(Post subtitle: In which we will see many pictures of Shulamis sleeping, because when she's awake, I don't have time to take pictures!)
My parents left a week ago today, meaning it's been two adults, two kiddos alone together for a whole week.
Aaannd... We're all still talking to each other! Well, to the limits of our individual capabilities.
Both babies are sleeping now, so of course, rather than wash dishes or clean up or, dare I say it, sleep (!), I'm blogging.
Item One: Sarah Rochel did finally play out a tiny bit of agression towards Shulamis, but it happened as follows. It musta been around bedtime, the source of our latest struggles. I was on the couch (nursing? Yeah, I think I must have been) and Sroch falls or something. I move the baby over, tell her to come cuddle and get a hug or whatever. There really was room, too. But...
"I want the baby to go away."
(WPO coming) "Oh. I hear you. That must be very hard."
She comes towards us, and I think gives me the old quick palm down motion, i.e. 'hits' me. "Sarah Rochel, I know you're upset, but you may NOT hit Mommy." (Mind you, this was less than a week ago, but I'm having trouble remembering details. Wait, maybe this was before the grandparents all left - shoot, I don't remember...) She cries, eventually climbs on the couch next to us, and starts kicking at me. "I don't like the baby." Kick. I catch her foot - hard - and say "You may NOT kick the baby!" She kicks towards the baby's head, I tell her no and tell her to go to her room... and she goes! Wow! Like I'm an actual parent or something! So she's crying in her room, I finish nursing, put the baby down, wait a bit, and go in. She and I have a conversation, wherein I say...
"Sarah Rochel, did you get mad?"
"Were you mad at the baby?"
"Were you mad at Mommy?"
And by the next morning, we were again sweetness and light towards our little sister. We still light up when she's around. So a continued bli ayin hara that she will continue to not loathe the Intruder.
Bedtime has become more of an issue, as have many things, because of one phrase that has entered into her rep-a-twa: But I like/want it. I REALLY like/want it. AAAAAHHHH!! It makes me want to scrape metal on chalkboards! It makes me want to abuse kittens!
Now, I adore (both) my daughters, and I am totally enamored with my eldest daughter's verbal skills (those of my youngest daughter still leave something to be desired, although Yoav says she said "all done" when she finished nursing earlier). But this phrase comes up CONSTANTLY. As in...
(at bedtime) I want a bawkle milk. (No, you can't have a bawkle at bedtime) But I WANT it. I REALLY want it.
(also at bedtime) But I like to be awake. I REALLY like it! (also repeated at 3, 4, 5 in the morning)
But I LIKE to stay in the park. But I LIKE to ride my tricycle to the doctor. But I LIKE to eat candy for breakfast. I may go mad.
Look, I'm her mother, so the poor thing can't pull the classic, "But my Mommy lets!" which is good, since I'd also go insane. But but but... !!!!
The problem is there's no rationalizing with her. For example, during the bedtime-bawkle incident a few nights ago* ("but I LIKE bawkle milks! I REALLY like bawkle milks!"), it didn't matter how many times I said we never have bawkles at bedtime** or just a plain, flat out "NO," she just kept saying, "But I LIKE..." We eventually got through that one. But we've been mastering the Art of the Stall ever since, including, "My stomach hurts" (because it will get us a piece of bread - but not when I know she ate dinner, so sorry kiddo). Tonight she tried the stomach-stall, the "I like to be awake"-stall - and then went into the bawkle-cry, and I found myself sitting there saying (echoes of my childhood!), "I said no, and I we are not having this discussion any further."
And then I - dimly - remembered: the kid is TWO. Which is why she immediately said, "But I LIKE it..."
In the end I left the room, she cried to sleep, we move on.
Fortunately, Shulamis doesn't think I'm abusing her, so hey, 50/50 right?
The other night Shulamis started crying for the first time all day - right at bath/bedtime. Oh, woe was me. Yoav was teaching, and I Did. Not. Know. What. To. Do. In the end, the baby cried a bit, I wore her in the sling until she fell asleep, I didn't wash Sroch's hair because I couldn't bed over the tub... and we all survived. But it was daunting. There will be times when one has to suffer while the other is tended to - there have already been small incidences of those - it's just up to me to make the judgement calls. Ha ha ha! No pressure!
(The next night Shulamis napped from dinner time through reading books time. I thanked her profusely.)
Shulamis was weighed and measured and shot this week - she's almost 4.3 kilo (about 9 1/2 pounds), 50th percentile (!!!), 25th percentile for height, 50th percentile for head circumfrence (you know I was worried about that one) and she was SO insulted when she got her Hep-B shot, it was rather cute. Baruch Hashem!
The next day we took Sarah Rochel for an ostensible check-up (because we were mimicking her new Berenstain Bears doctor book) because we all needed our flu shots. The doc did kindly weigh her and listened to her chest and back and poked her belly, and Sarah Rochel really enjoyed it. By the weigh (har har - sleep deprived humor!), she's 12.6 kilo (almost 28 pounds) and has also moved up in her percentile, somewhere around 40th percentile (as you may recall from earlier blog days, this has been an issue in the past). So she may not eat anything, but clearly the junk she gets on shabbos is enough to sustain her. Anyway, then we all went and got our shots and Sarah Rochel was SO brave. She watched me get mine, then got hers and didn't even cry - a little moaning, quickly stilled by prompt oral insertion of chocolate. (She had shnorred a piece of chocolate off another mother in the clinic who had brought a whole bar to divide amongst her 5 kids getting flu shots - clever mother.) Then Abba got his shot too - also didn't cry, but only Sarah Rochel got stickers. Harumph!
Let's see, anything else? I made muffins today, into which I dumped anything remotely healthful I could find - whole wheat flour, brown sugar, oats, banana, apple sauce, quinoa cereal with raisins, wheat germ. They were REALLY good, and not only did Sarah Rochel eat actual multiple bites, but she presented her half-eaten one to Morah Shoshana in the park as a gift. That's love!
And lastly, I'd like to point out that at the moment, there are three strollers in my living room: One car seat carrier, one old big stroller full of groceries, and our new Joovy Caboose. There's also a bouncy seat and a play mat, as well as our more conventional grown-up furniture. We are SO outnumbered! Clearly, it's time to move... as if!
Pictures are below the footnotes. Good shabbos ya'll!
*interestingly enough, in the middle of this tantrum, she switched from 'I want a bawkle milk!' to 'I want Savta.' When I explained that alas, Savta was back in America, she switched right back to the bawkle-cry. Think my daughter noticed all her grandparents left and she's stuck with the boring parents? Methinks yes!
**okay, with two not-really-counting-as-exceptions a couple weeks ago, when she melted down around dinnertime, and I let her have a bawkle and piece of bread in her room before putting her to sleep. Yes Mom, she remembered. Argh!
Please excuse the complete lack of sequencing in these pictures. I'm posting so many I feel like saying, "Agustus! Save some for latar!":
Okay, so this is way too many pictures to individually caption. We have pics from our trip to the zoo (the ones on the train), various pictures of Shulama-Llama sleeping (note that she enjoys sleeping on her stomach... in the car seat (this only works when I am putting her down already asleep)), Sroch working her ADORABLE gan project from a couple weeks ago (she made a working well and a camel and learned about Rivka giving Eliezer's camels water - I'm so proud!), Sarah Rochel in the little play house at the well-baby clinic down the block which we stopped at because of their handy nursing room :), some Sroch/Shlam togetherness time, Sarah Rochel looking like a go-go dancer, Shulamis studying her black and white picture book - and I think that's it!