A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Tag Archives: child independence

Read Along

My soon-to-be-threenager loves a story. Scratch that, he is absolutely passionate about a story. It doesn’t matter the quality; Little Man does not discriminate. I read to him so often that he has the entirety of his bookshelf memorized. I don’t remember him on this front when he was Warrior Queen’s age. Newly mobile, she is too consumed with exploring to sit for a tale. My best shot is when she is partaking in a bottle or solids meal. I have her feed herself a bottle in her car seat bucket with a towel supporting the bottle for when she has difficulty maneuvering her beverage. It’s become her preferred bottle method, the independent sprite she is. I came to realization yesterday that phasing out the use of her bottle in a scant month or so will be a nonissue. My daughter much prefers non liquid foods, and would gladly do away with bottles altogether if she knew what to do with the sippy cup.

Image result for munchkin sippy cup

(We use a Munchkin sippy cup. It doesn’t cause the same transition or dental issues as a typical sippy cup.)

I imagine she will get it once the time comes. I’ve stopped fretting on such things, as my kids always manage to do things like this in their own time as long as I don’t get in the way of their progress. If I’m a strong enough Mommy to let them be independent, they usually rise to the occasion, and it breaks my heart a little every time.

But, I digress…meals are the only time Warrior Queen will attend, unless her brother is reading to her…Mr. Man will take a tale whenever. It is a common site to have baby sister in her high chair, and big brother on my lap. We will all be snacking or nibbling something, and I will be reading from a collection my son chose and carted over to the kitchen table. Little Man will have a selection of certain favorites each week. Some of the books so practiced he will “read” them after my run through. Sometimes we alternate pages; sometimes he will recite sections randomly before requesting me to continue. I’m surprised of my love for a read aloud, even when the repetitions are tiresome. The best stories are the ones with an easy, rhythmical cadence; and I have to say I’m quite a good story orator.

I’ve found that Little Man quotes excerpts from his stories randomly throughout the day. One particular prized usage is from one that is tops on my list.

Image result for the duckling gets a cookie

Basically, the pigeon in this series is a toddler…and hilarious…because I don’t have to discipline him. My son’s preferred quote to throw at me is from this book, “It’s not fair. Ducklings get everything.” Usually the life context is correct even if there is no duckling…or cookie involved. If he isn’t particularly distraught with his situation, he will continue a bit further with the dialogue.

Several months back I schlepped a box of books up from the basement. Our shelves were becoming cluttered, so we temporarily retired some of the books I read to my son when he was a baby. Since my fierce sprite is older, they were called back into service. Mr. Man was absolutely delighted and pilfered the selection on the regular for a couple weeks.

The bucket feedings, however, are the purist opportunity for me to read to a captive baby audience, even if she demonstrates no literature preference just yet. The other day is an example of a moment I want to recall easily for the remaining days of my life. Warrior Queen was in her bucket enjoying her bottle. I was sitting on the floor next to her, Mr. Man on my lap. He chose two among the week’s favorites, and as I read Brown Bear my son bobbed his head to the predictable rhythm of the words each and every time I read the story.

Image result for brown bear brown bear what do you see

When I read Llama Llama Red Pajama, he laughed to himself at each of his favorite parts of the book.

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Warrior Queen was rapt on the pictures, drinking peacefully. It was such a small memory, one that would likely evaporate in my family’s story. But, I have these words, and one day when I sit with my mug of tea, I will come across this, and the clearest picture will rush to my mind’s eye. For that brief moment my children won’t be quite so independent…quite so distant.

Declaration of Independence

There are certain assertions of independence my son exhibits at this point.  At eighteen months he will grab his shoes from the closet before we leave on an excursion.  In the morning he will repeatedly open and shut the shades, of course, he is seeking the ideal length for them to rest for the day…  He can climb on and off the sofa, and just to prove his deft skill, recklessly runs the length of the cushions amidst the joint cheers of admonishment from his parents.

Recently he has unsuccessfully attempted to climb on our kitchen chairs; probably so he can eventually sit on our table, inevitably plummeting to his death shortly after.  Little Man expressed interest in washing his own hands, as well as intermittently eating with his utensils from a dish before launching both items into the stratosphere.  Gazing at food all over the floor, he has the decency to hover over the various spots of grime and point…You know, in case I run the risk of missing something cleaning it up.  I suppose I should consider this behavior a blessing; he usually decorates the floor in an effort to choose his dining experience.

While on the subject of nourishment, Mr. Man enjoys grabbing his own drink from the fridge shelf.  In actuality, this is just a means for him to engulf a puffed mouthful and spit it out all over himself and the floor; subsequently, running away with said drink chuckling mid chase…It’s quite endearing, really, and I will remember it fondly gazing at his memorial photos that our future children will curiously look upon as we share stories of the prototype that just didn’t work out.

But, sometimes he is helpful.  Cleaning up before bed he often helps restocking his toy shelves…in the most inefficient way possible, but his father and I get to sit, so who’s to complain?  As we journey to go upstairs…a process that takes exceedingly longer than is required for the task, Little Man takes great pains that the gate is closed behind him.  I suppose this is to ensure his parents break their necks in the morning after forgetting that he haphazardly latched it.

Little Man’s latest independence leap is brushing his own teeth, which amounts to him chewing on his brush bristles and refusing to allow me to tend to his mouth that must be really rank by now.  I’ve been a bit more successful by allowing him to brush my teeth with my toothbrush.  He’s been willing to take turns provided he can gnaw on my toothbrush handle and periodically graze his lips with my bristles.  But, honestly, after spending as many as twenty minutes in tooth brushing hell, a little kid saliva likely won’t kill me.

My new favorite, however, was tonight just before bed.  I’m folding some laundry while Little Man plays quietly in his room…Did I mention he was quiet?  True, this is a scary sound, but I told myself that I haven’t heard a crash yet, so it can’t be all that bad.  Then my husband’s child comes barreling into our room weeping and pointing down the hallway for me to follow.  Mind you, this isn’t the “I’m hurt” weep, so I saunter after him…Perhaps I’m instinctually gathering strength for what I might find.  I reach his room, and apparently my son can open doors because almost the entire contents of his walk-in closet storage is strewn across the room with his riding car sitting in the middle of the masses of stuff.  In that moment I recall the comment my husband made several days ago that we must remember to call our friend in gratitude…at two in the morning…who gifted us this blessed car.  At this point I’m not sure if I should be impressed or what, but I start laughing at a loss of another reaction and just clean-up.  Little Man contributed by pointing at the various piles so I did not forget an item, and didn’t give me an argument when I stated he would not be going for a ride on his car.  With the refusal he quietly climbed on his rocking dog and patiently waited for his next opportunity for mischief and mayhem.

 

 

 

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