Friday, August 24, 2007

The week with Loren

First off I apologize to JamesF -- this is Cheryl writing and no, we have not gotten around to setting me up as a contributor yet.

I see that Curt hasn't posted since Monday so Curt's and Loren's devoted fans must be having some serious withdrawal symptoms by now. At the moment, Curt is high in a plane somewhere between St. Louis and New York. And tomorrow we are going to the internet-free zone otherwise known as my grandmother's apartment.

To hold you over in the meantime I thought I'd write a bit about life with Loren this week. Curt tends to report our activities and show the good photos, but he doesn't tell many of the stories that really show Loren's personality. She had a few funny "firsts" this week. Maybe the parents of older kids will read these and say, "Well all kids do that." But to me they really made the week special, if a bit aggravating at times.

First fashion statement: Until now Loren hasn't cared much about her clothes. She is very loyal to one particular pair of shoes (the hot pink Merrells) but other than that she just wears whatever we put on her. One morning this week she refused to let me snap her PJs back up after I changed her diaper. She wanted "shorts". She proceeded to go to her dresser, opened the drawers until she found the one with the pants in it, dug into the back of the drawer and pulled out a pair of pink corduroy pants with orange, blue, and red flowers. They were a Christmas present from Nana and Cracker and are by far the brightest pair of pants she owns. She handed them to me and said "These pants!" It hasn't been corduroy season for several months, but we had some very cool weather this week and it was cold enough that I didn't have to talk her out of wearing them. Luckily, she didn't insist on picking out a shirt so I was able to put her in a plain pink t-shirt that matched the pants.


First egg:
One evening after dinner she starting pulling on the refrigerator door and asking for an egg. I have offered her cooked eggs before, but she has never been interested. She was very insistent, so I pulled out the egg carton for her. She grabbed an egg and started to put one end in her mouth...very weird. I snatched it away and showed her how I could break it into a pan and cook it, but she refused to try the fried egg. I had a suspicion that she had seen someone eat a hard-boiled egg at day care -- how else would she know to take an egg and try to eat it whole? So I put a couple eggs on to boil, and when they were done I cooled one down and peeled it. Sure enough, she ate about half of it. She also tried to grab pieces of the shell and put them in her mouth... yuck! Unfortunately her regular teacher has been out the last couple of days so I couldn't check if my guess was right.

And the most amazing one... the first mile: As we left day care today Loren resisted going into the stroller. I decided to let her walk to the elevator and out of the building, and maybe for a block or two, figuring she would tire and want to go into the stroller soon enough. I was in no hurry to get home, since I had nothing in particular to accomplish before her bedtime. Well, every time I asked her if she wanted to go in the stroller, she said no. About halfway home (so after 10 blocks, or half a mile) she started to get whiny and wanted to be picked up. No way was I going to carry her for 10 blocks and push the stroller. I told her "stroller or walk". She chose walking. The couple times from there on that I tried to put her in the stroller she threw a fit.

It took us an extra 15 or 20 minutes to get home, but on the whole her pace was not much slower than some fully-grown non-New Yorkers I've walked with. And amazingly, she only struggled against holding my hand once or twice (failure to hold hands absolutely would have meant getting strapped in the stroller against her will -- she knows the sidewalk rules well).

I'm not quite sure who the winner was in this battle of wills-- she had to walk a mile, and I had to manage both a toddler and a stroller on the sidewalk (although 2nd Ave wasn't too crowded so it wasn't too much of a problem). I feel a bit cruel somehow for making her walk so far... but on the other hand, it's not like I forced her. She could have switched to the stroller at any point. And carrying her would have set a dangerous precedent. In fact she did finally climb into the stroller as we were getting the mail in the lobby of our building.

4 comments:

JamesF said...

Cheryl: First off I apologize to JamesF -- this is Cheryl writing and no, we have not gotten around to setting me up as a contributor yet.

Apology accepted. No biggie, Ginger is a contributor on our blog, but still refuses to actually create a post (but has no issue going in to editing a post for minor errors). So you're well ahead of Ginger in that regard even though you're posting as Curt.

Cheryl: I feel a bit cruel somehow for making her walk so far...

Oh please, there's no way you should feel bad about that. It was totally her decision. And you were absolutely right about not carrying her. She's at the age where she's going to start trying to assert more control over her environment and by not getting in the stroller that was her way of doing it (her picking out the clothes she wants to wear is just another form of this). This is a good thing. And as an added benefit maybe it tired her out some so she went down easier that night. The trick is going to be balancing how much control you give her. You can't let them decide everything, otherwise things go bad very fast later on when there comes a time they can't get their way. But at the same time letting them make their own decisions (good or bad) allows them to form sound judgment.

All in all it really sounds like she's maturing really fast at this point.

-r said...

JamesF:You can't let them decide everything, otherwise things go bad very fast later on when there comes a time they can't get their way.
IMHO kids experiencing meltdowns over not getting what they want are age appropriate, regardless of the boundaries established. True there may be fewer meltdowns with firm boundaries set, but I'd hate for any parent to feel that their "failed" parenting skills caused a meltdown that is otherwise completely age appropriate.

JamesF said...

-r: IMHO kids experiencing meltdowns over not getting what they want are age appropriate, regardless of the boundaries established. True there may be fewer meltdowns with firm boundaries set, but I'd hate for any parent to feel that their "failed" parenting skills caused a meltdown that is otherwise completely age appropriate.

That's a huge extrapolation from what I said that I wasn't even remotely implying. I never claimed meltdowns weren't going to happen, nor did I somehow imply if they did the parent had 'failed'. I was just trying to say that if you always let them get what they want then when the time comes that they can't, the ensuing 'meltdown' that follows will be longer and more traumatic on everyone involved. If they know there are times when Mom and Dad say this is the way it's going to be, then when one of those times comes around they may briefly get upset, but they won't completely lose it and they'll come to terms with it sooner (unless they're overly tired, in which case it doesn't matter how well you've previously conditioned them). At least that's been my experience.

Anonymous said...

Cheryl--I loved the Loren stories, thanks!
SMY