My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Year of the Monkey

Wow! Red is two! Not sure how that happened but, I’m glad of it. I’m glad to be done with babies and baby stuff. I’m glad she’s on her way to being a little kid who can articulate her feelings, tell me where it hurts, tell me what she wants to eat rather than just generally whining and moaning until I get it right. And then throwing rejected food across the kitchen floor. I’m glad she’ll be about done with diapers by the end of the year.

Here’s what I wrote last year when Red celebrated her first birthday:

"One year later, Red has widened our circle and proven that with each child, you find a new kind of love that’s just been waiting around to be needed and used. You know how researchers claim we only use 10% of our brain? I think the heart is the same way. Each child claims another, previously unused, portion of it and makes it swell and rejoice in the extra love. Before Red, my love for Dusty was such that I couldn’t have imagined loving another child as much or as fiercely as I do for Red. She’s a force to be reckoned with but is so uniquely herself that we’ve all discovered a new part of ourselves that had been waiting for her, waiting to love her, to adore her, to be annoyed by her, to make our family whole.

"She’s the end for me. The last pregnancy. The last baby. I’m looking forward to the next decade being filled with children, rather than babies. I will miss holding a tiny baby. I will miss the end of breast feeding (should Red ever decide to give it up already!). I will not miss the lack of sleep, the constant change that is par for the course during the first year of life. I look forward to watching Red learn to talk and communicate, to Dusty and Red really being able to play together, to a lessening of the kind of constant vigilance small children require (unless you wish to end up in the ER every damn weekend), to the physical neediness they expect.

"In a sick way, I wish a third child was possible: possible for my body to take, for our bank account to handle, for my sanity. But, I think I’m done. I've given my children a sibling and that's the best I can offer them -- when I'm gone, they'll at least have each other.

Happy Birthday, Red! I’m glad you’re mine!"

And my goodness, how Red has changed since then. She’s still an obstreperous child, still quite willful but she’s showing signs of great intelligence, humor, and musical ability. I’ve been keeping lists lately, on various scraps of paper, of all the things she can do now. I’m sure I’ll forget something, but this is a start (bear with me):

-Throws her trash in the trash can (and sometimes things that aren’t trash).

-Can put her dishes in the sink when she’s done with them (and sometimes when she’s not).

-Sings and makes up songs like these Top of the Pops hits: “Gowa Gowa Bay!” “Day Day Day/Ga Ga Bye/A E I/A-da-bye!” “Day-go bye bye!” “Yuppy Yuppy YAH-pee!” and the international #1 hit, “Baby go nite-nite!” – it’s the most charming thing because as she’s singing, she’ll rock herself back and forth, cover Vanilla Head Baby [see footnote] with a blanket. She then smacks V.H.B. on the back (or face) as she sings, “Bayyy-beee go niiiite-niiiiite!”

-Kisses everyone’s hands, arms, etc. Particularly likes to grab my arm and kiss it while I change her diaper. Kisses her animals and dolls and makes you do the same.

-Makes her neigh-neighs (horses) kiss each other. It must be love!

-Grabs her crotch and pulls on her diaper when it needs changing (usually indicative of #2).

-Can put on clothes (mainly a second or third pair of shorts) and take them off. Likes to be shirtless (who can blame her?).

-Dances like a crazy fool. Has some amazing little dance steps but mostly likes to run in circles when music is played.

-Hugs her animals close and pats their backs with her free hand.

-Can build a tall tower with big Legos.

-Likes to fill cups with sand (in the sandbox) or water (in the tub) and transfer the contents to another cup.

-Can throw a ball. Really, can throw anything. And does. Which, when that something is dinner, is incredibly annoying.

-Can swing in a big-girl swing. She’s very adept at holding tight to the chains and keeping herself upright.

-Can turn doorknobs and let herself into rooms. Not necessarily a good thing.

-Likes to comb/brush her hair and everyone else’s.

-Likes to wash herself in the tub with soap: feet, belly and hands.

-Can pee in the potty, though mainly just likes to get naked and sit on the potty.

-Likes to talk VERY LOUD and make declarations like, “No! Duh Wuh Buh!” or “Ninna mumma dada NO!”

-Can say “milk” (mulk), “no more” (no mow), “moo,” “Sissy” (her name for Dusty), “book” (as in, “Yay! Buk! Buk!” when you ask her if she wants you to read a book to her.), and “bagel” (bay-guh!).

-Can also say nose, mouth, eye (and point them out), “all gone” (ah gahn), and many other words. She seems to say at least one new thing a day.

-Likes to be Ghost Baby – she covers herself in a blanket and walks around with a zombie-like stomping while the rest of us say, “Oh no! Where’s Red? Where’d she go?” The G.B. then giggles under her invisibility cloak until she rips it off to reveal herself. Fun!

Here’s what one horoscope has to say about those born today: "Birthday Baby: You know how to get what you want and you are willing to do whatever is necessary to achieve your life goals. You have wonderful ideas and can find solutions easily. Your openness and your communication skills invite popularity."

Yeah, that’s about right.

Happy Birthday, Red! You’re one swell kid!

-- Vanilla Head Baby is this squooshy-bodied doll whose hard plastic head smells like vanilla. Why, I do not know. It’s an unnecessary and rather repellant addition. Red loves her. The rest of us put up with her presence. My mom got her for Red for her first birthday because while Red loved Dusty’s Sasha baby, she ate Sasha’s hair. So, we needed to find a baby without hair. Hence, VHB with her plastic molded hair. And her nasty, unaccountable smell.

P.S. New photos have been added to flickr - preschool graduation, trip to botanical garden, and more!


8:49 a.m. ::
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