Saturday, May 26, 2012

Status report: Chloë, Month 34

At just two months to go before her birthday, I sometimes forget that Chloë is still two. "I'm two!" she said the other day, in response to my idle question. "No you're not," I said scornfully, and then remembered that she was, and had to pretend that I'd been joking ("You're seventeen!") to save face. In front of my two-year-old.

But really. She speaks so well, except for Ss, and she remembers things, and makes up songs, and notices things I don't, and can be so eloquent on what she's feeling and thinking and wanting. Oh, the wanting. She's very good at demanding things. Also at saying "You don't tell me what to do." She's funny to listen to sometimes, when we tell her to, for example, put down the Swiffer and come put pajamas on, and she goes into this long explanation that doesn't explain anything: "But I have to. Because I, because I, because I don't, and I need the Swiffer, and I don't want to, I don't want pajamas, I want more naked time, and you don't tell me what to do, and Mama doesn't tell me what to do, and Maia doesn't tell me what. To. Do." 

She's definitely been getting more time-outs this month. I don't think it's an unreasonable amount, just a normal testing of boundaries, but it does take up some time. 

Also, the potty thing. Dude. We switched her to Easy-Ups, to see if getting away from her beloved diapers would help, but it doesn't seem to be the comfort of the diapers specifically that holds her in thrall; it's the not going in the potty. I've been getting her to sit on the potty at night, Easy-Up on, and was able to persuade her to do it bare-bottomed once, though only for a few seconds before she started crying. I swear we didn't tie her to a potty and beat her or anything. Why is this so traumatic for her?

And sleep continues to be our other big trial. She's still taking hours, sometimes, to fall asleep, and feels free to roam around her room as long as I don't catch her (the standing rule is that if she's out of bed, she doesn't get a story the next night). Half the time she ends up sleeping on the floor, like so:

If she's in a really ridiculous position, we'll move her; if not, we've been leaving her. She sometimes ends up in her bed come morning anyway. She doesn't like going down for a nap, either, but she definitely still needs it. Switching her to an afternoon nap may have been part of the problem, but it may also have been merely another symptom. This situation is still developing.

On to happier topics. She had her first real haircut this month, meaning anything other than my straight-across-the-front bang job. The hairstylist was marvelous. I'd been worried since Chloë has hated the head/hair part of baths forever, and consistently screams and wails when any bit of water gets in her face, but the hairstylist managed her perfectly, reassuring her and getting no water whatever in her face, and Chloë was perfectly behaved and even excited about having gotten through it without tears. (Also, the stylist mentioned that normally with the really little kids she doesn't shampoo them, just spritzes their hair with water in the chair. But Chloë didn't take the soft option!) She liked the especially-for-kids cape she got to wear:

She didn't get impatient while her hair was being cut, and kept as still as you could reasonably expect a toddler to do. Such a big girl. She went from this:

to this: 

and is utterly pleased by the seven seconds it now takes to comb her hair on bath night. I've now adopted part of the hairstylist's technique when rinsing Chloë's hair (the key is bringing the showerhead really close to her head), and we're doing a little better on baths now. 

As Eric noted recently, she's turned a corner on eating; now unless the food is meant to be eaten with hands, like pizza, she almost never requires more than a napkin after meals, and can handle her fork and spoon with aplomb. She's slowly learning to cut (we have a knife but have only brought it out once or twice, but she's doing okay with the fork edge) and has been practicing drinking from a big-girl cup at meals and at tooth-brushing, and doing excellently. Normally she doesn't like water, but she gulps it expertly and greedily at bedtime. Otherwise it's mainly her new favorite, mango juice.

She got a Dora compendium when Mom came for Maia's birthday, and we've read very little else with her ever since. "How about a tory from the book that Gwampa gave me," she would say, and we'd groan. Lately she's been willing to hear something else once in a while, but Dora still features heavily, both in bedtime reading and in my nightly oral story, and also shows up in pretend play once in a while. That girl gets around.

She continues to enjoy working in the garden and baking with me (she decided the other day that she wanted peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting for her birthday cake--birthdays are big lately too), and playing with her Duplos and train tracks, and eating Maia's yogurt melts. She delights in sharing food with Maia--especially so when it's a baby treat, such the melts or the "baby trail mix" I make out of Cheerios, puffs, melts, and dried apple bits, but she's also happy to share a bowl of Goldfish crackers or a string cheese. "We're sharing!" she announces, all pleased.

She's still a little skittish about cars and trucks in the road, and will say urgently "Hold my hand!" when we're getting out of the car in a parking lot, though that may just be her general sense of what the rules are. "No talking with your mouth full," she reminds me at dinner occasionally (sometimes when my mouth isn't full), and "No throwing," when I toss a toy off the table. She also enjoys telling her little sister the rules.

The park and bubbles are very big with her right now, as is (sigh) being "a princess," which mainly involves putting on her tiara and some jewelry and then maybe pretending her string of beads is a guitar or a horsey. Her exposure to princesses is mostly in Dora rescuing them (and in one of those stories, becoming one, but only for the purpose of rescuing her friend Boots), but she's obviously picked up that they're desirable things to be. Luckily she also still enjoys being an astronaut and a cowgirl (man, she rocks those horses hard), a bridge-builder and a shark. 

She's gotten through the "I don't like kisses" phase she was in a few weeks ago, which makes us happy. I told her "I love you," as I was hugging her good-night today and she said, "I love you too," matter-of-factly. I suppose it is very matter-of-fact, on both sides, but it's still a wonder and a joy, and so is she, even if she's also a trial sometimes. I'm probably a bit of a trial as a mommy sometimes. But we're getting through all right.

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