Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Status report: Chloë, Month 33

Our girl at two-and-three-quarters is full of defiance and trepidation, "why?" and whine, silliness and fun. I got a newsletter from Pampers today informing me my 30- to 36-month-old should be forming four- and five-word sentences now. I refer them to Chloë herself: "Mama, you're silly. You're silly and I am silly and Maia is silly and Daddy is silly. Our whole family is silly."

She asks--states, really, "Why," whenever I refuse something and often after I merely say something. Where before she would ask for what she wants, now she demands it. "Put on my bib and scoot me in to the table." "Put on my shoes and my jacket." "Change my diaper." (I've started telling her she's going to have to learn to change her own.) We're working on fixing this, and otherwise she's very good about please and thank you, sometimes to ridiculousness. At bedtime she often hangs out in the nursery doorway while I'm feeding Maia. The other day she appeared, saying, "Hello Mama." I said hello. She continued, "How are you?" I said, "I'm a little disgruntled. How are you?" She said, "I'm a little digwuntuud too." There was a short pause, and then she said, "Thank you." I said, surprised, "For what?" and she said, "For hello."

She continues to be a good big sister, though a bit of a tattle-tale sometimes too--but Eric pointed out that it's good to know when she perceives something is wrong, like "Maia is in the garbage," or "Maia is going toward the stairs." She likes to share Maia's food, and is happy to share her own drink as long as she gets some too. They giggle together sometimes. Crawl over each other, too.

Her imagination continues to soar to new heights. The living room is a spaceship, sure, that she and Maia use to blast off. But now she goes to work in the office and does homework, then trims her beard (like Daddy) with a bubble wand, then makes me a Lego cake and takes pictures with a Lego camera. She makes clothes and cooks food, fixes cars, and pours pretend sugar on the floor so she can pretend vacuum it (and then ask me if she missed any).

This one's for Grandpa and Uncles James and Nels.
She's still very keen on her bedtime story, and if possible a naptime story if I'm in the mood on the weekend. She came to me with a piece of paper the other day and told me she was going to tell me a story. "Once upon a time there were Goldilocks and the Three Bear Pirates," she began. "They went to the zoo and the park." The switch to afternoon naps was a necessary and probably a good step, but otherwise sleep has been bad this month; for a while she was getting to sleep between ten and eleven after hours of whining or crying or lying awake, kicking the walls or playing with her turtle nightlight on the floor. When I invited her to bring the turtle to bed with her she stopped getting out of bed, and the past couple of nights she hasn't put up a fuss at bedtime. I don't think the turtle was the true root of the problem, but we'll take what we can get.

She's always putting things in her mouth and nose, often her fingers, and very often licks her hands while I'm telling her bedtime story. I asked her whether it felt good on her mouth or her hands more, and she said her hands. I don't know what to do about that. She's also very keen on washing her hands, especially now that she can reach the faucet and soap to do it herself. She continues to enjoy getting lotion for her hands or her ows, but now it's mostly so she can wash it off afterward "with a lot of soap and water."

Similarly, she's now riding her tricycle well--she still needs practice and confidence, but she can pedal and she's learning to steer. Now that the weather's nicer Eric has been taking them out for walks and to the park and the zoo (hence the story) several times a week, and she seems to be loving it.

We've been having her try to brush her teeth for a while, and she does okay, though certainly not well enough that we're letting her take over. She strips her clothes off easily sometimes, but other times she wails "I can't do it. I need help." She won't go down slides anymore either, and certainly not on swings. We're not sure why she's so fearful. We're hoping it's just the age.

She continues to enjoy bathtime with Maia, though she recently asked for a solo bath so she could play with her bath crayons and have some bubble bath. She dislikes having her hair combed or brushed, so it's getting cut pretty soon. I keep asking if she still wants to do that, since it's so pretty long, but she's sure.

She had a marvelous time on "bacation," in South Haven, and refers to it often--as well as other things that prove her memory is getting longer and better all the time. Not to mention the times when she asks for, say, naked time before bedtime, I say yes, and when we get to 8 PM Eric says "Time for jammies," and she says, "Mommy said I could have naked time!" and I have to explain that when I said that I had assumed we'd be finishing baths on time. A fine memory. 

She's so much fun to play with these days. I do a "horsey ride" thing with the girls, where I'm on my back with my knees bent and they sit on my lower belly and I jounce them up and down while singing the William Tell Overture very badly. Great exercise for my thighs. Anyway, she saw my cowboy hat, I explained what it was, and now she wears it for horsey rides. Today we somehow ended up playing "knock me down"--she'd sit up, I'd push grandly but gently at her forehead, and she'd fling herself over backward like I'd punched her. She likes Ring Around the Rosie and Row Your Boat and Hide and Seek, though she doesn't get the "hide" concept and isn't strong on the "seek," and loves playing Candyland, especially without the cards because then we can send the gingerbread "guys" on adventures instead of just sticking to the path on the board. Such a happy giggly girl. Strong-willed, and curious, and strange, and a lot of wonderful.

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