Twenty-five Months: Sing a Song!

Dear Miriam,

While we've been catering to you for over two years now, lately it's taken a new turn. Your verbal acuity and basic two-ness combine to create a true dictator. Stand up, Sit down here, Take your shoes off, Put on soft pants, Get Puppy -- you have the words for everything and we're at your bidding, apparently. We indulge you, ask you to say please, tell you no, but mostly we just marvel at what a little person you've become, and how large your opinions are in contrast to that little body.

Your opinions stood you well in Tahoe this past weekend, where you discovered snow. We explained that snow would be cold, since all your books make it look fluffy as chenile, but we also explained that you might think it was phenomenal (your new word), and sure enough, you observed both aspects of snow. On the first day, it was bright and sunny and you walked along the road, pulling chunks off the snowplow pile along the road and hucking them ahead of you gleefully. Sledding found you more cautious, willing to go down once or twice, but not really that into it.

But while you don't seem to feel the need for speed, this month saw the emergence of the running, climbing MZ. You've gone from being a fairly still child to something of an acrobat, and you really seem to enjoy activities that test your balance -- you love walking on bleachers, berms and stoops, and have taken a liking to the various ladders and climbing walls at the playgrounds we visit. It seems as though you've stopped working so hard at language acquisition, and have more energy to devote to moving your body.

With Pugawug along, you also discovered the joys of a potty party. In Tahoe, you two spent a good third of your time in the loo, watching and coaching and offering to flush. There were accidents, but also some grand successes. I'm not prepared to push this, we're just going to see where it takes us, but I won't be sorry to say bye-bye to diapers and our vigilance against diaper rash.

And finally, the world is a song. You sing everything, from songs you know to made up songs.
You sing about putting clothes on and seeing your grandparents and eating lunch. You sing the ABCs, This Old Man, and the perennial favorite, I've been working on the rainbow. We can't get enough of your singing, we find it endearing and lovely and the way you string your medleys together confirms your utter brilliance in our eyes.

Miriam, you put a song in our hearts always,
Your Mommy

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Pee Me a River

We got MZ a potty several months ago, and at first she was interested, but fairly quickly she stopped wanting to sit on it and we assumed she wasn’t ready for toilet training. But at her two year appointment, her pediatrician told us that two is the average age for American girls to potty train, so we went home and started trying again. Again she balked.

That same week we visited
Pugawug, who had just picked out her new toilet seat adapter and step stool, and MZ asked to try it out. She showed more interest and patience than she had previously, if not more pee. So we went out and got her a set of her own, and lo, she’s interested!

toilet trainer is super-light and has handles, same with the new stool. And she loves to put them in place and put them away. She’s Charles in Charge on the toilet, and she’ll sit for much longer than I would have expected.

After a few days of pre-nap poop-and-pee success, I let her go bottomless before we left the house. Who knew a toddler could pee so much? The puddle on the carpet was deep and wide, and confirmed everything I suspected about my ability to handle a rampantly evacuating child while penned up at home. I just don’t have the disposition for an
encampment, and find it a bit hard to great each accident with equanimity when they’re a mere twenty minutes apart. Assuming that my frustration would do more harm than good, I’m resolved that potty training may be a longer process for us than it is for the Potty Party set.

I bought her some
cotton training panties. Our friends and neighbors offered mixed reports, some said it was too confusing for the kiddos while others said they saved their sanity. After an accident in her trainers resulted in wet pants but no puddle, I know I fall in the latter camp. These are soft cotton and fairly thin, and MZ seems clear on the difference between these and diapers. And I’m not pulling my hair out trying to manage puddles, piles and the ubiquitous cat barf.

This morning she peed in her training pants, and I told her calmly that she could tell me when she has to pee and we’ll put her on the toilet. Thirty minutes later she told us she was peeing and we said we could go to the potty – she held it and completed the job on the toilet! Thirty minutes later, as I was leaving for work, I heard her telling Bubbie that she had to pee and off they went to the toilet again. Clear progress.

I like the idea of letting her pick out her own undies, but I think we’ll wait on that until she holds it a little longer between trips to the potty. Baby steps…

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I've been working on the rainbow!

...One of my favorites among MZ's made up lyrics. She walks around the house singing I've been working on the rainbow all the time, in a medley with Pop goes the Weasel and P5 N-G-O! (the social service arm of Voice of America, maybe?).

Alas, the singing was light this weekend as she had her first case of flu. We thought she seemed low last week, but there were no specific symptoms so we just took it easy. We decided to stay in Friday night as we had a big weekend planned: two birthday parties (one with Enzo!) and a Superbowl Party no one wanted to miss.

But late Friday evening, MZ threw up everything she'd eaten heartily at dinner. She had no idea what had happened (nor did we when we heard her yelps and gasps over the monitor), we scooped her up and R. bathed her gently while I remade the bed and put the grubbies in the wash. I knew there was a good chance we'd need them again soon. She woke up retching on Saturday, but has been relatively fine since, eating a bit of challah and banana, drinking broth and juice -- enough that we knew she wasn't dehydrating.

But she's been feverish, and has slept fitfully on us through every morning, roused herself to sip some soup, then told us it was time for bed. She's nibbled dinner, and here and there we've seen 10 minute bursts of personality and verve before she falls, exhausted again.

Having a sick baby requires some mind adjustment. I found myself having to settle into the reality of our slow-motion weekend, and while I loved the feeling of her in my arms again as she slept -- not since she had roseola has she slept in my arms -- such inactivity proved exhausting. Yet once she was in her own bed, I found myself tearing around the house, trying to catch up on a few of the tasks I'd set for myself on Friday.

I could tell she was feeling better tonight when she said she was going to a birthday party for her friends H. and T. We were sad to have to tell her we'd missed it.