Claire's illness led to a temperature of 102. She was miserable, spent a good amount of her time sleepingand rarely would let me even set her down. While Chesta was there, as I set her down one time she sadly groaned "I have to pee-pee."
She has been rather spotty with her potty training and my parenting instincts kicked in immediately. "Do you want to use the potty?"
Chesta and I sat there stunned for a minute. "Well . . . thanks for sharing."
Chip off the old block
Claire had a cold and administering medicine was one of the most frustrating things to do with her. Mixing it in juice was pointless, she can taste even a drop. There was no bribe great enough to make her swollow it willingly. In the end we had to use a dropper to put in in her mouth over and over until she finally swollowed some, usually out of frustration that we wouldn't stop until she did.
As she ate some chicken soup recovering from one such administration I commiserated with her by quoting the Schoolhouse Rock song Interjections: "Hey, that's not fair, giving a guy a shot down there."
As the conversation continued Diana pointed out something I had forgotten to do. "Darn," I said.
Claire looked up at me slyly, and said "That's the end."
As I was playing with Claire I exclaimed "Aren't you the cutest two-year-old?"
"No," she said playfully.
"Oh, how old are you?"
"Two." She paused to think. "How old are you daddy?"
"How old do you think I am?"
"No I'm not three."
"No, I'm much older than four."
She contemplated this for a while. "Maybe five?"
Claire got a chance to go out in the first snow of the year before school started. Because the previous year had been so warm, this was the first time she had seen snow since she was a few months old.
"Lots of snow!" she exclaimed, pointing at the light dusting on the ground.
Knowing there was a full day of snow in the forcast I assured her this was not that much snow.
By the time Diana went to pick her up from day-care there wer six inches of snow on the ground. The snow made it impossible for the children to go to the playground during school, so as Diana took her outside she got her first look at it.
"Wow!" she excalimed, "Everything is white!"
At meal times, Calire has a habit of trying to put too much in her mouth at one time. We warn her to take smaller bites, but she always seems to ignore us.
One dinner, while she was eating chicken nuggets at the table she offered me some of her food.
"Why, thank you," I said, taking a small bite from the proffered nugget.
Claire immediately started wagging her finger at me, "Not so much daddy, not so much."
After changing Claires diaper Diana and I were struggling to get her to put on her pants. I was surprised to note that her legs were really starting to get some shape, even if they still had that cute baby pudginess to them. "What pretty little legs you have," I said.
"Oh yes, I do," She responded, "Who made these for me?"
We were both rather stunned by the question, but Diana recovered first. "Well, God made your legs."
"Oh," said Claire. "Then who made this for me?" she asked pointing at her chest.
"God made that, too."
"Oh," said Claire again, "God made my shirt?"
A very important job
Sesame Street was all about jobs one morning. After watching the characters talk about what job they want when they grow up, Clifford came on and continued in the same theme.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?" I asked Claire.
She thought for a moment before making her decision. "A tree."
Well, she had the right idea
Claire has a collecion of animal cards from teh Baby Einstein company that she absolutely loves. Since she is learning her shapes, she happily put them on the floor in a square, but when she tried to do a circle it was more of a pile. She could see it wasn't right and demanded I make a circle instead.
Once she had her circle it was only natural to run around it, and encourage me to chase her. I tried periodically stopping at various animals, but she seemed to know them all anyway.
"Well, stop at the monkey," I said
She carefully walked around the circle until she found the monkey card and stood by it for a moment.
"Stop at the dolphin."
Again she found it. The game continued for a while until Claire wanted to tell me where to stop.
"Okay, where should I stop?"
She contemplated the circle for a while, then walked right up to the picture of an elephant and excalimed "Stop here!"
Setting me up
Claire crawled into our bed early one morning. It's a terrible habit, but we usually get an extra hour of sleep out of her that way. That morning, as she setled in under the covers, she pretended to sneeze.
"I'm on sneezy street. You need to sneeze daddy," she demanded.
Without hesitation she exclaimed "Cover your mouth!"
As we loaded Claire into the car, Diana and I were talking about a convention we were going to visit that weekend, and especially about the anime that we wanted to check out in the video rooms. Claire seemed to be ignoring our conversation until she suddenly cried out "I can't go to Japan!"
Confused we stopped. "What?" asked Diana.
"I can't go to Japan!" she exclaimed again.
Fortunately Diana figured it out right away. Claire was quoting Woody from Toy Story 2 when he finds out he is being sold to a museum.
Tonight Claire had another first, but not necessarily a good one. She doesn't like to eat ice cream, probably because she is more interested in touching it to feel the cold. But while we were at the Chinese buffet tonight Diana returned to the table with an ice cream for dessert and Claire became interested.
After sticking her finger into the cone and licking the ice cream off. To save her food from terminal perforation, Diana scooped up some of the ice cream, vanilla if you are curious, and gave it to Claire. Claire loved it and demnded more, and more, and more. Suddenly she stopped, scrunched up her face, and slammed her hands against her forehead.
Her first ice-cream headache.
These pictures go all the way back to Holloween, when Claire dressed up as Tickety-Tock from Blue's Clues (Diana is holding the official stuffed version in the picture to the left). Diana and I dressed up as Blue and Steve respectively.
Claire has been sick this week, probably strep throat since that is what Diana came down with later. So Claire is on antibiotics for the first time ever. Bubblegum flavored amoxicillin.
The first dose she took without any problem. She liked the taste and drank it all down. The second dose, however, didn't work out so well. She tilted her head forward as she was drinking it, so I pushed her head back. Suddenly it went from being given a treat to being forced to take medicine and she wasn't having any of that. She screamed, she cried, and when we forced some into her mouth she gurgled until she choked and then threw up.
We called the doctor and he said it was safe to mix it with any food, even yogurt. So we tried it and let her eat on her own, and sure enough she ate it all. She is now almost completely over the illness, which is great since she hadn't slept through a night since she got sick. Now if only Diana would get better.
A few new pictures of Claire here. This weekend she went to her first birthday party as a guest. Emily Raye had the party at Playerobics which was just about the biggest of those child-safe gym places I've seen. Claire spent some time in the ball bin, and at first loved it, then the five- and six-year olds showed up and scared the bejesus out of her. Fortunately we located a smaller one in the infant area that was practically unoccupied.
At one point she crawled into this huge superstructure meant for climbing. I followed her around on the ouside until she disappeared on the second floor. Realizing she couldn't see me anymore I had this sudden fear that she was sitting somewhere lost, crying, and with dozens of other kids running about ignoring her. So I took off my shoes and crawled in after her. When I got to where she had dissapeared I found I was stuck, and couldn't go any farther. Fortunately I could see her, still crawling on with a big grin on her face. Serves me right, I suppose.
In my defence, she did eventually get stuck in this long tube where both ends had the door too high for her to climb over. After a few minutes of running back and forth she relaized she was trapped, and I had to coax one of the kids to give her a boost. Then she got stuck anyway since the exit required crossing a net and she has shown a fear of that sort of a thing for a while now (she cannot bring herself to step on a storm drain and even whimpers when I do). We eventually managed to get her out, though.
At day care for the last month Theresa has been speaking Spanish with the kids. This morning it finally happened. As Claire was brushing her teeth Diana asked "Do you want some toothpaste?" Claire responded "Yes. Si." She seems to only say it at the sink, but I've heard kids who learn two languages often end up associating them with different situations or activities.
Boy, I hadn't realized how far behind I had fallen. I guess I'll just give a quick update to Claire's bio here.
Language: Whoo boy, Claire knows at least a hundred words at this point and is learning new ones all the time. She even has a few pat phrases, though I suspect she is thinking of them as just long words. "Sit down" is one of her favorites. The only real problem right now is that she calls almost every color "purple." I doubt she is color blind since it is not in either of our family histories, so I'm just chalking it up to purple being her favorite color
Physical: Claire has started learning how to ride things. The pedals on the neighbor's tricycle are still to complex for her to work, but she can push it along the ground. She also has become a real expert with a spoon. She probably doesn't spill more than 2-5% of what she eats. Of course, she still intentionally throws a bit on the floor purely for forms sake.
Reasoning: This has to be the biggest improvement. She really seems to be understanding how things work. She knows that her videos are on the video tape, and that they are differnet than broadcast TV. She knows that if she can't find Diana or I that we are asleep in the bedroom (who's door is always kept firmly shut) unless she saw us leave. She even knows that we are sleeping when we go to the bedroom for a break, she places her hands together on the side of her head and makes a cute snoring sound. She also has learned how to trick us, see below for details.
Potty Training: We have not been pushing this at all, we don't want to be getting calls when she is thrity about complexes from childhood trauma, but it seems to be happening anyway. She always lets us know when she's going to do something, although sometimes she's wrong and it's just a fart (like that doesn't happen to you sometimes too) but I think in the last week she soiled her diaper only once.
Most likely she just really enjoys the "naked time" she gets right after going . . . for the fifteen minutes or so that we can trust she won't be messing the carpet. But it seems she has also discovered that when she wants to get out of her high chair she can just shout "potty!" and we rush her to the bathroom. We need ot find some way to foil this trickery that doesn't also result in her giving up on the potty altogether. Hmm.
Well, Edd cancelled "guy's night out" today, so I went home and joined Diana for a fun night of doing the laundry. After a few hours Rachel came home and played with Claire. Everything was fine until I came in to take over so Rachel could get to work. As Rachel left the room Claire cried out "mama mama" and started patting the chair Rachel was sitting in.
"Was that for me?" asked Rachel as she sat down and read Claire a few books. Then she got up to go again and Claire called out "mama mama" in the saddest little voice that would break your heart. "That was for me!" exclaimed Rachel, and Claire patted the chair she had been sitting in again.
Needless to say, Rachel didn't actually get any work done until after we left.
We had Christmas with the Bandfields today. It was nice to see everyone, and I think Sean liked his gift. We purchased a nice sword (not sharpened) at a rennaisance faire in July with plans to give it to him for Christmas. Of course we had constant worries over whether his mother, Marlene, would ever talk to us again after we gave it, but it seemed to go over fairly well. Hopefully Sean won't be lopping off any heads in the near future.
Claire had a great time and just refused to go to sleep. Just as well, since she fell asleep on the ride home.
Claire had a wonderful time at Christmas. It did not take her long at all to learn the art of opening presents herself. She pulls the paper until a tiny fragment rips off, and then repeats. It resulted in hundreds of little pieces of paper all over the floor, but she enjoyed it a great deal. She just hadn't worked this out by her birthday, so this is the first time she has done it.
Everything went fairly well, especially since any gifts my sister or parents gave would stay with them for when Claire came to visit. This policy probably reduced the number of loud annoying toys significantly.
Claire is really progressing quite well developmentally. This weekend, for example, we went to the Chinese buffet and our waiter, so much as a buffet has waiters, was Jack. After introducing Jack to Claire, Claire offered Diana her sippy cup. Diana pretended to drink some and then said "Are you going to give some to Jack?" Claire immediately turned around and offered it to him.
That means she had to understand that when we say, "say hello to Jack" that means the person she is being introduced to is named "Jack" as well as understand that offering a sippy cup can be done to a person, and that the person named is who it should be offered to.
I will not pretend that she broke down the sentence gramatically, but she still had to pick up on the keywords "give" and "Jack" and make a real connection between the words and the objects/actions, even when the object was not in front of her.
After two weeks of Burger King the pattern was broken when we went to the Chinese buffet. Claire loves it there, and they love her, so she had a good time even if she had already eaten a dinner. We went there to meet with my parents and "Aunt Ra-ra".
Afterwards we went to Blockbuster to pick out a movie and, while Rachel carried Claire past some videos, Claire pointed at a picture of Reese Witherspoon and announced "Aunt Ra-ra". Rachel, being the modest humble person she was, immediately told Claire "that's right."
Claire came up to my parents house with me to spend the night (Diana was working in the morning). So we started watching Shrek on DVD, which was one of the movies rented. Claire loved it, and laughed almost constantly. Well, when she was able to sit still enough to watch it anyway.
Last night I took Claire to Burger King since Diana had her scrapbooking, and we had a wonderful time. I got a whopper meal and six chicken tenders. Right after we sat down I saw a pile of paper crowns and nabbed one for Claire. I resized it and slipped it on her head. She immediately pulled it off so I put it on my head and she demanded it back. For the rest of the evening she insisted on wearing the crown and wouldn't let me touch it.
I think the chicken tenders had a little too much black pepper for Claire, but she ate a few anyway. She also had a few french fries, but didn't seem too enthusiastic about them. Then she noticed the ketchup I was using and tried dunking her own fry. One taste and she was hooked. She didn't even bother with the actual food, she would just lick the ketchup off the end of the potato stick and dip it again.
She had a few sips of my soda, but the real fun didn't begin until I finished the drink. During one of her sips she got an ice cube in her mouth and wouldn't spit it out. So I kept giving the sign for cold and saying "cold." Eventually she caught on and she would stick her hand into the cup, grab an ice cube, and do the cold sign. She even said "cooood" a few times. She would not give up on those ice cubes until they had all melted, and she did not want to go home.
I think she likes the place.