Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Kids Insist on Going on With Their Lives Despite All the Work to Be Done on The House

Lately life has been chock-a-block with bloggable moments and even bloggable hours, but short on free moments for the blogging of such. Here are the scant tidbits (or "titbits," as the Chinese -to-English translators I once worked with used to write) I can scrape off the overheated tailpipe of my brain.

1. Fil is a wiggledy-piggledy baby. No wonder she's not as fat as some. I have been working at extending her nursing periods, and she certainly feels heavier to me. She won't be visiting her new OP doctor for a couple weeks, so we'll check on that issue then.

2. Nutmeg has her BFF in town after not seeing him for about 7 months. They are getting along like gangbusters, with a little sibling rivalry thrown in. The parents and child are both staying at the apartment with us. It's been a joy for all four of us parents to see them have conversations, because when they hung out before her BFF, Bubby, wasn't very verbal yet. Now he's about 2-3/4 and talks plenty.

A few choice moments:

0-0 Our friends gave Nutmeg some temporary tattoos for her birthday. Today they each had tattoos on their bellies, and they decided to touch their tattoos together in a little belly kiss. Naturally, I think I left my camera at the other house.

0-0 Nutmeg has reassigned some of the Thomas the Tank Engine train names she gives us in order to accommodate our houseguests. Epu used to be Thomas, but now Bubby is Thomas. Bubby's mom is Emily and Bubby's dad is The City of Chicago (OK, not a Thomas train but probably an Amtrak one). I'm still James, and Filbertine is Elizabeth. But Epu? As if losing the alpha-male Thomas moniker wasn't enough, he was renamed Mavis.

I'm assuming Mavis must be a Thomas name, because otherwise where would she even hear it? She doesn't go to a lot of truck stops.

0-0 Nutmeg woke up cranky after a long nap, as she often does. Bubby offered to sing her a song to make her feel better, then launched into a medley of his favorites: "Rock a bye baby, on the treetop ... The wheels on the bus go round and round ... Dem bones dem bones dem, dry bones." Then he asked Nutmeg if she felt better.

She did not.

"Bubby feel better," he announced.

Bubby's presence has given me a chance to practice some of my sibling rivalry techniques from the book I read. The results are mostly good, sometimes nonexistent. After all, no matter how much you talk about feelings, chances are both kids really want to play with the whatever (helicopter, sharpened axe, baby toy) sometimes. The book says not to settle disputes for them but to encourage kids to work out what's fair. That's pretty tough with a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old.

Mostly I have learned that it's not very effective to use high-emotion times as a "teaching moment" or to try to force sharing. Instead I try to distract Nutmeg or separate her from the other kid, while reminding her not to hit or pinch or grab, and make a mental note to talk about it later. I can't say this technique has helped her develop any restraint or problem-solving skills right now, but it does end the confrontations more quickly.

Coming soon: Update on The House, where good things are fixin' to happen.

1 comment:

Kendra said...

I'm glad that lovely melody made Bubby feel better :) I love it when kids first start singing songs. They have the most adorable little voices and they end up making up half the words. Priceless!