Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Auf Wiedersehen

On a recent episode of "Sesame Street," Elmo is talking with Heidi Klum about the word "cooperation." Molly, who only half-watches SS most of the time (Elmo and Cookie Monster are interesting, Maria and Alan, not so much) got very animated pointing at the screen and yelling "Mama! Mama!!" This has happened again on several repeated viewings. (Have I mentioned that the TV is a wonderful babysitter?) so I know it's not a fluke. Yay for me! I am Heidi Klum! Now Molly has identified lots of people as Mama and Daddy (incl. Daddy=cowboy singer/sometime actor Vaugh Monroe in the 1952 movie "Toughest Man in Arizona." Still, this is encouraging.


The resemblance is striking.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sleeping and Other Pipedreams

I've been putting off posting because the weekend before last we went with our lovely friends Will and Jennifer and their gorgeous children, Eli and Max, to an Ethiopian "culture camp" (which sounds somehow like an indoctrination facility and which I can't say or write without quotation marks) in Lake Geneva. I have many adorable pictures, mostly of Eli and Molly pulling around a rope. But I need to make room on my hard drive for the new pics, and since that day doesn't seem to be coming yet, I thought I'd post quickly (ha!) here.

Not much new, really. Sam has been free and easy since his drama camp ended a month ago. He's honing his mathematical and shopping skills simultaneously by obsessively watching "The Price Is Right" and toting up all the prizes he would have won if he'd been a contestant. Although Drew Carey is such a disappointment; his heart's just not in it when he weakly reminds us to "spay and neuter your pets--it's really important." Emma is babysitting like a babysitting fiend. Part of it is for her "mitzvah project" which is her "good works" project that she has to do as part of her Bat Mitzvah preparation. For that, she's volunteering over at Molly's old preschool and she comes home with many stories of the political machinations of three-year-old girls.

Speaking of which, I just checked my class list for the new school year and as of right now, I have 7 boys and ONE GIRL. That will change, for sure (for one thing, they wouldn't let me have a class with only 8 kids, they'll let me go and absorb my class first) and in our school, mobility is so high that the class list I see today may not bear any relationship with the one I find on the first day of school. But still. Last year, I had 9 girls and 5 (then 4) boys and it was a Mean Girls Fiesta. I felt like Tina Fey in a class full of Rachel McAdamses. I won't have that problem with 7 boys, they're just not mean and petty like that. But they do like to run around a lot and hit each other with blocks. Good times.

Molly's pottying proceeds apace, and I couldn't be prouder. She peed yesterday, pooped this morning. If I were home with her on a permanent basis I'd be tempted to just put her in underwear and upholster the house in plastic wrap. But since that's not the case, and since she's not yet 2, I figure we'll let it ride. I'm so proud of her; she's WAY ahead of Em and Sam at the same age.

Molly's latest trick is to take off running any chance she gets. But when she does, she announces it, yelling: "Running! Running!" She's pretty fast and I figure she's got a genetic predisposition to be an Olympic marathon superstar. I like to think of her at the 2028 Olympic Games, chugging down the road in wherever the hell the games will be, far ahead of her competitors, yelling, "Running! Running!"

In less impressive news, my lovely youngest still will not go to sleep in her own bed. It's becoming a real problem. She's 20 months old. Because of her particular history, I have been even more reluctant than I was with Em and Sam to plunk her in her crib and close the door and let her cry it out, "SuperNanny-style." We tried to "Ferberize" Em and Sam this way, with less than stellar results. (I slept on Emma's floor for years.) In Molly's case, since she had so much early loss, it quite literally breaks my heart to let her cry in her room, as I did for a little while tonight until I couldn't take it anymore. Matt's solution to get her to sleep is to take her out in the car or the stroller until she falls asleep. I think it's sort of the ANWAR-drilling approach to baby sleeping: a quick fix but one that doesn't lead to long-term independence. Of course, I have no better options. Tonight she was quite simply exhausted, screeching, rubbing her eyes, whipping herself around, it was painful for me to watch how tired she was. She wouldn't settle on the couch, she wouldn't fall asleep in the mei tai, so I finally took her to her crib and put her in. And left the room. And she wailed pitifully for 2 minutes til I came back in. Thanks, Dr. Ferber. Then I tried one more time, with equally horrifying results. I couldn't take the crying and the "mamas" and "daddys" and finally the "all dones" coming from her room. So we came back downstairs and, finally, she settled on her couch with all her accessories: blanket and blue doggy toy, and finally finally fell asleep. But it was painful. And she still can't sleep alone. Apparently she falls asleep fine at preschool. I also know at preschool (because I've seen it) that even if she's crying pitifully when I leave, she stops within seconds of my being out of sight and is perfectly happy and content. So why is sleeping time so different?

At this rate, I'm not sure what we'll do. She goes into her crib generally when she's already asleep, wakes up halfway through the night, and comes into our bed, where usually she can sleep just fine. I worry that she not feel abandoned. This is actually my deepest fear for Molly, that she not feel abandoned. And so I'm inclined to let her keep up this ultimately unhealthy sleep pattern until she's old enough to sneak out after curfew.