"I want to watch the show with the cheese you don't eat. The show with Squidgy"
Joe and I have no idea what that means, ask him questions to try to narrow it down - "Is Squidgy an animal? It is a character on Wild Kratts?"
I start scrolling through the options on Netflix, asking "Is this it?" until we get to Justin Time, a show I've never watched. But, apparently Henry has watched it sometime in the super TV marathon that this week has been, as he and Stella have had a horrible bug all week.
"Yes! Justin Time!!"
Phew. I guess I need to watch more TV with my kids?
Also this morning:
I try to make Henry cinnamon toast for breakfast. He wants to help spread the butter, and cut the toast. "I can do it myself!" Pushing my arm away. Then after struggling for a few minutes, "I CAN'T do it, Mama!!!" desperately pleading, why aren't I helping him?! We get the toast cut into small squares like he wants, then he insists on putting the toast pieces ONTO cereal. I don't think this will be good. He is determined. This is what he wants. He puts them all on, then wants help in taking them all back off. I guess some things you just have to try to believe?
I offer one set of PJ's, the blue dinos, a regular favorite. No. Another option: bear and fox in footies. No. How about the moose ones? You probably guessed it, NO. I hold all three choices up again. No. I put the moose ones on him against vehement protest, get his teeth brushed, and back in the bedroom. He wants the blue dino PJ's, and he wants to brush his teeth himself. A second time. I don't fight it, and he does it all himself. He's ready when he's ready and not before.
This has been a particularly tough week as the kids went from eye infections to stomach flu with no break in between, at the same time as Joe worked 11-hour days, and drove three hours away to buy a pickup after work, late Monday. Henry seemed to be done vomiting yesterday, right when Stella started (in the middle of the night, of course). I have done countless loads of laundry and dishes, scrubbed carpets, floors, sinks, wiped bottoms, held back hair, and all the stuff that goes along with sick kids. How did my parents survive taking care of three? I remember head lice as a child, which seemed like the hugest job ever for my mom to wash the entire house, and treat our heads and pick nits. ALL of my stuffed animals were bagged or washed, and I had a lot of stuffed animals. We are lucky we haven't had that experience yet, I guess. I better knock on wood!
The upside of this week is all of the conversations and time that I've had with both kids. At moments when they were feeling up to doing something besides lying on the couch or in bed, we've done art projects (Henry drew his first people! With legs and faces!), puzzles, designed train routes, and cuddled together. Although my examples above show the frustrating times of trying to talk/live with a nearly three-year-old, there are also many times when communication goes smoothly, and I'm amazed at his seemingly sudden growth in vocabulary and sentence structure. These pauses in regular life give up opportunity to get more in touch and reflect on life without engaging much in the actual normal events of the day-to-day. Silver linings.