it will pass in ten minutes, at which time she will be more than happy to cease being naked in this parking lot and let me put on her clothes so we can join her friends or her class inside. Meanwhile, she prefers to sit on this parking space marker and sing “Whistle While You Work,” and all attempts to force her into clothes will involve trauma for everyone. So be it. I have an iPhone, and it’s been ages since I skimmed Facebook. Sing away, naked kid! We’ll go in when you’re good and ready. Maybe she has us trained. Maybe we all have each other trained. I guess that’s kind of what family is to me, though—I know you, you know me, we know each other’s sensitivities and quirks, and while we don’t walk on eggshells, we are considerate of them … that’s why we trust each other enough to know that when one of those “quirks” comes into question, it might be because it’s for our own good/growth to have it challenged. (I did warn you in the title that this would be a stream-of-consciousness entry. But I DIDN’T warn you it would be so PROFOUND! Heh.)

This is all to say, Violet is at an amazing stage right now. She’s a strong personality, vibrantly individual. This can be frustrating for her parents sometimes, but it’s also the thing we are most proud of in her. There is nothing—NOTHING—she can’t do. Nothing she won’t try. Fearless.

Uh, oh, someone is crying upstairs now. Fever back on. We’re going to get you well, sad little toughie, so you can get back to blowing wasabi kisses at the world.

Good night.

Baby’s First Wasabi

November 16th, 2010

Tonight we had sushi, and Vibble got her hands on some of Steve’s wasabi … put it in her mouth before we could stop her.

She is not fazed by wasabi.

Violet: 1
Wasabi: 0

Things I Shouldn’t Have to Say/Explain

November 15th, 2010

“Do not put knives up your nose.”

Things I Shouldn’t Have to Say/Explain

November 3rd, 2010


When you’re in the woods, and you encounter a hole in the ground, DO NOT stick a twig in it.


No sucking on your toes at the dinner table.