Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Freeze frame: Fall 2013

So these two. They are changing so quickly that I feel like each week gives me new kids to parent. This post has been a long time in the making (I started it in August!) so it covers a lot of ground.

The Numa

The Numa is getting so tall and so inquisitive. He has been going through a rough patch lately, with lots of limit testing and tantrums, but continues to really be a sweet guy. His school uses an emergent curriculum model, which is one where the day to day learning is based on and around interests of the students and teachers, and right now they are focused on rocket ships and all that they entail. The rocket ship interest started with the Numa and spread to his classmates and just this week, the mister spent a morning wiring lights and fans into the rocket that the kids built. It is totally cool and the Numa has been loving going to school. Except in the mornings when he will excitedly ask "is it home time today?" and is then disappointed to find out that no, it is school time. His whining lasts until we arrive and then at the end of the day he cries as we leave, because "I want to stay here!" Being a toddler seems an awful lot like being a hormonal pregnant woman.

In October, the Numa's class went on their very first field trip to a local apple orchard. He got to ride a real school bus, which he still talks about every time we see one. His current interests include cars, school buses, any type of emergency vehicle, dinosaurs and of course, rocket ships. M and I have both noticed a pronounced increase in his imaginative play and a large part of that is transforming anything and everything into a rocket ship and having it blast off. He somehow talked me into the light-up shoes that I swore I would never buy and he loves them so much that he wears them every day. He has grown out of all of his 4T clothes and most of the size 4 pants in his drawer are too short but the size 5 stuff is too big in the waist for my lanky guy. He got all new underwear when he started potty training and now has a full set of monster-themed days-of-the-week underpants, including Sunday. He really likes for the day on the underwear to correspond to the actual day of the week, so there have been a fair number of tantrums when the required day is still in the wash. On a recent Thursday he had been forced by his cruel mother to wear Friday underwear and in an effort to cheer himself up, he decided that it WAS Friday. When one of his teachers tried to explain that no, it was Thursday, he actually yanked down his pants, pointed at his butt and declared "No, it's FRIDAY." Point Numa.

He says the funniest things these days. The Numa has always been a great night sleeper and is fairly easy to get into bed in the evenings, usually just requiring one quick return after we say goodnight for the first time. Now that he is fully potty trained (day and night!!!) we are very keen to respect his requests for one last bathroom visit, but sometimes he just needs another hug. Almost every night, he summons us, or more specifically me, with a "mommy I neeeeeeed something." And he actually says "something." One of us usually heads upstairs to check in and attends to his needs (or not - requests for candy at 8pm are generally denied) and as we leave his room he has this funny little habit of saying "before you go..." and then passing on a little pearl of wisdom. This can be anything from "don't forget to take turns" to "we shouldn't hit" but it is occasionally really specific. To wit:

Numa: Mommy, before you go, if you push Daddy down the stairs you will have to come and get me right away, so I can call the policeman and they will come and tell you 'We Don't Push' and then you will be in trouble.

Me: Buddy, I really don't think I'm going to push Daddy down the stairs...

Numa: MOMMY. You need to come get me right away. Okay? Night night.

Thanks for the tip, Nums.

HH, who will henceforth be known as MS but should really be called DQ

It has become painfully clear that while Her Highness is a somewhat fitting moniker for my youngest offspring, a far more appropriate one would be Drama Queen. As a mom of two, I am no stranger to tantrums but fits like this child throws are heretofore unseen in our household. When she is really pissed, her crying moves to an almost inhuman place, she throws herself repeatedly, either out of your arms or onto the floor (or her bed, or your bed, or the ground outside; she isn't picky), and it looks for all the world like she is having some sort of medical episode. The hysterics she works herself into are awe inspiring and her disbelief when she still doesn't get what she wants is huge, as are the knots on her forehead from when she forgets that she is on a hardwood floor. The drama is strong with this one.

(While I acknowledge that DQ fits, it is only one part of her personality so in an effort to be fair, she will now be known as monkey shine or MS. After over a year with her, MS is the nickname that I use most often so that is how she will now be known on this blog.)

The monkey shine loves her shoes. Like, LOVES her shoes. She starts to squeal when she sees them and will start to whine and cry if you don't put them on her immediately. She will excitedly sit down and try to put them on herself, which is super cute. Shoes is still one of her main words, though she has now added a fair number of other words to her list. She says shoes, ball, socks, Daddy, NO and some form of the Numa's name really well and is trying new words each day. Conspicuously absent from her list: mommy. I think there is some sort of evil plan behind that, but I haven't pinpointed it yet. Her climbing skills are starting to rival her brother's, as is her collection of scrapes and bruises. I sent her to school just this morning with one hell of a knot on her forehead after she lost in an altercation with a pull toy. She bounces back quickly, though, and is super curious and full of spunk and energy.

Her big news this month is that she moved to a new class at school! After a short transition period she is now in one of the young toddler classrooms with wonderful new teachers, one of whom is our main babysitter! She is doing great so far and we are hopeful that this is the beginning of the end of bottles as well. She is getting into puzzles and has started to really love reading, an activity she didn't really take to until recently. Her current favorite books are The Goodnight Train, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Listen Listen and My Big Animal Book. Monkey shine can do several animal sounds now, but the one she is most consistent with is dinosaurs. If you ask her what sound a dinosaur makes she does the cutest roar. She loves cars and trains and dinosaurs and balls and her older brother, who continues to be her hero even though the fighting has already begun. They typically get along really well, but have recently started to pick fights with each other and she is getting pretty good at taunting him. Her favorite food continues to be eggs, but she also loves yogurt, grapes, oranges, Pirate's Booty, pasta and carrots. Watching her learn and grow is reminding me of this time with the Numa and I find myself wondering if this will be the last time we do these things or if another little person is in our future. She is funny, determined and still oh-so-attached to mommy, a trait I am trying to appreciate because I know it is so fleeting.

I continue to marvel at how lucky we are to have two inquisitive and healthy kids to love and teach, and the ability to provide the things they need. I hope we are always this blessed.

Be well,