Wednesday, July 09, 2008

C is for calm*

Dear Alex having a moment on the floor. Like the weather the mood changed, but it was that kind of day.

Dear Alex enjoying a well-deserved pre-bedtime snack. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the best, if you don't squeeze them too hard.

Dear Alex and daddy playing with the computer"s "cramera"

... As in the relative calm that follows a storm - today was like that, with changeable weather, cloudy skies, sun, a threatened thunderstorm and a little rain. The weather seemed to perfectly mirror Dear Alex's day - an emotional rollercoaster of a day, with periods of sun and a little hard rain. Dear Alex did not have an easy bed time tonight, but it eventually ended with calm, and lessons all-around. I tried putting her in her crib at the (slowly slipping later and later) usual time of 8: 30 or so, after a fun time of having a snack, going to the potty, (twice! high-fives and stickers all around!) and attempting to take a decent picture of Dear Alex and daddy together for Beautiful Wife. Thank you, iSight. We lost a little time on that because Dear Alex was absolutely fascinated by watching herself in almost real-time on daddy's computer screen. She made some pretty funny faces, and tried to play a game of hiding herself from the camera to see if she was still there, by ducking or bobbing from side to side and looking to see if she was still on the screen. Hard to describe, but I got what was going on instantly - there's a little bit of a camera lag that she noticed, and she was playing with it. Cool.
We had the usual chase around the apartment when it was time to switch from underwear (another accident-free day! I'm so darn excited!) to a diaper for the night, and get the PJ's on and the hands and face washed from the peanut butter and jelly sandwich she had for a snack. Easy goodnight stuff, then the meltdown. As I put her in the crib, Dear Alex began screaming. Nothing specific, just about everything: I want a hug! (gave a hug) I want a cup of milk! (gave a cup of milk) Change my diaper! I made a poopie! (changed diaper - not wet, nothing in it) I don't want my PJ's anymore! (I'm losing interest in this game) My knee hurts! (definitely not interested in this game anymore) I'm hungry! (we just finished cleaning the last of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich you had for a snack off of your sticky little fingers...)
Okay, it was time to pick Dear Alex up and have a conversation in the rocking chair - I kind of wanted to calm her down, get a big hug, and figure out what was really bothering her. It was the right thing to do. We ended up having a great conversation about a lot of things, a stream-of-conciousness dissertation that you can only get from a verbal 2.75 year-old. We talked about fear - something was definitely bothering her - she was afraid of automatic toilets, and loud things in bathrooms. Dear Alex definitely doesn't like loud noises, especially when she's trying to concentrate on peeing. Next up was a diversion to ladybugs, which she likes, but also sort of fears - not sure why, but she also kept repeating that it's silly to be afraid of ladybugs and that "ladybugs like Alex". She also repeated something that I say to her whenever she wants to see a ladybug, which I love - "you don't find ladybugs, ladybugs find you." (have you ever tried looking for a ladybug?) And she told me about the time there was a "ladybug on her finger and she put the ladybug down so it could go home." Dear Alex remembers everything. It's kind of scary. Our conversation moved on to the subject of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which I guess she sort of likes, but has a hard time eating - I told her that maybe if she didn't squeeze the sandwich so hard, the peanut butter and jelly wouldn't ooze out all over everything, and it wouldn't fall apart. "oooh" says Dear Alex. We talked about being scared of things a little more, about going to the potty at swim class (we're getting warmer) and about crying about going to swim class (aha!) I can't for the life of me figure out what's going on with the swim class thing. Dear Alex loves the water, she loves to swim, and she has a weird attachment to her swim instructors, (oh, that's a story for another day) But the truth is, it makes her cry. I can't possibly say what she's afraid of or why, and neither can she - but at least we talked about it. Once Dear Alex was calm and cozy after our almost-hour on the chair, she gave me a big hug, and simply said, "I miss mommy." So do I.
We went to her crib, said a quiet goodnight, and all was right with the world. No more tears. Sometimes all you can do is listen and talk and hold on tight. Tonight was one of those nights.

* I know that I should be beyond stupid things like A...B...C.. as an excuse to get me into a post, but it seemed to fit somehow, and I'm battling a serious case of writer's block, so whatever it takes...I'd rather write than not.

No comments: