Tuesday, January 29, 2013

We'll, That's Not Going To Work

First, my apologies for that hot mess that was my last post.   In case it was not really obvious, I posted from my Android phone, which has the cool Swyping technology, and didn't proofread it.  The technology is great for typing in a hurry, but not always so fabulous for accuracy.  Sometimes using it is the only way I can find time to post, but wow, can it be painful to read!

Miss M and I ended up having a series of long conversations about how we don't bite/hit/etc our friends, because then they don't want to play with us.  Actually, we talked about the situation a lot of different ways, but that was the angle that seemed to resonate with her.  The little girl that she bit would not play with her the next day, and M was very sad about that, so I seized upon the idea and reinforced it.  You have to be flexible with three year olds, and go with things on a level they understand.

Unfortunately, Miss M subsequently bit my husband while playing with him.  It was unprovoked, and she wasn't angry.  They were horsing around, and she just reached over and bit him.  She said she meant to bite his shirt.  In any event, she got in VERY BIG trouble.  I was running errands at the time, but when I returned home, she had been in a long time out, and then he'd put her in jammies and put her to bed, and it wasn't even 7pm.  She was already asleep when I returned, though, so she clearly needed the sleep.  I think she's been getting overtired from daycare, too--too much activity, and the mornings are early.  That certainly didn't cause the situation, but it hasn't helped.

Mostly, I have just tried to focus on her and be there for her and be patient with her and love her as much as I can.  Slowly, it seems to be working.  Her attitude is better and everything is easier, and there have been no more biting incidents.  Fingers crossed.  We just have to get through the next few weeks, and then T will be home again.  At that point, we can decide to have her home again with him.

T. really wants to have both kids at home.  With her enrolled in "real" (ie, a better) preschool next fall, he sees this spring and summer as his last chance to spend time with her.  He loves it here, and wants to be able to take her out in the city and do things with her while she is at an age to enjoy them, and while they both have the time.  I'm reluctant to take her out of the daycare, though.  The structure is good for her, the routine.  We'll have four more months here, and once we take her out, we will lose the spot and won't be able to put her back in.  I hate to upset the apple cart.  But we've got a bit more time to decide.

In other news, we explored the option of buying the little cabin.  It turned out that zoning regulations prohibit putting in a septic.  There is, however, a "shared" outhouse.  I didn't even ask who would be "sharing" the outhouse.  With that little phrase, the dream evaporated.  At least, that particular dream.  We've been talking about other options, other possibilities.  It was a good jumping off point for us, so the impossible, nonsensical cabin remains a happy little inspiration.

Oh, and we've been potty training.  Or, not.  Miss M is utterly disinterested.  I thought being in class with potty trained kids would stimulate her interest, but no.  Despite her lack of active cooperation, we put her in underwear on the weekends, and every time we do so, she pees her pants while standing right next to the potty 2 minutes after she got off it, etcetera.  At first, I thought she just wasn't able to connect the feeling of needing to go with needing to sit down, because she doesn't feel herself pee in diapers.  But I think it's more than that, and I'm at a loss for how to handle it.  Her pediatrician said to just let it go and wait until she is interested and ready.  He assured me that it was not physiological.  But she is intelligent and highly verbal, and I am baffled as to why she isn't more interested.   Shouldn't she be potty trained already?  All of her friends who are this age have at least peed or pooped on the potty at SOME point.  She has not.  Never, ever.  She isn't so keen on wearing underwear, either, as she doesn't like to have accidents.  In fact, she screams every time it happens.  It's such a distinct "I peed on the floor" scream that I can identify the problem just by hearing her pitch.  I can't decide if we should carry on with trying on the weekends, or simply let it go.

Toddlerhood is not for the faint of heart.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Daycare Incident

When I picked Miss M up from preschool yesterday, one of her teachers said that there had been an incident during the day. She said it so casually that I thought it was going to be no big deal. From the way she phrased it ("there was an incident, but we took care of it"), I also expected that something had happened TO Miss M.. I even turned to look at her, unconcerned because she's a tough little cookie, and she seemed fine.

 That's when the teacher dropped the bomb that she BIT another child during the day, when the child had tried to take a toy from her. I was aghast.

 The teacher had a written report prepared, and I had to sign off on it. Or preschool has a policy that kids who bite multiple times are expelled.

 I at a loss as to how to prevent it from happening again. She is not a biter. She's never been a biter. I have no idea wherein this is coming from.  I am horrified.

 She and I had a long discussion about it last night.  I love this age.  She is both honest, and able to recount what transpired.  Apparently, it was time to clean up, and she was not cleaning up.  The other child took a toy from her, in an attempt to follow the rules and clean up, and Miss M didn't like that, so she bit her.  Argh.  She was very remorseful, but I just don't know where to go from here.

She seems to be having a bit of a hard time lately, and it seems to have been brought on by the fact her sister now attends her daycare.  Before, it was our thing, Miss M and I, but for the next couple of months we have SB there, too, while my husband takes some classes.  I didn't expect this reaction, but she's become clingy and wants only me.  She has had some outbursts at home, too. But nothing like the biting.   Jeesh.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

It Doesn't Even Make Sense

I have fallen deeply, madly, irrationally in love with a little cabin in the woods that has no running water. It sits on a wild pond, with 50 feet of waterfront shorline and its very own sandy beach. Did you read the first part? NO RUNNING WATER. It has no bathroom. No toilet. No shower. No toilet. And yet, I want to buy it.

It all started out innocently enough. We have a month off in June/July, before we move to South America for my new job. When I made the arrangements to take the month off, many months ago, it seemed like a good idea. After all, who wouldn't like an extra month of vacation time? But after having already spent weeks staying with family during the month we had off last fall, we discovered that our little family has grown to a size, and is at an age, that we are perhaps not the best of houseguests. It would be one thing if some of the people in our lives were not so set in their ways. But they are who we are, and we, em, DISTURB them.

So anywho, I was looking for a house to rent for the month we have off, because we dont yet have a place to stay. I was looking for a place near where our friends and family live, so that we could be near them, but not with them. And then I took a detour.

A friend of mine, faced with this same dilemma, recently bought a summer place on a lake. That sounded like a good idea, but lake properties are crazy expensive in New England, so I just did a quick search to see if there was something inexpensive in an area where we have friends and family. It turned out that there wasn't anything at all, but one thing led to another, and I found this amazing little cottage for sale. Did I mention that it's a two HOUR from all of our friends and family? The program I was using, when faced with the dilemma of finding an inexpensive property within 20 miles of my mother-in-law's house must have decided to default to just inexpensive properties.

So, this cottage makes NO sense at all. There's no running water. There's no indoor plumbing. It's far from our friends and family. And yet it's SO perfect. SO perfect. I am in love. I showed it to T, and he loves it, too, and wants to buy it, even though it is just totally irrational. I emailed the realtor for more information. It's highly unlikely that we'll do anything, but it's sure fun to dream. PS Canuary is going incredibly badly. We have had one illness after another, and nighttime has been particularly bad. I'm not getting any sleep, so eeking out time for myself to read, etc., isn't going well. Maybe next week?!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

And This Is What Happens When I try To Plan

I was indeed up at 4 am this morning. Alas, it was not for the purpose of putting my Canuary plan into action. I awoke in the wee hours of the morning to some rather lively discussion coming from Miss M's room. It seems that she wad feeling better, and was hungry. I think it was the bloody noise which initially woke her. The sheets were covered, and it was more than a little jarring to walk into her room in the middle of night to see her standing there, waffle in hand, jabbering away a mile of minute, blood everywhere. My poor husband was already up, and had managed to clean her up already. "Mommy, will you stay with me?" She begged, and how could I say no? My husband disappeared in a nanosecond, and I spent the next few hours curled up with a coughing, snotty Almost-three year old, snoozing while she watched videos on my iPad. She woke me whenever she needed a new one, but otherwise let me sleep. Spanish? What Spanish?! I will try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Canuary 2013

Happy New Year!   May 2013 bring you everything you hope for.

I've been thinking about what I want from this year, and I realized that I am not looking to make major changes in my life.  Given that we are moving to South America in six months and my new job there, the major changes are pretty much already lined up for us for 2013.  I'm currently working and trying to learn Spanish, and thanks to that stomach flu last week, I don't even need to lose any weight.  In short, I don't really need to start something new for January.  When I think about trying to throw some new things in my schedule, though, it all feels too overwhelming.  With the kids and work and learning Spanish and just trying to survive everyday life, my plate feels very, very full.  And yet, it would be even better if I could tweak some things.  Yes, what I really need is some little tweaks to my life.  

For example, I've sort of hit a learning plateau with my Spanish.  I'm not really sure how to break through.  I know I need to be practicing conversation more.  What I really enjoy, though, is reading.  By the time I get home from work, feed the girls, get them in bed, etc., I'm too tired to read, let alone think about conversation.  I'm just not very productive at night.  The solution, I think, would be to go to bed a bit earlier, and get up at 4 or 4:30am.  I love the early morning.  I am so productive in those early hours, and if I got up even an hour earlier than my current 6am rise, it would give me time to read in Spanish every morning.  It would be something I enjoy, AND good for my Spanish.

I have a bunch more little tweaks, but of course the baby is awake and fussing.  She never wants to be put down these days.  Argh.  Hence the reason I never have time for making little changes!

It's too much to contemplate making these tweaks on a long-term basis.  Hence, I'm christening January CANuary.  If I can do it for a month, I'm more likely to adopt these new habits long-term.