Thursday, March 18, 2010

Divine Intervention, or How I Found A Babysitter

We attend the 8 o'clock service, which is a very intimate worship. No choir, and on average there are six adults, including our rector, and rarely an acolyte. But this particular Sunday, Lisa, an acolyte, was asked to speak about stewardship at 8am. Tallu likes Autumn and Lisa, our teenaged acolytes, and she was excited to see Lisa that morning. Lisa mentioned that she had babysat children before, but I was hesitant about leaving my child with any teenager. She's a sweet high schooler, and looks how I imagine Tallu will look when she grows older.

After we exchanged the Peace of the Lord and made our offering to the Lord, the celebration of the Eucharist began. Tallu has been to church often enough to know that you go to the front of the church during this time, so she immediately went to the front rail to kneel. Before I could get her, Lisa saw where Tallu was going, followed her to the front rail, even though she was not serving as an acolyte, and knelt with my daughter.

And that's when I knew we could trust Lisa with Tallu!

Lisa did babysit two weeks later, and it went well. Lisa had fun, Tallu had fun, my husband and I had fun away from Tallu! We now have a date night babysitter, whenever we have a chance to have another date night...

You Know It's Time to Stop Breatfeeding When...

your child screams "I want milkies!" during church?

your child can pull down the neckline of your shirt, pull your bra to the side and lunge at what little bit of nipple is showing, while she's standing on a chair in the kitchen, as you're stirring cookie batter?

you ask your child to stop nursing because you have to get off the bus, and she says "uhn-uhn" while she's nursing, so you now have to carry her two blocks to Capogiro (she pops off only when you ask her if she wants ice cream) ?

Today is March 18. In eleven days, Tallu will be two years old. We're still nursing. There was a time when I wasn't sure if Tallu and I could do this breast feeding thing. Now I don't know if we (rather, if she) can stop. I've talked to her about the milkies coming to an end, and she shakes her head yes, but I don't think she grasps what that means. I've told myself that once all her teeth are in, we are fucking done! Some women have said to me the minute a tooth dropped that should have been the end of it all. Sometimes Tallu can take no for an answer. But the other times... what Lula wants, Lula gets... and if she wants milkies...good Lord, just whip it out!

It's a battle of will. Who will win? Ultimately, me. But I need reinforcements...

The Visit

Our two year old niece has been visiting with us since the end of February, due to circumstances very much beyond her control. She's had lots of fun with us on her first trip outside of NYC. She's seen deer. She's been sledding, snowshoeing, bike riding, skateboarding, belly dancing, tamborim playing, and tumbling, and napping. The first weekend she was here I told her we'd take lots of pictures and make a photo book about her trip to Philadelphia to show her parents. She will have many pictures to choose from for her album. I hope she'll have some fun memories to share with her parents, older brother, and anyone else who will listen to her.

Her older brother gave her some warning about her aunt and uncle: "They won't beat you or anything, but you will be tired." We had an almost three-hour standoff with him and some green beans, which he requested for dinner, then decided he didn't want them. (Oh, he ate them!) She's certainly tried our patience over these weeks, but I think we've made an impression on her. There have been no beatings, but many time-outs. I even had to put her on time-out today while we were at the play cafe. I told her in the bathroom when she caught an attitude with me that "I can find you a time-out wall anywhere." Mary Poppins has saved me on many other occasions. The best line to end a back and forth with a smart-mouthed kid? "You know best, as usual." My niece usually replies, "no," but the discussion is over. LOVE IT!

When she came to our house she was sleeping with a bottle at night, not taking naps, wearing a diaper, and angry (and I don't mean "Terrible Two's" angry). She hasn't drank from a bottle since about day two. She now naps- she cries about it, but she's usually the first asleep. She's wearing a pull-up to bed at night, and we are actively potty-training. She still has a temper, but I think I'm better at diffusing it, and it flares much less often. My niece really likes this tumbling class, in which I enrolled Tallu well before I knew her cousin would be staying with us for an entire month. She's got great balance, and not much fear for an almost three year old.

Now that we know she accepts us as authority figures, we plan to bring her down for shorter overnight visits. We love her, attitude and all, and she trusts us. But this chick is going back to Brooklyn the minute Tallu's bday party is over, you hear me? And we are not having a second child anytime soon... I am nowhere near ready to take care of children so close in age and developmental stages.