Happy Mother’s Day

I hope all of you mothers reading this have had as wonderful day as I did. Sean and Josh surprised me with breakfast in bed, and it wasn’t donuts. Eggs and toast came with a fresh, steaming cup of coffee. Hmm, can’t say eggs and toast ever tasted better. The coffee was delightful and much needed as we had been up much of the night with Ellie, who stayed in the family room during the breakfast feast moaning about her earache. She has a little ear infection, which we are treating with antibiotics and Motrin.

She’s resting comfortably right now, on my pillow. Once she took some Motrin, Ellie had a great day. She coached Josh on some soccer skills. Ellie has taken an interest in soccer, so we picked up some little cones for her to practice dribbling around. She’s not bad, and decided today to hold a practice in which she was, of course, the coach. Josh hung in there for about 20 minutes of constructive feedback from her. Then he retired to his trains. I gave him a lot of credit for hanging in there. Ellie asked me for feedback on her coaching skills. I told her she did a good job and reminded her that fun was supposed to be part of the soccer experience. She said, “I had fun, mom.”
On a less, self-centered note, Ellie was an absolute dear to me on this fine day. She reminded me more than a few times that she loved me. At one point, she said she would always love me and when I was dead she would still love me. She wasn’t even trying to get out of picking up her toys or anything. At bedtime she said that I was the best mom in the whole world. These words were certainly music to my ears, but what I found even more interesting was what she said next. “I guess that’s why we have this day, because everyone’s mom is the best mom in the whole world, and on Mother’s Day we can celebrate them.” She’s so thoughtful, not just thoughtful in a kind way, which I think she generally is, but thoughtful in that she seems to think about everything.
Ellie’s hospital visit a few weeks ago was interesting to say the least. She was a very good patient, and once past the IV debacle, a pleasant patient too. Things got a little punchy our last day. We were both ready to go. Ellie was literally climbing all over the furniture, and I was pacing the floor. We were packed and ready to go when the doctor came to release her. I can’t recall every cute little thing Ellie said, but I can recall that she adjusted quickly to hospital life, appreciated my presence, and missed her dad and brother. She was also very cooperative and very brave. I was proud of her. This hospital stay was so completely different from our first experience with RSV. We didn’t make a big deal about this one because it didn’t feel like a big deal. I knew from the start that antibiotics and fluids were going to kick in quickly and we would go home. Ellie didn’t seem too concerned either. As she started to feel better she seemed to enjoy the steady stream of nurses, doctors, and volunteers. She even kicked me out for a few minutes when a volunteer came in to read a story about Clifford. She had puppets too. Thank goodness! I needed a break.
A couple weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of spending a couple days in Lawrence for work. At dinner the conversation briefly touched on how children mispronounce words. I was thinking about instances when Ellie did this and couldn’t remember much. She used to call the remote control, “the remote can control.” That’s all I could remember. Ellie is an absolute stickler for precision when it comes to language. She’s always correcting, or helping Josh with his language. Not sure how this plays out with her friends though. The other day on the playground, she was building castles on the playground with a friend, we’ll call Susie. When Susie flipped her bucket over, the castle just fell apart. Susie wasn’t happy, and Ellie said, “Oh Susie, that’s too bad. Your castle collapsed.” Susie said nothing. Ellie said, “Susie do you know what collapsed means? It means that your castle just crumbled down.” Susie said, “It broke” to which Ellie replied, “I suppose ‘collapsed’ could mean ‘broke’ too. Can it mom?” “Yes, Ellie, but I think Susie is more worried about her castle than the meaning of the word, collapsed.” Ellie – “Oh yeah, that’s too bad Susie, but you can make another one.” So, typical Ellie!
Now on to Josh. Josh’s verbal progress is astounding to me. He seems to have gone from simple words to complete sentences overnight. I’ve heard this can happen with kids who develop language a little slower than others, and I can really see it with him. He has so much to say. At night when I tuck him in, he will often say, “So, mom, how was your day?” This is funny because I ask this question just about every day at dinnertime. But, he really seems to listen to what I say and just loves asking the question. He also frequently starts a conversation with, “One time…” For example, today Ellie got some ear drops as part of her medicine. When Sean brought them home, I could see Josh’s wheels spinning. Things quieted down and he said, “One time, I was sick, and my eyes hurt. I got eye drops, and they got better.” Ellie asked what eardrops are and Josh told her, “bubbles and water.” Not sure where that came from, but she seemed convinced.
I could describe Josh as a bit chaotic, but want to clarify that I do this in a positive way. I had a class once in which I learned that all behavior could be placed on a continuum with ‘completely predictable’ at one end (the sun rises in the east and sets in the west) and ‘completely random’ at the other end (days Sean will put his laundry away – just kidding, I can actually predict these days with fairly good accuracy). Anyway, chaotic behavior is somewhere in the middle. It’s just predictable enough that you think you know what’s going to happen and then, bang, something random occurs. This is Josh. It’s probably many other 2 1/2 year olds too, but I’m only writing about Josh. Just when I think I have a handle on his personality, he does or says something totally unpredictable. Here’s an example. He is a very tidy little guy. His room is neat and clean. He puts things away and more often than not where it belongs. Thus, I’m always thrown for a loop when I ask him to pick up something in the family room, and he runs away yelling, “NO!”
Here are a few more examples. Josh shares his toys but will never share food. He loves, I mean loves to play outside but is not fond of getting dirty. He is obsessed with trucks, big trucks, construction trucks, but hates the noise they make. “Too loud, too loud!” he says. He loves to ride in the back of Sean’s car with the top down, but only if Sean goes slowly. In fact, he tells Sean to slow down when he’s driving the van. He adores his friends at school but prefers them one at a time. He is always willing to go to new places and seems genuinely interested in new things, but of the four of us, is always the first one to want to go home. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture.
Josh is getting ready to move into the Jelly Bean room at his school. We’re not sure how this will go. He is a proud member of the Sweat Pea room right now and doesn’t seem too interested in advancement. We did get good news last week. Josh’s best friend Robert will be moving too, and so will his primary teacher, Speranta. Thank Goodness!! Not sure if I’ve told you much about Speranta. She has a Eastern European accent and a very pleasant voice. I really appreciated about nine to twelve months ago. Josh didn’t really go through that toddler, “No!” stage when he was younger. Instead he would give me this sweet, sing-songy, “No, no mama,” with a little laugh. I’m sure it sounded very much like Speranta and I liked it. He still does it only now I have to toughen my response. I realize he’s using it to be charming now, and charming he is.