Nora likes to take her time and move at her own pace, and she shows resistance if she is pushed. She sits back and observes rather than jumping right in, and thinks deeply about everything she sees. She is very perceptive once you get her to open up about her feelings, and she’s aware of the way she is. She’ll say, “Well, I didn’t talk to the grown-ups because I’m shy and because I’m not used to them, but I did talk to some of the kids.” She calls the phenomenon of being shy in class, “not being screwed in yet.” When she gets more used to people, she says, “I’m a little more screwed in than I was before.” She likes to do everything right and often gets frustrated if that’s not possible. After a long day of pent up frustration, of being good and quiet in school, her energy is frenetic, loud (and can sometimes get aggressive toward me or Rosie when she is exhausted.) Those who know her well know she is incredibly goofy, silly, athletic, creative, imaginative, and sharp. Once she gets over the initial shyness, she makes friends very easily and is a lot of fun to be around and loves to laugh. She loves to sing (especially songs from “Moana” and “Sing”), and dance around the room. Drawing is one of the ways she relaxes, and it’s also a way for her to be precise and imaginative in something she can control. A friend of mine said she “has a poetic face,” which always stuck with me. This is the face I see when she doesn’t know anyone is looking at her, when she is thinking about life. Last night, we wrote down her worries and then threw them away, (an exercise they did in Hebrew school.) One of her worries, she said, was about wanting to wake us up after bedtime when she knows she’s supposed to stay in her bed. She’s sometimes scared when Elephanty isn’t in her bed. She is also worried that she knows how to be good, like not hitting or saying “ha ha chicken sma, stupid, poopyhead,” but sometimes, she forgets. After we threw all of her worries in the bin, I asked if she felt better. “Yeah,” she said. “But the worries aren’t actually gone. Get of my brainy, worries!” She started hitting the palm of her hand against her head. I told her that was okay, that I worried about a lot too, and that hopefully it will at least help to share them. “I think about a lot of things all the time,” she said. I told her we are a lot alike.
This has been a big summer for her—she started to read, she got more comfortable riding her bike, she did the monkey bars by herself, and she finally put her head under water. Now, she’s started Kindergarten, and while she seems to enjoy it, I’m struggling with the transition because it’s hard for me to believe that we’re done with Mommy and Me classes and that she will spend every weekday away from me. She was ready for the change I think, but I’ve always been nostalgic and though she can at times give me a hard time, I have treasured the times we spent together.
I know Rosie is only two, but I already see such different personality traits in her at this age than with Nora. She is the kid who likes to answer every question and who will chat it up with strangers. “Aren’t I wearing a preeetty jjjjress?” At story time, she stands right in front of the librarian, pointing at the book she’s reading. We went to the Farmer’s Market to see a Bossyfrog concert—(if you don’t know of him, he is all the rage)—and she took Nora’s hand and pushed her way up to the front so they were practically standing on Bossyfrog’s toes. Nora looked so uncomfortable to be up that close to him– (she used to despise anyone in costume but she is old enough to know it’s just a person in there and that it’s not cool to be afraid.) Rosie was dancing with one arm up and then the other, making a hilarious scrunched up face. At MyGym, Rosie follows all of the directions, reaching up and then bending down to touch her toes when she’s supposed to. She is so ready for school—she’s worn her empty ladybug backpack every day for the last two weeks to drop Nora off at Kindergarten, and she is thrilled to finally get to go to nursery school herself. Last night, Nora asked Rosie what she worries about and she said, “That my friends are sooooo lovable and they hug me all the time!” We all laughed and Nora asked if there was anything else. “Peanut butter and jelly in my hair!” she shouted, and again, we laughed. She is ridiculous, her new little ringlets bobbing around as she dances, the silly things she says, her funny chubby thighs. She can be very sweet, telling me, “you look very booootiful today,” and she can lash out making her meanest (but pretty hilarious) face, yelling, “Go away!” She freaks if she is not allowed to do something all by herself. She’d like to walk on the street without holding hands, buckle herself into the stroller, or open the string cheese without any help. “No! No! No! I do it all by myself!” She is very huggable and snuggly. She likes to grab my face and pull me to her saying, “let’s kiss with our lips together.”
Together, my girls are wild, sweet, sometimes too much, lovable, loving and ridiculous. Whatever Nora says or does, Rosie does too. Both girls like to say “butt daaaance!” and dance around naked after their baths. I’m really trying not to encourage this, but it is pretty funny. They play baby together—Nora is the mommy, Rosie is the baby and I am the grandma. They sing together and dance on the bandstand at the beach. In the bath, they like to put bubbles on their heads. They fight over toys and hit each other. When one falls, the other one gives her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. They make each other belly laugh more than anyone else can. They love to hide from me and Kevin, especially when we’re trying to get them to go to bed. Together they wrestle, sing, scream, laugh, ride bikes, dance, carry backpacks, and play.
There are a lot of ups and downs, and it’s not always easy but they are everything to us.
Thought I’d share my little idea with you. It was definitely time to give the baby clothes away, but I had a hard time letting go. I went through a very special, emotional process, holding up onesie after onesie, mystified that my girls could ever fit into those clothes and by the whole thing– that at one time the girls didn’t exist, and then they did, and then, I put them in those teenie onesies and took them for walks in the carrier and nursed them and rocked them to sleep. Now, my girls are huge, and they just keep getting huge-er, and they do their activities like soccer and dance, and they have their own very strong opinions about everything, and they say things that I didn’t teach them to say. Nora is especially big now. She’s a real kid– nothing babyish about her.
It was stupid for me to let bagfuls of baby clothes collect dust in my house when another little baby could be looking adorable in them. Most of the clothes were hand-me-downs from my sister, and I really appreciated having them. So, now friends will create their own memories and go through their own special, emotional processes of letting go when the time comes, and then they might give the clothes to another friend who might go through that special, emotional process too, and it will be this endless cycle as the clothes continue to circulate from mom to mom until the end of time.
Maybe that’s dramatic.
The point is, I came up with this idea to create a collage of some of my favorite clothes. I’m thinking I’ll make a print of this for the girls’ rooms. Although, this is definitely more for me than for them. Each image tells a story for me. If you’re nostalgic like me, maybe this idea will appeal you. 😉
Here it is:
If you were to walk by our house, you’d probably hear children singing “How Far I Go,” from Moana in very loud, (and nasally) voices. “When the sky from the light from the sky meets the sea, it calls me! Now I KNOOOOWW how far it GOOOOOs!” Nora and Rosie are obsessed with this movie, (and they’ve only seen it once), to the point that I decided we had to cool it with the soundtrack to give their brains a break. It was the ONLY thing Rosie talked about for awhile. She really hasn’t watched THAT much TV– okay more than what I let Nora watch at this age. Poor second child. She just absorbs TV unlike anything else. She started telling random kids on the playground, “We watched Moana and it was scaahwy. Moana and uuuummm Heihei and uuuummm Maui is funny. Um. I’m Moana of Motunu and you will board my boat.” She told Kevin, “I’m Moana and you Heihei the CHICKen.” He said, “I’m not a chicken!” And she said, “But. You Heihei the CHICKen Foh Reeeal.”
She’s pretty good at zingers without even meaning to be. For awhile, she’d call us Sven the reindeer from Frozen. “Mommy, you Sben! I Anna and Nora Elsa and you Sben.”
Also, she said to Kevin, after I’d asked everyone if they’d rather be a cow or a horse (by the way, he said cow if it was a bull). “No, Daddy,” Rosie said. “You a DONKEY.” Zing! What’s with her and calling people not-so-glamorous animals?
Rosie is a chatter box now. She opens her eyes after a nap and immediately starts chatting as if she was not asleep for the last two hours, but in the middle of a thought. The way she talks is so funny to me. She sounds like a voice navigation system. The words are real person words, but her inflection is not quite right and often ends with a question when it shouldn’t, i.e. “AYE love YOU so MUCH?”
She’s started to really think about things the way Nora does. She watched an episode of Super Why with Nora (again with the TV. Sheesh. I’m ashamed!) The episode was about Little Red Riding Hood. That night, I was rocking Rosie and she kept asking, “Is da woof gramma?” “Well,” I said. “It’s complicated. Not exactly.” She was not satisfied. “Mommy, is da woof gramma?” She asked me over and over and over again. “There’s a whole story about it,” I said. “You see, there was this girl named little red…” She lifted her head from my shoulder, put her hands on my cheeks and turned my face toward her face. We were nose to nose. “Mommy,” she said. “Look at me. I TALKING to you. Is the woof gramma?” “No,” I said, finally. “No, it’s not.” I tried to get her to relax and rest her head on my shoulder, and she started whispering to me. “Mommy is the woof gramma? Mommy is the woof gramma?”
Nora and Rosie are doing just what sisters are supposed to do. They play together, wrestle with each other, scream at each other, fight with one another, turn on us and get into trouble together and love each other in an almost primal way. It’s cool that they can play together now. The game of choice right now is called “sick baby.” Often, I find Rosie sitting in (I mean, dwarfing) a bouncy chair or doll’s stroller while Nora checks her heartbeat with her stethoscope or puts a blanket over her and tells her she needs to rest. “Don’t get up, Baby,” Nora says. “You need your rest.” Rosie says, “My rest? Okay, Momma.” They also like to put on backpacks, rainboots and our jackets and play a game Rosie likes to call, “I’m going at school.”
I can’t keep up with the rapidly shifting love/fight dynamic between these two, and often it’s best for me not to jump in too quickly. I might hear screaming and run into the room to find them both yanking on a toy. I’m just about to intervene when the screaming turns into laughter and then the two of them are chasing each other around the room, in hysterics.
Nora says she loves Rosie just a little bit more than she loves me and Daddy. But that she loves us all a lot. It’s cool. They’ll have a bond that no one can match, and they should. Their relationship will be theirs and only theirs, and that’s what I would hope for them.
PS- I’ve been really bad about updating so I’m going to add a few little funny things Rosie used to do. She’d would start walking backwards and yell “Backwards!” and bump into stuff. Or, she’d put her hands over her eyes and walk around like that and fall all over the place. Also, for awhile she investigated putting food up her nose. She did this with a very serious expression. She put stuff in her ears too. Glad those phases are over. (Knock on wood.)
Thanks for reading!
Nora and Blobbo haven’t hung out very much recently. They used to play together a lot when Nora was four. That was before he became invisible. The reason they stopped playing together is because he got tired of being her friend. 😦 (Your loss, Blobbo. Nora is the best friend anyone could ask for.) He decided to come back now that she’s five, but now she can’t see him– she can only hear him. He became invisible by stepping on the gray rug at Nana’s and Poppop’s beach house. Nora actually almost stepped on the gray rug too. Good thing she didn’t because she would have become invisible too.
Blobbo has really a lot of energy and he eats a lot of food. But he shouldn’t eat that much food because Nora doesn’t want him to be too big, because if he’s so big, then wherever she walks, she would bump into him! When she told him not to eat to much food, he said, “Cheeks!” That means he only eats cheeks. And Nora didn’t know that. Cheeks are not like cheeks on our face. They are roast beef, hot dogs and roast beef/chicken. And that’s what Blobbo likes to eat.
Nora has a new friend named Billy (pictured below.) He’s much nicer than Blobbo. They met because Blobbo was trying to be mean and throw Billy onto a roof, but Billy didn’t fall onto the roof– he got into Nora’s arms.
Billy has a unicorn horn that looks like a unicorn’s horn and it’s gold. And he has purple out here and green inside his belly. And he has ears like this and little green spots inside. He has two feet and two hands. He’s as big as Nora’s arms outstretched. He has two mouse teeth just like this:
He does person things, like he runs around a lot. He’s kind of wild. But he’s very nice. Nora knows he’s nice because she has seen him be nice to Blobbo.
Nora has sort of figured out on her own that Billy might just be better company than Blobbo, and good for her. She and Billy have a great time together. Their favorite thing to do is have tea parties, just the two of them, and to drink real tea (both cold and hot.)