Saturday, February 19, 2011

Annalise at 21 months

The twos are coming, the twos are coming to my house again, oh no.. But wait, maybe they're already here.  She has been quite a handful lately.  I know her tantrums are probably normal and age-appropriate, but I'm in trouble because I have no patience for this sort of thing.  It's a good thing she makes up for that by being my sweet and huggable  Annie-nanny the rest of the time.

She still uses just one to two words to get her point across.  For example, if she wants to bring one of Delaney's books to bed with her at naptime, she'll, say, "Book.  Take."  I say, "You want to take the book with you?  OK," to try to get her at least thinking in complete sentences.  If she's having a snack at the table and drops a raisin, she'll say, "Uh drop!  Uh drop!"  "You dropped your raisin?  OK, I'll get it for you."  Several times a day she bursts into tears, saying, "Want it," when Delaney has something she wants.  Usually, the only reason she wants it is because Delaney wants it.  She doesn't know what's so great about the blue sippy cup, but if sissy wants it, it must be the thing to have.  In fact, after Delaney expressed preference for the blue cup for about a week, Annalise took to using "blue" to describe whatever thing she wants, no matter what color it actually is.

She counts to 7.  I think last month she was only counting to 3.

Annie gets time-out a lot more often than Delaney did when she was her age -- about every other day.  Typically, it's because she refuses to take part in cleaning up the playroom at the end of the day.  We give her a couple warnings, and if she doesn't make any attempt to pick up and put away, she goes to the corner for time-out.  There, she cries and protests the whole time.  As far as what kind of impact the time-out has on her behavior.. so far, there seems to be none. At the end of the time-out, one or the other of us reiterates to her why she was in time-out, and reminds her that next time she has to listen and help pick up.  Every day she doesn't help, and every day she goes to the corner for time-out.  I don't know if she understands the whole concept of 'everybody cleans up', but I hope that one day our persistence pays off.  At least I know she doesn't like time-out.  I told her once that she needed to go find somewhere else to play besides the office, or she was going to go to time-out.  She was whining a little, but she walked away.  So maybe she's learning a little.

I know I'm cute!

My favorite time of the day is after bath, when she and her sissy drop their towels and run circles around the house, shrieking and laughing as we threaten to get them.  Tim grins at me as we watch those baby buttcheeks disappear around the corner, and says,  "She's a terror, isn't she, honey?"

She continues to be very shy whenever I take her anywhere.  When we're dropping Delaney off in her classroom, she sticks to my hip like glue.  A few months ago, she would play for a minute while I signed Delaney in.  Waiting rooms are the worst.  Even in my midwife's waiting room, which has a whole basket of toys, she stays on my lap grumbling her dissatisfaction.  A few days ago, I had to take her and Delaney to a completely new place that had a waiting room, and another room down a hall full of crying kids.  It was a drop-in daycare.  *Shudder*

I was already stressed out because I was running late to meet Tim on base to take care of our will and power of attorney.  I had arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule at what I believed to be the daycare.  When I got up close, I saw that they had moved, and now they were on the other side of Havelock, about six traffic lights away.  It was so hard to find, and I had to call them twice to help me.  When I finally got there, I still had to register the kids.  One of the girls who worked there offered to take Annie back to the room while I filled out the paperwork, since she was crying and clinging to me.  Delaney was already ensconced in front of the TV. Annie cried and held her arms out to me as she was carried away.  That made me start to cry too.  I was told to bring the papers back once I was done.  What?  Bring them back to that room?  That was a bad idea, I knew it.  But there was no one working the front desk.  The girl taking my registration was also one of the ones supervising the kids in the room down the hall.

I tried to be sneaky, not going all the way into the room, just knocking on the wall.  The girl came out and told me I had to fill something else out too; and don't worry, Annie's already stopped crying!  Right on cue, Annie appeared next to her at the door, bawling.  Oh no!  I tried to duck back down the hall and around the corner, but too late, she already saw me.  The caregiver, with Annie in tow, came out to the waiting room where I was so flustered I couldn't figure out how to fill out basic information on a sign-in sheet.  Name.. um, time.. um.. my daughter is screaming and I'm freaking out!!

I picked Annie up, kissed her wet cheeks and held her close.  I told her I was leaving but I would be back soon.  Poor thing didn't seem to understand.  From her perspective, it probably appeared that this little misunderstanding had been cleared up and she'd be leaving with me after all.  Turning her over once again and leaving was positively heart-wrenching.  I was such a wreck.

When I came to pick them up two hours later, I walked in and saw Annie who was sitting with her back to me, holding her Lovey, eating a cracker, and watching the kids play.  She had stayed close to the same caregiver I had handed her over to.  She seemed calm, but as soon as I got her attention, she looked at me and started crying again and reaching for me. I was told that she had not taken the cracker with her hand; she'd had Lovey take it instead.  I think it's funny how she uses Lovey as a proxy when she's dealing with new people.  The first time we had the new babysitter, Brandi, watch the girls, Brandi later reported to me that Annie had handed her Lovey, as if to give her a test.  'If you're nice to Lovey, maybe we can be friends.'

She's my little heartbreaker, that's for sure.  She drives me crazy, and tries my patience to no end, but I love her so much!

A year ago today:  Annalise at 9 months

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