Thursday, March 3, 2011

Esky - the good, the bad, and the terrifying

Esky at 21 months

The good:
  • The child is talking up a storm; I cannot keep up with the word explosion. We also have to be careful what we say, because she's playing the parrot (and while we're not into cussing, we do sometimes cry an unusual word out of context...and this can be disastrous. Yes, I'm talking about the time a teenager on TV, filled with angst said, "I wish everyone in this school would just...just..." and then Haki finished her sentence by calling out, "DIE!" Not the best word to have your toddler learn to yell. Thankfully, she kept on doodling. PHEW).
  • She talks most in the car, where she feels compelled to point out things such as "fie-engines," "po'ice cars," "truck 'ith logs," "yellow-gold utes," "orange diggas," and a certain "yellow 'ouse," en route to Dunedin city.
  • Although many of her words are becoming clearer (and the girl is opening her mouth nice and wide), she still says "pane" for "plane" and "hacadacop'ta!" for "helicopter."
  • Just this past week, she has really started to sing. In most cases, her singing a song has come on all of a sudden - she has gone from very intently listening to her favourites to sincerely attempting to sing each and every word.
  • Esky counts to ten pretty quickly now. It cracks me up that she often feels number-inspired when she sees a field of cows, say - and so she counts to ten, and acts very satisfied at reaching what she must think is the End of Numbers.
  • Her ABC's are also adorable. Isn't it cute when any child slurs "L-M-N-O-P?"
  • One of the most darling things about "now-Esky" is her glee to spy "sparkles" by a window (a.k.a. dust particles reflecting the sunlight) - she cries, "Sparkles!" and runs to retrieve one of her "friends" (/cough "DOLLS"), and dances with them in the dust. One time I slapped a pillow to generate more magic, and ever since, when she feels there is insufficient sparkle going on, she retrieves a cushion and slaps it in the sun. /sigh I adore that girl.
  • Is quite the colour-lover. For almost three months she's known all of the basics (red, yellow, blue, pink, green, brown, grey, black, white), and in the past two weeks she's added cream, maroon, silver and gold to her vocabulary. We found once she got a couple colours, it was only a week or so before she "got" colours.
  • Haki is delighted that she often fist pumps and says, "YES!" when she is excited.
  • From me, she has learned to over-enthusiastically cheer, "Okay!" to communicate agreement.
  • Little Miss Helper has actually started anticipating my needs (not just helping, as a mimic). She will spread out the changing mat and nappy caddy, get the placements out at "Dinnahtime!" and she hastily collects and tables the measuring cups whenever I ask if we should do some baking. Bless.
  • Has been known to put herself in time-out - a semi-corner in the hallway reserved for her to face the wall for about 60 seconds whenever she refuses to comply with an instruction or uses an ugly tone (e.g. won't come to have her nappy changed). Lately, when she makes a bad choice, she checks herself into the spot, and stays there until one of us comes to talk to her about it. (We used to carry her there without saying anything, so we've never had to raise our voice or change our tone much. Bad sad effect: Someone else changing their tone even slightly can, at times, cause her to cry.)
The bad (with a happy ending):
  • While still savouring the sweet victory of Esky sleeping in her own, "big girl" bed (although missing her, often), I was slammed with an unfortunate and distressing emerging pattern - Esky began falling out of bed at night. Hard. Not one night here and there, but every night, for three nights in a row - that's as far as it got before I decided something had to happen. Not only because her reaction to each fall was becoming progressively more dramatic, but because I wasn't sleeping well at all (at 8 months pregnant - and already exhausted) - I was on edge, waiting for the dreaded thump and wail. A few obvious solutions didn't or couldn't work (e.g. creating a long worm wall of rolled up blanket - she used it as a pillow, and I still needed to get up regularly and reposition her; adding a pre-made mesh and metal rail or guard - the mattress and bedframe for this particular bed wouldn't work with one...plus, I lacked the funds). Who should come to the rescue, but Mr Fixer! All I did was present the finished wood for his use and my proposed solution, my dad did the rest.Both she and I are sleeping so much better.
The terrifying:
  • My sister's daughter suffers from Vertigo - the onset is not limited to when she is up high, climbing, or spinning, but rather, it can strike at any moment - related to some inner ear problem. It is only because Erika (and other family members) had described such episodes to me that I knew what I was dealing with when...
  • ...Esky had an episode of Vertigo. We were baking at the kitchen table, she atop a chair, me fetching an item from the other side of the room, when she began whimpering. I looked to her, and saw she was slowly curling down over the table - measuring cups, ingredients and all - leaning further and further down as though the mixing bowl had grown an arm and was pulling at the chest of her shirt. She was clearly frightened. She began repeating, "Spinning! Spinning! Spinning!" I came closer, and saw her eyes were tracking back and forth as though she was watching an invisible tennis match. I scooped her up, brought her down to the floor in my arms, and held her tight, stroking the back of her hair whispering, "It's okay, it's okay, it's okay." She continued to quietly cry, and added, "Table spinning!" Gradually, she straightened up to a stand, and seemed ready to be released from my terrified grasp. I thought I was going to vomit. She was so scared, and I couldn't do anything but hold her. Then she merrily pranced over to the kitchen shelf and retrieved one of the Hairy Maclary books and presented it to me, smiling, "Read Book!" She was over it. It would take me another few hours, and quite a few conversations with my sister and husband. What scares me more? She was unharmed, and this "incident" was fairly minor as far as incidents go. Oh, how emotionally vulnerable one becomes as a parent!
  • Anyone else had a child experience Vertigo? Tell me yours outgrew it, and that it never happened at the top of a playground, please. (Don't worry, I'm not going to stop the girl living, I just hope there's no repeat in less controlled/fortunate/safe circumstances.)
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