Thursday, June 28, 2012

Status report: Chloë, month 35, and Maia, month 14


Now on to Maia...

Okay, I suppose I have more to say about Chloë than that. But oh the all-encompassing relief of the potty-training! She did it! She finally stepped over that threshold, out of the Pull-Ups wasteland and into the promised land of underwear and some $50 a month that doesn't go straight into the diaper pail! I would say it took her about three days after I put her bodily on the potty while she was peeing. That was a Saturday. The first few times, she wanted to be put on it and held. Then, she'd sit by herself and wanted to be held. Then she wanted somebody's hand to hold. Then she stopped being reluctant to go, and so the messes lessened (we also attached the pee guard meant for boys; now that she's not holding herself to bursting, we've taken it off again). She had her last accident, right after naptime, that Monday. She's been dry ever since. She used the portable potty in Target Tuesday, for the first time, with no argument; her only stipulation was that she didn't want to flush the toilet because it was loud.

Having her potty-trained is more work, at least at the moment, than having her in Pull-Ups was. She dawdles at the seat now until we ask if she's done. Then she wipes, but needs to be checked. Then she needs help stepping into her underwear and shorts/skirt (this will be the next thing we work on, I think). Then she needs to flush the toilet after we've dumped the results. Then she needs to wash her hands and be cajoled into actually doing it rather than just playing in the water. Then she needs a sticker. And if it's bedtime, or just after, in ten minutes it starts all over again. She's definitely discovered the advantages of being potty-trained.

But we're still definitely happier than before. And she's so pleased with herself, and with our praise and attention. When we got home Tuesday night she was so excited to tell Eric all about peeing in the red potty in the Target. It's so fun being able to converse, really converse, with her now. She doesn't just talk (though she still does plenty of that); she describes something, and listens to our questions, and answers them, and asks questions of her own, and proves she understands the anwers by talking further about the subject. Being verbal is so neat!

We've been talking about what kind of birthday cake she wants. She's settled on a moon design, but every time I ask her about flavor it changes. First she wanted chocolate. Then peanut butter. Then blueberry and strawberry (together). Then melon. Today it was Craisin. I love that she's got diverse tastes, but man, I should have quit asking.

Maia is also being quite verbal these days. She says "Mama" and "Dada" and "More" pretty reliably. Last night at bedtime she said them on command--only when it was just the two of us, of course, not when Dada was around; but she was all grinning and pleased with herself. So was I. She says "buh! buh!" whenever she sees a bird, either in real life or in the That's Not My Pirate book, and "da!" when she sees the stars in the latter. She whispered "bah-bah," waving, when Memaw left the other day after a day at the zoo. Dogs are still pant-pant, and cheese and shoes are "tzche" and "tzchu" respectively. Balls are "ba," and she's starting to get the hang of, if not exactly throwing them, then at least picking them up and letting them drop to roll. There are no words for bottle, because she doesn't take bottles anymore. Overachiever.

And of course she's still communicating quite competently nonverbally: stretching a hand to the crib when she's sleepy, poking at my chest when she wants a drink, flinging away the new diaper when she doesn't want a change. I get her to lie down by bribing her with a wipe, which she then applies to her bits (whether or not I've gotten her pants and diaper off yet) and "wipes" solemnly, watching me watching her.

She adores her shoes--or, more specifically, she adores having shoes on and walking around in them. When we get ready to leave she pulls down her shoes (and often Chloë's) and plops on the floor, and if we're too slow starts trying to insert her feet into them herself. Chloë likes to go out on the porch when she's ready, and now Maia follows her, taking slow, careful steps over the bumpy threshold until she's out on the porch and can poke around at the bubble wands, or point at a bird or the water table. She loves the water table. I foresee many summer hours getting soaked by it.

Now that she's walking, she can play on the playground independently (sort of), and loves to. She loves swings and slides much more than Chloë does; the past couple of months she's delighted in going down either with one of us or by herself, caught at the end and swung upward in the air. Chloë had been going through a phase of refusing to do pretty much anything on the playground other than climb up and down some steps, but now she slides some. Maia loves to climb stairs, and to toddle around in the store, pulling things off the shelves. But she doesn't seem to mind the cart, either, and when we place her in the seat she reaches for the straps and pulls them around herself.

Chloë's been doing a lot of building with Legos and playing with her train set, and has constructed some really very interesting structures with the Legos--no more simple towers; now they're complex skyscrapers or bridges (she's got a thing for bridges) or rocketships, or they're a two-stack tower with matching colors, or she's decided to use all the yellow. She doesn't color as much as she used to, but when she does she can make circles and suns, snakes, flower stems, and what she calls maps.

Chloë's slimmed down in the last several months as she's put on more inches; there's still a bit of a belly there, but she's not looking very babylike anymore. (And getting rid of the diaper padding helps her silhouette, I'm sure.) Maia's comfortably in 18 months clothes (except for dresses), still nicely chubby, but she, too, is growing and growing.

Chloë's still having sleep troubles, though switching back to a morning nap seems to have helped some. She clings to me (physically and verbally) whenever I leave, which is making me want to cancel the nightly bedtime story, but that's probably not a good idea. Bedtime is a bit fraught most of the time, especially now that she has the excellent excuse of needing to potty to get out of bed. But she's sleeping a little more, at least when Maia doesn't keep her up. Maia's mostly sleeping through the night, though now she's started getting me up at six, which I don't appreciate. I remember this phase. Ugh. She's also getting very unreliable about her second nap. It's too soon! Why don't my children like sleep? Sleep is great!

They're both still very keenly into books. Maia will happily sit and listen to a recitation of her entire bookshelf, as long as she doesn't decide to veto a book because she can. Chloë's getting into the longer books, the Dr. Seusses and Olivias and Berenstain Bears and such, though she still enjoys listening along during Maia's story time and is still fond of the touch-and-feel ones. We've got to work on her lower-case letters and start working on sounds. She'll be so happy when she can read for herself.

Maia is working on her seventh and eighth teeth, and is a total pasta hound, like her sister. Also pizza. Also strawberries and raspberries. When we go out to the backyard both girls always gravitate toward the fruit bushes, Maia saying "uh! uh!" and Chloë saying what they both mean, "Are there any strawberries/raspberries to eat?" I pick them and give them to her and she shares them with Maia, unprompted. What a sweet girl. She likes to kiss Maia good night, or hug her, saying, "Good night little sister." Sometimes Maia kisses and hugs her back. Sometimes she pushes her angrily away. Chloë doesn't seem to get offended, which is pretty big-minded of her.

They had a sleepover with their cousins Addie and Raegan last week, and it worked out very well, other than Rae apparently biting Chloë's toe when they were in bed (not very hard, but enough to get her banished to another room). They're both getting to be sociable girls, in their own ways, and everyone had fun together.  They do seem to have fun together. I hope it lasts.

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