Thursday, August 26, 2010

When the bottom falls out

The day before yesterday, in the afternoon, we went to celebrate one of my girlfriend's birthday. 27 years young. The girls were told there were cupcakes to be had.

So, when their naps were finished, we scooped them into the car, with no snacks consumed, and headed to our destination. The girls were super eager for cupcakes. I cannot describe the excitement.

I explained that we needed to wish the birthday gal a "happy birthday" and wait for everyone else before eating the cupcakes. Wasn't sure that left much of an impression.

Victoria dived right in to the cupcakes. By the time I snapped this photograph, she had already inhaled two cupcakes and was fast working on a third one.


By the time I had caught sight of what was going on, I told her that was her last one. She quickly shoved what was left into her mouth and asked for another. My friend, Sarah, whose birthday we were celebrating, had made a plate full of these little, apparently deliciously tasty cupcakes. My two girls, the younger especially, were polishing the plate off themselves. Even though there were some thirty people there, adults and children.

When I broke the news to her she wasn't having anymore, she was devastated. No, she was infuriated.

But, as other children played, Victoria seemed to forget about it. For awhile.


Every so often, she'd make her rounds back to the picnic table, asking for more cupcakes. But she seemed to take the news in stride.

After being there nearly an hour and a half, we gave the girls warning - first a five minute warning and then an one minute warning - that we were leaving. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Yet.

I picked Victoria up, which she often requires or demands. She had been whining about nuts she was collecting from some tree. I wasn't sure why she was upset, but I didn't take any away from what she had in her hands. But she threw an full on tantrum.

Then the bottom fell out. She wanted down. And whilst throwing a full on tantrum, she started walking quickly in the opposite direction from us. And she kept going. And going. And going.

People were approaching from the opposite direction, and Victoria wasn't close to us. I was curious how far she would go. But, I didn't want these strangers to think we were abandoning our child.

I went after her, swooped her under one arm as she continued to throw a fit, and started walking in the direction of our car (which wasn't close). She was getting angrier by the minute. As if her fit had any room to escalate. So, I parked her on a park bench and put her in a short (minute and a half) time out. I told her firmly that she was in a time out for running away from us and throwing a fit. After than I picked her back up, and she didn't throw any more fits.

I carried a sobbing and weepy child to our car and we went home.


I went home needed a time out. In my heart, I panicked. Will my child grow up to be a rebel? Hating and cursing us? Choosing not to love the Lord? Will she run away? My mind was racking and my heart was heavy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Preschool, preschool, everybody, preschool. . . well, not everybody

I was on the fence for the longest time about whether to send Isabella to preschool. It's not that she needs to go to preschool to get into kindergarten; I can do that preparation myself and save a pile of money. But, as much as she craves interacting with others, little and big, I had to think long and hard about the preschool thing.

By the time I decided in favor of sending her, the three days a week option was unavailable. And, as late as I was in deciding, I was fortunate that Isabella didn't have to remain on the waiting list for two days a week.

She starts after Labor Day. At our church. Our church has an award winning, well respected in the community (not just amongst Christians), preschool. And, she is already familiar with the building, sort of. This is one of the many things she's telling people, that she's going to school soon.


I'm not sure how the other daughter is going to react. She depends so much on her sister for entertainment, not that her sister isn't the source of any meltdowns or mischief.

But really, Victoria learns so much from her older sister.


Whether actions, words, gestures . . . Victoria watches her big sister ever closely.

And loves her, follows her, gives her a hard time, picks on her, screams at her, hugs her. . .

One thing is for sure, Victoria will get some personal Mommy & me time. Will that be lonesome for her without a companion closer in age? Only time will tell.

Tomorrow Isabella has a meeting with someone at this preschool. They make an effort to know all the children better before they start school. Also? One of the gals in charge makes it a point to know the parent(s) picking up child(ren) from the preschool each time, seeing how the parent(s) is(are) doing. Such personal and caring people. This preschool has loads of parents and children who aren't believers; it's a great chance for the school to positively influence them in this way.

A land where there are no secrets

I still think about my older daughter as my baby, even though she's on the cusp of turning FOUR. The skills and stuff she adds to her 'know how' list continue to amaze me. But, sometimes, I wonder whether some of that is a good thing. For instance, she tells anyone who will listen - whether at the playground, grocery store, another store, parking lot - all kinds of information: some about herself and some about life. Lately, she's been telling any potential captive audience - a cashier, someone restocking the shelves, a person waiting for their drink at Starbucks, people who are conversing with each other (but not talking to us) - that she is not net four, that she is turning four next month, that her sister's name is Victoria, that she has Henry.

But the news she shares gets more personal.


Today, I caught her telling random people that she likes riding in the big car. Some have interpreted that as the adult size shopping cart versus the toddler size shopping cart. This little daughter of mine is telling the world we have a new car . . .

Speaking of which, have you seen our new set of wheels?

It's not brand new, but it's new to us, as of not last weekend but the weekend before. Thank you so very, very much, A-gong and A-ma. Not only do you have our toddler going on and on with utter delight about our big vehicle, but we can now transport more than just the four of us. What, oh what, will we do with so much space and newness? I love it!

Oh, and did I mention, this car has AIR CONDITIONING. I am soooooooo excited. Our other car doesn't have air conditioning, our house doesn't have conditioning, I HATE being hot; and I am in love with this car. Can I live there?