13 July 2007

But enough about me

Back to the children, the actual intended topic of this blog. :)

Judah is getting so old. And defiant. Yes, that's right, we've entered the Direct Disobedience Zone. I knew it would happen sometime, and since Judah is just about 16 months old, I guess he figured now is as good a time as any. Here is the major drawback of this particular stage: while he understands (and uses) the word No, he does not yet understand any sort of discipline or punishment. So the best we can do at present is to make it clear that NO, you are not to play with the electrical outlets (or dump your juice on the carpet or play with the satellite box or hit mama with the giant legos), and remove him from the situation and hope to distract him from whatever defiant thing he was doing. We also have to make sure the distraction is not a reward (as in, "No, you may not play in the hazardous chemical cupboard, but here's a cookie!"), just a redirection to more wholesome endeavors. A challenge. I've read that 18 months is about the earliest they start making the connection between disobedience and discipline, so we're in for a couple of interesting months.

Judah has also learned a new trick, one that sets my mind a little more at ease: now, not only can he go up the stairs, he can also climb down. Whew. I thought he'd never figure that one out. I've been working with him on it at every opportunity, and it finally caught on. Speaking of "caught on," Abe's mom watched the kids last night so we could go stuff ourselves with hamburgers and onion rings and frozen cokes and movie popcorn and m&ms and enjoy a cheap movie (more on that later), and when we returned to collect the kiddies, she informed me that she defnitely thought she heard Judah say cat and juice, two words we've been working on at home. Progress!

Three Cute Charis anecdotes:
1) On the way to Yia-Yia's house, Charis says, "Mama! Knock, Knock!"
Now I had no idea she knew how to do knock knock jokes, and I don't know where she could have possibly learned one, but I am so excited to play along, so I reply, "Who's there?"
"Horsey who?"
"NO, MAMA! It's me, CHARIS!"
Which was a relief, because I almost never know how to begin a conversation with a horse.

2) Charis always tells me what is "good" to do--usually it's said like this: "Mama, it's good for you to share cookies with Charis." Yesterday, I was folding laundry in our bedroom, and Charis and Judah were playing in the living room. "Mama!" Charis said. I looked out into the living room and saw Judah on all fours, cackling, and Charis sitting on him as if he were a pack mule. "Mama, it's good to have fun!"

3) When we were leaving Abe's parents' house last night, I called out behind me, "Thanks for watching the kiddies!" And Charis called out, "Yeah, thanks for watching the kitties!"

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