Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One or Two?

I'm thinking there should have been two candles on that birthday cake last month.

This is not the first time I've uttered the words: "Please, Lord, let this be a phase." But, each time the little bump in the road happens, I seem to fear the worst....that 'this' may be the new normal.

What could this precious cherub possibility be doing to have her mother so frazzled? Well, don't let those pillowy dimpled cheeks, dreamy blue eyes and squishy little body fool you. This conniving little toddler has been yanking every one of our chains.

For starters, she has been hoarse for the last 7 days. Because she's been sick? No, because she's been screaming like a wild banshee for just about any reason she can come up with: not getting her way & waking up in the middle of the night just wanting a little company top the list. I'm not talking "fussing" here, I'm of her lungs, sounds like she's being tortured screams.

She had her first ear infection a couple of weeks ago, so I thought maybe it returned and she was in pain. (She'd been swatting at her ears for days.) To be sure, I took her into the Children's Clinic. Ears were as clear as crystal. Doctor said, "Maria, it could just be teething." (Dear many more teeth do we have left?) After the doctor visit --- the jig was up for the monkey. I had her number, now. (I know, don't I sound like a real tough cookie?) Tough love, here we come....and go.........and come...........and go. Consistency in discipline is great in theory, but isn't everything?

In the past when little "phases" occurred of behavioral/sleeping/eating issues - it would usually return to some state of normalcy within 3 or 4 days. Holy Cannoli. This go-round had me shaking in my boots. She was going strong for over a week. I guess the grunt-fest was a cake walk. And what gets me is that she can turn it on and off like a light switch. She can be in full-on melt-down and catch a glimpse of her Elmo doll or book, and sweetly and excitedly exclaim, "Eh woh." Same goes for the words outside, bye bye, car, milk. etc. She can turn on a dime.

I think the worst behavior (in my husband's opinion, for sure) is her new attempts at swatting our faces or glasses. It's intentional, planned, and thoroughly enjoyed by our angelic little coconut. What gives? We don't swat back, pop her little hands, and we're realizing that even stern scoldings aren't working well. I think her "currency" is being removed from people. She's catching on, because when I went to fetch her from her empty play pen today after an "incident" she immediately signed "sorry" and blew a kiss. So she's either penitent, or she's just so "experienced" that she's figured out the drill.

Let's just say there's been a lot of "time outs" in Lewis Land as of late. Oh, not for her.....for ME! I'm trying to hold on to whatever marbles I have left. How brilliant is God to make them so doggone cute?

I'm trying not to get bent out of shape about anything, because she's exhibiting qualities that will serve her well as she grows up (not so much the hitting, but the confidence, determination and quick mind.) It's just a season, and seasons come and go. Even though most of these antics are frustrating, we do find ourselves turning our heads to laugh with some of the stuff she's pulling lately. If we are correcting a behavior she's turn her head and do the sign for "all done." Sometimes, after one of her swatting attempts, she'll kiss us before we have a chance to respond. Quick little thinker, eh? Truth be told, I'm happy to be blogging about parenting challenges instead of wondering if and when we would ever become parents.
And it's truly not all bad these days - not even remotely. Last week, when we were in the Children's Clinic, she had a good 15-20 people in stitches as she danced, signed, and mocked every ailment the poor sick kids exhibited - coughing, sneezing, sniffling and crying.
P.S. I wrote this last week but couldn't bring myself to post it. You know how it goes, you want to process it by writing about it, but it's difficult to find the humor in the midst of it - especially when you can't see the end in sight. It sure is tempting not to blog the challenging stuff regarding this whole parenting roller coaster. I guess the fear is that I might come across as negative or complaining. I decided that 20 or 30 years down the road, I want to remember all the rough stuff, too. But mostly, I want to offer a fair picture of our lives and parenting attempts. It's lovely to report all the cute and fun stuff, but for us, it's only part of the picture.


"Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win." ~Jonathan Kozel
I'm telling you, at 13 months, this sweet precious textbook baby of recent past is fitting all the classic sign of a typical 2 year old (I refuse to use the term "terrible twos" at this point - although, after a few more weeks of this behavior and it ought to be rolling off my tongue with little effort.)


  1. LOL! She sounds so smart!! I always say about Madeline, "she will make a great, strong, independent young woman"..sounds like this is true for little Ginanna! Hang in there :)

  2. Sounds like your hands are full. Thanks for being honest. I KNOW things can't always be roses and sunshine. Well, they aren't at my house anyway. You're right though, this too shall pass, hopefully sooner than later.

  3. Can a 9 month old have the shhh... "terrible twos" as well?!? :-)
    It is so nice to read the truth. Sometimes I feel like "Am I the only one having these thoughts and feelings?" *sigh*
    YAY for Maria! I don't feel like that anymore! Love you and this blog


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