I was doing so well for a while there - keeping the posts coming every few days. And then, I don't know - I could blame my lack of posting on company coming in town, the girls' simultaneously getting colds and new teeth (and associated lack of sleep affecting all four people in our household), and a general fatigue from caring for very mobile, active, headstrong toddlers. But I think laziness is more to blame than anything. So here I am again - resolving myself to do better!
I've heard of the terrible twos - even the terrible threes - but is there a word for this stage right now? The willful ones? Perhaps I'm just getting a taste of toddler hood and I wasn't prepared for how strong-willed 13-month old toddlers were capable of being. Every day is a constant and endless battle of my trying to figure out what Anna and Margaret want. Their lack of words, and my inability to decipher their screeches and frantic pointing and head shaking, leave all three of us exhausted and frustrated by the time Daddy walks in the door from a long day of work. I have to say that the finger pointing is quite funny, though - numerous times during the day, the girls beg to be picked up by running over and slamming their bodies into my legs. Once in my arms, they locate something across the room they'd like - the light switch, a glass of water on the counter, the much coveted laptop computer - yet when we get over there and they've had their fill of that particular object, they just move their finger pointing to another object in the room. So, I spend about 5 minutes just moving them in whatever direction their little constantly migrating fingers are pointing. I'm sure they find it to be a fun little game.
I had heard of baby sign language and had once considered it to be a fairly useless skill for parents with too much time on their hands. I am now eating my words and we're diving in headfirst to signing in some hope that we can find some way to communicate. Surprisingly, after just a day, Anna was signing back the word "eat" to me - although her favorite way to show me she's hungry is to walk over to the highchairs and push them away from the counter, as I always do before each meal. She's direct and to the point, and I appreciate it.
So despite the screaming, the frantic head shaking (boy they've learned to say no!), and the occasional tantrum (complete with feet kicking, fist pounding, and even an intentional and quite painful head pounding into the wood floor for good measure), life is still incredibly funny and charming with the girls (seriously!). They fascinate me with what they're learning every day, and make me laugh with their funny little quirks. Just some things I can think of off the top of my head:
- They're learning to share. Though it's far more common to see one swipe a toy away from the other one, I do catch really tender moments throughout the day when one will bring the other a toy or reach over and hand a piece of food off of her highchair tray to the other. They also love to feed me - so I frequently am the lucky recipient of a gummy wad of macaroni and cheese during lunch time. Delicious!
- Simples phrases are understandable to them, such as "please give that to me," "be gentle to your sister," "stop pulling her hair" (repeat 10 times throughout the day), "it's time to take a nap," and "let's go outside."
- They revel in the routine of walking Daddy to his car every morning and saying goodbye. It's pretty funny - they start waving to him and saying "bye-bye Daddy" when we're still inside and he's packing up his bag. After he pulls out of the driveway, they like to stand there for a few extra minutes, waving goodbye in the general direction of where he drove off, and if we come back out there sometime in the middle of the day, they instinctively wave again. It's a little Pavlovian but very endearing.
- Anna has this adorable all over body smile - she raises her shoulders up to her ears and her whole face lights up.
- Margaret makes a "fish face" periodically throughout the day, and has also learned to smack her lips together.
- The girls both adore music and dance in their own funny way the minute anything starts playing. Margaret does this funny little thing where she walks while bobbing her head and pounding her feet excitedly on the floor. We were at a restaurant the other day and caught her bobbing her head to the background music. The girl's got rhythm!
- They love to mimic - they hold play phones up to their ears, attempt to brush their hair with a hairbrush, and I even caught one of them punching the numbers on their play kitchen's microwave the other day. Aw - they cook like mommy does! With a microwave!
- It never fails that around mid-day, they chase each other around the kitchen island, laughing hysterically in their chase and often changing course to surprise each other.
- Anna has a serious fixation with the Hershey's syrup in the fridge, and the other day I took my eyes off her for just 10 seconds after I had opened the fridge door to get something, and in that time she swiped the bottle out of there, opened up the cap, and was sucking chocolate sauce out of the bottle. I caught her with a guilty look on her face and chocolate smeared all over her chin. I mean, the girl loves chocolate. She's definitely my daughter.
There's so much more, but I imagine I've bored you by now. So I'll leave you with a cute little video clip of Anna giving Margaret zerberts (and punches). You'd think Margaret wouldn't appreciate getting pinned down like that - but she seems to roll over and come back for more at one point.
Silly little sisters!