Showing posts with label toddler communication. Show all posts
Showing posts with label toddler communication. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Daily Musings and Random Ramblings

Hello, friends....both domestic and international.

Periodically, I look at the demographic chart that Google sends to me and I'm always amazed by who has stumbled upon my little piece of the blogosphere!

Now, don't panic.  There isn't a map of your street, with a little arrow pointing to your house that says "this person right hither just read your blog".  It's much more vague.  It narrows it down to countries, states and sometimes cities.

What I'm dying to know is how international people ended up here.  So, if you're from one of those other countries here on Planet Earth, I'd love to know what brought you to my blog.... and whether or not  it was an accident.  I'm itchin' to know what people in places like Germany, France, Australia, Canada, Russia and China clicked on to get here.

And as far as Latvia goes?  Well, hello there!  And welcome!  I had to look up where you were in my atlas.  (That kinda says something about the educational system here in the US, doesn't it?)

Operation Fattypants is going well.  Fourteen pounds have disappeared.  I still really want cake.  I'm just not having any....and I'm a wee bit sad about that. Sniff! Sniff!

Food portion sizes are completely ridiculous these days.  Some places serve eight times the normal serving of what we should be eating.  That's 800% more than what we should eat.  And a Bloomin Onion from the Outback is over 2500 calories?  It was 70 calories prior to bloomin' it!  No wonder we're such fatty-boom-a-lattys.

Even more frightening is the fact that I am so excited that I officially have relocated to a less crappy  section on a BMI chart!  I was doing the Forbidden Dance of Joy when I discovered this information.

Justin and I were sitting in bed on our iPads and I turned to him and said, all proud of myself, "Oh my gawd!  I just checked my BMI and I'm not Obese anymore!  Now I'm just Overweight!"

That there was a statement I never thought I would get excited about.  I'm thrilled to be in a new division of fatness.  (We are just full of action packed excitement over here.)

Speaking of losing stuff, would someone like to tell me where that sweet little baby of mine went to and who is this feisty-fresh little creature that was left behind in her place?!

Things I never thought I would hear Allie say:

"Calm down.  You don't have to be loud."
"Go!" (said while pointing elsewhere)
"I don't like you any more."
"Don't you tell me what to do!" (hand on hip, shaking finger at me)
"You're a very cheeky mommy!"
"I'm not talking to you any more." (as she turns and stomps away....for three seconds)
"I love playing with my grandchildren."

Say what?

Of all of the things she says that make my eyebrows shoot half way up my forehead, that last one freaks me out the most.  Her who?  Grandchildren?!

Me: "You have grandchildren?"
Allie: "Yes.  A boy and a girl."
Me: "Really?  How old are they?"
Allie: "They are just babies.  They are sooooooo cute."

When we ask their names, she usually gives us names that are probably popular in colonies on other planets like Mars or Saturn a hundred years from now.  Today the grandchildren were named Tanah and Ramah.  Nothing silly like Zingzong and Donkeykong.  (I totally would've taken that route)

This would seem like a silly conversation if it wasn't for a conversation I had with a Nun when Allie was one day old.  She walked into my hospital room, introduced herself, looked at Allie and said, "She has an old soul."

Granted, they are not strange words.  You hear it all of the time.  But for some reason, I thought it was shocking coming from a Nun.  It almost implied reincarnation.  I wasn't aware that the Nuns were into that these days.  Those wild and crazy wives of God are going all New Age I guess.

The fact is that we often forget that Allie's only two.  She's like a little grown up in a toddler body.  The things she says to us just don't seem to match up with her age.  When Justin asked her how she slept last night, her response was, "I slept well, thank you."  My response to the same question?  "Like crap."  I'm not as polite and delightful in the morning.

When she tells us to "calm down", she says it in this low, soothing voice while touching my arm.  In the moment, it really pisses me off, but when I think about it later, it seems very mature.  Too mature.  Freakishly mature.

What in the hell is she going to say to us when she's a teenager and we are REALLY bugging out about something?  With all of the therapists and psychological knowledge in our families, I can see her getting all "Frasier Crane" on our crazy asses.  We will keep her busy for quite some time.  Probably into her NEXT lifetime.
Dreaming of another lifetime......

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Survival and Surveillance

I survived Hell Week.  Survived.

It was a gazillion degrees out there.  I think God was having a little fun with me by matching the temperatures to my nom de la semaine (name of the week).

(That one year of French in high school paid off right there, didn't it?)

And The Big Guy Upstairs didn't let up.  Oh no.  The boiling temps hung around right up until my work schedule let up on Sunday afternoon.   Suddenly, it was positively delightful at 80 degrees with clouds and breezes.

I managed to stick with my little dietary change through it all..... despite the ice cream place at the top of the mountain calling my name every time I drove past..... which happened to be six times each day.  Six times of me yelling "I DON'T WANT ICE CREAM SO PLEASE STOP!" at the top of my lungs to nobody.

Unfortunately, I had a tiny taste of heat stroke due to a drop in blood sugar on two separate occasions (because I like to make sure that I learn my lessons well by repeating them until I'm 100% that I've f*cked up).  The weather people stressed high water consumption, but failed to mention that eating enough food was a skoatch important as well.  Things got yucky.  Dizziness, nausea, headache, etc. 

One afternoon I couldn't remember an entire hour spent outside.  It was as if i had been asleep the whole time.  I was completely freaked out.  I was in the middle of filing a phone claim (because that's what you should do when all of your faculties aren't workin' up to par) when I realized I was speaking English, but wasn't making sense.  I remember the fella saying, "Ohhhh!  Now I get it!" about 10 minutes into the call. ( I gave him a big fat Excellent rating in the survey at the end of our call.  He earned it.)
So, despite my little food faux pas, I walked over 75,000 steps, almost 38 miles, and lost 5lbs.  Operation Fattypants is still in effect.  Slow but steady wins the race, right?

Every time I look across the street I'm so grateful for the pool.  Even the kiddie pool that's heated by baby piddle.  A few days last week, we found time to schlep on over to cool our stuff off and let Allie splash around.  I love watching her with her little floaty thing on,  swimming around all willy nilly with no purpose or direction..... just like a baby duck.
The other day we had a genetic A-HA! moment at the pool.  The photo below was taken right after we had that.
On patrol
Let me preface this by saying that my mother should've been a private detective.  She would tell you that it's her ADD, but I think that her observation skills have been honed partially by her love of people watching, her natural curiosity about the unknown, and then maybe a little ADD mixed in with a sprinkle of OCD.

If a stranger drives past our area, conversation ceases, she'll get a kinda squinty, snap into PI mode and start with the questions.  Observational questions.  Many questions.  There's no distracting her.

"Who is that?  Do you know that person?  I've never seen them before.  Which way are they going?  Is that a friend of (insert neighbor name here)? They were going pretty fast, don't you think?"

We tease her about it, but I do find it endearing.  Not to mention that we shouldn't mock her considering this skill could be quite beneficial should there be a crime within 300 feet of my mother's existence.  She will be watching, getting the deets, and writing them down in a little notebook somewhere for the police to refer to.

Back to the story.

We were in the pool and the lifeguard got up and started doing his thing and then BAM!  The P.I. genetics kicked in.   For some reason, she was very suspicious about the life guard and every single one of his actions.  Allie got all squinty-eyed, honed in on the poor guy and, suddenly, she was my mother.

"What he doing?"  (he was putting away discarded pool noodles)

"He's cleaning up."

"Why?"  (what a surprise that question is.  not.)

"Because that's his job."

"Why he doing THAT?" (now he was moving an umbrella)

"To block the sun."

"Why?"  (again.  love that question.  ugh.)

"Because it's hot and he should be in the shade."

She just dead on stared at him.  He sat back in his chair looking everywhere but at her.  He knew she was watching.  You could see that he found it amusing... and creepy at the same time.

"Now what he doing?"  (he was getting the net to skim the baby pool)

"He's getting a net to get bugs out of the pool."

"Why are there bugs in the pool?"  (I feel my chest tightening)

"Because they like the pool water, I guess."

"What is he checking that white thing for?"  (the cover to the filter)

"To see what's in the filter."

"**I** want to see what's in the filter!"  (starts splashing toward the stairs)

Oh.  My.  God.

Following up on suspicious activities
This behavior continued the entire time we were at the pool.  We always thank the life guard on duty when we leave, and as we approached him, we told Allie to say thank you.  She held my hand and walked by, never losing eye contact, mumbling "Thank you" quietly.  I was waiting to see her do the two fingered gesture that says, "I'm watching you. These eyes are watching you."
(Just in case you weren't sure what I was talking about)
If anyone is looking for someone to do surveillance or back ground checks on people in about 16 years, please give me a call.  I imagine my daughter will be highly skilled in this area by then.  Until then, if you live in my neighborhood, between my mom and Allie, you should sleep well at night.  Things are under control.  You're safe.  (wink)

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Genetics and Phonetics Works For Me

I'm a verbally expressive person (a/k/a jabberjaws). I started speaking at a very young age and it freaked people out. My grandmother claimed that it was her extraordinary intelligence, which was genetically passed down to me, that resulted in my ability to speak and read early. After 40 years with this brain, I do not wish to begrudge my grandma the opportunity to claim personal responsibility for my intelligence. However I think i just THINK more than my brain can hold so I have to constantly release information. It's like a pressure relief valve kinda situation.....Vic, things are piling up so you better relieve the pressure or you're gonna be in hot water!
Grandma's Smarts carrying on to another generation
August 2011
I love words. Especially rhyming words, made up words, or ones that provide entertainment. For example, after New York was attacked on 9/11, we turned on the news and left it on for about three weeks straight. After the second week, the news was becoming redundant and they were analyzing everything they could that was remotely related to theWorld Trade Center bombings. We were desperate to find distraction in the form of fun and humor WITHOUT missing any possible new information. It was then that someone suggested we play one of those dangerous word drinking games.

The rules: every time anyone on tv said Mujahideen, we would raise our glasses collectively, yell "Mujahideen!" in the same spirited tone that you would yell "cheers!", and take a huge gulp of our beverages. The game was a huge success as far as games go because, unfortunately, newscasters said Mujahideen almost as much as they said "damage" "terrorists" and "reporting live". I know this because I was not nearly as obliterated Mujahideen Night as I was when we played the game later using those other words.

Flash forward to 2013 when a two year old toddler is my constant source of entertainment. The words are coming at me in abundance with great hilarity and/or cuteness. Doodoo and peepees ain't got nothin on "I got the gasses" (i left a deadly and loud baby fart) followed by "accuse me" (excuse me) followed by "I don't done poopin in biggurl potty yet" (Im not finished pooping on my potty) followed by "no do diapey!" (youre not putting that diaper on me) and wrapped up with "Ahm naaaaaaaaaaakeyyyyy!" (Im naked, you cant catch me, and I want the whole neighborhood to know). Pardon the examples but we spend a lot of time in the bathroom lately.

My husband and mother glare disapprovingly at me when I trap Allie into saying Allieisms like "geen" (green), "lellow" (yellow), "orrnage" (orange), "logert" (yogurt), "keening" (cleaning) and "medinaise" (medicine) by using strategic questions....and then I repeat it just as she said it while shooting a look back at them that says "I birthed her and its cute, so plllllbth".

Somehow I have a feeling that she's going to work it all out before Kindergarten. Proper English will prevail. Not once during my twelve years in public school did I ever encounter a person who said things like, "shhhhhh! I don't can hear, pease!" or "pease make baby peenah-jelly sannich."

My father made up fake words and definitions all of the time when I was a child. He lied to me about harmless things for the sake of amusement and he made up imaginary people that I thought were family friends that I kept missing. I thought bunny poop was what they made marbles out of (he said they were piles of baby marbles) and I thought we had two Swedish friends named Yelnitz and Yendurb who came to visit but,unfortunately for me/conveniently for the bullshitter, I was always in bed when they got there.

Sometimes he combined the fibs! There were the three Native Ameican brothers named Moheeken, Boheeken, and Hobomeeken who came Christmas Eve to deliver pet bunnies, but I was asleep (of course) so they left the bunnies along with a note about starting my own marble collection. It was seriously entertaining stuff and I fully plan on doing the same type of thing to my own child. Why? Because it was fun, it created awesome memories with a father who I didn't see much, and people laugh when I tell them about it. Actually, many people comment on how it explains a lot about where MY wackiness came from, so you can add that its a little self defining as well! :-)

The best part? It didn't traumatize me and as I grew up I figured out the truth. I was almost disappointed when I found out about the fibs. I remember wishing I could UN-discover the truth and continue to play on. I think that if I got to be somewhere around oh, sayyyy 16 and I still hadn't figured out that my dad didn't have Swedish or Indian friends, or that marbles were actually made out of glass, SOMEONE wouldve sat me down and worked it out for me.

In other words, it was all harmless fun and no damage was done.

Or so they say.....

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

RUDE-y Tootie FRESH & Cutie

At two years old, Allie was already being annoyed by our "fuddy duddy" behavior.  Wait until we are REALLY old....we will be trying her patience big time!  This photo was taken one late summer afternoon in 2012.  We decided we were going to the pool and apparently we weren't moving fast enough for her liking.  I remember searching for our bathing suits and Justin was in the bathroom and Allie wanted to be at the pool, like, yesterday.  

Let me first mention that one of her first ten words was "ning-a-ning-a-ning", which had multiple definitions.  It referred to swimming, the pool itself and her bikini.  Now, I know its not a REAL word, but if you spoke Allienese you knew what it meant.  She has a much broader vocabulary now, but we still refer to the pool as The "Ning-a-ning-a-ning".  I'm sure that's wrong in the world of vocabulary development, but....we don't care.

Back to my story.....I was walking past the living room and caught a glimpse of Miss Atta Tudey sitting in her Elmo chair, tapping her fingers, wearing the only piece of her swim ensemble that she could find (the floatation device), and oozing annoyance.  Im sure grabbing my phone and taking a photo of her didn't help her attitude but I couldn't help it.

This is about the time that our sweet baby developed a fresh attitude.  Up until then, we were her wonderful, perfect parents who she just wanted to tag along with.  Suddenly, she was hitting, spitting, throwing things, getting frustrated with our behavior, and pushing us away saying "no touch!" when we went for the random hug for no reason.  Fortunately she never started biting.  While I was reading everything I could on this new undesirable behavior I found so many horror stories about biting and kept telling myself that we were lucky she never resorted to that.  I feel for the parents who have a biter at this stage.

It's a confusing time as a parent not just because of what she is doing, but also because we are constantly trying to figure out what the appropriate reaction to this behavior is.  Her actions are telling us she's frustrated or unhappy about something.  Her vocabulary isn't yet fabulous so words aren't the best way to communicate how she feels when she feels something strongly.  She has a right to say that she doesn't want to be touched, even if it's just her parents who want to give her a hug or kiss because we adore her.  I don't want her to ever feel like she ISN'T in control of what happens to her body.  No means no, starting now.  But I don't want to raise a bratty child who thinks she can act out either.  

The first time I saw her hit my mother I thought I was going to lose my mind.  UNACCEPTABLE.  No assaulting the grandparents....ever!  No pummeling anyone else either.....unless they are pummeling you first, but we can wait on that lesson until she gets a little older.  Do we wait until she's older and speaking better to really enforce the other fresh behaviors?  Are we stifling her from venting the only way she knows how?  Is throwing a toy across the room at nothing okay now?  Or are we starting a bad habit?  

It's kind of like the whole crying thing.  When babies are born, they tell you that you should never let them cry.  Apparently it has a huge impact on their self confidence later in life if they cry and no one comes right away or at all.  At some point this changes.  I'm not sure when, but eventually "crying it out" becomes helpful (not in my world, but that's just me).  No one can define when it goes from detrimental to acceptable.  So, at what time does throwing a tantrum of sorts go from being acceptable to damaging?  I hope I don't miss that checkpoint.