Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Arriving at two

Well, our darling E has made a transition. Even though her second birthday is not for another month she seems mentally to have made the transition to the Terrible Twos. Those of you with kids surely know what I am talking about. I don’t remember how we lived through it with ours, but last night I was very impressed with this young lady’s vocal abilities.

Yesterday evening E was starved as usual (please don’t call child protective services on us for depriving this poor individual of food) and came running to the table exclaiming ‘Eat Eat Eat!!!’ I used to work from 9 to 6 and have been missing this evening entertainment, but last week changed my hours to 7 to 4 so that I could enjoy the sunny evening hours, and so I am now there to experience dinnertime with E.

I don’t know how it happened, but evidently when she does not want to eat B has started turning on cartoons on TV to keep E at the table and hypnotized while spooning food into her mouth. The family room television is visible from her chair in the kitchen. So now after being seated there is the familiar cry of ‘Emo Emo Emo’, specifying her desire to watch Sesame Street and her favorite character Elmo. Last night I counted and we have six Elmo items, five dolls and her big red chair that wiggles and giggles, though she is frightened of the motion and we don’t turn it on anymore. This is in addition to the Elmo books. Well, Sesame Street is not on in the evening, just mornings and again at noon in our area. So she gets Spongebob Squarepants instead. This used to be quite troublesome to her, not understanding where her Emo has gone to, but now she has adapted and has grown to like that squeaky yellow square.

So Spongebob was turned on, and food placed in front of her. She soon converted to her standard television viewing hypnotized state, staring blankly in front of her and ignoring the rest of the world. However this time she refused to eat, and though she expressed her starving state before being seated she now denied her need for food. Grammy tried to press on with the eating, even leveling the threat of turning off the TV if she didn’t eat. Having a strong mouth and constitution E ignored this threat. But then the cartoon ended and the show diverted to a non cartoon commercial. E took this as meaning that Grammy had followed through on her threat and changed the channel to the news, which is often on in our house.

E immediately converted to the ‘standard’ two year old position of open mouth and expelling air as quickly as possible, along with a constriction of the vocal cords. This resulted in the loudest, most ear splitting shriek that I have ever heard in our house. Somehow at the same time she continued to say ‘nononononononono’ while screaming and crying. I don’t know how she can do those three things at the same time, must have something to do with the design of a two year old’s throat (even though she isn’t physically two yet.)

This did result in the turning off of the television, followed by about five minutes of continuous shrieks. At the same time Grammy was trying to apply the psychology advised in one of the latest books: talking calmly and trying to explain things. I don’t know if the low talking worked or if the vocal activities resulted in a lowering of blood sugar levels, but eventually a lowering of the volume occurred and some food was consumed.

B informed me that yes, our darling fair haired granddaughter has now changed from the constantly smiling sweety that she was into a ‘Terrible Two’, and I could expect similar outbursts on a fairly regular basis. There might be times of sweetness and light, but I should not expect them very often. Oh well. I was used to her arriving in the morning, turning the corner to where I was seated drinking coffee, and presenting herself like this:

(Sorry Lisa, no stripes) (and no comments on the floor covering - it was here when we moved in, we are getting around to the kitchen remodel soon)

She did come out this morning smiling, after hearing a lot of noise behind closed doors as her mom greeted her awakening. They are staying with us for a few weeks until son-in-law comes back down to finish packing up the house, then they will be driving off to Portland. B will be devastated – I can’t say anything about her losing E. We were shopping last night and I made some comment about not buying the gianormous sized package of diapers because we will not use them all before . . . and was quickly stopped by a look and a ‘how dare you remind me’ stare. Well, at least Grammy got to enjoy her during the cheerful learning days, when E was open to new things and did not totally go bonkers when she didn’t get her way.

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