So, anyway, Clint is in "The Big Grape" as Mimi likes to call it, which means I've been the single parent while he's been gone. I'm always a bit nervous that I'll run out of ways to keep the kids entertained (and patience) while I'm on my own. Clint usually doesn't get home until 6:30 or later at night, but he is pretty helpful with bath time and playing with the kiddos while I can get some things cleaned up and put away. Even though he hasn't been here, everything has gone quite smoothly, and as long as he brings back a really fancy gift for me, I guess I can let him go again (I mean, a cupcake would be fancy enough for me.)
Yesterday morning Mack had his 18-month-old check-up. Do I need to repeat that? Yes, I did write 18-month-old. I KNOW!!!! When did he get so big??? He's in the 50th percentile for weight (25lb, 11 oz) and 75th-90th for height, and Dr. Chang told me he's perfectly healthy and very, very busy. He's a bit obsessed with his Toy Story toys right now, and he played and pretended with them nonstop while she was checking him. I told her that I didn't remember Mimi playing like this when she was his age, and the doctor said that he is totally a second child. This is why he crawled early and climbs like a monkey and makes his toys pretend to talk to each other.
For a while I expected less out of him than I did out of Mimi. Mimi walked well from the beginning and was talking nonstop early, but she was in daycare. I assumed Mack would do most things later because I'm home with him and because boys are sometimes a little slower in the beginning (and sometimes for the rest of their lives. What? Did I just actually write that?). The same questionnaire I filled out for Mimi's 18-month check-up was the same as the one I filled out for Mack, and I was a bit surprised at my answers. He seems to be doing everything that she was and maybe even a little more. She didn't care for blocks at his age, and he has become OBSESSED with Legos. Not the big ones. The tiny, little ones that I should probably put away because they're choking hazards. He searches the pile for the smallest ones and then builds a tall tower with them over and over and over. His intensity makes us giggle because he screams at us if we get in the way or try to help him. He wants to do it all by himself. This all started several months ago when he tormented Mimi by taking all of her Lego towers apart. I guess because Mimi didn't have any older siblings with Lego towers then she wasn't as interested as early.
Mack also likes to play games with us. He loves to randomly pull on my hands to make me get up to play Ring Around the Roses with him. Whenever someone comes to our door, he runs to the couch so he can jump out and play Peek a Boo. He was even hiding behind my knees yesterday and yelling "Ah boo!" at Dr. Chang. He's really into songs with hand motions like "Wheels on the Bus," "Twinkle Twinkle," "Pat a Cake," and "Head and Shoulders," but I don't recommend trying to do these to make him happy while driving. Hands on the wheels at all times . . but that's another story.
He doesn't talk a lot, but over the past month I've noticed a lot of new words to add to his list. He likes to squeal "Ididit!" like it's one word. He's saying more names like Poppaw (my dad), Top (Clint's dad), Coco (my neice), Nick (my nephew), and Amy (my sister). His favorite names to say lately are Woody and "Jeshie" and Tigger and Pooh. He's also been pointing at things that he doesn't have words for and saying "dat" or "dis."
Mack is such a little ticklish guy and laughs at EVERYTHING. Mimi is a great big sister for a boy because she's so wild and never takes it easy on him. She will run into him and knock him over, and the little guy just gets back up while laughing hysterically. Even when I put her into time-out for almost breaking his neck, he checks on her to see if she's coming back for more. Tough little guy.
I had my first class ever with just Mack this morning -- Gym and Swim at the Y. Basically, the toddlers play in the gym for 30 minutes and then have swim class for 30 minutes, which is just enough to make us all want to nap for the rest of the day (except I can't because Mimi no longer naps. Grrr). He pretended to be shy for about 5 seconds, and then he ran around the gym and laughed and laughed and laughed and slid and climbed and kicked balls. He was a little clingy in the pool, but he giggled nonstop at all the silly songs and being thrown in the air. He screamed "Yay!" and clapped excitedly when every song was over. Little happy stinker.
Meanwhile, Mimi is still a wild monkey. When I arrived at preschool yesterday, Miss Norah met me at the door to tell me that Mimi didn't get to participate in Show and Tell because she had pulled someone's hair. Ugggghhhh. She's been a bit feisty lately, but pulling hair is just mean. I wanted to march over to her and yank on her hair for a minute in hopes that she would get it, but I'm pretty sure not being able to have an audience during Show and Tell was more than enough punishment for my actress. We had a nice, long talk and I took away something, but we'll see how it goes. I've had to be tougher with her than normal lately, and I've found my harsh tone going places I didn't know existed. She doesn't pay any attention to me if I kindly ask her to do something (like not run out in the street), so I have to raise my voice and channel the Devil for a few minutes. I hate it, and I'm sure other people think I'm the meanest mom ever. It doesn't even phase her. "Oh, okay, Mom. You mean you want me to stand next to you and not in the middle of this mud puddle? Oh, I get it." Soooo frustrating. When we got home she asked me to turn on a movie, and I reminded her that she didn't get TV time because she pulled hair. She said, "Oh, yeah. I don't get to watch a movie because I was a stinker today, right?"
But I love my little stinker, and I was feeling awfully lazy yesterday with the idea of not having Clint to help at night, which caused me to get McDonald's for the family for lunch. I thought maybe a treat of too much sodium and grease might make Mimi a sweeter child. He he. And then I totally made frozen pizza for dinner. Geez, what's wrong with me? At least the kiddos had apples with their lunch and green beans with their pizza (which Mimi completely covered with a slice of pizza. Yes, she is already that sneaky. But she eventually ate them anyway.).
And remember my latest quest to become more crafty and have a "theme day?" Yeah, well, I think that's a stupid idea now. I realized that not every good mom pulls awesome craft ideas out of thin air on a daily basis, and what in the world am I supposed to do with a week's worth of toilet paper puppy dogs and noodle necklaces anyway? So instead I decided that I would make it a point to put aside 15-30 minutes a day to do one "activity" with my children. It must be a time that the TV is off and I am completely engaged with teaching them and being creative. Last night while my gourmet frozen pizza was cooking, Mimi and I made peanut butter cookies. Oooooh, yummmm. I stuck Mack in his high chair with a bunch of snacks, and then I actually let Mimi help me. She was fantastic! Yes, I had to repeat over and over and over, "Don't touch that yet. Stop eating raw egg. Leave that alone. Not yet. No. No! NO!!!" but I would say that it went pretty well. Check here for the super easy recipe: Bad Day Peanut Butter Cookies. They were good even though it wasn't a bad day at all.
She was so proud of herself! And completely covered in peanut butter. :)
Just got a text that Daddy-O has landed. Guess I better clean up a bit. Nah, maybe I'll leave it a mess so he knows how much we need him . . .