11 June 2003 by Published in: Sophia No comments yet

I haven’t had time to write about much except dreams, lately, it seems, and even so, I’ve missed some. There were several this past weekend that were remembered for a bit, then forgotten. I’ve found if I don’t write them down the day I have them or jot down some notes about them, they vanish in the wake of the next night’s sleep and I can’t bring them back no matter how many times I went over them in my head the day before.

Sophia’s birthday party was a smashing success. She really enjoyed her balloons and her pizza and her cake. It didn’t seem to matter at all that it was just the three of us. We took loads of pictures, and Kurt filmed part of the extravaganza as well. She loved all her presents, especially the ones sent to her by her Aunt Kelly. When she pulled the panda bear out of the bag we’d put it in she called it a “dog” but now she calls it “panda bear”. She was a bit scared of the dinosaur beach hoodie towel thing from the nonos at first, but now she asks to have it put on her periodically. She alternates calling it a dinosaur and a monster. She also loved her train set and her Potato Head. Everything we’d given her has enjoyed lots of use so far.

One of the things we got her for her birthday was her very own copy of
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen
. This is a book we had checked out of the library, and she loved it. She was very happy to see it again, and had me read it several nights in a row before going to bed. Then, she cleverly took it away from the nighttime reading stack and put it in her daytime reading stack, and had it read to her several times a day by both Kurt and myself instead of just the once at night. Right now, her obsessive nighttime reading book is a book called My Little Orsay. It was a gift from Aunt Kelly and it’s about the Orsay museum. It’s got some examples of some of the works of art there and talks about what is going on in the paintings or tells you a little bit about the creators of the pieces. It’s visually gorgeous, but neither of us is sure why she likes this book so much. Now after she brushes her teeth she runs out of the bathroom saying “Little Orsay? Little Orsay?” before I can even say “Ok, Sophia, it’s time to pick a book to read.”

Flash anecdote : The other day (almost two weeks ago, now, I think), I was almost moved to tears because I went into Sophia’s room after she’d woken from her nap and started talking to her. We were pointing out the things in her room as we often do when she first wakes up. She sat up, and I asked her if she was ready to come out of her crib yet. She looked up at me, still sleepy-eyed and with the most desolate and heartbroken expression on her face I have yet seen and said, querulously, “Time Out?” “Oh no no no no!” I exclaimed, horrified at the misunderstanding. “Come out. Get out. Of the crib. Not time out.” Poor girl had no idea what she might have done to get in trouble, but figured she was going to have endure the punishment anyways. This reminded me that she still can’t understand things if we talk too quickly and that even though she talks so much and follows so much of what we say, she still needs for us to be clear and speak distinctly to her or she might mistake what we are saying. I hugged her very close and reassured her that everything was fine.

As for time out she’s only been in it ONCE at our house. It’s a method they use at daycare, and that I find a convenient thing to warn her might be a consequence of her actions. Usually just telling her she might need a timeout can get her to settle down. At home we don’t have a regular disciplinary tactic that we use all the time, except to allow consequences to follow actions, such as
“I know you’d like to go outside, but you didn’t want to put your shoes on, so you will have to stay inside. I’m sorry.” Dealing with a two year old seems to require some flexibility and different tactics all the time anyways, so sticking to one solution doesn’t seem worthwhile to me. Sometimes she just needs a snack or a nap, and at that point time out or a handslap or a spanking is kind of pointless. Not that time out doesn’t have its uses. It’s particularly good at disconnecting her from a particular environment or situation that is aggravating a problem. The only time I ever took her into time out was when she was deliberately hitting Kurt over and over. We told her that was quite enough. We told her no hitting. We told her she would have to stop or go to time out. Of course, once you make the threat you have to follow through. So, after she persisted in her hitting, I took her to the comfy futon in her room and sat her down, and told her she was in time out. Doing so seemed kind of ludicrous. What would keep her from getting up and running around? Still, she sat right where I put her. She started playing with her lion that was there, as if to see whether that would get a rise out of me, but I wanted her to play with something. Focus on something else rather than hitting, dear child. Then, she started bawling. You’d think I was beating the child instead of standing in the doorway to her room with my back to her while she sat on a soft cushion and held her toys, the way she was howling. Anyways, we decided, after about a minute and a half of tension relieving tears, that we’d like to get off the futon and go tell daddy we were sorry for hitting him. There was lots and lots of prompting from me on what she should do, and I had to repeat myself often, but we got our apology out at last and all was well with the world again.

I love Sophia. She’s an awesome kid. And she’s a good kid. If we do right by her, she always does right by us. I figure that’s about all a parent can ask for.


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