Tuesday, March 29, 2011

lockers and swim clothes; fear and pride

So, perhaps my last post was a wee bit aggressive. Perhaps I'm feeling a little stressed. Perhaps we're not in the most pleasant of stages. Clark sure isn't. He's three this month, and I feel like we should have turned some sun-warmed corner, but then - I remember now - three is actually harder than two. Ah yes.

We will move on, shall we? 

Yesterday afternoon Frances closed herself in a locker in the hallway outside her ballet class. Clark does it all the time, finds it pretty entertaining, but when Frances did it, the locker jammed. Poor girl. She had a bit of a panic attack, sobbing hysteria. Eventually I had to ask one of the teachers to find someone to help us, someone who came with a crowbar. In the meantime, I could pull the locker open at the top just a little, just enough to see her, and I got her to take some deep breaths with me. I was so proud of her; usually she resists my attempts at deep breathing, but this time she did it, and she was able to calm down some. When the locker was finally opened and she stepped out, she wailed, "It felt like I was going to be in there forever!" 

Last night I was on my own for bedtime, which means some jockeying between bedrooms at the critical lying down time. Frances agreed to lie quietly and wait for me to come back and sing her a song while I put Clark down. (Oh that she is old enough to do this now. Getting them both to bed by myself was really a challenge when neither could understand the concept of patience.) When I left Clark's room I waited outside and listened for him to get up, and sure enough... He went into the bathroom and pushed the stool to the sink and ran himself some water in a cup (how big he's getting!), then he sat down in front of the space heater we have in his room (it's absolutely freezing in there; the coldest room in the house) like it was a campfire. He was so cute smiling at the heater, holding out his hands to warm them. After only a short while he stood up and dragged his blankie to his bed, where they both climbed in and pulled up the covers. I was enormously pleased with this turn of events, and off I went to Frances's room, where it turned out she was already asleep. 

But my celebration was premature. Downstairs, after another 20 minutes or so, Clark silently appeared. He was wearing his swim trunks and his rash guard shirt - backward - (need I remind anyone that it's March in the snowbelt, a high today of 31, a windchill of perhaps 4?). He must have dug them out of the box of summer clothes in his closet, a feat that requires a chair and a good bit of balance. Not only that, but he'd found and donned a swim diaper too. In case you're not in the know, swim diapers do not hold liquid, only solid. He was so pleased with himself for getting off his old diaper and putting the swim one on. He climbed up beside me for some TV watching, and I didn't worry much since we were sitting on a leather couch; in the end we had no accidents. It was so sweet to have him snuggle up against me, thumb and blankie sleepy, and I didn't take him back up to bed for a long time. He loved the commercials best. After one of them, he turned to me and said, with some astonishment, "Mama, he said 'don't get mad, get glad'!"

He slept in his swim clothes, need I say it? This morning he dug around some more and came up with last year's too small crocs. Oh the joy. I think he felt the outfit was complete. 

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