Wow, so it’s been a while. My schedule changed over the summer, and I got out of the habit it writing. Now that we have church at 1:00, we’re trying to do a little “quiet time” in the morningfor journals writing and such. Some mornings it works great, and the kids play together without asking. This morning, both of them are kind of needy and argumentative, even though we spent the whole day with them yesterday…I just sent CN upstairs to find something to do on her own, and I’m worried that she’s getting into something.
Today, I wanted to do an update on both of them—what they like, how they act, etc. It’s probably not the best day to do it though, as I’m a little frustrated with them both and might focus more on their weaknesses at this stage. I’ll try not to.
As I write this, I can hear CN moving chairs around in the room above my head. That means she is getting into something in the kitchen. Hopefully, she’s just trying to find a snack, but she is a little raccoon still, and there is a chance that she’s burrowing into the chocolate chips, or trying to use a whole roll of tape to put something on the wall, or “washing” the dishes. By now, I can usually depend on her not to try anything too dangerous, but you still never know. She is pretty independent, as she always has been. She was annoyed to be banished upstairs to play on her own, but generally after a few minutes, she will be deeply involved in a complex pretend world, and it will be hard to pull her out of it again.
We’ve finally figured out that she doesn’t like dolls, or, really, any toy that is human-shaped. She thinks they’re creepy, and prefers animals. She loves animals with a passion, still. For Christmas, Grandma got her a small stuffed animal for each of the letters of the alphabet (to help her learn them…it’s worked), and they are favorite present. She loves people, though she gets pretty mad if they don’t want to play her games. She is learning how to compromise, but it’s a struggle.
She was better at going to sleep for a while, but she’s backsliding again. Last night I had to close her door because she kept getting up, and she simply used to opportunity to look at books by the light of her window until who-knows-when. Oh well! One thing we’ve known about CN since she was little is that, if she’s silent, she’s either looking at books or doing something naughty. She hasn’t been super eager to learn to read, but I think when she does, she’ll be a voracious reader.
As I write this, DB is in the room next to me building something out of dominoes. I feel like he’s grown up a lot; he’s going to be eight in a few short months. We switched him to a charter school this year, which was a hard change, but I’ve really liked the school. His teacher has lots of fun ideas, and the school gives him opportunities to work more at his own speed, which I like. He struggles with handwriting and spelling still, but he is reading more. On days when I go to the library and get new books, he’ll sit for over an hour at a time reading. He listened to two Ramona books in the car and ate them up; it’s harder to get him interested in longer books these days, like The Hobbit or Harry Potter, but I guess we take what we can get.
His favorite Christmas present was a kids’ digital camera, which he likes because it can take video, alter pictures to make them silly, and play simple video games on. He thinks video games are the coolest, and would play all day on them if I let him, which I don’t! He’s gotten a little better at entertaining himself, now that he can read and play Legos. I’m teaching piano now, and he and DB both have been good at taking care of themselves while I teach, as long as I leave snacks out for them, new library books, a list of “chores” to do, (like homework and taking a shower), and let them watch cartoons when they’re done. I think it’s good for them.
He just finished stacking dominoes to say “I love Mom.” Sweet.
DB is still pretty moody, and we plan on seeing a counselor next month to learn how to deal with this better. I’m also reading a parenting book I think will help. Often, he is a sweet, obedient, normal boy, but then sometimes he gets in moods where he yells at us and wishes he’d never been born…over really trivial things, like taking a shower. One cute thing he does lately is make a big show of clapping his hands when he hears a vocabulary word from school. Sometimes PDan and I try to string them along in sentences to see how many times we can make him clap.
CN's latest word is “Whatever” accompanied by a sigh. It is pretty teenager-y and funny. She also says “Goodnight, I love you, have sweet dreams!” when we say goodnight to her, or “Goodbye, I love you! (kiss)” ot anything that strikes her fancy…stuffed animals, a pretty rock. She is still our little heathen, hating church and primary, and only rarely saying prayers (but when she does, they’re sweet).
I liked this conversation between her and her cousin "U" during one of their pretending sessions:
U: “I’m going to be a devil.”C: “Oh. What’s a devil?”
U: “Like an evil spirit.”
C: “Oh. I want to be a devil too.”
U: “Devils are bad.”
C: “Oh. I want to be a devil.”
U: “OK. You’ll have to pretend to drink beer then.”
U: “How about an angel?”
C: “No. I want to be a devil.”
(A few minutes later)
C: “I’m scared of devils, and I don’t want to be a devil, because I can’t when I’m a penguin.”