Those darling buds of mine are finally asleep. If they do this staying up past 10 PM thing one more day I will put them on someone's doorstep in a box. (But will of course watch from around the corner to make certain that they are actually taken in and loved and didn't run down the street or into traffic.)
I am very cheered by the thought that, no matter what happy or horrible things are happening here on the homefront, Seymour and Iz are off in the wilds of Queen Charlotte Strait and the Broughton Islands, having a fantastic time. Seymour had a minor work quirk that prevented him from boarding his plane in Relaxed Vacation Mode; I hope he managed to find a solution before he left communications range. He did call me after they arrived boatside to let me know that he had already negotiated a decimation of nautical TV time, so perhaps Iz will come home raving more about the things she saw and the things she did than about who won America's Got Talent.
It was our twelfth wedding anniversary yesterday. Happy cool dozen, my love.
Mali became the world's cutest fucking Montessori preschooler today. Witness:
(Togs by Plumtickled)
I thought Teacher Anarchy would take to her and declare her Perfect and Darling, as does every other person who encounters her, but no. Our Mali spent the last nine months being a free-range chicken at Iron Gate, and did not appreciate being put in a preschool pen. She did not want to sit on anyone's potty, she did not want to sit still for anything, she did not like being told what to do. She will figure it out, though, once she sees that everyone gets to do whatever they like as long as they follow the rules for doing so. She is unlike her siblings in that she is an environmental learner; she actually notices what other people are doing and follows suit. Witnessing the same daily conga line of other kids going potty, doing "jobs," and sitting for circle time should be enticement enough.
Right now her imitation is mostly centered on copying the bratty brat brat behavior of her older sister. Mali is getting snatchy and rude, demanding, "Hey, those are MY french fries!" instead of her previous "Mommy, can I have some french fries please?," and smirking knowingly when she takes something that doesn't belong to her. But she is still polite when prompted, so I will hope that this phase is tied to her current language and conceptual developmental leaps. Even one week ago, she would not have declared, "I am missing my Daddy" and then known that it was naughty to answer "No" when asked if she missed her big sister, too. Nor would she have responded to my sing-song "Mommy nee-eeds co-ooffee" by piping up from the back seat "..and Mali ne-eeds a made-line"
Still absolutely uninterested in placing anything in the potty, though. Always wants to sit on it, can now recite all the potty books by heart, enjoys discussing the matter at length, but could truly care less about the act. Which means, to me, that she's not ready. Which is certainly FINE, seeing as Leelo is needing almost all of my potty energy these days.
He really is doing well, so very well. Two days ago he had no accidents at all, and waited to poop until he got his pullup on after his bath.
Yesterday he pooped while being a naked swimming boy (his too-big trunks fell off) in the pool with friends. Which was awesome for two reasons: 1) I dragged him into the house and he did a huge big poop in the potty! and 2) Mask-wearing Merlin was actually underwater looking in Leelo's direction when it happened, and he had the very best Caddyshack-level "Doody!" reaction I've ever seen. Hopefully Merlin wasn't traumatized.
Later on yesterday Leelo had a poop accident, but it was my fault as I'd taken my eyes off of him for five minutes even though he'd been doing his sneaky butt-in-the-air in the corner "I'm pooping" position just a few minutes beforehand.
Today he pooped four times. The first time I caught him as he was positioning himself, ran him to the potty, and he pooped in the potty all by himself! FIRST TIME EVER! The second time he had already started but finished in the toilet. The last two times were full-bore accidents. I had no idea he was going to go again, and again, as he normally only poops once or twice per day. But I should have been more watchful; he really doesn't seem to be outputting as much as he is inputting, and it had to come out eventually. Plus I am making sure he gets cod liver oil every damn day, and I'm using cheesy puffs (Pirate Booty) to encourage him to poop, drink his rice milk/vitamins, and take his cod liver oil, and all that tends to grease the chute. I don't think he's quite emptied himself; his tummy still looks quite distended. It looks uncomfortable and is possibly another reason for his awful recent behavior. However I am not encouraging him to push unless he has started trying himself; no need to add hemorrhoids to the mix.
Other good potty indicators: a couple of times he has started walking down the hall towards the potty by himself, he has asked to go "poo-poo for cheesy puffs," and tonight while I was driving him and Mali all over The Peninsula to try to force them to sleep, he called from the back seat, "Push, Mommy!" So I pulled off at the next Burger King and he went to the potty again. No poo production, but still. Wow. (And that Burger King stop is the reason for all the French Fry language above. Though Leelo didn't actually want any.)
Good happy Leelo things today: We had a lot of fun on the trampoline. He is sweet and kind, mostly, in letting his baby sister wrestle with him, and they even get each other to laugh both while playing on the trampoline, and while splashing in the bath, which is wonderful (even though he also smacked her once he'd had enough). He had me play him lots of music on the piano, which is interesting because I can only figure out melodies one key at a time, in C or G, and he kept insisting that I play each tune (Good Night Ladies/Leelo; Totoro Theme; Schubert's Trout) with both hands, one octave apart, ack. Also he still loves the Increasingly Complex Musical Vocalizations game, in which he scats and I have to imitate until I can't keep up. Today's scat words were "garlic" and "onion."
(BTW, I am currently finding both Schubert's Trout and Chopin's Prelude marvelously calming -- even the Beethoven's Wig versions.)
I just realized that we have been in this new house eight weeks. Eight weeks during which my kids have mostly refused to sleep except when I do, during which I've taken three trips (one long, two short), the kids' schedules have been constantly shifting craziness, and Seymour has been working the wacky hours. Why I thought I should have this place already put in perfect shape, who knows.
Another piece of house-happiness felt into place yesterday with a nice satisfying clink, when Ep's Clyde swapped out our dishwashers. (One more example of why it's nice to sell your house to friends. Another is that when Clyde found some sub-dishwasher puzzle and game pieces which, unbeknownst to him, had still been causing me the occasional OCD eye twitch, he brought them over instead of throwing them into the trash and both Leelo and I got to do happy dances.) The swap happened because our house came with the same model of dishwasher Ep and Clyde abandoned when they sold their house. Basically, when we moved into our new homes, they inherited my much-adored new dishwasher, and I inherited a doppelganger of their own beloved. And neither of us were happy.
Good dishwasher work on left, evil dishwasher work on right.
Dishwasher dissatisfaction may seem minor, and as lame as blogging about a disappointing manicure. (And that is SO an "I bet she won't read this.") But when I am mainlining stress, any extra strain -- such as having to wash the five thousand knives we use each day to make Leelo's PB&J sandwiches even though they've already been through the wash cycle of a super-sniffy extra-fancy dishwasher -- forces the stress to arc out of my eyes and into the nearest light fixture. Fun, but not pretty, to watch. I am so happy to have my good old workhorse back. It is still in fighting shape; it has already easily plowed through the Dried Cheese Sauce on Plate and Peanut Butter on Knife challenges.
And, hey, I finally got 'hold of the County Education director! They have a place for Leelo, in a school that both mb and DoubleTrouble think could be acceptable. It's a segregated (Leelo and friends only) rather than an integrated site, but frankly given Leelo's recent behavior, I'm not sure I want him around kids whose parents don't want him around. Now I just need to get my Deadwood school district contact/facilitator to call me back right now so that we can make it happen A.S.A.P., and so I can let the ALSO folks know not to hold our spot. Assuming the school district approves County over ALSO. The schedule and location are rather unfortunate, but I talked to a friend today who assured me that her child not only tolerates but loves taking the bus. Hmmmm.
It is such a blessing to have friends come over who are comfortable around me and my kids. Jo, Ep, and Clyde kept me company yesterday. The wonderful Liz Ditz was over today, and was totally unfazed by Leelo's giving her three or four big shoves ("Lady, I work with horses and big dogs. This is nothing."), or by the evening's poopfest. Jennyalice, DoubleTrouble, and bunch of the hot mamas and their broods are coming over tomorrow. I miss Seymour and Iz, but am finding that I can weather their absence quite well if I have enough company.
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