This morning on the changing table:
Bug: Daddy dropped poopy on the changing table. Right there!
Bug's Play Doh birthday kit came with an extractor tool with which one can make long shapes. Last time we played, she made a family of worms. Today this happened again, but she named them. The little round pink one was [Bug], the big blue moon Daddy, the smaller yellow star Mommy, the big green star Pop Pop, a smaller and very long pink flower Mom Mom, a thicker pink flower Uncle Bill and a big red starburst Peepaw.
Mom Mom, being made from a smaller shape, was much longer and thinner than the others. What does Bug do with her as soon as we were finished making her? She wrapped her around her finger, offering her usual commentary: "I putting Mom Mom around my finger."
With Mom Mom coming in a couple weeks to help out with Bug during the February Frida Festivities, I see such an action as quite portentious.
Two fairly significant issues have arised recently with Bug. The first is that she regularly changes her mind, and the second one is a general tendency to sound bossy.
The mind changing isn't always a big deal. If she says she wants milk, then immediately says she wants water, we roll with the punches. It's when we've gone to lengths to appease her that it becomes an issue. Take for instance the morning she decided that she wanted to put her milk in the small fridge in the office, and did so, only to get downstairs and bundled up to leave for school when she changed her mind, wanting to take her milk in the car with her. Granted, maybe I'm a cruel witch for not running back up to get it, but so be it. At eight months pregnant and on modified bed rest -- not to mention that I too had my shoes and coat on -- it wasn't going to happen. Commence wet, shakey and apocalyptic fit.
Later K and I have discussed how Bug may not be developmentally ready to comprehend why we have a problem with this. We've tried giving her the benefit of the doubt, asking several times about things before taking action. This hasn't quite worked for us, so it's back to the drawing board.
The other issue is affecting Bug at school as well as at home. She's so verbal, much more than the other kids in her class, but while she's at a major advantage in being able to communicate her needs clearly -- and for the most part remembering the "magic words," -- the directive nature of her phrasing comes off as extremely bossy. For instance:
For this issue we've seen results almost instantly. Whenever she phrases something in a way that could be construed as rude or bossy, we rephrase it for her. Namely, if she wants something she should start with, "May I please..." and if she wants someone to do something for her she should start with "Would you please..." (Note: The "Please leave me alone" was directed at the many little boys in her classroom who would rush up to greet her before she got her coat/hat/gloves off. Modeling her teachers, who would tell the boys "[Bug] will see you in a minute. Please come play and let her get her coat off," she quickly rephrased herself to "I'll see you in a minute."
Both of these came into play today when she initially said she didn't want to go outside to play in the snow with K. "It's too cold outside."
Inconveniently enough, she changed her mind after K was inside, undressed and in the shower warming up. I explained to her that it was not going to happen, but when K got out of the shower, she greeted him with the sweetest, "May I please go outside to play with you?"
K started to tell her no. He tried. He was inside, cleaned up, warm, etc. Bug slumped and said her usual response to no's: "But I need to!" She pouted so cutely that it melted his heart. He told her he'd take her out.
And boy did she have fun!
Since it was so cold, we didn't stay out for very long. The thrill of riding her rocket sled so fast down the street pumped her up so much that she was literally bouncing off the walls when she got back inside... or should I say bouncing off the coffee table (she tripped while twirling)?
She only cried for a minute, but add that bruise to the one she has on the other eyelid (from where we knocked heads while playing with counting chips yesterday), and her teachers are bound to suspect abuse.
4:50. As in AM. She was awake and calling for me. She had been awake for a while, singing as she does. K said later she had been restless all night.
When I walked into her room, I didn't need her to tell me, "I have a big brown poopie in my diaper" because the fact was smellingly clear. I naively thought I could get her back to sleep after a diaper change.
It wasn't to happen, even when I lay down next to her. While we lay face to face, she kept starting random conversations, all beginning with, "Hey!":
Hey! I turn on the water at school with one hand and wash my hands.
Hey! I need to ride on the firetruck to get water.
Hey! I need a drink of water.
Hey! My hair is in my face. I need to go to the bathroom and get a barrette for my hair.
Not to mention the touching. With her fingers. With her hair. With her breath.
Rolling over in an attempt to ward off further conversation was just as unsuccessful. Her assaults turned physical. She pulled on the hair at the nape of my neck and giggled. She sat behind me, leaning over to look at my face and squealed.
So much for making it to 6. At least I could nap while she watched some shows.
Now it's noon. She's went in for a nap at 11:20, but there have been only a few minutes of silence. She's been in there singing, calling for me, talking to Boobah, and making random squeals.
Bug: Mommy! I want to ride on a big red train!
Mommy: Maybe we can do that someday.
Bug: Mommy! You can ride on a big green train!
Mommy: ::realizing that Bug is referring to the Dora episode she's watching:: Ok! Who's going to ride on the blue train?
Bug: Dora and Boots!
Bug: Mommy! I going to jump into the television to ride the big red train!
Mid-Dora, Bug threw down her driver and went slumpy. She slumped over to her pink chair and sat down slumpily. I asked her why she was slumpy. What's making her sad? Did she need a hug?
She stood up and turned around to face me, still slumping.
"I want my Daddy." ::hand to eye to wipe away the tear that's sure to appear::
"Awe, honey, " I said, "Daddy was up all night and now he's sleeping." She came over and let me pick her up for a big hug. I asked if she wanted to do something special with Daddy.
"I want to do my puzzles," she replied.
See? Even her Mrs. Potatohead is sad.
Tonight K, Bug and I went out to dinner. We see such outings as very educational for Bug. She's very well behaved; her worst infraction is talking a little too loud when she's excited, so we're working on that. We also try to teach her from the horrible examples of behavior that we consistently experience when going out. Tonight there was a screeching baby at the next table. Bug would comment that the baby was loud, and we reminded her that she isn't a baby, but a big girl, so she should use her indoor voice.
Kids are generally given a bad reputation when it comes to eating out, but the worst behavior we see is usually from adults. Usually it's loud cell phone use. Tonight we experienced loud talkers. A party of two came in, saw some friends as they were shown to their table, and proceeded to start their greetings from several feet away. Mind you, they were across the room from us and their friends were not quite between us (we formed a triangle), but they were loud enough for us to hear their conversation clearly. Bug was compelled to twist around in her chair to watch the spectacle (the first time - when more friends of these people came in, Bug was able to ignore them).
I know that kids reach a stage where they are likely to repeat anything they hear, regardless of how mixed the company. So be it. If she calls rude people on their behavior after hearing K and I gripe about it, more power to her. As K said, they should be embarrassed that a 2-year-old knows her manners better than them.
We leaned over and started the commentary. Those people are really loud, aren't they? They're so loud, you turned around. That's why we don't talk loudly in restaurants. It bothers other people. It's rude.
Bug seemed to soak in the lesson. When we got into the truck to head home, Bug started hooting in the back seat. We asked her what she was doing, and she said, "I being loud in the car!" K praised her for choosing a more appropriate place to be loud.
At one point during our dinner I was compelled to pull out the camera. Bug had been munching on a roll and was down to the bottom half. K and I were both finished eating so we witnessed the strange occurence. She held the roll in her hand, and quickly poked the index finger from her other hand into it. She then put the roll to her ear and said, "Hello?"
K asked her if her roll was a phone. "Noooooo!" (See also Mommy and Daddy = Idiots.)
I tried to get a picture of her with her phone-roll without success. Here's what I got when I asked for a big smile, the ham.
Yes, that is a little booboo on her left cheek. It was caused by a fall off K's leg as they played a game Bug told me was called "Up and Down." Playing seems simple enough: K sits on the couch and Bug clutches onto his leg as he does leg lifts. She rolled off and landed face first on a matchbox car. The cars were picked up and Bug was squealing with glee again when I came into the room.
She went to bed without a hitch tonight, as usual. Thirty minutes of singing later, I went in to check on her, to make sure she didn't have a dirty diaper keeping her awake. When I got in there, she said, "I want my blanket back on, please." I put her socks (not on her hands but in her doctor kit) back on, pulled her blanket back up, kissed her and headed out.
Ten minutes later she started calling me. I couldn't make out through the monitor what she was saying, until she started singing her request. It was somewhere between singing and crying... not crying, but a long, plaintive moan.
Bug: "Maaaaaahmeeeeee, ahhhhhhhh! I want my Boooooooobaaaaaaah, ahhhhhhh!"
I found Boobah sitting on the floor near her desk and delivered him to the tent, reminding her that I done asked her when she first went to bed if Boobah was in the tent, and she said, "Yeah."
All is quiet now. Silly Bug.
For the first time in ages, Bug and I made it almost all the way home -- to our exit -- without a request for her music. Instead we had quite an inspired conversation about the weather.
While still on base, Bug waxed observational.
Bug: There's a lot of snow on the ground!
Mommy: There is, but we need more. We haven't had a decent snow since Mom Mom and Popeye were here, and that was a long time ago. Do you remember playing with your rocket sled in the snow with Mom Mom and Popeye?
Bug: Yeah! That was fun! We need more snow!
Mommy: We sure do! You know what we should do tonight? We should do a snow dance.
Bug: A snow dance! ::wiggle wiggle:: Yeah!
Mommy: If we do a snow dance, maybe it will snow.
Bug: And I play in my rocket sled! That'd be fun! ::seriously:: We have to do a snow dance tonight, Mommy!
After a few minutes of silence, I heard her softly humming and then singing to herself. Straining to hear, I made out a little bit of it.
Bug: We need more snow! More snow! More snow!
What? Making up random songs? Totally a K thing.
Soon after, she asked for her music, so there was little talk till we got home. We did have a short conversation about how Slava (our cat) likes to eat the ribbon off balloons (and then throw up) which is yucky, so the balloons I gave her from this weekend's baby shower should stay in the car. When we entered the house, she was repeating, "Bubba eats the ribbons off my balloons. That's yucky!" After this fact was well acknowledged by K and me, she gave up on it and discussed with Daddy the need for us to do a snow dance tonight.
We talked briefly again about the snow dance right before bathtime, while I was running down the plan of action once her show was finished. I reminded her that when she got her jammies on, we'd have to do the snow dance. After a short discussion, it was decided that the snow dance should definitely include tippie toes, hopping and wiggling the butt.
And that's how it happened. After jammies were donned we performed the snow dance, including several refrains of, "Snow! Snow! Snow! We want snow!" and finishing it off with a double high five. Bug was overwhelmed with glee and optimism, following it up with her own little running man dance and yelling, "I think it's working!"
Her enthusiasm continued on the way to brush teeth. She decided to snow dance down the hall, sticking to the tippie toes and butt wiggling, all the while squealing and calling out, "I think it's working!"
Knowing Bug and her glee, this one's going to stick. The snow dance is going to become a fixture in the nightime ritual, just you wait. Hottest day of the year in Alaska? There'll be a snow dance.
p.s. to K - Dora tonight. She sang along with the Grumpy Old Troll song. Oh the cuteness!
This site is about our sweet little girl, whom we call Bug. It was created so we could share more of her life with our family since we live so far apart, and also to chronicle her life for future reference. If you're curious about the name of this blog, you can read an explanation here.
Bug was born in October, 2003. She especially loves dancing, reading, running and squealing.
Email can be sent to bug dot momma at gmail dot com.
Bug became a big sister to Jem in February, 2006.