One of my friends who is also a reader here told me that she wishes I would write shorter, more frequent posts. That makes sense to me, given I recently read that people rarely finish what they start online. At this rate, Of Mice and Men is going to seem like an impossibly long novel.
Last night at dinnertime they both cried. There is nothing that goes to my brain stem like an ice pick faster than the chorus of both my daughters, ages 2 and 4, wailing in spoiled brat agony.
That’s right. I called my own children spoiled brats. Which is really more of a criticism of me and Odie than of them.
“Love and Logic” is a philosophy of parenting that I agree with on principle, but it’s fascinating how our reactions are hard-wired. For example, I can’t break Odie of the habit of “asking” the girls to do things instead of telling them. For example, he will say, “Viva, I asked you to put on your shoes,” Whereas I will say, “PUT ON YOUR SHOES BEFORE I BURN ALL OF YOUR TOYS TO CINDERS!”
I’m supposed to give the girls choices between two things I can live with, but it’s meant to be “Do you want to eat peas or green beans?” not “You can sit here and eat your dinner then watch T.V. or you can get in the bath and then go right to bed. What’s it going to be?” Unsurprisingly, my way of doing it elicits renewed wails of agony. Pringles has reached an age where everything Viva does, she copies. Viva couldn’t be more delighted. Suddenly her little sister has turned into a robot that she can program. A robot that bites her.
Viva will usually respond to my “two choices I can live with” by knitting her eyebrows together and saying, “But I don’t want either one of those things!” She’s also excellent at responding by giving ME two choices that she feels are equally acceptable such as, “How about I watch my show, and then I get ice cream, or I watch my show and then I get Star Wars gummies?”
Pringles: “STAH WAHS GUMMIESSSSSS!”
Somehow I got them to eat, then into a cool tub full of bath toys. They balked at getting into the tub, then they refused to get out. Viva looked me dead in the face last night and announced, “I’m not getting out of the tub, Mommy, and you’re not going to do anything about it.”
It must have been my expression, because she quickly said, “I’m getting out right now,” and scrambled onto the linoleum.
We chased naked Pringles who runs around screeching “NAYYYYY-KEEEED!” We got them into mismatched pajamas and told them to pick out books. Viva knows I hate this particularly long and dull adaptation called Kashtanka, so she requests it every night. They also love to help me read and record on my Nook, then snicker listening to their own voices played back for them. Odie and I take turns reading books. Pringles still nurses at bedtime, which I hate, but I’m too lazy to wean her completely. And maybe I’m not ready to stop breastfeeding forever and admit that my “baby” is not a baby at all but a little girl.
A little girl who got out of bed and ran around the house impishly about 12 times last night. “I’ma yittle IMP!” she confesses honestly.
“Sweetie, it’s time for bed. Aren’t you tired?”
“No. Not ti-yerd, Mommy.”
We started the bedtime hustle at 8:00; both kids were asleep at 9:50.
It was actually easier when she was a baby, although not nearly as much fun. We complain, but honestly, I am in no hurry for them to grow up. I love this stage. When I had Pringles, I said that I didn’t have a second child so I could have an infant and a two year-old, but rather I wanted a two year-old and a four year-old. And it’s everything I hoped it would be.