Friday, August 19, 2011

Annalise at 2 and 1/4

I had to switch to quarterly updates for the girls instead of monthly, which was getting to be too much.  At the girls' ages, not a whole lot changes on a month-to-month basis anyway.  So here is Annie's update.  She's lucky she's cute, because she is TROUBLE.
For several months now, she has shown an interest in potty training, but not a readiness as far as I can tell.  She uses the potty when she wants to -- either the little princess potty on the floor, or the big toilet.  She joins her sister on the nightly trips to the bathroom after lights out.  (It's fun!)  But she still has no qualms about peeing and pooping anywhere, so she needs a diaper.  Once or twice, we've tried undies, but that didn't work out.  She doesn't get it yet.  I'm confident that one day she will, and until then, I see no need to pursue it, and add to my never-ending list of things to do.  I'd just as soon bang my head into the wall 20 times every day, because that would accomplish just as much.

Still, I long for the day she is potty trained, because having her in diapers is a real hassle.  She is not always cooperative with diaper changes.  A lot of times she'll evade me when I want to change her, but then not give me any trouble once I've gotten hold of her.  But there are times I've had to change her while holding her down kicking and screaming.  She gave her grandpa an especially hard time with that.  "Annie, let's change your diaper."  "No!"  As he put it, she is very "possessive" of herself, her diapers, her bodily functions.  All of this is pretty typical of a 2-year-old, who wants to make sure you know she's her own person.  However, as I tell her (uselessly), it is my job as a parent to make sure you're not wallowing in your own filth, whether you like it or not.  Her diapers are also disgusting, as Tim Sr could attest.  Those poops belong in the toilet, not mushed into a diaper.
Potty trained or not, the bathroom is one of her favorite places.  Annie is a compulsive hand-washer, tooth-brusher, and toilet-flusher.  I often have to yell at her to turn the water off and tell her she's done in the bathroom, get out.

She is fiercely competitive with Delaney, and sometimes she'll snarl at her and hit her for offenses such as, she went up the stairs ahead of her, or she was playing with a toy that she wants.  Delaney does not stand up for herself, and sometimes I get tired of having to intervene.  It's one thing to put her in time-out for hitting, but I don't always feel like taking the jump rope Annie snatched from Delaney, and returning it to Delaney.  Sometimes I'll say instead, "Delaney, you shouldn't have let her take it."  I also get tired of hearing, "Mama, Annie's __________."
She talks well, and most of what she says can be understood.  But she hasn't gotten her pronouns figured out yet, and she uses them in ways I find amusing.  "Mama, there you're am!"  "Look, Mama, our sharing!"  "My sit in sissy's chair."  She also refers to her little brother as "she" and "her."  I guess male pronouns aren't something we've used around here a whole lot before.

Speaking of her little brother, she is obsessed with him.  I wasn't prepared for this.  When we had Annie, Delaney left her alone for the most part.  I was able to lay her down on the floor and go about my business.  Delaney would play with her toys, watch TV, and Annie would nap peacefully right on the floor in her activity mat.  I was hoping for the same thing when Timmy arrived, but Annie is on him like white on rice.  She can't get enough of him, and she is aggressively affectionate.  I'm always telling her to leave him alone, give him some space, don't rest any weight on him, don't touch his face, don't pat his head so hard, don't squeeze his foot, hold it gently, and on and on.  She gets in his face, saying, "Don't worry, baby Timmy."  She's always wanting to hold him, and I indulge her as much as I can, placing him in the middle of her outstretched arms and supporting his weight.  She looks so happy when she's holding his soft, squishy, wriggly body.
I try to give her plenty of opportunities to help out with Timmy, such as get a new diaper or throw away an old one.  She likes those jobs.  But so does Delaney, and sometimes that leads to competition over who gets to do what.

2 is a tough age, and I remember it was a challenge with Delaney too.  But lest you think she's a complete terror, she is still very lovable and has traits that are very endearing.  She has a deep belly laugh that when you hear it, you can't help but smile.  She still is attached to her Lovey, and when she picks it up to hold it when she's sleepy, she still moves her mouth a little like she's nursing.  That Lovey is the last remnant of her babyhood, and I don't know who's more attached to it, me or her.  If I hid it away, she would maybe ask for it a couple times, but wouldn't miss it much.  But I faithfully find it and give it to her at naptime and bedtime.
She hates lawn mowers and weed whackers.  If there is one within a quarter-mile of where she happens to be playing, she cries and clings and begs to leave or go inside.  While Tim Sr was here, it seemed like every time we went outside or went anywhere, a lawn mower or weed whacker would come along and ruin it for everybody.

If she trips and falls, or bumps her head, she blames the first person who makes eye contact with her afterward.  She makes a show of trying to hit the person, and whines, "No!  Not be careful!"

I had been planning to send Annie to preschool along with Delaney this fall, but I've since changed my mind.  My gut tells me Annie would do better at home with me for another year.  With Delaney not around for three mornings a week, she won't feel the need to compete, and we might have more peaceful times and she'll get more positive attention.  She'll probably do some playing on her own like she did last year, and also some honing of her big sister skills.

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