slept for 8 hours straight last night.
That is momentous enough that I had considered ending my blog post there. But you know how much I like to blabber on, and I haven't posted in a month, so I will continue.
I was angry about the time change this weekend (whoever invented daylight savings time obviously didn't have kids) and the fact that Charlotte had kept me up until midnight Sunday night, but then she fell asleep at 9:30 last night and I didn't hear a peep from her until 5:40 this morning. Emily didn't sleep this long until she was 3 weeks older than Charlotte so I'm quite thrilled. I just got the longest chunk of sleep (in my own bed!) that I've gotten since maybe August. She also puts up with me munching on her cheeks and rubbing her head with great aplomb, and she gives me smiles and chuckles on demand. For all that, I will forgive her for projectile-vomiting all over me and the couch yesterday. And flat-out refusing to take bottles EVER, much preferring to drink straight from the source CONSTANTLY.
woke me up at 6 yesterday to say she had pee pees in her bed. Then she pulled a houseplant down on her head, showering the just-cleaned floor and dog bed (and her just-cleaned self) with dirt. I spent the next hour vacuuming it all up, and chasing her around in my shower with the sprayer trying to get all the dirt particles out of her hair. Luckily, it was then time to put new sheets on her bed and put her down for a nap. Then she peed in the bed again.
Emily has been kind of a huge pain recently. Her previously stellar eating habits have started to crumble to the point where all she wants to eat is Kashi Heart to Heart and avocadoes. She'll eat a bite or two of dinner, then refuse to eat any more (even if she likes it) and just ask for dessert. Dinners now are full of stressful bargaining. The screaming hysteria that started creeping into our daily routine a couple weeks before Charlotte was born has now become a bi-daily occurance. We never know what will emerge from her room in the morning...sometimes it's a sweet girl who's all smiles. But more than half the time these days it's a bed-headed Emily-shaped container of nitroglycerin that will explode at the slightest provocation. When she comes downstairs and responds to a cheerful "Good morning Emily!" with this:
we know we're in trouble. This is a girl who is going to be a walking zombie without her coffee when she gets older.
I am pretty sure the tantrums are just because she's finally hitting the terrible twos and not because of having a new sister. But the having a new sister thing isn't going quite as well either. I knew that Emily wouldn't just walk up to me and say "Mommy, I'm jealous because you're paying attention to Charlotte a lot, can you please pay attention to me for a bit?" but it took me awhile to realize that IS what she is saying by coming over to kiss Charlotte and biting her instead, or giving her a hug and squeezing her until she cries. Emily's displeasure is expressed by displays of affection that all of a sudden turn into acts of violence. It's tough for me because I can't exactly say "You can't kiss or hug your sister", but even though I always hold Charlotte in my lap while they're interacting, and even though I constantly mutter "gentle gentle gentle gentle GENTLE!" while Emily is touching the baby, she still manages to hurt her from time to time.
And I understand. GOD do I understand. I am the oldest of 3 kids, as is Will, and when we see the barely-restrained (and sometimes not restrained) violence in her eyes and see her hands shake with the urge to pinch or smack or otherwise hurt, we remember. We have been there. But it's still not ok. Now that I am paying a bit more attention I notice when Emily gets louder and starts to sidle closer and dart glances at Charlotte. Those are the signs that I need to focus on Emily for a bit if I can. I know she needs one-on-one attention, and I try to give it, but it's difficult when I'm nursing all the time.
But there is always the good, and with Emily the good is awesome. She is so loving, and will often tell me how much she loves everyone in the family. "You're the best mommy I've ever seen in town" is heard often, so I certainly can't complain that being her mommy is a thankless job. She comes out with some new, precocious phrase every other day it seems, like "his feet are damaged", "in the meantime", and "I tell you true". I am often corrected by a little voice saying "actually....", just like I used to as a kid. If you ask her how old she is, she'll either say "Well, I'm 48 weeks pregnant" (I don't envy ya, sister) or she'll say "I'm two half and a pounds". Either way, she knows she has a birthday coming up, and she has told me in no uncertain terms she requires a Madagascar cake. Yay, licensed characters! She will "read" her sushi book to us, and all I have to say about that is if you haven't heard a 2 year old say "Tamachi style handroll with uni urchin roe" then you don't know what the definition of cute is. She gets so excited about the simplest things and loves telling us about her dreams.
Most exciting of all, she saw a tap class going on at Little Gym the other day, and her eyes just lit up. She tried to march right in, and was crushed when I told her she can't start tap class until the beginning of April. She begged me to buy her tap shoes right then and there, and idiot that I am, in my excitement I complied. Of course I ended up driving to several different stores with screaming girls who were up long past lunchtime and naptime and pretty much chasing all of Il Forno's Pizzaria's clientelle out the door with my armful of screaming kids (the fact that I bought my daughter white bread pizza should tell you just how desperate I was). But now she has tap shoes. She requested as soon as we got home that I bring down my tap shoes too so we could dance together. I may have shed a tear.
I don't know how to end this post without sounding mushy and trite, so I'll just go for the whole 9 yards here and hope you'll forgive me. It's true what they say. Parenting is the most difficult thing I have ever done, but also the most rewarding.