Whatchawant, mom?

Chickadee has just run up to me with a marker and pad.

“Whatchawant, mom?”

Not entirely sure what she meant, I assumed that she wanted me to request a drawing.

“A giraffe, please.”

She looks boggled, points the marker at me, and says, “Giraffe. is. not. a. food.”

“Ohh…  Errm…” I contemplate my next move in this dance.

“Fish?  Fish. is. a. food.” After this suggestion, she adds “Three sharks coming up.”

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Again with the prayer

A friend and I have been having some meaningful conversations about praying with our children.  Or, more specifically, our children praying.  I am going to share some thoughts on that here.

While I usually opt to let my girls use their own words to describe the desires of their heart when they pray, I do have to correct them from time to time.

I will interrupt them when the prayer sounds more like a nursery rhyme.

Jesus sat on a wall.  And then He fell.

When they pray selfishly, I correct them afterwards.  I try to direct them to the attributes of God.  I figure if they know more about who God is then they will approach Him in prayer more appropriately.

Dear God, Please let me best friend A come over tomorrow.  And let there be tons of new legos for me.

They are always watching me, so I try to model good behavior and prayers.  As such, I have had plenty of opportunities to teach them about prayer and God.

Recently I was having a very stressful morning, and at the first stop sign on the way to school, I prayed to God to show me His presence.

But, MOM, you are praying in the car!

It was good for me to show them that it doesn’t matter where we pray because our Mighty God is everywhere.

Back to the nighttime prayer, I have been able to witness how my girls understand the world.  I asked them if they wanted me to pray that evening or if they wanted to do it themselves.  To which I was told:

Only small girls pray.  The brown and yellow ones.

For a while, I’ve known that Chickadee can’t tell the difference between brown and black.  Well, she does see the difference but she always switches them up.  I think it has to do with the fact that her black sister has brown skin.  I also think that she has also been told a few times by an embarrassed mom that we don’t draw attention to the skin color of people in public.  (Chickadee can be very loud.)  So I think she was describing her sister and herself by their hair colors.  (Yes, Wren’s hair is black, but remember she gets the two colors confused.)

But I got the point.  They wanted to pray by themselves.

What a blessing.

Dear God.  And Jesus.

Oh, maybe we’re getting the point!  I thought to myself.

Please don’t fall off that wall.

Nevermind.

The end.

In their words

Chicka has been waving for a long time now. Only recently has she added “hi” and even “hey” to her warm greeting. Ever since she was a newborn, she has commanded attention.

She is starting to babble a lot. She likes repetition, and she will utter “dada” x 50. She is also keen on repeating the phrase “I did it.”

We stayed home recently from a trip to see family because she spiked a fever. Then she developed a rash. A trip to the doctor’s determined she had a viral infection which was contagious, so we stayed indoors for four more days — an eternity to a toddler and her mother.

Despite her illness, Chicka was determined to check off a few more developmental milestones off her to-do list. Stand unassisted, check. Crawl up steps, check. So, yes, she did do it.

Sometimes I wonder though how often her big sister puts her up to it. For example, if I were to ask, “Who drew on this wall?” who do you think answers “I did it.” Right, not the one who did.

I don’t know how much Wren understands, probably more than she lets on and probably more than I want to admit. The age of complete innocence is definitely going away.

I asked, after spotting lotion and wet paper towels on the carpet, “Who made this mess?”

Wren replied, in her sweetest voice, “Daddy.”

“I don’t think Daddy did this. He is working,” I countered.

“Ohhh.” I can read Wren’s mind, and this is what the “ohhh” meant: “I should have pinned this on Chicka.”

Wren does actual speak in sentences now. She likes to talk about her sister. And every now and then she sparks interest in crossing off a developmental milestone herself. Like this morning, when she said, “I want to go potty now, Mommy.”

A Chickadee Update (Seven Months)

I’ve been told that I don’t write enough about Chickadee.  I responded along the lines of “well, she’s not very interesting.”  She’s a happy and mellow baby who doesn’t do much.  Seriously, she just sits there and smiles.

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I’ll admit I haven’t been as good at getting out the nice camera once a month to take her pictures as I was with her sister.  I could blame the cold and snowy winter, though honestly, it’s second child syndrome.  As someone who suffered from sixth child syndrome, I should be a little more sympathetic to her plight.  Case in point:  One of my infant photos I’ve come to learn is not of me.

So let’s see, what can I write about my Chickadee…

Chickadee doesn’t sleep through the night consistently, so she’s still in our room.  We are hoping to put her in the room with her big sister, but Wren isn’t sleeping through the night either so it seems like a pretty bad idea to do it now.

Chickadee is a pretty tall baby.  She’s all torso (like her daddy).  Her hair is starting to come in, and it’s blonde?  red?  I’m going to go with strawberry blonde.  It changes colour depending on the light, but there is always a hint of red.  Her daddy also had red hair as an infant (shocker) as did one of my sisters so I shouldn’t have been surprised, even though I was.  Her eyes are mesmerizingly blue.  I’m pretty confident that they’re not going to change.

I can count  on one hand how many times Chickadee has rolled onto her back from her tummy.  On Friday, she finally rolled from her tummy to her back!  Without using words, she cried “I have made a terrible mistake!”

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I don’t know why she doesn’t like rolling around.  She is pretty strong and flexible.  In fact, her daddy’s nickname for her is Pretzel.  She can still wrap her legs around her head like some acrobat.  And when Chickadee is made super happy, she folds to her side.   So I’m pretty sure her desire to crawl will trump all in the end.  She doesn’t mind tummy time and can get into the crawl position easily.  She started rocking a few weeks ago, and so it’s only a matter of time before things around here get real interesting.

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Yummy Yams

I have two daughters, and neither of them looks like me.

When the older was an only child, and we’d be out and about, strangers would say, “She must really take after her father.” Now with a second one in tow, people assume correctly that she’s adopted. But this second one, who came from my womb, she doesn’t look like me either. People exclaim all the time, “She looks like her daddy!” All the time.

It was starting to eat at my soul a little bit. I even had a ridiculous dream where I asked for a maternity test. Every little thing she does can also be attributed to him, well, except for this one thing.

She’s been a picky eater when it comes to “solid” foods. It hasn’t stopped me from introducing her different things, despite her indifference to swallowing. Anyway, I think I finally found something I have in common with this precious girl.

Last night, she was introduced to sweet potatoes. Unlike her daddy, she could not get enough of it. She loved it. She was reaching for more. It was simply the best feeding experience ever.

Parenting Two Children: The Differences

Most times, we feel like we got this parenting thing down. This ain’t our first rodeo after all.

We’ve been through the sleepless nights, the explosive diapers, and the random crying spells which result in what I call “mommy hold me” days.

With child #1, we couldn’t wait for her to meet every milestone. She did not disappoint either. She offered her first smile at nineteen days! You’re supposed to begin offering “solid” food at four-six months, but we started at sixteen weeks since she expressed interest and ability super early. She became mobile at five months and mastered walking at the end of ten.

And that’s another thing, it was easy to keep track if her age.

With child #2, I actually want to slow down time. I want to savor each and every second with her because now I know how quickly those moments go by.

I’m lucky if I can remember how old she is, too. I couldn’t keep track of the weeks anymore so I rounded by months. I started doing this when she was one month old.

“Mommy hold me” days throw the whole house into upheaval because it’s okay to ignore the laundry for a day but not another child.

Child #2 does not nap. Well, she does close her eyes for ten minutes but then wakes up with a loud cry. She doesn’t want to miss a thing, I think. (Big sister is very entertaining.)  She does sleep through the night which is more than I can say for child #1 right now.

We’ve been trying to transition child #1 to her toddler bed. She likes the new bed and all the praising we give her for being such a big girl, but she is one who needs limits and literal boundaries. She senses her new freedom at one in the morning and would rather jump out of bed to play. We remain in our bed listening to her talking to her stuffed animals. Sometimes she goes to the baby gate and bangs on it. More than once we have found her asleep on the floor next to the gate, having brought the contents of her bed (pillow, blankets, Sammy, etc.) with her. More than a dozen dozen times we have put her back into her bed.

As much as I want to savor these infant moments with child #2, she’s outgrown her bassinet and soon she’ll outgrow the pack and play. She needs to go in a crib in the other room.  I’m sure we’ll find a solution even if that means we buy a second crib.

Child #2, I’ve often said, enjoys being a baby. At six months now though I’m starting to worry and find myself comparing her to her older sister who by this time had eaten several puréed vegetables, moved on to puffs and rusks, and could roll over. We had our check ups last week and physical therapy was discussed. She’s not interested in swallowing her rice cereal even if I have sweetened it with puréed fruit. The thought of rolling over is abhorrent to her, to put it frankly.

We’ve got a lot to figure out and I’m sure everything will turn out well in the end. What we’ve got going for us right now is smiles and lots of them, from both girls and us.

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This sums it up

I think last year when Wren was six weeks old, I wrote a short poem about what we do.  Chickadee is six weeks old today, and a friend from church shared the following photo of the three of us from Sunday.

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The two girls are passed out on my lap and by the looks of the bags under my eyes I want to join them!  I’m enjoying every minute though, and I will gladly trade in my sleep for some hot coffee in order to keep up.