By: Revanche

My kid and notes from Year 2.7

October 25, 2017

My kid in Year 2.7

Sleep shenanigans

Another month, another sleep challenge.

It seems like JB is having nightmares because a few mornings a week, ze wakes up crying, with real tears, and calling for me. It’s a total departure from zir usual routine where ze ONLY wants Dad so it makes me think there’s a bit more trauma.

Ze doesn’t have the concepts to explain to us why ze is so upset so I can only hope that ze didn’t also inherit my propensity for bonecrushingly scary nightmares. They started so early I actually don’t recall the onset, but I do recall many of them to this day. I used to curl up next to Mom and Dad’s closed bedroom door because I was literally scared stiff, too afraid to knock on the door. Not because I thought they’d be mad but just because the nightmare had me in its grip even after I’d woken.

I’m not sure if the nightmares are why ze has taken to insisting that one of us stay with zir until ze falls asleep, or if that’s the novelty of the toddler bed ruining the night for us. It’s been weeks of “mama sleep here” and we don’t see an end in sight.

Brain development

I’m pretty sure that the sleep problems are very related to some cognitive development because ze has developed all kinds of vocabulary.

Ze got upset with me one night when I suggested that we count to five during toilet training because ze didn’t WANT to count to five. Ze wanted to count in “ee, er, zan…“! In adult words, Chinese.

Well… ok? Go ahead?

I’ve been teaching zir the numbers in multiple languages for months and not once has ze ever mimicked me. Out of the blue, the kid counted to 8 in Chinese without help.  Can you beat that?

Speaking of language, ze is slowly picking up the concept of the past and present….

“Where’s he went, mama?”
“Where Mr Robby is, mama?”

…and forcing the English language to be consistent where it most decidedly is not.

“Dis yours? Oh. Dis mines? Oh.”

Mirroring and manners

Say “thank you Mommy”!
Say “thank you Daddy”!
No wunning!! (Running)
No he has helmet!!! (He doesn’t have a helmet on)
No has socks on!! (He’s not wearing socks)

JB has turned into the manners and safety police. No bicyclist or motorcycle rider is safe from zir scolding, nor are great uncles if they’re being lazy and just stuff unsocked feet into shoes to step outside a moment.

This was an unanticipated outcome of our rigorous training in learning how to exist in polite society but it’s not so terrible if ze absorbs the lesson we’re trying to impart. My proudest moment was:

Me: JB, may I have a card?
JB: You may.

Asking v telling

A month ago, I started minding my questions and instructions to JuggerBaby very carefully. When it’s not a big deal if JB has a choice, I give zir a choice. But when it’s a matter of importance, like putting on pants to go outside in the frigid chill, or brushing teeth, that’s an instruction and ze isn’t being given a choice.

I’m teaching zir this distinction while still trying to balance zir independence and strength of conviction. If ze feels very strongly about something, ze is allowed to negotiate the conditions under which it happens. I don’t want zir to ever feel like someone else, even me, is dictating the terms of zir life and ze has no choice about it. When ze is an adult, people will constantly be telling zir how to look, live, love. That’s ZIR choice, within reasonable bounds of civility. Maybe it’s silly to look at small life things like this, but I believe that how we treat our children sets the foundation for how they conduct themselves in their later years. I could be wrong, we all could be wrong. But I have to do my best, right?

Learning & responsibilities

JB has been responsible for putting  zir socks daily and helping me load the washing machine. We started having zir clear the table after dinner with more enthusiasm than grace – moderate success? PiC is also great at including zir in the kitchen, ze can mix up water and pancake mix without spilling (much) and is working on scrambling eggs.

Favorite moments

Sitting in the bath, JB yells “Mama, watch me! Watch me! Mama watch me!”
“I am watching you!” I eyeball zir. Slightly squint an eye.
Ze bursts out laughing.
“Mama watch me!”
“I am watching!” Tilt my head and smile a little.
Ze loses it, chortling until ze falls over.
“Mama watch me!”, grinning.
“Yes?” Smile, tilt my head.
Ze cackles, unable to keep eye contact without bursting into laughter.

Me: I love you.
JB: Yeah.

Me: I love you.

JB: Mama, may I watch Moana?
Me: it’s –
JB: Mama may I watch Moana for TWO MINUTES DEN I GIVE IT BACK TO MAMA! *gestures “back to me” madly*
Me: Well, dang. Ok then.

JB: mama! I read to you!
Me: ok. Go ahead.
JB: …..
Me: …..
JB: I don’t know ahh da words!
Me: can you read ANY words?
JB: Noooooo

Me: Drat, I forgot the laundry basket.
JB: oo forgot laun-dee ba-ket? ‘ere, I give to oo. *hands me imaginary basket*
Me: Thaannkks

Today, we ran out of milk after breakfast and forgot to buy more on our way home. It was the End Times. JB collapsed on the floor: I. Want. Milk. In. My. Boo. (Blue) Sippy. Cup. With. The. Lid.

Ten minutes of “we don’t have any” later, ze fell asleep, sobbing, in my arms.

I can’t remember the last time ze actually fell asleep when I was holding zir, but it just be well over a year. There was something bittersweet about recognizing the slowed breathing and twitches and drool patches, before doing the calculus of a safe transfer from arms robbed.

Me: do you want to be a brontosaurus or a triceratops?
JB: baa baa b’ack sheep!
PiC: that’s not any kind of dinosaur…
JB: wheels on de bus!
Me: also, not a dinosaur.

JB: “dis mah b’ocks, you no touch dese. You may p’ay wit dis puzzo, I put on bed fo you. ‘Ere. We p’ay togedder.
It’s a trip down elocution lane trying to figure out what ze is saying.


Imagine, if you will, that JuggerBaby is chiming in to this Moana song as follows:

– it’s a-doh-ab-boh!
– it’s lot, the ‘air, the BOD
– the skyyyyy
– demiGUY
– dis guy!
– YO
– yo’ welcome!
– end song / LEMME OUT! (this makes more sense if you’ve seen this scene from the movie)

:: Did you ever sleep walk or sleep talk?

8 Responses to “My kid and notes from Year 2.7”

  1. At least JB is singing age-appropriate songs. Just wait til ze discovers…KidzBop.

  2. Sally says:

    I didn’t sleep walk or sleep talk, but my husband does both. He also sleep-eats.

    He says he had night terrors when he was little, as did my stepdaughter. Our daughter together has had a couple of episodes that could have been night terrors, but I’m really hoping that’s not what they really were.

    • Revanche says:

      Oh my goodness, sleep-eating! I hadn’t even considered that as a possibility! I do hope that your daughter doesn’t have the night terrors.

  3. Baguette has had night terrors a few times. She is very distressed and literally cannot lie back down. She can’t even bring her head down. So I sit up with her and hold her, and when she lies down, it’s over. They freak Mr. Sandwich out more than they do me, but I’m glad she hasn’t had them very often.

    By typing this, I am probably inviting them back.

  4. So, so cute, and making me want to be a grandmother sooner rather than later! Poor little JB with the nightmares. Maybe in part due to being unsettled by the move? I think there’s a time for molly-coddling, and this is it. The image of you curled up outside your parents’ bedroom door is very sad. I’m glad JB can curl up with flesh-and-blood parents rather than a door.
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    • Revanche says:

      It’s hard to tell what the cause is but I’m sure all the changes through the summer just didn’t help zir one bit! I was a pathetic little thing but I don’t THINK it scarred me unduly… or at least I can’t tell 🙂 Do you know, I honestly don’t think I ever even TOLD my parents about my sleep horrors. It’s possible they never heard me whimpering and have never known.

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