Saturday, April 10, 2010

26 Minutes

11:46 AM me: UGGGGHHHHHH. So tired of her attitude. She needs to go to kindergarten boot camp.

That was the beginning of an IM conversation between me and James yesterday. Rachel got it into her head that she wanted to go to the Spring Fair in a nearby town. When told we weren’t going to do that but that we could probably go to the County Fair later in the year, she decided she’d rather act nasty and throw a fit.

It’s a pattern that keeps cropping up, but less frequently and with less severity than in the past. I think it’s something that she’s outgrowing, as her ability to exercise self-control catches up with her strong emotions. I’m encouraged that it doesn’t manifest itself physically like it used to, with kicking and spitting and hitting, as well as by the fact that most days she does pretty well. There was a time when every day seemed to bring some kind of mean-spirited outburst.

I got her to her room for some bedroom time, and that seemed to help reset things. I talked with her a little after she came out about how I wanted to have a great afternoon, and how I wanted to enjoy our planned movie night in the evening, but how neither of those would happen if she didn’t decide to have a better attitude. I asked for a hug, and she asked if she could finish her drawing first and then give me one, to which I said yes.

We talked about lunch and she agreed that a grilled cheese sandwich sounded good. I started to get things out and prepare the sandwich, and then remembered before starting to grill it that I hadn’t gotten my hug. I asked her for one, and she ran to me and gave me such a long, tight hug that I thought it might never end!

She said "I feel like I'm never going to stop hugging you!" And I said "This is really nice, but how will I make your sandwich if you don't stop hugging me?" and she said "I love you more than a sandwich, Mom!"

I reported that to James over IM, and this was his reply:

12:14 PM James: 26 minutes between your "UGGGGHHH" IM and that one where she loves you more than a sandwich.

12:15 PM me: :)

It’s interesting how quickly the emotions change at this age! Sometimes it’s frustrating, but moments like these are encouragements.

Rachel's List

Rachel recently heard a song and asked me to add it to her list. Turns out that Lori started a simple playlist in iTunes for Rachel and when Rachel hears a song she likes, she asks Lori to put it in her playlist. Rachel's never asked me to play her playlist, but I put it on just now since she's eating lunch and I'm about to go outside and work in the yard and Lori's upstairs cleaning and watching LOTR.

Surprisingly, Rachel's list only contains 29 songs so far and a number of them are Christmas songs (so they won't even play right now). But, it is an interesting list.

Deck the Halls (instrumental) - Garritan Volume 4
I Can Be Your Friend - Veggie Tales (Silly Songs for Rachel)
Zacchaeus - Various Artists (Play a Little)
Instrumental Christmas Sing Along - Twin Sisters Productions (Santa Songs)
Get'cha Head In The Game - Troy (High School Musical)
Life is a Highway - Tom Cochrane (Mad Mad World)
Christmastime Is Here - Sixpence None The Richer (WOW Christmas)
What I've Been Looking For - Sharpay and Ryan (High School Musical)
I Want You - Savage Garden (Savage Garden)
Toy Packaging - Sara Groves (O Holy Night)
Angels We Have Heard On High - Sara Groves (O Holy Night)
Different Kinds of Happy - Sara Groves (Fireflies and Songs)
When Love Came Down - Point of Grace (Now That's What I Call Christmas!)
Home for the Holidays - Perry Como (Now That's What I Call Christmas!)
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (instrumental) - Pat Azzarello - Garritan Volume 5
How Long Will Be Too Long - Michael W. Smith (Go West Young Man)
Let Everything That Has Breath - Matt Redman (Worship Together - Be Glorified)
I Do - Lisa Loeb (Firecracker)
I Am - Jill Phillips (WOW 2000)
A Wink And A Smile - Harry Connick, Jr. (Sleepless In Seattle)
Let's Go To Vegas - Faith Hill (It Matters To Me)
Come Go With Me - Expose (Exposure)
God's Got a Plan - Elizabeth Cook (Hey Y'All)
Because You First Loved Me - Children's Choir (Let the Children Praise HIM)
Everyday - Boddy Holly (Greatest Hits)
You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly! - Various Artists (Classic Disney, Volume 1)
I Want To Hold Your Hand - The Beatles - 1
Jingle Bells - Barenaked Ladies (Barenaked For The Holidays)
Joy To The World - Anne Murray (Christmas Wishes)

On an unrelated note, I'd like to know who's been letting Rachel watch Saturday Night Live. She's picked up "Oh My Goodness" as if she were channeling Tina Fey channeling Sarah Palin.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Conversation With Ben

3 nights ago, I had what I would call my first conversation with Ben. He's been spare with his words. Don't take that to mean that he's been quiet by any means. But he'll use a word for a while, then store it away as if he's done with it. Some words he's continued to use (Dada, Mama, Bath, Milk, Cracker, etc.), and others he used for a time and then is apparently done with them for now (Banana, More).

I suspect that he's both shy and stubborn. His shyness keeps him from trying words until he builds up a little confidence that he can get it right within a few tries. His stubbornness means he would rather screech or just keep saying "Milk! Milk!" when he wants something and doesn't know its name, or doesn't want to try saying it. But he loves imitating sounds he hears and sometimes surprises us, like when James answered "I don't know" and Ben repeated "I dohn-know." That's a phrase that he's actually been using semi-regularly, and often when it fits as an answer for a question we've asked him. So I have no doubt that he's capable of being more verbal and that we'll be seeing much more of that soon.

But I digress - 3 nights ago, I went in to check on him at about 10:00. I peeked in the door and didn't see or hear anything, so I figured he was asleep. But no - "Doo doo doo," he said, standing up and reaching for me. I picked him up.

Ben: Milk?
Me: No, I don't think you need milk. You need to go back to sleep, baby.
Ben: Cracker?
Me: No, you don't need crackers, silly. You need sleep.
Ben: Crunchies?
Me: No, no crunchies. You need to go back to bed, and Mama needs to take a shower.
Ben: Bath?

I loved how he kept coming up with different angles, not getting upset when I was saying no. And I figured he must actually be hungry if he was that persistent, so he did get to sit in his highchair and have some milk and something to eat before going back to bed.

He was up late the next night, too, asking for milk. I think he must be having a growth spurt. He also seems to be teething, since he's drooling like a champ and has been a little fussy at times, picking at some of his meals.

And he is apparently experiencing separation anxiety. He's quite unhappy most of the time when being put to bed either for a nap or at night, getting really upset and crying and reaching for me. It didn't used to be such a big deal. He'd fuss a little, but not sound like he felt he was being abandoned as he does now. And leaving him in the nursery at church brings much screeching, too, although it dies down pretty quickly once we're gone.

Rachel went through separation anxiety a few times, but it was always over in about a week. I think Ben's been going through it for a few weeks but am not sure when it started. I'm hopeful he'll work through it quickly, though.