The Sauce in the Child

Ruby has begun to really show off her personality. As I watch her, I see more than a little bit of myself in her. This makes me amused and horrified in turns.

Some of it is seeing the way I discipline mirrored back at me. “No! No no no no no!” may be a bit more excessive and expressive than I would usually do it, but a “No!” accompanied with a shaking pointer finger is definitely my first defense against naughtiness. The problem is that she has taken to saying this and waving her tiny finger at anybody who is doing something she doesn’t want. Sherman has touched a toy that is hers? “No!” *shakes finger* I tell her it’s time to stop watching her show and eat breakfast? “No!” *shakes finger*

She don’t take no guff. I’m sure some of this is her age and some of it is just her little personality, but her will is not bent easily, and her desires are hard to divert. She wants what she wants and that is the end of it. I happen to think these are wonderful traits in general, but they need refining with manners, sympathy, empathy and grace (things not prevalent in two year olds). It’s good to stand your ground and be firm in your convictions, but it’s not good to steamroller other people in pursuit of your own desires.

She is a protective Mama Bear. The other day we were visiting a friend of mine whose son is one, and as such he hasn’t mastered the idea of “gentle” with a baby. (It was actually refreshing to see that Ruby IS more gentle with Sherman; it was nice to feel like she has internalized some of what we’re trying to teach her). So he would push, sit on, try to poke Sherman’s eyes, steal his binky…one year old shenanigans. But every time Ruby saw him being rough with Sherman, that little finger would come out, she would holler, “No! No no no no!”, and rush to push the one year old away from Sherman. I tried to tell her that my friend and I were taking care of it, but she wouldn’t hear of it. SHE had to be the one taking care of Sherman.

I had a moment of frustration the other day when, after a long morning with the kids, Ruby was screaming (and her worst screams make my eardrums resonate, so I really hate it when she screams like this). So I yelled at her. “Stop crying!” I yelled, and tossed her into her room until we could both calm down. For the rest of the day, however, whenever Sherman would start to cry, Ruby would run up to him, put her hand over his mouth, and holler right in his face, “Stop crying!”

Ugh. It was so humiliating. I got to watch a less than stellar parenting moment repeated by a two year old over and over again all day. It seems so much less justified when a two year old is doing it to a baby. And it turned into one of those frustrating reminders that your children are watching you and will internalize your bad habits. Why can’t she copy all of the moments BEFORE the shouting where I was patient and calm?

She is turning into a firecracker…I guess with how she was as a baby, I shouldn’t be too surprised. It’s proving to be an adventure.

The Cold of Doom

We’ve had the cold of doom running through my family this month. Since the day before Halloween, somebody’s had it or just gotten over it.

What? It’s almost Thanksgiving? It’s almost like my November disappeared in a haze of coughing, post-nasal drip, fever, and fatigue. Just how I wanted to spend it!

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Ahem.

The good news, however, is that at this moment nobody is sick or appears to be coming down with anything. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping it stays this way. Here’s to less sickness and TV-watching in the next few weeks. (In related news, Ruby has memorized all the songs in Nightmare Before Christmas, or as she calls it, “Pumpkin King!”)

Ruby’s Day

Yesterday was a notable day for Ruby for a number of reasons.

First of all, it snowed. Big fluffy flakes dusted the ground outside and she kept running up to the window exclaiming, “It’s snowing! It’s Christmas!” I tried to explain that Christmas is still a little while away, but the next time the window caught her eye…”It’s Christmas!”

When we went outside to play, she ran around saying, “There’s snow everywhere!” She effectively learned how to make and throw snowballs without any primers from me, as well. I guess some things are just instinctual.

Then last night was the big night where she officially moved from her crib to her toddler bed, or as we called it, her “big girl bed.” Ruby, ah, has never been an easy child, so I was dreading this transition for her. I’ve been putting it off for a while, but the bottom line is that we can’t evict Sherman from our room until he’s got a crib to sleep in. Which means that Ruby needed to move up to her big girl bed.

In anticipation of her many attempted escapes, I bought a baby proof lock for her door handle, which is of the lever variety. What I learned upon installing it, though, is that the lever locks can’t be opened from the other side of the door. This meant that if we put the lock on the inside of the room, she’d be stuck. We may have learned this the hard way. But after we got Ruby out of the room, I removed the lock and switched the door handle so that now it locks from the outside. Ruby had watched me install the lock and hadn’t appreciated being stuck in the room, so when I’d removed the lock she inspected it. “That’s much better,” she told me.

I then got her bed all made up with sheets, blankets, and a real pillow. Ruby was thrilled about it, and she came out to the front room and told Kyle, “Going to bed. Good night,” and walked back into her room. We had to pull her out again to brush her teeth and get jammies on, but after the bedtime routine, I put her down in her bed and came out front anticipating the onslaught of toddler escapes.

And heard not a peep. She went straight to sleep. Didn’t get out of bed once.

This morning we were congratulating her on being such a big girl and sleeping in her big girl bed. Ruby then says to us, “Um, it’s Ruby Sized Bed.”

So, excuse me, Ruby did great last night in her “Ruby Sized Bed.” Here’s hoping it sticks.

Halloween

So this month, we’ve been preparing Ruby for Halloween. We visited a “Punkin patch” twice, and after the second time Ruby understood and thing or two about “punkins.” For example, one pumpkin is a “punkin”, but two or more pumpkins is a “punkin patch!” Even if it’s on your doorstep.

According to this definition, Utah is rife with pumpkin patches.

The day of Halloween, when Ruby woke up I told her that it was Halloween so we were going to watch a Halloween movie. She was over the moon about this idea, and we watched The Nightmare Before Christmas together. It was a hit. We dressed up as Raggedy Ann and Andy, because Raggedy Ann is Ruby’s lovie doll. We were super adorable.

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We went Trick of Treating on Center Street in Provo, which does Trick or Treating from 3-6pm, which was perfect timing for us. It also meant that we didn’t get that much candy, which was also great. We’ve kept Ruby’s candy in her pumpkin basket in another room, and whenever she wants candy she comes up to me and says, “Candy? Trick or treat?” which makes my heart melt every time.

Halloween was a success! And now Ruby’s looking forward to Christmas. Evidently Thanksgiving isn’t exciting enough to warrant remembering, according to two year old logic.