Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Want Sugar Teeth

Ever since Junie was old enough to actually be more than a sack of potatoes that only nursed, pooped and slept, she has been perhaps the best entertainment available to us. I suppose that could be partly attributed to living on a student stipend. It was usually just the funny ways in which she pronounced things that kept us laughing. I kept meaning to document her speech acquisition, but never got around to it and now only remember snatches of things she used to say. But now that she's old enough to be funny, not because of how she says things, but because of what she says, I really can't afford to forget. Here goes...

Junie's tantrums have become a daily part of our lives at this point. I've slowly been moving out of the despair/denial phase to the acceptance/dealing side. It doesn't mean that there aren't days that I still want to pull out my hair when she suddenly drops to floor and lets out earsplitting screams in response to whatever happens to strike her fancy, but at least there are strings of days when I'm fairly successful at ignoring her tantrums and moving on with our day. Tantrums have recently gravitated around the nightly toothbrushing during her bedtime routine. A few nights ago when Cody was home, I was taking advantage of his presence by having him get her ready for bed. This is another source of tension between Junie and us, by the way. Even though she adores Cody, she has recently decided that only I can get her ready for bed. Well, the other night I insisted that it was okay for Dad to get her ready while I washed dishes. She went along with it, though somewhat dubiously, until it came time to brush her teeth. After a tantrum in the bathroom, one in the living room and another in her bedroom, she suddenly appeared by my side and, using a remarkably calm voice, said "Mom, I'm having a hard time with Dad." This struck me as particularly funny since I would have told the story the other way around. But, impressed by her efforts to speak calmly, I tried to address her concern. "What do you mean?" I questioned. Apparently confused as to how I couldn't understand her statement, she led me over to the bathroom doorway where Cody had been standing patiently for the past 10 minutes holding her toothbrush. She vigorously pointed at him so that I couldn't possibly misinterpret to whom she was referring and restated, "I'm having a hard time with this guy." And thus ensued one of those moments of silent hysterical laughter between Cody and I with our daughter down below, oblivious to the magnitude of our efforts.

Tonight's tantrums were a bit more subdued and she resorted to an attempt to explain why she didn't actually need to brush her teeth. In her own words: "I want sugar teeth."

Now that that's been written down for her posterity, here's a visual depiction of what we've been up to lately...

Both our families visited us in South Bend for a few days for Olive's blessing.

Annie had been excitedly anticipating sledding and snowman building leading up to their trip to South Bend. A few days prior to their arrival, some warm days melted the two feet of snow that had persisted for close to a month. Annie made quick use of the small dusting we received during their visit. To her left is the 6 inch snowman she managed to scrape together. Below is the snowball fight she managed to have.

The inevitable bath picture.
Junie's recent experience with her second birthday and Christmas have spawned lots of play involving wrapping up presents. She routinely requests washcloths during bath time to "wrap up" bath toys. Here, two of Junie's favorite things (wrapping up presents and Olive) collide in an odd sort of way. This is not my own interpretation, either. Junie specifically stated, "I'm wrapping Olive up."

Junie's drawings have lately shown surprising evolution. Here she is showing off a face she drew.

Having a psychologist-in-training as a father has inspired Junie to face her fears head on. Now, instead of wailing every time we turn on the vacuum, she drops everything (including the nuisance of getting dressed after a bath) and rushes into the room to help.

Junie and Dad showing off their winking skills during dinner.
A rare string of warmer days melted most of the snow and allowed for some long awaited puddle splashing.
The morning of a snowman building contest with our fellow apartment dwellers, Cody asked Junie, "If you could make any animal out of snow, what would it be?" After the smallest pause, Junie replied, "A pig." And so they did.

My two girls...