Haven’t updated the state of the children lately. Frankly I got kind of tired of blogging about work. I’m three weeks and three days away from vacation (but who’s counting, amirite?) and I’ve got that special kind of burnout that always precedes a meaningful break from work.
In other words,
However, the dynamics here have shifted a bit, so the days are running differently than they did over the late winter and early spring – so! An update.
Harry – He’s at day camp this week, from 7:30 until 5:30. This was at his request. I wish we could afford to send him all summer. He loves it, and it wears him out completely – last night he put himself to bed before 8PM, which is just unheard of. Even the unwelcome presence of The Baby Plastics can’t dim his essential joy in playing team sports all day long. For his summer reading I pointed him at L.M. Montgomery and he is a fan. He’s on his second read-through of the first three Anne books (“they are so good, Mom! Why don’t we have the rest of the books?”) and I’m charmed that he likes them so much even though they have a female protagonist and no magic, Greek gods, or villains.
Ron – After much excitement about finally starting Little League, he’s been disappointed over and over again by the rain cancelling his practices. He’s also acting out in a lot of the same ways I remember from Harry’s first summer before starting big-kid school – going from very grown-up and responsible to unbearably silly and obnoxious in the space of minutes, for example. But he reads voraciously, is determined to get the training wheels off his bike, and has really stepped it up in terms of creating complex builds from his Lego. He hates Pixie and Louis, though. Like, hates them. Like, “Mom, I really hate Pixie and Louis”. They irritate him. They are too loud, they are too clingy, every time he tries to do anything they are right there trying to do it too. I’d send him to the school-age daycamp too, but until he actually starts school in September he’d have to go to the preschool half-day camps – which would just mean spending the mornings with a whole bunch of Pixies and Louises.
George – oh, George. The language explosion has happened and it’s all FUN WITH NOUNS ALL THE TIME. Sometimes he’ll just stand in the middle of the room pointing at every. single. thing. in it, repeating each word carefully. We’re getting some two-word phrases now, too: “milk please”, “blankie bookie”, “stompies side” (which means “shoes, outside”. he calls shoes ‘stompies’ and it’s the most precious thing on earth). He’s big into Lego and is passionate about Bubble Guppies (which, if you don’t have young kids, is the current Nickelodeon flavour-du-jour). All delicious drinks are “apple juice” and all tasty treats are “hot dogs” for some reason. He’s still doing the angry yelling thing of course, but the 18 month sleep regression was blissfully short and seems to be largely behind us.
Arthur – I wasn’t sure how we’d do, with Arthur coming back for full days after being in school, but overall it seems to be working out okay. School was really good for him; he doesn’t whine around me anymore, and even when he’s hurt the panicked wailing & screaming of earlier days is almost never in evidence. He’s feeling more adventurous and I see him stepping up to take a leadership role with the three year olds (Pixie in particular).
Daisy – Daisy is proving to be a challenge. She is really whiny. So whiny that I actually wonder where on earth she’s picking it up; she’s with me 45 – 50 hours a week, and Arthur swears that she doesn’t whine at home, so why every word of her mouth is whiny is beyond me. And my usual tricks for nipping whining in the bud (mimicking, ignoring, flat-out saying “no whining”) don’t work so well on 19 month olds. Her vocabulary is not extensive yet; she understands well but doesn’t say a whole lot. She’s also much too physical with the other kids, and chews toys like a poorly-trained puppy. However, she can be a total goofball; she’s just as enthusiastic with her hugs as she is with her smacks; and she’s very amenable when it comes to being in strollers, baby carriers, or carseats.
Louis – Louis is improving, overall. Potty training woes are (largely) a thing of the past, although he does still have to be sent to the toilet mid-morning for a pee break. He’s slowly starting to get the idea that flinging himself on the floor and screaming is a one-way ticket to the quiet room, so that’s happening maybe two or three times a week rather than two or three times a day. He will play with George on occasion, although never Daisy; Daisy, in typical toddler fashion, sees this as a challenge and most of her annoying behaviours involving toy-stealing, screaming, and hitting are focused on Louis. Our biggest issue with Louis at the moment is baby-talk; for some reason he’s decided that talking in a horrible, squeaky, mumbled voice is just all kinds of fun, and since his normal speech is actually quite good for a three year old it is not something that his parents and I are at home to. I probably say “gosh, Louis, I don’t understand you!” a couple dozen times a day.
Pixie – Oh, Pixie. Some things never change. If she’s gone to bed before 8PM and had good, healthy sleep, she’s a delightful and friendly little person with a ready smile and hugs to spare. If she’s up until 10PM or later she’s a weepy, angry mess who forgets that she knows the English language and is impossible to please. Unfortunately of late she has more bad days than good ones, and it’s always due to a lack of sleep.
Come September, Pixie and Louis will be in preschool two mornings a week, leaving me with just the two toddlers. The older kids will all be in school. I have no intention of adding any more babies or children to the mix, as once George is off to preschool I’ll be closing the dayhome. My baby days are coming to an end.
It feels SO GOOD, ya’ll.