Thursday, January 25, 2007

Impulse control

My darling sniffly daughter. Oh, how affectionate you are when you're sick. You caught Nana's cold yesterday and tossed and turned and cried every twenty minutes last night, but today you were really sweet. (Even to your Dad!) You hugged us - one parent in each arm - kissed me on the forehead, pressed your cheek against mine. Ahh, somedays I still can't believe that you are ours and we get to keep you. (I felt like that for months after you were born.)

Lately we've been measuring how good your day is going based on whether or not you've hit anyone yet. When you get angry (because you are tired or hungry and won't eat) you lash out, get your pouty face on and hit. Usually it's me or Nana that you slap hard in the face. Or you just hit Skye because she's so passive. And you know you shouldn't, but then it's too late. Sometimes I can see you fighting with all your might to suppress the urge to strike - and sometimes it works but not as often as not. I know all young kids have problems with impulse control; I know I even do sometimes. We're just not sure how to discourage it. I take your hand, say NO in a low, stern voice while looking disapprovingly at you. This gets another angry reaction and you hit again or sulk away. Nana had tapped you back which always gets you to change the subject; you act like nothing happened and go on to do something different. (While I know this is an awful way to deal with this, I am surprised that it gets a very desired result.) And then there's what I usually do. I put my hand to my face where it stings and I let out a really great fake cry so you know you hurt mommy. That's what I did tonight when we were hanging out in bed before bedtime. Of course, my eyes were closed so I couldn't see your bottom lip start to quiver before you burst out into the saddest, loudest, most hurt cry in the world. I felt so bad. So back to square one. Not that you'll magically start listening when we say no...or stop...or ouch.

Something else you started doing in the last few days is make many animal sounds. Most notable are your cow, owl, bird, kitty and puppy sounds. Actually, you were pretending to be a pretty realistic dog the other day, crawling around on your knees yipping "ruf."

Oh, and we took you to the art gallery on Saturday afternoon. There was a fabulous exhibit on Canadian art with a bunch of Group of Seven work and that stunning painting of the horse on the train track in the moonlight by Alex Colville. (The painting was much darker than pictured. He and Christopher Pratt are very similar painters and among my favourites. Oh, and I can't forget about Mary Pratt's stunning realism.) You just like walking around the big gallery and clapping or yelling to hear the echo. And everyone always thinks you are so cute. I don't know why it's always childless people walking around there. The exhibits always fascinate you as does the lobby of the T.C. Douglas building with its live trees and glass elevator.

Then on Sunday we went to the central library to play with their toys and meet some kids. There was this little girl there that was just adorable. She was maybe four and you liked her right away - well, after you stole her toys and her mom had to tell her you didn't know any better. You started talking to her in your babbling way and when you would stop, she would say, "Okay, do you want to play with this?" And she thought you were pretty sweet as well. She patted you on the head and for some reason she found you so cute she wanted to kiss you. She leaned down and you saw the kiss coming so you reached up with your pucker. I almost cried it was such a sight. We'll have to go back more often. We hadn't been there in awhile because of our overdue fees...

Tomorrow is Friday and I took the day off to stay home with you. I already look forward to our nap.

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