Thursday, November 29, 2012

Status report: Chloë, 3 years 4 months, and Maia, 19 months

This will be a short, incomplete update. I'm sorry for the lack of posting and pictures this month. I've been focusing on (a) other writing and (b) Christmas crafting, and I'm at full capacity for my concentration, so with those shifting to the forefront other things are having to feel the neglect, and that includes the blog.

Also, Eric has the flu. He's been incarcerated in the bedroom (with bathroom privileges) because the girls got flu shots, uh, yesterday. Cross your fingers that I don't get it, because if I do, the girls are doomed.

Regarding Christmas crafting, I've completed a sweater for Maia ( finishing the one I started last year for Chloe) and mittens for Chloë, and next up is dolls for each of them. Chloë asked me yesterday what my "best present" would be for Christmas. (I assume a preschool teacher asked her.) Hers was, "A dolly or a third piano. We already have two." She's correct on that last, so I'm glad I'm already working on the first.

She continues to love preschool and draw ever more complex pictures. Today she drew a bird. An oval for the body, with a smile and eyes for the face, and two ovals for the wings. She fretted that they weren't the same size, but she was proud of herself all the same, as was I. She builds up "walls" and "boats" and "twists" out of Duplos, screaming in frustration when things break. She keeps coming up with very adult-sounding conversational phrases. She's going through an "I told you" phase at the moment (usually when she hasn't, in fact, told us anything). We've pushed her to be more independent with  the bathroom, and she'll now wipe herself completely, but still wants us there to check--and since her attention to her bottom is sporadic, we still do. The next step is getting her off the potty seat.

Maia continues to be ridiculously verbal. She had her eighteen-month checkup yesterday (there was a scheduling mixup) and the doctor was astonished when she pointed to the pink fish on the wall and said clearly, "Pink."

"She knows colors?!" he said. Later, he said, per routine, "Do you have any concerns about her development?" and then paused and said, "I'm guessing not."

She does, indeed, know colors. She mixes up blue and purple a bit, and will occasionally switch red and green, but mostly she's gotten really good at them. She also knows number names, and may understand what "one" actually means, and can help fill in the alphabet song when Chloë sings it. And she's just started on two-word in, if I'd posted this on time I couldn't have said that. Yesterday Chloë was helping me wind a ball of yarn and Maia said, to my surprise, "Maia turn." Of course she got her turn. She's excellent with her "please" and "thank you," and knows her body parts, numerous people, numerous characters, animals and their noises, colors of course, and an assortment of other things. She's finally started consenting to give Chloë a good-night hug and kiss and "Night" instead of running off, giggling, or pushing her away.

Tonight I sent Chloë to get her room ready for bed (it requires turning on the moon and the stars) while I changed a late poopy diaper on Maia. Afterward I told Maia to go tell  Chloë good-night while I washed my hands. I arrived in Chloë's doorway in time to hear Chloë say "Do you want a hug, Maia?" and Maia say yes and toddle toward the bed, and Chloë stretch down to embrace her.

Maia's favorite toys at the moment are the Duplo Pooh and Piglet, and she's formed a big attachment to her Winnie-the-Pooh mobile (and can name all four characters dangling from it). Unfortunately it's a manual wind-up and doesn't go for very long, so we've been having a lot of bedtimes involving two minutes of quiet followed by screaming and "That! That!" since that's how she indicates she wants the mobile on, "mobile" apparently not one of her hundred-plus vocabulary words. (Eric read somewhere that her age  group should know eighteen to twenty words by now. We are very prideful.)

The girls continue to do well together, thought Chloë can be territorial. They play pretend games together, including Tea Party and Rocketship and Naptime ("Nap" is another of Maia's words) and, the other day, Santa. ("Who is the pretend Santa in our village?" Chloë asked. "Tom," I said. "No, here," she said. "I don't know," I said. "Then you are, Mama! I'm going to be Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.") They had a great time when I raked the leaves the other day (for real, though possibly too late; the leaf pile has been in the street for over a week), Chloë alternately ordering or beseeching Maia to do this or the other, and Maia generally happy to accede.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In the still of the night

Chloë is sleeping now, I hope, after a long and protracted bout of screaming on the toilet because she wouldn't wipe herself. It's not entirely her fault. We'd done the wiping at night to get her into bed more quickly. But in the last couple of weeks, she's started delaying longer and longer, and insisting at bedtime that she didn't need to pee but getting up twenty minutes later to say she did. So we decided to start getting stricter about wiping. It probably wasn't a good idea to start with nighttime right away, though.

Maia had her own screaming fit before bedtime, because Chloë's Froot Loops necklace from school was not to be hers. Chloë had brought it up, I'd made her take it off for bathtime and then again after she got out of the bath, and Maia wanted it, wanted it, wanted it. I put it up on the post and she screamed, "Os! Os!" and "That!" and "Maia! Maia! Maia! Maia!" Then I took it downstairs, and she stood at the top of the stairs and she screamed wordlessly. I gave her milk instead, and she tossed it away from her and fell on her butt, still screaming. 

A little while later I picked her up, and she curled up against me and quieted. I fetched her milk and she drank thirstily. I winced when Eric came in from work and Chloë explained that Maia was upset about the Os necklace, but Maia didn't revert. Once they got in bed, they both went down quickly. Maybe it'll be a late morning tomorrow.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The dancer and the butterfly

Halloween came early and often this year, at least for Chloë. She decided a while ago to be a dancer, and so I bought a leotard and tights, and she had a tutu. Then my coworker Tina offered to lend us her daughter's old dance recital costume. Chloë adored the fancier outfit (though we made her wear it over the other, for warmth), and was glad to have several chances to climb into it.

First there was the Pumpkin Path at the zoo, where she got a small bagful of treats. Then there was the Halloween Parade with her preschool class. The parents were asked to come and pass out treats, so I came home for my lunch hour that day to accompany Eric and Maia:

How cute are these kids? And who would guess Chloë is the youngest?

Since there were only eleven kids in the class (now twelve; Chloë informed me today that a new boy, Dennis, has joined them), I bought full-sized candy bars to pass out. Eric and I thought maybe we were going too far, but no; when Chloë came home her bag was full of little gift bags that contained homemade candy-dipped pretzels, handfuls of treats, Scooby-Doo stickers, spider and skull rings, and temporary tattoos. Ours was nothing.

Then there was Halloween itself. It was a cold, windy night, so we dressed the kids up as warmly as we could given what they were supposed to be:

Maia only went to a few houses (which was all we'd intended anyway) before retreating to the warmth of Memaw's house. Chloë walked around a bit more, with her fleece hung on her head by the hood, and then gave up. But they're both quite pleased with their hauls and their costumes. "Trick or treat!" Chloë said, and Maia would say, "Tweet."