Well, we left early--between storms--for our crazy christmas travel chaos. Over 14" on the ground and snow coming down as we pulled out. I know my neighbors probably think I'm nuts to say this, but I'm sort of sad to miss all the piles of snow. I'm told there will be more. Now we're in NC and I've been without wireless for a few days so haven't blogged though I've been wanting to.
The kids have been troopers. Several nights running we've had them up hours after their bedtimes and mostly they've done well. The night we opened presents in Virginia at my dad's was kind of traumatic--Clark had gone down for the night before we even sat down for dinner since he missed his afternoon nap, but we kept Frances up for presents. We thought she'd be all right, but it was too too much. She had a full melt down complete with floor kicking, taking swings at mom, trying to rip her clothes off, refusing to put on pjs. We had to pin her down and forcibly dress her. It was exasperating, but, again, not emotionally hard for me, even with the possible embarrassment of having other family members to witness such excesses. I wasn't embarrassed, just felt bad that they were having to listen to it.
Two nights later she was up late again--this time in NC at my Aunt Judith's house--and she did really well. We put her pjs on her before we loaded up in the car to go home and as we dressed her she said, "I not upset. At Peepaws I upset." It was so interesting to me that she remembered and made the connection--that perhaps she chose not to throw a fit. (Not that she chose to throw one at my dad's--I feel certain she was completely out of control and didn't choose much of anything at the time...) In any case, she felt proud of herself for holding it together.
She really is cute.
Another interesting tidbit: we went for a walk at my dad's house and she brought her stuffed puppy with her. At one point there was a loud barking dog that frightened her and as we moved past the yard she said to her stuffed puppy, "It's okay, puppy. Don't be afraid." She was able to soothe herself by using the puppy as a stand-in. I love watching this developmental stuff.
And Clark--Clark is attached. I think I've said that before, but it's become apparent in a new way. He didn't do quite as well at my aunt's house; poor guy was tired when we got there, before dinner even started. He wouldn't fall asleep though I tried to put him down in the crib in the back room, and as he got more and more sleepy he didn't want anyone but me to hold him. He'd holler and holler, not crying, just complaining loudly, and when I finally took him he'd pop his thumb into his mouth and snuggle down on my chest. Yesterday at the moravian love feast service he was the same way. I was the only thing he wanted... Mitch tried to relieve me for a bit but Clark was having nothing to do with that idea. "I have to go get your brother," I say to Frances, "Do you hear him hollering?" and she nods like she understands and relinquishes me.
This is all new, a new level. Generally he'll go to anyone and smile big jolly smiles at them, at least for a bit. It's overwhelming to have him want only me, but it's also sweet to have him be so snuggly. It's a stage I know. Frances never went through it which was a surprise to me, but then I wasn't her only caretaker. She had Mitch 3 mornings a week and her sitter C 3 afternoons. For Clark I'm always around and have always been.
So we've done 4 christmases and tonight we're done. We've already told everyone that we're not traveling next year; all are welcome to come see us if they'd like. I wish I had some pictures to post but I haven't downloaded them from the camera yet... Maybe soon.