Today I was working on my NaNoWriMo novel during Little Sister’s nap. When I started, Big sister was happily playing in her room. When she found me at the computer, she begged me to let her play PBS kids games. When I told her it was my turn on the computer, she was not pleased. I told her that I got one half-hour and then it would be her turn again. I even set the timer. However, she continued to linger behind me making loud noises and generally making clear to me that the arrangement was not to her liking. I asked her several times to stop. One of these times, I was a bit distracted. In a firm voice, I told her, “If you don’t stop, you are going to have to go out to the car.” When I realized what I had said, I turned to Big Sis and grinned. We made eye contact and both burst into uproarious laughter. Between belly laughs she said,
“You said I would have to go to the car, but you meant my room!”
After that moment of pleasant connection, she settled down and I was able to finish my chapter. I love laughing with my girls!
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I just found half a bag of frozen corn with a twist-tie on it in the drawer where I keep my twist-ties. Thankfully it had only been a few minutes since my absentminded error, and the corn was still safely frozen. A minute later, I caught myself trying to put the tortilla chips in the refrigerator. Oh dear!
Little Sister found another dead beetle on the front porch.
“Bee!” She shrieked in glee. She extended her pointer finger and pressed it against the beetle’s back. The pressure of her finger caused the beetle to shoot through the air in a big arc. The beetle’s post-mortem gymnastics delighted Little Sis so much that she repeated the performance over and over until
her finger went through the exoskeleton. I thought it was gross. She thought it was hilarious.
This afternoon, we went for a walk around our peaceful new neighborhood with our delightful new neighbor and her younger daughter, who is just Big Sister’s age. The weather was delicious, sunny but not too warm, and the conversation pleasant. We left the jogger home and I wore Little Sister in our well-loved Mobywrap carrier while Big Sis walked. Before long, Little Sis wanted to explore too, so I put her down and let her run with the big girls. I love watching her run! At 17 months, she can’t yet get much speed, so her running looks like her walking, but more intense. She throws her considerable enthusiasm into the small pistons of her legs and they churn furiously, thrusting against the ground, struggling to increase her speed. She is the picture of delight, exulting in her freedom. She is becoming faster, and I cannot wait until her body catches up with her desire to move. Maybe she’ll be a runner like her aunts.
One day after Daddy’s first day of work at his real grown-up job, Big Sister came down in her pajamas and saw Daddy on his way out the door.
“Where are you going, Daddy?” She asked.
“AGAIN?” She exclaimed, obviously shocked. “Awwww. That’s too bad.”
Of course, we explained that we are grateful that Daddy has a job to help take care of our family, but I understand her disappointment. It’s been fun to see a lot more of our Daddy the last few months, and this first week of work has been a big change! I guess we’ll just treasure our evenings and weekend time together.
This afternoon, I felt energized and excited by the things I accomplished in the house while both of the girls slept. Big Sister didn’t nap much during our wild and crazy summer, and I wasn’t sure she would go back to taking naps now that we’re settled in our new place. But she has! The last few days, it has been lovely to settle Little Sis down for her nap, and then spend some time playing with Big Sister before reading to her and having her go to bed too. And then, as I explained to Big Sis, I have “special Mommy time” to catch up on housework, study the scriptures, write a journal entry, sort through clothes I had stored for the next season, read a book or just enjoy the quiet! Today I even got to spend special one-on-one time with Little Sister before Big Sis rejoined us.
When Little Sister woke up from her nap, I walked into her room feeling cheerful, and seeing her standing at the side of her crib, beaming up at me, just thrilled me. My joy at seeing her spilled over into a huge grin.
“Hi!” I exclaimed.
Seeing my response to her, Little Sister went from cheerful to ecstatic. I scooped up my wiggley bundle of delight and held her close, telling her how much I love her and how glad I was to see her. We played happily, then I changed her diaper, gave her a little snack and tried some fall and winter clothes on her. You know she was in a good mood when little miss “don’t-pull-that-over-my head-or-else” sat on my lap through five or more changes of clothes! I used her delight in “pretties” to distract her, drawing her attention to the cute details on the various articles of clothing until I could get her into them. We had so much fun together!
And then, Big Sis came pitter-pattering down the stairs, and seeing her sleepy smile I again felt a thrill of delight and couldn’t restrain a grin. Again I greeted my precious baby with an eager “Hi!”
I told Big Sis that it was time to wash her hair, and she balked, begging me to let her play first, wash later. When I insisted on doing things the other way around, Big Sister began her defense. Now, Big Sister rivals her attorney father in her skill at exploiting loopholes, but this time around she tried a more direct approach.
“Mom, it hurts my bones–I mean it hurts my feelings, when you don’t give up. Are you going to give up?”
I tried pin curls again. I got one perfect spiral next to my face, and the rest tumbled so haphazardly all over my head that I had to pile them up and pin them down to tame the insanity. The look seemed a little formal for every day, but I’m excited about the possibilities…
Several hours after Daddy left my parents’ house to go take the Bar Exam, Little Sis lay on the floor while I changed her diaper. She looked up at me with a quizzical expression and said,
After fifteen months of almost constant interaction with Little Sis, I knew immediately what she meant, and quickly responded.
“Oh sweetheart, Daddy did leave, and he’ll be gone for a while, but he will come back.”
Diaper changed and question answered, she toddled off to play, satisfied. I smiled and rejoiced in the magic of communication.
Big Sis lay on the kitchen floor eating an apple. Wondering why she would choose a prone position for eating, I stopped washing dishes to watch. My silent curiousity was soon satisfied. Big Sister bit into the rosy red apple and dramatically flung her arm out, sending the apple rolling accross the floor. She lay motionless with her eyes closed for a moment before retrieving the apple and finishing it with obvious enjoyment.