Thursday, September 27, 2012

Herding cats

The terrible twos have hit with a vengeance.  I thought we'd somehow sidestepped them by teaching Charlotte to sign.  She's such a great talker anyhow that she could say pretty much anything she's thinking or feeling by now.  I read in a few different places that the root of the terrible twos was frustration on the part of the child who isn't able to communicate, but that's not what's going on here.  Nope, we have full-fledged defiance.  A daily battle of wills.  A constant testing of limits.  And it's really really hard.

I'm slowly learning to pick my battles.  If Charlotte does something I'd rather she not do, I should redirect her away from whatever it is.  If I come right out and tell her NOT to do something, that's exactly what she then does, over and over, with giggles and grins the whole time.  Yesterday, it was swatting at her sister while we were all brushing our teeth (picture Charlotte standing on the counter, me behind her holding Maggie in one hand and my own toothbrush in the other.  It's that or I don't get to brush my teeth until after lunch.).  I explained that she was scaring Maggie and might hurt her; that we don't hit people; that she would not want anyone swatting at her.  It didn't matter what I said, Charlotte just kept swinging her arms at Maggie.  It was too late to just redirect her attention, and I didn't want her to think her actions were acceptable.  But what in the world can I do at that point?

Compounding the challenge is the fact that I have Maggie to contend with too, so I can't just drop everything and devote my full attention to Charlotte.  Besides, I don't want Charlotte to misbehave as a way to GET my full attention.  I try to devote at least 30 minutes each day just to Charlotte, one-on-one without computers or phones or a baby sister stealing any of my focus.  It's not that I ignore her the rest of the day, but my attention is perpetually split between the two kids, the house that always needs cleaning, bills that I need to pay, meals to prepare, etc.

Is this terrible twos, or sibling jealousy?  How do I discipline a 2 1/2 year old?  I think it's time I started attending the "Parenting Toddlers" support group.  If I learn anything earth-shattering, I'll share it with you.  Until then, I just need a sympathetic ear (or eye, in this case) to listen and nod in understanding.  Eventually, Charlotte won't be 2 any more.  And until then, I need to remember that her "terrible-ness" fills less than 2 hours out of the whole day.  She's still a complete joy the rest of the time.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

7-month stats

Maggie had her "6"-month visit with the pediatrician today.  She's just under 27 inches tall and weighs 16 pounds 2 ounces.  She's in the 30-40th percentiles for weight and height.  Her head circumference is 17.5 inches, which is some higher percentile, but I forget what.  She's parallelling Charlotte's size now, I think.  This is the point in Charlotte's life when the doc suggested I supplement.  This time, even though Maggie has dropped a few percentiles, he declared that she looks healthy and is doing fine with whatever I'm feeding her.  Good, because I wasn't going to supplement anyhow.  So,  all continues to be well.  Both girls will get flu shots in a month- we'll see how that goes. And by falling a month behind on Maggie's appointments, we'll be able to take care of Maggie 12-month and Charlotte's 3-year visits all at once.

Pictures soon.  Honest!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Another month

Seven now.  I still have those stickers that I'm supposed to put on Maggie's tummy so I can record each month in photos, but they're never in the same room as the camera.  Or as Maggie and me.  Maybe tomorrow.  Then we'll only be 3 days late.

Anyhow, she'll have her "6" month pedi visit later this week and I'll know then how much she's grown.  I can't even begin to guess.  She looks a lot leaner to me, in both body and face.  She doesn't have the huge cheeks that Charlotte did, although people do sometimes comment on her cheeks (which I don't understand, aside from the fact that her whole face is adorable, including her cheeks).  She's pretty much completely in 9-month clothes now, although a few 6-month onesies and a whole lot of smaller pants still fit.  She's long, or seems so to me.  And oh so happy ALL the time.  Just tonight, when she was 45 minutes late to have her dinner and we made her ride in the car for an impromptu run to a favorite burrito take-out joint, Maggie was cracking up as Charlotte tried to imitate the "words" she was saying.

Maggie fusses a little when we put her to bed now, but doesn't full-out cry, and falls asleep within a few minutes.  She loves walking in the Ergo, which I have to say is the most comfortable front carrier I've worn.  I haven't tried it on my back yet, nor with Charlotte.  But I love having Maggie on my front where she can smile up at me whenever she wants to.  Sitting is very old hat.  The new skill this month is controlled falling.  When she wants to get down from her seated position, she tips over, on purpose and always to her left, and catches herself before her face or head can touch the floor.  It looks a little reckless, but I can tell by the complete lack of surprise that it's intentional.  Once down on her belly, though, she gets a little frustrated because rocking and rolling don't always take her exactly where she wants to go.

Baby Signing Time is a big hit and has become the household pacifier when Maggie does occasionally get upset, or when I need to occupy her so I can get something done.  She also loves standing- sitting on someone's lap is fun only for a couple of minutes, but standing is fun for as long as someone's willing to help her with the balance.

Sleep in general is great.  She's easy to put to bed at night or for naps, wakes up cheerful almost all of the time, and sleeps through the night (7:30-5ish) about 5 times each week.  She consistently wakes up at 2:30, though, those other two nights.  I've kept track of all her naps and feedings since she was born, so I looked at my notes to see if, maybe, she'd only nursed 4 times during the days preceding an interrupted night's sleep.  I looked for nap patterns- maybe she'd slept too much during the day.  A later-than-normal bedtime?  I haven't found an explanation.  Maybe I'm just a big softie two nights each week and it's all me, not her.  When she does wake during the night, she generally nurses for 20 minutes and goes right back to sleep.  Then she wakes up at 7, same time as Charlotte.

Feeding... she is so easily distracted that it's nearly impossible to get a full feed into her during the day.  I sometimes leave Charlotte in front of the TV watching Blues Clues so I can feed Maggie in her own room, but I can't do that multiple times each day.  Even if Charlotte is quietly "reading" or doing puzzles, Maggie has to look at her every minute or two to make sure she's not missing anything.  We're well into solids now, with two "meals" worked into our day as often as I can fit them in.  I try to coordinate Maggie's solid meals with Charlotte's lunch and dinner so the three (or four) of us can sit at the table together to eat.  She  jams two fingers in her mouth as soon as I withdraw the spoon, and ends up smearing food all over. She likes everything except green vegetables (peas and green beans, specifically) so far.  Maggie looks so proud and grown-up sitting in the highchair, and she attacks Mum Mums and puffs with great enthusiasm.  She's getting pretty good at picking things up off the tray.

I've been pretty awful with my own sleep habits lately, sometimes going to bed at 2 or 3 in the morning for no good reason.  I function pretty well but fall asleep every time I sit down.  I am making a serious effort to get back into a real routine, so no more post tonight.  I always promise photos, but rarely deliver.  I finally got a smart phone and have taken a lot of pictures with it, but haven't figured out how to put them on the computer yet (not that I expect it to be hard, I just haven't tried).  When I do that, I'll have lots to share.

G'night all.