Thursday, January 27, 2011

Talking About Her Days

Kai is starting to talk quite a bit about her day on our drives home from school. Well, she is talking up a storm in general -- but, until recently, she hasn't shared much with us about her days at school. Now, we get a fuller narrative, which is often very funny (at least to us).

For example, a conversation earlier this week. But first, a little background. Kai has been having some issues with another little boy at school. Apparently he is a bit of a pusher. And Kai likes to push back. Her daycare providers say it is somewhat amusing, because Kai totally gets aggressive right back -- and apparently is very good at getting quite a response out of Diego. Sigh. She sounds a teensy bit like someone I kind-of, sort-of am familiar with... ahem. Anyway, we have been talking to her about how she needs to not push Diego and not fight with him, and that if he is doing something that she doesn't like or if he pushes her, she needs to just ask him to stop and/or walk away. She gets it -- but, is having a hard time putting the concept to practice. So, anyway, given this conflict -- we now get a daily Diego report:

Kai: "I didn't push Diego today."

Me: "That's good!"

Kai: "I threw bark at him."

Me: Sigh.

Yesterday when we picked her up she had all sorts of news:

Kai: "I had pears at the new table."

Me: "There is a new table at school?"

Kai: "Yup."

Me: "Where?"

Kai(exasperated): "At SCHOOL."

Me: "I mean is the table inside or outside?"

Kai: "Outside."

Me: "And you ate pears there?"

Kai: "Yup. And crackers. And blueberries. And water.... I didn't drink orange juice. I like orange juice SOMETIMES. Not today. I had water."

Me: "Oh. I see. No orange juice, huh?"

Kai: "I was sick."

Me: "The orange juice made you sick?"

Kai: "No. Silly, Mama. I was sick. I had to go to the doctor. On the slide."

Me: "Oh -- pretend sick. Who was the doctor?"

Kai: "Juliette... I got a shot. It hurt. I got a band aid"

Me: "Sounds owie. Did you dance at school today?" (because she had worn a dress that day saying she wanted to dance at school).

Kai: "Yup"

Me: "With Ava?"

Kai: "Nope... with Diego, and Gabby, and Ty, and Clara, and Auggie. not Ava."

Me: "Did you push Diego today?"

Kai: "Nope. I danced with Diego."

Me: "That's good. Did you throw bark at him?" (I knew she had)

Kai: "Nope."

Me: "Jacob says you did."

Kai: "Nope."

Me: "Jacob says you threw the bark but then you brushed it back off."

Kai: (silence)

Me: "Did you throw the bark and then brush it off?"

Kai: "Yes. Said sorry. On the slide."

(this was what I had learned -- she had thrown some bark and then Jacob yelled, "Kailey" and she ran over to Diego and brushed him off and said, "I'm Sorry! I'm Sorry!")

Kai: "And then i DANCED with Diego."

Me: "That's good. But, no throwing bark."

Kai: "Okay... I don't want chicken for dinner." (nice redirect).

And so we continue to work on Kai's school conflicts. But, overall, I am just amazed at how much she is telling us about her days. It is so fun to hear about what she is doing... even if some of what she is doing is not exactly what we would hope. This is a vast improvement from telling us only that she "ate noodles" at school.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Point of Clarification

One of our daycare providers - Jacob - likes to call Kailey "mini-Angie". In many ways, this is inaccurate -- she is as much, if not more, a mini-Eric (love of outdoors, dogs, adventure, going upside down, perfectionist). But, his reason for dubbing her mini-Angie is he knows I'm a lawyer and Kai has become quite the negotiator/debater... hence, mini-Angie.

I've noticed it increasing in my own interactions with Kai as of late. Take our conversation this morning at breakfast:

Me: "Kailey, stop playing with your food."

Kai: "I'm NOT playing with my food... I'm playing with my SPOON."

Ahhh... of course. Whatever. Stop playing with your spoon, then, child. Kai likes to debate these little points, buying herself an extra minute or two of the prohibited activity while we parse out exactly what is, and is not, permitted.

Like last night at dinner:

Me: "Kailey -- stop that."

Kai: "I'm JUST spitting my water, mama."

Me: "I know. Stop spitting."

Kai: "Just into my cup, Mama."

Me: "No spitting. Not even into your cup."

Kai: "ONLY my cup."

Me: Sigh. "No -- not EVEN in your cup."

At which point she stopped and turned her attention to the salt shaker -- resulting in a very similar conversation involving salt and french fries.

Kai's favorite sentence starter is, "I'm just..." As in, "I'm just throwing my toothbrush in the toilet." (true story -- she did that today). I think she believes that starting the sentence with, "I'm just..." somehow diminishes whatever it is she is doing. Normalizes it. Makes it totally acceptable. "I'm just spitting my water into my cup" is much better than "spitting"... it's just water, into a cup... what's my issue? Other uses include, "I'm just chasing Abby," or "I'm just getting my cereal... don't HELP me."

The last example is particularly amusing (and annoying)... because whenever she implores us to NOT help her, she is engaged in an activity in which she will certainly need help. It's her preemptive ssshhh... because she REALLY wants to do it herself. So, she is both trying to minimize the activity (ie - just getting a bowl of cereal, ma. Nothing to see here) and then, realizing that she is doing something that I am most certainly not going to be on board with her doing by herself, she pauses and yells, "DON'T HELP ME!" (And, to tie this into the picture -- she also recently said, "I'm JUST using scissors!!" As though that is a perfectly acceptable activity for a 2 year old to be engaging in... duh!)

Kai's favorite negotiation tactic at this point is also an effort at minimization -- insisting that she wants "one more" or "ONLY one more" or "just one more". My favorite is the combination of the two approaches: "I'm JUST getting ONLY one more."

Ahhh... mastering adverbs is such fun!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Picture Update

Since I've been so terrible about updating this site for awhile now - I thought I'd do a quick picture update, to tell the story of our last month.

As I've mentioned -- we've embarked on the bathroom remodel. Kai was quite excited about it, as you can see.

Kai really enjoys her new tub (and showed up at school one day after it was in and declared - "My daddy built me a bathtub!"):

We took time out from the bathroom remodel for our annual trek to Timberline. Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures this year. But, as I mentioned in the last post, we had a blast. Kai experienced her first "snow roll" followed by a hot tub dive. The twins did a ton of skiing. We all enjoyed being together and we're already plotting our trip for next year!!

After Timberline, we spent time with Eric's mom. Kai had a great time with all her new toys and with the many art projects that Janet had available at her house! Kai's new favorite tool is scissors -- she is determined to master them (and is pretty good at using them. Being the safety-obsessed person that I am, my inclination has been to deny her the practice with scissors that she craves... but, she has proven that she is able to use scissors without completing mauling herself. So, that's good!)

After a few days at Janet's house, we were onto my parents' house. Kai loved my dad's trains. And, we had a nice time with stockings and presents on Christmas morning before Eric had to head back home to continue on the bathroom.

Eric spent the week between Christmas and New Year's moving the toilet and installing the new floor while Kai and I lounged at my parents' house making graham cracker houses, shopping, and playing lots of games -- including teaching Kai how to bowl on Wii.

And now we're back home -- with a working toilet and shower! Woo hoo!

And now, Eric is back to weekend bathroom remodeling and we've all settled back into the working week routine. It was nice to change things up for a bit, though.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

I am going to miss 2010 -- the year Kai became a kid. This was the year Kai went from signing to talking in complete paragraphs. The year she learned to ride a tricycle. The year she started daycare and absolutely LOVED being with 11 other kids - all of whom she talks about non-stop (and she also can "read" most of their names -- because Kai likes to know which things belong to which kids and so she spent a couple of days memorizing everyone's names. She cracks me up).

This was the year that Kai straddled babyhood and toddler/preschooler. It really is uncanny. She started 2010 as a baby. Last year at Timberline, she was known as the "mountain fountain" as she toddled up and down the halls with her ponytail on top of her head. This year at Timberline, Kai was playing board games and mimicking everything Leo and Soren did, including rolling in the snow and then jumping into the hot tub! And, any time Leo and Soren were doing their own thing, Kai would pepper us with the same question every couple of minutes: "Where are Leo and Soren and Amy and Dave and Leo and Soren" whenever Leo and Soren were out on the slopes. Although we thought she might like to try skiing this year, it turns out Kai is a California girl, declaring, "It's COLD. Stay inside where it's COZY" every time we headed out into the snow (unless we were getting into the hot tub -- in which case the snow didn't bother her).

At the beginning of the year, Kai spent a good chunk of each day cuddling. And, while she still loves to cuddle, now she is much more picky about the when and the where of cuddle time. She's far too busy most of the time to stop for a cuddle and, in fact, has recently started brushing away kisses or yelling, "ewww. NO. YUCKY. COFFEE in your MOUTH" (when I kiss her with coffee breath).

I am excited for 2011 -- I'm excited to experience all of her growth and development between between now and 3-and-a-half.

But, I'm going to miss 2010.