I managed to get this on camera today. You’re welcome.
The first, if you couldn’t tell, was the Reading Rainbow theme song. Or at least part of it. The second was a song about a turtle that June learned at church. Lyrics are as follows:
I had a little turtle
I named him Tiny Tim
I put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim
He drank up all the water
He ate up all the soap
I took him to the doctor
With a bubble in his throat
Bubble bubble bubble
Bubble bubble bubble
Bubble bubble bubble [June omitted two lines of this]
Bubble bubble POP!
June is finally getting her last incisor, so right now anything and everything goes in her mouth. Isn’t she dainty?
I haven’t had energy or motivation to do anything lately, but this sweet girl still likes me. I like her too.
June has entered an unpleasant phase – she hits and punches Evan whenever she gets upset. It’s obvious that she does it to hurt him. Of course she goes straight into time out for hitting, punching, kicking, slapping, and so on, and we always have a talk afterwards about why those things are bad – and she can demonstrate what “soft” or “nice” behavior would be. But she’s so impulsive that it seems she can’t resist responding with violence when she thinks Evan has wronged her.
I know she’ll eventually get the message that what she’s doing isn’t ok, so for now I plan to stick with the time outs and discussion – June is smart enough that she understands the concept, it’s just hard to apply. Because she’s 2.
Evan went through a similar phase at a similar age, and he grew out of it. But it started when Jarom was in Korea for an internship while I was pregnant with June, so I had a hard time dealing with it. Fortunately it seems that a lot of things are easier the second time around, and I’m not as worried about June turning into a violent criminal. (At all, really. Can you imagine?) I don’t mean that I let her bad behavior slide or that I act unconcerned – I just don’t spend extra time fretting that I’m not doing a good job of parenting. For that reason, at least.
If your kids skipped this phase, please don’t tell me. I’d like to assume it’s standard.
I’ve tried my best to eliminate fussy demands in my house (from the kids, at least). From the time Evan was little, Jarom and I have maintained that we can’t understand him if he fusses when he talks. Consistency has paid off, and it makes my life a little easier by giving me a go-to response to whining.
On top of the “I can’t understand you” approach, we’ve tried to encourage language development by having Evan ask for things in whole sentences as early as possible. It forces him to think about what he’s saying and avoid that annoying “I want a sandwiiiiiiiiiich” sort of fussing. The funny thing is, when we started asking Evan to use a whole sentence when he made a request, he’d speak very slowly and deliberately, clapping his hands once for each syllable. It turned into a rather robotic-sounding sentence, with the exception of a drop in tone at the end (as with a statement) instead of a rise (as with a question). (Surely there is a linguistic term for these tonal changes. Please share if you know what it is.)
The extra funny thing is that with June talking more and more, she perfectly mimics Evan’s robotic and deliberate tone when I remind her to ask nicely for something. I don’t think I’ve done much in the way of asking for whole sentences from her, and I’m usually just looking for a “please,” so the fact that she so accurately copies Evan amuses me. June normally uses decent grammar for her age, but it gets choppy when she switches to the slow-deliberate-robot sentences: “Please… can… have… more… milk!” Interestingly, June’s sentences most often end with exclamation points.
Aside from a few small-scale incidents, the kids have been on much better behavior for the past few days. Evan did earn his stocking back and his enthusiasm made Christmas lovely (more on that tomorrow). Today, I’m enjoying my robot kids and their funny mannerisms.
Yesterday ended on a good note. There were some bad moments first, though. Evan was being a caveman again (running around sans clothes, underwear only) and decided to become a tiger. He does this by crawling on all fours, snarling and growling, making claws to scratch people. Usually it’s ok, but his nails were getting pretty long and sharp! So I told him he needed his nails clipped if he was going to be a tiger. He refused, threw a tantrum, and kicked me in the process. Straight into his room he went.
After Evan calmed down, he meekly let me clip all his nails (I hate doing it, but not as much as I hate long, dirty, scratchy fingernails). And the rest of the evening went fairly well. He did miss out on going to meet Santa because of the nail tantrum, and Jarom had a long talk with Evan about teasing the dog. Evan thinks it’s funny to grab the dog’s tail – which makes the dog snarl and growl. Jarom explained that if Evan teases the dog, he might get bitten, and then we can’t keep the dog. We’ll have to see how much Evan can listen in the long run, but last night he was much more careful about grabbing and teasing.
When the kids are close to settling down before bed, I let them watch my favorite episode of Yo Gabba Gabba. It’s called Sleep, and is appropriately calming. They ate clementines while they watched, were already in pajamas, and knew it was bedtime when the show was over. Since we moved into this house, Jarom and I each do one kid’s bedtime routine, and yesterday I took Evan. I figured it was good for us to have some friendly time together.
Evan gets to pick some books – 3 on a normal night, 1 if it’s really late or he was naughty, lots if I’m feeling generous. Last time I asked Evan to pick up things in his room, he refused (this happens a lot, have you notices?), so I moved all the books into my room. It means more clutter in my room, but it also means June isn’t destroying books anymore… At any rate, I picked Evan’s books last night: Olivia, Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, and Up and Down.
Next come songs. I don’t have a set number of songs to do, so it depends whether Evan chooses really long or short ones. Recently he wants the “silly way” of doing song – if we do “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” I let him jump in with random words like octopus, ceiling, ketchup. We end up with something along these lines: “I’ve been working on the trampoline, all the live-long sister. I’ve been working on the camera just to pass the ceiling away. Can’t you hear the pony blowing, ‘Rise up so early in the milk’? Can’t you hear the T-Rex shouting, ‘Dinah blow your Christmas tree’? Dinah won’t you sneeze, Dinah won’t you sneeze, Dinah won’t you sneeze a dinosaur? Dinah won’t you closet, Dinah won’t you closet, Dinah won’t you closet your cereal? Someone’s in the spaceship with Evan, someone’s in the Pteranadon I kno-o-o-ow. Someone’s in the castle with Evan, strumming on the old snow boots and singing fee, fi, fiddley-i-o, fee, fi, fiddley-i-o-o-o-o, fee, fi, fiddley-i-ooooooooooo…pooping on the old caveman.”
Yep, that’s about right.
Surprisingly, after we finished reading books last night, Evan asked if he could lay down and close his eyes. For whatever reason, he’s been sleeping in his closet for the past week, so he curled up in his blanket in there and asked for the Rudolph song. And even though normally, we’d do prayer and talk about tomorrow next, he just wanted to sleep. So I let him.
He did wake up 3 or 4 times with a bad dream. He came into my room the last time, and was cuddling with me until he got over his dream and realized he wasn’t in bed anymore. Then he got angry when I said it was still bedtime, and he couldn’t watch a movie. Thankfully Jarom stepped in and told Evan he could cuddle with us or go back to bed. He scooted over by Jarom and they both fell asleep, and I moved Evan back to his own room a little while later.
June also only wanted one song last night, and then laid down and told Jarom, “Goodnight, love you, see you tomorrow!” Then she pulled her blanket up, grabbed hold of the tag, and closed her eyes.
All in all, bedtime went pretty smoothly. Here’s hoping for more easy nights!