Caroline has been coveting Patrick's cape. Yesterday I turned to Steve and said, "She looks like someone..." and Steve promptly replied, "ET."
And when I said, "Really?"
Caroline finds many things inconvenient (her lack of a cape, for starters) but nothing irks her so much as the fact that she is not nearly as tall as she thinks she is. To compensate she has started carrying things around with her that she then climbs upon. She started with board books and we said, "Oh how cute." She moved onto blocks and we said, "Isn't it adorable." Then she began dragging laundry baskets out of the closet to flip upside-down and we said, "WHO GOT MY CHECKBOOK OFF THE DESK AND THREW IT IN THE TRASH? HOW DID CAROLINE GET THE CRAYONS OUT OF THE DRAWER? WHO THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO LEAVE THE CEREAL ON THE COUNTER?"
If I could attach an audio file you would hear Caroline saying, "Oh CRICKET!" as if she is just as surprised and exasperated as the rest of us to discover that she had climbed up to the breakfast bar and was merrily setting off the timer with a pencil
She's sort of a Handful. A few (many) posts ago I wrote about putting all of our dining room chairs on the porch in an effort to keep her off the table and someone bracingly told me to get a grip. Although I like comments in which you tell me how great I am; I also like comments that readjust my sense of what might be construed as normal. It seemed obvious to me that the best way to keep Caroline off the table was by removing the chairs and I was interested to see that some of you thought we could, you know, just tell her not to do it. I admit that I was hesitant to try it your way in the beginning but lately I have concluded that if Caroline can understand how the DVD remote works she can understand that she is not allowed to climb on the damned table. So I have returned the chairs to the dining room and I spend a lot (all) of my time tucking a boneless and angry child under my arm as I cheerfully trill "We do not climb on the table!" like Mary Poppins trying to train a lemur.
Apparently understanding that something is forbidden and caring are two different things - but I think we are making progress. Slowly.
Caroline likes clocks. She likes to point to clocks and she likes to touch clocks and whenever Steve leaves his laptop open and unattended for more than five seconds she likes to hit the function key that brings the computer clock onto the screen. During one of her forbidden forays into my desk drawer she found an old watch of Patrick's with a dead battery.
[This watch exemplifies one of my personality defects, namely: the battery is dead so the watch will not work; but a new battery costs more than a new watch; but I cannot bring myself to buy a new watch because we have a perfectly good one in the drawer at home; only the battery is dead - I need an intervention. Or rather I would except that I get these rare moments in which the useless clutter I keep gets magnificently re-purposed; in this case by Caroline.]
Caroline does not care that the watch is broken. She just knows that she loves it more than anything. She magically intuited that watches are worn on the wrist (or upper arm in her case) and she parades around like Cleopatra wrapped in a snake. "Watch," she says. "Tie-um. No tie-um! Tie-um to go!"
Patrick saw her with the watch and said, "Hey that's mine!"
And I said, "But it's broken."
And he said, "But it's mine."
"But it's broken."
We sort of hit an impasse and I told him he had to be nice to his baby sister. He said, fine, but if that watch starts working again he wants it back. I agreed.
Note the joy of obsessive ownership (Edward has a Matchbox car in each hand; Caroline is clutching her/Patrick's/the watch):
A few readers set me straight on the difference between expressive language and articulation. A child (like Edward, say) can be in the normal range for his expressive language but not be widely (or wildly) intelligible. He has a word for "book" and "boat" and "bath" (that's language) but he pronounces them all as "buh" (that's intelligibility.) So the fact that Edward is in the normal range for language did not automatically disqualify him for speech therapy through our health insurance. In fact, they shocked my lights out by immediately approving him for a year's worth of twice weekly therapy and he started today.
I am still startled by how quickly it all happened. I doubted they were going to agree to coverage at all especially after my conversation with the county, which was friendly but dismissive. Apparently you have to be in the bottom two percent to qualify for county services and they only look at total language scores under the age of two. She offered to send someone out to test his articulation after his birthday but she doubted he would qualify even then based on my description of his crummy but not-quite-crummy-enough words. I guess the insurance company uses a much lower standard and I am grateful to them.
Edward's first session this morning was pleasant and he enjoyed the toys once he unwrapped himself from my neck but he refused to talk. At all. Soooo... this might take a while. Fortunately Steve works from home so he can keep Caroline most of the time and I am looking forward to the time when I can leave him with his therapist and go read Highlights in the lobby.
Oh that reminds me - thank you very much for all of your thoughts on Patrick's school situation. I really appreciated it. As always you guys had differing opinions but you were all helpful in your own way and I value your comments. For what it is worth Caroline and Edward do not have to drive to school with us, which is very nice. If we did move Patrick and were unable to find someone to carpool with us Steve and I would take turns driving while the other one stays with the twinkles. It's what we do now and it seems to work ok although I admit that I am much more sanguine about this than Steve.
I liked the school very much. Patrick was excited about the work they are doing but has expressed concern about making friends and learning a new routine. Steve didn't come with us last week so the second grade teacher agreed to let him come by tomorrow to see what he thinks of the class. In the meantime the director received Patrick's testing and school reports and has informally offered him a space pending committee approval. Provided Steve is as enthusiastic as I am, we are inclined to switch him with the start of their next trimester. Last week Patrick and I had one of those confessional bedtime conversations and he said that he felt like he was fading away in school - I'm not sure what the solution is but we have to do something with him. He's just not himself lately.