Recently Sophie’s been very… well, two. It’s especially evident in the matter of getting dressed. The way it used to work was I took clothes out of the drawer and put them on her and then she was dressed. I might have had to chase her a bit and then wrangle her a bit like a cowboy roping a calf; but that could be fun and games if I let it.
Now though. I pull a little pink shirt out of the drawer and she starts screaming: “No! I don’t like it.” I don’t want to be mean mommy, I don’t want to be unreasonable so I pull out a different shirt, a purple striped one. More screaming, this time the volume is perhaps tuned up a notch. In this way we work ourselves through the entire drawer full of shirts and then I finally give up because I realize she’s not being reasonable. So I pick a shirt and then I hold her down, kicking and screaming while I put it on her writhing body. As I do so I calmly explain that if she had wanted a different shirt, she could have picked one. After I release her, she pulls at the shirt for a minute, trying to take it off. Then she forgets it was ever unwanted and goes about her day.
Oh yes and I have to repeat this whole process for the pants too.
That’s why I was so thrilled yesterday morning when the dressing of Sophia occurred without any interference from me while I was nursing Ben.
For some reason Bella decided she wanted to get Sophie dressed. She picked out a cute yellow sundress and matching bloomers (which when she’s not being 2 Sophie loves because she calls them her “underwear”). Then Bella somehow managed to help Sophie put on both the bloomers and the dress. The process wasn’t pretty; Bella doesn’t yet have any finesse. But it was a heck of a lot calmer than if I’d been trying it. Not a single tear or raised voice.
I guess all that dressing and undressing dollies has finally paid off.
Of course today Sophie decided to not be so very contrary. Instead after she’d pulled off her pajamas and spent the requisite amount of time running about in just her diaper, she decided that she absolutely had to have the “Pooh shirt”.
I was making oatmeal for Ben and myself at the time so I sort of ignored the request, thinking that she wanted me to find the shirt that goes on her Pooh doll. Finally, though, she became so insistent… I want the Pooh shirt…. I want the Pooh shirt…. I want the Pooh shirt…. a constant whine, that Dom stepped in. He was able to determine that she wanted to wear a shirt with Pooh on it. She was unable or unwilling to go and find said shirt in her drawer. So I gave in and went to help her out. I knew Dom didn’t stand a chance in trying to find the right one because she doesn’t actually have a shirt with Pooh on it, mind you. But she does have one with a teddy bear on it. In Sophie’s world all bears are called Pooh.
So I found the shirt and she was so thrilled and I put it on her with no problems. She was so happy that she didn’t even kick up a fuss about the black corduroys.
It looks like today it’s going to be all about Sophie.
Another thing that’s been changing recently is nap time. We had got into a routine where I would hold her on my lap and read two or three or four picture books to her and then I’d move her to her crib and read another book and then I’d sing to her until she fell asleep. Which didn’t take more than about five minutes tops.
Then out of the blue it wasn’t working anymore. Just getting her to sit in my lap for the stories was a struggle. And so was transferring her to the crib. And then when I tried to sing she’d either whine, rejecting song after favorite previously-beloved song, or else she’d start to sing along. Suddenly she no longer wanted the Butterfly Song or Amazing Grace. For about a week I was able to sing her the Litany of the the Blessed Virgin in Latin from a little devotional rosary pamphlet that we’d picked up somewhere. Latin chant is nice and soothing and she couldn’t sing along. Then one day that wasn’t working either.
So finally I hit upon Pooh. My old standby from when Bella was two. The stories are interesting enough that she will usually stop flailing about in her crib and listen calmly. And they are long enough with complex enough sentences that they eventually lull her to sleep.
I’ve missed my afternoons with Pooh and Piglet and Owl and Rabbit and Kanga and Roo and Tigger and Christopher Robin oh and don’t forget Eeyore. Milne really is one of my favorite authors. His stories are so clever, so full of little funny things that adults will get but that aren’t made at the expense of the child. His sentences are elegant and his vocabulary is simple and sophisticated in turn, the perfect balance that neither talks down to the child nor talks over his head.
Yes, I’m happy to be back wandering through the Hundred Acre Wood, hunkering down at Pooh Corner and dropping in for a little something at Rabbit’s house. I hope this trend lasts a little longer and not just because I don’t know where to turn next if she stops falling asleep to Pooh.
After lunch we took a short walk around the block. I was sort of hoping Ben and Sophie might just fall asleep in the stroller and make my life easier. But no go.
As I returned from putting the stroller back in the van, I saw my three beautiful children framed in the doorway, a lovely little vignette. Of course by the time I’d stepped over them into the living room, fetched my camera, and stepped back outside, the perfect moment was gone. But I snapped a few shots anyway.
You can see Ben’s crushed face as he realizes I’m not picking him up.
Bella asks, “What are you doing, mommy?”
Sophie, Sophie is clearly ready for a nap; but I’m too busy snapping photos to herd her to her room. I’m going to regret that in a bit.
Then Ben’s distracted as Bella gets up and wanders off into the yard in the middle of the photo shoot, leaving her shoes behind for him to play with.
Sophie is still looking glazed.
Finally, Ben’s distracted by taking off his socks. I think that’s a smile and not a fuss.
By the way, that’s the ‘Pooh shirt” that Sophie’s wearing. Can you make out the little bear? She loves it.
That’s all I’ve got today. I thought I had more quick takes; but I can’t remember what they were. So I cheated and spread # 5 our to fill up #6 and #7. You don’t mind, though, do you? Because really they rest of them are probably too long anyway.
Visit the ever-fabulous Jennifer at Conversion Diary for more quick takes.