Friday, January 27, 2012

Thirty-Nine Months

Dear Peeper:
You are thirty-nine months old today. That's three-and-a-quarter. Not too long before we'll have to start saying that you're "almost three-and-a-half."

It's been kind of an up and down month for us.

First, we had our trip to Texas, which was great, in that we got to visit with everyone, but not-so-great, in that we both got sick. This was your third pukey-sick episode, so far you've had one per year. I hope it will be at least another year before we have to do it again.

It has been amazing, though, seeing the difference in your reaction to it each time. The first time, of course,  you were barely a year old, and although I tried to explain what was happening, I don't think you understood at all. Last year, at barely two, I'm sure you understood it a lot more, but didn't have the language to discuss it - or to give me any warning. Both time, I got puked on. A lot.

This time, I was hesitant to just scoop you up and let you throw up on me, because we were away from home and I was quite concerned about running out of clothes. And, believe it or not, I think I managed to stay clean.

After the first in-the-bed incident (why does it always start in the bed?) I got you a "frow-up bowl" and explained what it was for. I said something in passing about how, ideally, you would do it in the potty, but we'd hope for the bowl.

You got the next one in the bowl (with my help) and a while later you told me, "I hafta go potty." I asked if you needed to pee-pee or poop, and you said, "I need to frow up."

Wow! And you actually made it. I was so proud.

You were so pathetic.

Between retches, you kept looking at me and saying, weakly, "I not gonna frow up. I all done frowin' up. I don' wanna frow up."

It was awful. I was so glad that it only lasted a few hours. (Plus about another twenty-four hours of recovery time.)

After extending our trip for a few days, so we could both fully recover, we finally got home and found out that our kitty was sick. We all know how that turned out.

I've worried quite a bit - especially over the weekend leading up to it - whether we were doing the right thing, letting you be there with us for BoyCat's final moments, but I'm pretty sure now that it was the right thing. You had already shed many tears about it, and had had many talks with him, and when the time came, you were more composed than we were.

You've asked about his several times - both in the sense of "Why did BoyCat die?" and "Where's BoyCat? Is he under the couch?" - and we've talked about it quite a bit.

When you asked if he was under the couch, I just said, "No, Baby, he's not. Do you remember what happened?"

You looked sad, and quietly said, "Yeah. He died," and then, of course, "Why he died?"

Which I really don't have a great answer to, but I'm doing my best.

The night before it happened, I was trying to make sure you understood that he would not be coming home from the vet with us, and was trying to explain that he would be okay not coming home with us, because we would just be leaving his body there, and his, well, "the part we love" (I read that somewhere, and really like it) wouldn't be in it, and "It's just really hard to understand, Honey."

You said, "Does Mommy understand it?"

So, I told you that "What Mommy believes is that . . . ." and did my best to explain Mommy's version of kitty heaven, which mostly involves BoyCat playing with GirlCat and MamaCat and BrotherCat. You decided that you'd like to believe that, too, so we went with it, and talked about it a lot when we were at the vet, and shortly after.

We've gathered up his things to give to some kitties who need them, but you opted not to go with us to drop them off. You did, however, ask to go to PetsMart last night, when we were in the neighborhood, and see the kitties there.

You did fine. I was the one struggling to hold it together in the kitty toy aisle.

On a happier note, you started taking dance lessons this month, and so far, you really seem to be enjoy them. You've only been a couple of times, but you can already tell me all about "The Beanie Bag Dance." I really need to talk to somebody who knows about The Beanie Bag Dance and find out how accurate your story is. So far, I understand that you put beanie bags on your head, your shoulders and your elbows, and sing, "We're doing the BEANIE BAG DANCE!"

You are also still obsessed with your ballet DVDs - The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. You perform them along with the video, acting out all the parts, complete with multiple costume changes.

Tomorrow, we've got tickets to go see another ballet onstage, as part of our local IceFest celebration. Two ballets, actually - Winter Scene, which I understand is a "light-hearted depiction of winter activities" or something like that, I think there's ice skating involved, and The Firebird, which is performed under black light. I'm really looking forward to that part.

You've said that you want to wear your fancy dress that you wore to The Nutcracker, so I will pretend that I'm waiting until you're all dressed up to take your panda picture, but actually, I just remembered right after you went to sleep that I'd not taken it yet!

Today also marks three months that you've been diaper-free in the daytime, and in about a week, it will be three months that you've been sleeping in your own bed, and a couple of days later, will be three months that you've been completely diaper-free. What a big girl!

We have been having some pee-pee in the bed issues lately, but I think it might actually be a sign of progress. It's possible that suddenly the need to pee-pee isn't waking you up (which would not be progress) but what I think (what I'd like to think) is that you are sleeping longer at night without waking up or are better able to get yourself back to sleep without my help, which means that I'm not taking you to the potty two and three times a night.

Most nights lately, you've gone to bed around nine-ish, and then pee-peed sometime before Mommy gets home from work at midnight. After a clean-up, you've then usually slept through until "morning" (which you suddenly seem to define as sometime between 6:30 and 7:30. What the heck, kid?) and are dry when you get up.

Of course "usually" is a pretty loose term. There were a couple of nights this week when you were awake every two hours, until I finally just gave up and went to sleep in your bed. The next night, you slept from 9:30 pm to 6:30 pm without waking, crying, nursing or pee-peeing. The next night, you pee-peed before my bedtime, and then again sometime before morning.

I had been trying to waking you up to pee-pee before I go to bed, but that's when I'm finding you wet, so I obviously need to wake you sooner. Tonight, you went to sleep a bit after nine, so I made a mental note to wake you around 10:30 or so. I was in the middle of something when I heard you crying, and found you wet. It was 10:36. Aarrgh!

So, tomorrow, I will try taking you about an hour or so after you go to sleep, the again before I go to bed, and we'll hope for the best.

Some people might think that pee-peeing in the bed almost every night is a good reason to wear a diaper or training pants to bed, but after three months, I just can't do that to you. I'd rather wash sheets every day than move you back into diapers after all this time, and after we've made such a big deal about what a big girl you are and how you "don't need silly old diapers" any more.

So, I'll just keep experimenting with wake-ups and try to catch you before you pee-pee, up until I go to bed, and after that point, if you pee-pee and it doesn't wake you up and you don't wake me up, then I guess we'll just do our washing up in the morning.

If only you could be more calm about the sheet-changing process. If Mommy's home, she handles the bedding while I clean you up, and that's not too awful, but if we're alone you just have to stand in the middle of your room and wail while I change them, which is pretty pathetic.

Speaking of progress (as I was a while back, up there), I'm not sure this has happened this month, but within the past couple of months, there are several things that you've suddenly gotten tall enough or strong enough (two qualities which you often conflate - "Oh, I am strong enough to reach it!")

You can (usually) open interior doors, which is usually a good thing, because I don't have to go open them for you. We have one of those thingies on the basement door knob so that you can't turn it, but I really would like to add a high-up latch, for extra insurance.

You are getting really good at the stairs, and we usually just walk below you, just in case, and let you go up and down by yourself, but that doesn't mean I'm anywhere near close to being okay with the idea of you being able to open the door yourself!

Other doors are fine, though, except when Mommy wants to sleep in or potty in privacy and you want to join her. I've given up on those things, so it doesn't bother me.

Actually, it's kind of nice that, when we're in your bed getting wake-up goody (sometimes after having woken up together, but more often these days, after you've called me out of my own warm bed), and you want to turn the light on to play, you can get out of bed, open the door, go find a step stool (either the one that's under my desk for a foot rest, or the folding one that lives in the kitchen, tucked between the fridge and counter, or one of those in some other place that you've left it, but occasionally the one from the potty). Then you have to move the hamper out of the way (or, if I really need to do laundry, mooooove it out of the way), put the step stool into position, climb up on it and turn on the light.

You can also open the refrigerator. You like to get yourself a drink of water, and that's mostly okay. Your cups and dishes and some other plastic cups are in a cabinet (with no breakable things) right next to the fridge, so I might take the lock of it if, so you can have access to them. Right now, I have to help you with that part.

Once you have a cup, you can open the fridge and puuuul the Brita pitcher out a bit, so that the spigot sticks out (closing the door pushes it back further on the shelf), pull on the handle to make the water come out, usually turn it off (almost) before it overflows or you move the cup away, and close the door.

You will also occasionally put some half-eaten food or a cup back in the fridge for later, which I think is pretty cool, even if it is a fruit twisty which is not going to be yummy at all after being refrigerated overnight. Sometimes, you'll even put your empty cup or bowl in the sink, but only when it's your idea.

Earlier in the month, we were having some real issues with your lack of understanding about "gentle touches with our friends." That seems to be a bit better, although we haven't been getting out and about and spending as much time with friends lately, so maybe it's just lack of opportunity. I do think we made it all the way through C and B's birthday party yesterday without incident, though.

At one point, H fell while climbing down a small step and by the time we heard her cry and all looked, you were standing over her, holding on to her arm. Luckily, T had seen it happen, and she immediately jumped to your defense, "Peeper was helping! She was trying to help! She didn't do it!"

(Thank you, T!)

And now, a few bits and pieces from the past month:

You were struggling and struggling to get your new pirate vest on. When I finally helped you out a bit, you said "Arrrr!" and ran at me, saying "Watch out! Here comes a pirate!" and gave me a big hug.

Mama: Here's your bacon.
Peeper: Oh, thank golly!

Peeper: I want my squirt bottle.
Mommy: I think it's in the bathtub.
Peeper: Will you get it for me?
Mommy: Can you say one magic word?
Peeper(happily): One magic woooord!!!

Watching a video, giggling and saying "I cwack mysewf up!"

In the living room dancing Swan Lake while watching the video, I could hear you jumping around and yelling/singing "Dyoo! Dyoo! Dyoo-Dyoo-Dyoo!" then "Can I do dat? Sure!" and back to "Dyoo! Dyoo! Dyoo-Dyoo-Dyoo!"

And, of course, oh so much more that I've already forgotten!

Someday, I will get better at recording these little moments, I promise.

Happy quarter-birthday, big girl!

I love you!


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