Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Sasha Says, ep. 16

"My mom has a birthday really soon. It's this year. I have a birthday next year." (Sasha's birthday is next month)

"My mom is 30 right now. She's turning 41."

"There's a kid in my class who acts kinda weird, and I'm scared he will grow up and kill people."

"Murderers are not real."

"I tried wingardium leviosa [a levitating spell from Harry Potter] on my brother so he would hit his head on the ceiling, but it didn't work."

"Once, we had a kitten, but it jumped on my head so we had to throw it away." [Turns out she meant that it was too wild, so her family gave it away.]

High fives,

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Ezra's newest trick

He's very proud of his downward dog pose, and will literally crawl up to you and then pull out the baby yoga in hopes of praise. If you walk away, he will scuttle after you, reposition himself at your feet, and try it again. Hilarious.


Saturday, 9 March 2013

baby styles

My two babies are about two months apart in age, and right now they're neck-and-neck developmentally speaking. They're both on the brink of walking, they're both beginning to obviously understand much of what I say to them, they're both nurturing a sense of humor.

But they each have their own distinct style.

They have both learned how to wave goodbye, but while Ezra's wave is a dopey looking full-arm flopping affair, Athena's is a perfect, refined princess wave. Her wave belongs on a parade float.

They both have fully committed to the dropping-food-on-the-floor stage of life. But while Ezra drops food (half of the time by accident) and then immediately cranes over the high chair tray to see if the dog will eat it, Athena picks up her food, delicately licks it, and then flings it as hard as she can across the kitchen.

Ezra is extremely food motivated. When I pick Ezra up, he will desperately unleash all five ASL signs I've taught him (more, all done, milk, diaper change, please) in the hopes that they will result in food. When I try to teach Athena ASL signs, she deliberately looks the other way. She is not interested in your puerile human tricks. She might eat the food you offer her, if she feels like it. But only if you hand feed her one nibble at a time. Otherwise it's a swift swipe to the floor.

So basically what I'm saying is that Ezra is kind of like a dog, and Athena is kind of like a cat.

High fives,

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

remaining calm

A couple of weeks ago, HB and I babysat Colby and Molly together. This is nearly always an easier task to do together, because both kids tend toward separation anxiety meltdowns, and if one starts crying there's a 90% chance it will set the other one off.

Colby is notoriously a bedtime fighter, and nearly always insists that he will stay awake to wait for his mother's return. As long as he's in bed with the overhead light off I don't care what he does for the three hours between official bedtime and babysitter departure.

That requirement was apparently completely unreasonable.

Colby screamed, cried, slammed the door, threw things, basically freaked the hell out for about half an hour (waking Molly, of course) while I calmly, patiently stood in the doorway and kept repeating myself in a soothing voice. Everything I tried was failing: resorting to firm preschool teacher language ("turning on the light is not a choice" -- "Yes it is a choice! It's my house, you don't live here!"), acknowledging his feelings ("I can tell you're upset") and reiterating reality ("I know you want your mom but she can't come home right now; she will be here in three hours"). Just about at my wit's end, I decided maybe I could try something new: getting to the root of his emotional outburst and enlisting his help in problem-solving.

When I asked him to name his feelings, he said, "sad and mad." I asked what was making him feel that way, and he said it was because I wasn't letting him have the overhead light on. I asked a few more questions and figured out he was scared of the dark. (Although when I asked what he was scared of specifically -- I do have some good monster repellent tips -- he said "I forget." So just general darkness heebie-jeebies.) Then I asked him if he could help me come up with a solution besides turning on the overhead light. He agreed that a flashlight would work if it was bright enough, but their house didn't have a working one.

So I offered him my bike headlight, which is extremely bright. Like, don't shine it in your eyes unless you want retina damage bright.

He agreed (cautiously) to try it, and he spent the next two hours shining it around on the ceiling and talking to himself. Every so often he'd yell, "Mom?" and HB and I would repeat, "She's not home yet, Colby. We will send her in to your room first thing." but he actually fell asleep, bike light in hand, before his parents got home. I felt like a champion.

It seemed that what he needed was feeling heard, understood, and respected, as well as feeling like he had a sense of agency over the situation. Which makes perfect sense. Isn't that what most of us want most of the time?


Sasha Says, ep. 15

"My dad is pretty old. He's like, in his 40s or 70s." [Sasha's dad being "old" is something of a theme around here.]

"I don't want to ever grow up because I don't want to drive a stupid ol' car!"

"I feel really bad for my parents because they never get to watch movies, because they're so busy takin' care of Ezra an' me."

Upon seeing a National Geographic photograph of some sort of small mouse-like rodent with several fuzzy offspring: "Maybe that's Peter Pettigrew [a person who transforms into a rat in Harry Potter] with his babies!"

Upon seeing a roadkill squirrel on the walk home: "That's so gross and sad! Even sadder than if it was a squished person!"

"Abraham Lincoln stopped slavery."

"My dad is a grumpy old man. He's always grumpy. Like actually all the time. Except when you're here."

High fives,

Saturday, 2 March 2013

workin' it

Ezra just turned one, which means it's time for him to buck up and start working for his keep.

Conveniently, he's very self-motivated, and happily assigns himself "jobs" that he meticulously completes. He's quite handy to have around.

He washes the windows.

He puts things away where he believes they belong, which is usually under cushions. Lollipops, alphabet magnets, socks, crumpled tissues -- really just about everything belongs under cushions.

He drags all of our shoes into a pile in the middle of the floor.

And he sweeps!