Just wanted to share an essay I wrote that was published on Bustle. Thanks for reading!
At 6 months old, Rosie is in the 99th percentile for weight, 78th for height and 98th for head size. She has tried solid foods, yay! So far she’s had oatmeal, banana and apples. The bananas are a hit; the other two are amusing to her. She does this little hehehehe goat laugh when I put it in her mouth. She has started to make the wild cat yelping noises I remember Nora making as a baby. For a while, I thought maybe Rosie was a much quieter baby than Nora was, but she has found her voice, and she is expressing it at 6am when Nora is still sleeping and I want her to stay asleep a little while longer. She also loves to tell me, Thhhh. She tells me this over and over again while feeding. She’ll stop nursing to look up at me and say, Thhhh and then go back to eating eagerly. She does most things eagerly with a little pep in her step, arms and legs pumping. She can roll all the way across the room. She likes to roll over to the magazine stack under the coffee table and chew on some tabloids. I have not yet re-baby-proofed the house but better get on it. She is still sleeping in a bassinet next to our bed, but she is ginormous. She is like a fish that has outgrown its tank—the walls of her bed surround her from head to toe. I know I need to get her out of our room and into her crib, but I also think this is probably our last child, and I start to get all nostalgic and weepy about moving her. This will be the last time there will be a baby sleeping in this bassinet next to our bed! What’s next—college?
Nora has just turned into this kid. She’s no longer a toddler. She has a sense of humor and does things intentionally. Her favorite joke: Knock knock. Whose there? Boo. Boo hoo? Don’t cry! Recently, she’s started doing things a big kid does. She can write her name now! She is good at drawing faces with eyes, noses, mouths and hair. She did an excellent family portrait of us—Mommy, Daddy, Nora, Rosie and of course, our pet giraffe, Marty. She also likes to draw monsters and robots. She is very into wearing her princess dresses. She loves reading Ladybug Girl, Curious George and Pinkalicious. She likes to make pillow forts and pretend to go to sleep. She also loves to hide. Anytime she hears someone walking downstairs, or anytime the doorbell rings, she goes, “Ah! Hide!” and covers herself with a blanket. She is becoming quite the big sister. She can be pretty rigid about what she wants to do and gets frustrated when someone messes with her vision—“I want you to be the monster and come in here and tickle me and then I’ll hide.” “No, I don’t want you to put the purple Lego there! Not right there!”
At night, she wants Daddy and Mommy to tell her a story, after reading several books. The bedtime routine takes forever.
Last night, I said, “There once was a porcupine named Ned.”
“No, no, no!” she said. “Not a porcupine! A crocodile!”
“Okay,” I said. “There once was a crocodile named Ned.”
“No, no!” she said. “Not Ned! Cari!”
She wanted me to tell her the same exact story that Daddy had told her, but I wasn’t in the room at the time so I didn’t know the story, and that was very frustrating to her. I explained that we have to do a little of what we want to do and a little of what others want to do. Just like on the playground today. “The little girl you were playing with wanted the windows of the playhouse open and you wanted them closed. It was important to do what the little girl wanted too, because that’s a nice way to play. A give and take. Do you understand?”
She nodded. “Yeah,” she said. “I do.”
“Okay,” I said. “So, there once was a porcupine named Ned who had a crocodile friend named Cari. A give and take. Both of our guys are in the story.”
“No, no!” she said, after all that. “Not a porcupine named Ned! Just a Crocodile!”
You win some, you lose some I guess. ;)
Thanks to Jocelyn from The Home Tome for her shout-out.
Originally posted on THE HOME TOME:
What follows is a recipe for cucumber water. If used correctly I believe it could be turned into a philosophy, a political movement, or a cure for…Everything.
- Go over to your friend Sara’s house for a series of play dates, birthday parties, and other occasions where she is serving special water in a special pitcher with special green discs floating cheerfully on the surface.
- Guzzle several glasses each time you visit, in a state of extreme ecstasy. Wave people off when they try to start a friendly conversion with you. Because you are concentrating. On your taste buds.
- Pull her aside and ask in an I’m-sure-this-is-top-secret voice if she will share this intriguing recipe, knowing full-well that you have become extremely lazy in the kitchen and that you will never actually do this, or anything else in the cooking room ever again. Thank her profusely when she nonchalantly provides the…
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At three and a half, Nora is a strong-minded little monkey who swings back and forth between wanting to do everything “all by myself” and needing her mommy and daddy.
Developing independence means she sticks to her point-of-view and doesn’t back down. Logic does not sway her. Life for Nora is all about what she wants and does not want. “I want milk right now,” “I want to watch a little something!” “I don’t want to ride my scooter,” “No, I don’t want to go to the pool!”
We went to Rockland Lake so she could ride her scooter. She was distracted by all of the families who had gathered at picnic benches for cookouts, and by the smell of hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken wafting in the air.
“I want to eat dinner,” she decided, stepping off her scooter, trying to pull her helmet off.
“We didn’t bring dinner,” we said.
“Well, that’s okay,” she said walking over to join another family’s cookout. “There’s food over there. We can eat some of their food.”
“But that’s not our food,” we said. “We’ll turn around, go home and get dinner.”
She wouldn’t have it. “Nooo!” she yelled, about to sit down with the family. “I want dinner here!”
I’m trying to remind myself that though exhausting at times, she is showing character traits that will serve her later in life: She knows what she wants. She’s learning how to negotiate. She’s smart. She’s a problem solver. If we didn’t bring dinner, we could just go ask those nice people over there if they have a few hot dogs to spare. It must be hard to be so small, to do what grownups want all the time.
She seems to need us less and less as she asserts herself and learns how to do things for herself. But she still needs us. She’s afraid of the dark and she won’t let us leave her room so she can go to sleep. Lying in her bed, she wraps her arms around my head and says, “I want you stay too long! I really want you to stay too long!” I’d like to get to sleep and I don’t want to have a nighttime routine that never ends, and yet, I like that she’s holding onto me a little.
Rosie rolls over! For a while she could only do back to front and then started complaining because she couldn’t turn back over. She’s learning to turn the other way. She is a close talker. She likes to get right up there so our eyes become one eye and open her mouth and try to eat me. She likes to suck on her fingers, my fingers, anybody’s fingers. Maybe those teeth are coming in. She likes to reach out and grab my face and squeeze it in her little lobster claws. She is so chill and smiley all the time. She likes the Jumparoo. She likes to do a Tarzan yell. She says gggghhh and bwah and ahbah and she is working on being a ventriloquist talking with her mouth closed. She is so chubby! She grabs her hands and feet and looks at them with wonder. She gets startled a lot. She is taking big sister Nora’s rough hugs in stride. She laughs when you kiss her belly. She’s delicious.