Friday, February 20, 2009

Good laughs

I come home from work today and my older daughter is not her usual rambunctious self. She's lying down on the couch. I feel her all around and conclude that she has a fever.
"I think you're sick, Sadee," I say to her.
"Are you sick, Mom?" she replies.
"Only a little," I say.
"Well, you're little sick and I'm big sick," she responds. Heehehehe.

Then after I give her some Tylenol, I notice sweat beads on her nose.
"I think her fever's breaking," I say to Josh.
"Yeah, I'm losing my fever, " she chimes in. "I can't find it."


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Youthful thinking

My daughter is fascinated by foreign languages. She's always asking to hear her favorite Disney songs in other languages on Youtube. She can actually sing "A Whole New World" in a few languages. But I think she might think that foreign languages are gobbedy gook because she will make random sounds and insist she's speaking or singing in Japanese.
The other day, a Japanese person and her child was at our house and I thought it would be a good opportunity to show her that Japanese is a real language and not non-sense sounds. I pointed out to Sadie when she spoke Japanese. She told Sadie about how to say goodbye, 'sayonara'.
I think she got very confused. She kept asking me, "Mom why are they talking like that?" as if the only reason to "talk like that" was for amusement. It perplexed her to witness two people, who were clearly communicating and exchanging thoughts with each other, but she had no idea what was being said.
It is reminiscent of my own experience from childhood. I remembered that when I first came to America, it was so confusing that nobody spoke or understood Thai. I remember being told things like dog means 'ma', etc. I kept thinking, well if dog means 'ma', then why don't we all just cut to the chase and say 'ma'. My frame of reference was so self-centered.
I think it's interesting to think about the thoughts we had as children that we couldn't verbalize or understand. And it feels really good to remember the ones that used to stump us in our youth and answer our own unanswered or previously thought unanswerable questions. I wonder how much of my daughter's experience with that I witness but won't be able to appreciate until she grows up and points them out to me.
Right now the days are always full of why this and why that. Which ones are the ones that are truly memorable, that she will recall later in life, and answer her own questions with great amusement and pleasure? Give herself the same joy she gives me everyday!

Little gator

"Your skin is so dry! Like an alligator!"
"Are you scared?"
"No, what is there to be scared of?"
"Are you scared of me?!"
"No, why would I be scared of you?"
"Because I'm an alligator!"
"No, sweetie, people often compare dry skin to an alligator's. You're not an alligator."
"You're not scared I gonna eat you? Cuz I'm an alligator?"
"No, you're not an alligator. Your dry skin is LIKE an alligator's."

Ups and downs

Every time I wash Saydee's hair, it's a battle. She doesn't want me to rinse her hair; she doesn't like the feeling of water over her ears or face. It's really a nuisance for me because I can't finish the task at hand and I worry that when she takes swim lessons, she will be at a disadvantage. A friend of mine told me that her daughter was the same way and she had the same concerns, but had a success story. She decided on the tough love route and poured water over her daughter's face. For some time, her daughter screamed bloody murder but after a bit of time, she got used to it.
I've been taking the patient, gentle coddling route - putting up with her and finding creative ways to rinse shampoo off her head. The other day, my patience ran really thin. I threatened to pour water over her head if she wasn't going to tilt her head back for me. I repeated the threat a few times, to give her ample opportunity to cooperate with me. In the end, I poured water over her head, the whole time wretched with guilt, knowing how she would react. But I really wanted to rinse all the shampoo off and get the bath done. Any way, it was worse than I thought....she jumped out of the tub in absolute fear and terror. She cried and cried for at least ten minutes. I felt terrible. Through her screams and tears, I apologized profusely and tried explaining that if she cooperated next time, this won't happen again.
About twenty minutes later, she had fully settled down and we were in our bedtime routine, which is always very special to me. We often cuddle and exchange some nice words. I apologized again for pouring water over her face. She tells me, "That's OK mom, you don't have to say sorry." Her tone is so wise and mature, she had communicated so clearly to me that she had moved on and didn't even need any apologies. Amazing. Twenty minutes ago, I was dealing with a whiny 3 year old and now she's wiser than me.

Ranting and Raving

If someone were to start a stop watch and ask me to either start verbalizing all of my complaints or things I want, I could get really excited and go on for a long time before pausing even for a breath. However, give the same challenge to my husband and you'd practically have to start and stop the watch at the same time. "What? Did you say something?" you might ask. "No, nothing," he would respond. Then in an annoyingly chirpy and cheerful tone, he might say, "I want nothing. And I have nothing to complain about."

What gives?!