We had the stomach bug of Horrible last week. It was the weirdest stomach-related illness I have ever encountered, especially the Puking-Again-After-Feeling-Fine-For-Three-Days-Part-Thank-You-Harriet. Somehow we managed to keep up with about nine thousand loads of laundry, and to keep it from spreading to Steve, but wowee. I don't want to do that again.
Speaking of sickness, I'm relieved to report that ye ol' morning sickness has waned considerably in the last week or so. This is a blessed relief since I was getting pretty weary of lounging about on the couch trying not to puke while watching Thomas the Tank Engine on repeat. Well, Harriet was watching Thomas. I was trying to block it out of my mind. I realized that when you have morning sickness with kid #1, you can indulge in the miserable. When you have kid #2, you can sort of get by and keep throwing toys and Cheerios in the older child's direction to keep her occupied. But when you have kid #3? You have to drag yourself out of bed, make breakfast for everyone, try not to get sick, change all of the diapers, attempt some laundry, figure out lunch, and deal with a two-year-old wondering why Mommy is being so boring, and a one-year-old who thinks, "Oh my gosh! Mommy is sitting down all of the time. NURSING PARTY!!" In any case, now the worst part of the day is the few moments before breakfast and then things start settling down nicely. I'm grateful. We will survive!
I mentioned to Steve last night that after seeing Betsy I really want to have another girl. I need another girl to balance out the extreme Man-Childness that is Edmund Paul. But if cravings and sickness are any indicator, then I'm betting on another Man-Child. Oh well. We'll see.
All of this sickness and being out of sorts has resulted in Harriet ramping up her need to be in charge of the world, including her parents. This has been distressing to me because, frankly, who feels like arguing with a two-year-old from 6:40am to 8:30pm? And who wants their beloved two-year-old to grow up into an intolerable control-freak? Not me. I was nearly in tears the other night because I just couldn't.take.it.anymore and I was earnestly praying that I would have some wisdom about how to deal with her constant arguing and controlling. I want to enjoy Harriet, you know? Anyways, I was thinking about really defining in my mind the rules that are non-negotiable. These obviously concern her safety and general well-being. Having recommitted myself to these rules, I determined not to argue about stupid things like if her doll carrier is a wrap or a backpack and just ignore her. If she pushes the issue and throws a fit trying to get a reaction from me...it's time out time. Then the major moment of divine inspiration struck: make a routine sticker chart. Harriet always, without fail, argues with me about our daily routine. She knows what she's supposed to do, it happens the same exact way every single day, it's not rigorous or unreasonable. She just is constantly pushing each step of the routine to see if Mommy is in charge or if Harriet is in charge. SO. I made a nifty little chart with pictures of each of the steps of her morning routine:
Here we have eat breakfast, get dressed, fix hair, watch a movie, do a craft project, read books, and eat lunch. Of course, there are other things that we might do in a given morning, but these are the basic items of which a normal morning routine consists. The chart is on regular 8.5"x11 piece of paper, and my plan is to just print off a new one every morning. As soon as she completes part of her routine, I give her a sticker which she places on the associated picture. I explained all of this to her yesterday afternoon after she had done each part of the routine that morning. She was super excited as we placed each sticker on the pictures and was particularly thrilled to share her results with Steve that evening. I was curious to see if she would still be as excited about the chart this morning, but when I presented her with a blank chart she got right to work telling me which item she needed to do first. It was amazing. No arguing, no back talk, no tantrums. If she ever asked me if she could do something that wasn't on the chart (usually asking to watch a movie when it wasn't time yet), I would direct her back to the pictures on the chart and she would readily get back into the groove. Suddenly, she was in "control" of her morning - while I was really still in control. Haha. And now the debate isn't between us as mother and daughter...it's between Harriet and her chart.
I'm seriously praising God for this inspiration. I don't know how long the goodness will last, but I know that February 19th 2013 was a much better day. Ah, parenting.
Good news with our new house prospect! We have a tentative closing date on March 15, assuming that the loan process will continue to go smoothly and that the current renters will be able to find a new location. I'm crazy happy about this. I have to admit that since starting the process of buying a new home, I have totally lost any drive to further organize our stuff in our teeny little house. Why bother? Pass those moving boxes, please, and let's get packing. I keep having dreams that we are already living in the new house: I'm giving baths to the kids in the claw foot tub in the upstairs bathroom, decorating the dining room, etc. I love it.