Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Little Abbey at 22 Months

Little Abbey is now 22 months and going on 5 years old. Who would have thought that someone could grow a streak of independence in them at such a young age? Recently she asserted her independence by refusing to sit in the booster seat that we have been using since she refused to sit in her highchair many many months ago. So now she just kneels on our regular kitchen chairs and eats her meals happily. It is nice because it is one less thing that we have to worry about bringing when going for a visit somewhere but it is also another mess to clean up every evening. Sure she could wear a bib and that would make cleanup easier but she refuses to wear one of those unless I wear one of those. Though I have been known to need one at times, they don't make them large enough for my neck and so she goes without. We tried forcing her to eat with a bib and to eat on her booster seat but she has a stubborn streak that to date runs far deeper than my will power to listen to her scream and throw a fit. We went a whole week once and finally I gave up. How much worse can the terrible twos be?

Despite the stubborn independent streak, she is a good-natured kid and rarely cries or complains. In fact, she mostly just laughs and makes me laugh. A few weeks ago while I was tuning in to hear the final answer of Jeopardy, she started dancing to the theme music while the players wrote down their questions. But it wasn't any ordinary dance; it was evidently her Jeopardy dance. She puts both hands on her knees and then proceeds to spin around in circles, occasionally stopping to jump up in the air and yell, "Hey!” Since I usually do the jitterbug during the music, I have no idea where she learned it. Seriously, I don't know where she learned it since the last time I danced was probably back in the 80's.

A long time ago, I lowered her crib frame and removed a railing so that she could get in and out of her crib at will. She absolutely loved it but the first night she fell out like three or four times causing us to get up and put her back in bed until we finally blocked her in with big cardboard boxes. The next night I put the railing back on in such a way that it blocked all but a narrow opening and all was well in the world again. Last week, we decided to give it another try and we took the railing back off so that the entire side of the bed was once again open. Twice, I have found her in the morning with her legs dangling over the edge but not once has she fallen that I've heard. We are one more step closer to just getting her an adult bed, which definitely won't be until after she is completely potty trained at the earliest.

The freedom to get in and out of bed when she pleases suits her independence streak well. At first, she got up a little early to suit my taste but lately she has shown that indefinite ability to sleep that I've seen in some teens. On weekdays, I have to wake her up to get her dressed and over to daycare before my workday starts. On weekends, she sleeps in to six o'clock or so and then plays quietly until we get up. I can live with that. She can't quite yet work doorknobs though she can figure out the lever ones that we have throughout the house. Since her room has a knob, we make sure the door clicks when we close it at night to prevent breakout attempts Little Abbey would most surely try. She seems to be a night owl, which is a trait she certainly didn't get from me. After she has given up thoughts on escape, climbed back into bed and fallen asleep, I usually tuck her in again and leave the door slightly ajar so she can leave at will in the morning. This arrangement has worked out well.

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