Today is Friday. On Wednesday Akka picked up the bottle of bad-tasting nail polish that was in our large pile of discarded thumbsucking deterrents. I *very casually* asked if she’d like some help painting it on her nails. She said yes. I helped her put it on and she set out for school with shiny, glossy, bad-tasting fingernails.
After school she stuck her thumb in her mouth and made a face and took it out again. No big deal. She seemed fine with it. It wasn’t until bedtime that things got hairy. She started wailing that she wanted her thumb. Not bratty wailing – real, sad crying about the misery of wanting one’s thumb and of realizing that shiny, glossy nails are fun during the day but anguish at night. We told her she was being brave and strong and that she’d be ok. I left to go out to play the ukulele and let K handle the first thumb-less night alone. I also made sure he knew where the nail polish remover was before I left, thereby confirming that I am not the parent who is best equipped to handle the first thumb-less night.
She did it. She held on to her little stuffed toy and read her book and fell asleep without her thumb (so I’m told. I was out
playing the ukulele drinking). In the morning she said it had been a tough night but once we started treating her like a freaking hero she stopped complaining long enough to let a few shy, proud smiles sneak through.
She did it again the next night. And today we painted her nails with colour and put the yucky stuff over top. I’m crazy-proud. I even took her to the store and bought her one of the dolls that she loves and I hate. I know it might not last (and she knows it too) but we’ve been talking about how the worst is over – now she knows she can go without it. It’ll never be as hard as that first night (right?!!). Too bad they haven’t bottled the comfort that comes with thumb-sucking and turned it into some kind of skin patch that I can slap on her arm when she’s having cravings. Jonesing for her thumb.
So is this the beginning of the end of thumb-sucking for her? We shall see. Let’s just call it a beginning of an end.
We’re in Vancouver and have been back to Collage Collage for several visits. It’s simply fabulous. Akka can’t get enough of it. This is the child who never wants to go anywhere but she popped her thumb out of her mouth and found reserves of energy whenever a trip to Collage Collage was mentioned. Malli used up all his sit-and-draw powers on the first two visits so we left him with Granny for our last drop-in class.
Akka is an artist. She spends hours at the arts and crafts table on her daycare days and brings home dozens of pieces of artwork. At Collage Collage she explored new materials, methods, and media.
At each class, the teacher reads the kids a book – often (but not always) about a famous artist. Then the kids use the images in the book as their inspiration for their own piece of art. Thus, we can now adorn our walls with our own versions of Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Kahlo:
Thanks Erin! Still pushing for that Toronto franchise…
I made slippers for the kids. It was my first time felting. I started with blue slippers for Malli. First, I knit a giant sock:
Wait – for scale, here it is with Malli’s shoe:
Then I panicked. Is this really how it’s supposed to work? Did I read the pattern right? Did I accidently double the recipe?
No, it was right. I thrashed it about in hot hot water and got these:
Confidently, I knit Akka’s slippers. Longer and narrower for the poor child who has her mother’s and grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s
I felted those ones down and stuck on some grippy soles. Now we just wait for snow so we can go somewhere in our snow boots with these slippers tucked into my purse.
I finally finished Akka’s new dress. The pattern is Wisteria Child’s Dress by Angela Hahn. It’s the most ambitious thing I’ve ever knit and it took me a while because I was fiddling with the pattern to make a dress that would fit my girl. The pattern has different sizes and I used a small size but made it longer in the body and with bigger armholes. It’s a little tight going over her head but once it’s on, it fits! Now I’m going to stop feeding her so she won’t ever grow out of it.
I wrote Malli’s story first and today it’s Akka’s turn.
Akka, four years ago today, you were born. Four years ago yesterday we didn’t know each other and I wasn’t anybody’s mum yet. It was a hot, hot night and I had been walking around all day. That night, I started to feel that you were coming. Suddenly you were in a great hurry. Storm clouds blew in and there was a big thunderstorm. Granny and Thaththa thought they might have to catch you. Our midwives arrived just in time. Less than six hours from start to finish, we had a beautiful little baby girl:
The midwives weighed you in a sling. You weighed 6 lbs, 7 oz.
I was a little surprised because I’d never been a mum before. You were a little surprised because you’d never been yourself before. We didn’t even know what your name was yet. But we all welcomed you and were so happy to have you with us. You and I sat in bed for a few days and got to know each other.
Slowly, we moved you further from the bed where you were born.
In your first few days and weeks you met your new family.
Since then you’ve changed in unbelievable ways. You learned to roll over, to walk, to talk. You found your thumb, and once your hair grew in, you found you could twirl it. You went out in the world and made friends. You invented a new language. You learned to write it down. You snuggled into our chests and traveled to see your far-flung family. You have ideas and theories and opinions on sunglasses and a memory that amazes me. You are a loving big sister and a thoughtful and wonderful girl.
Happy Birthday Akka!
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Tagged bragging, the girl
I’m ridiculously proud. One tree, many buckets of sap, many litres of fuel spent, many hours boiling off…one bottle of syrup. Still worth it. It’s remarkably delicious, too. I’m not a connoisseur de syrop but it really does taste toasty and wonderful.
Our friends had the neighbourhood group over for dinner tonight as a spring get-together and our Berlin send-off. We poured our one bottle of ‘One-Tree’ over ice cream for dessert:
Still some left for pancakes.
Admittedly, I went a little nuts over the one beautiful bottle. Here it is swinging on its own tree (I’ve plugged the leaky tree -hole with wax):
Posted in .
Tagged bragging, maple syrup
When you’re three, bums are hilarious. The mere words ” pee poo bum bum” are Akka’s favorite joke right now. She livens up dinner parties by trotting in, sticking her bum out, naming it, and shrieking with laughter.
I get it: bums are funny. I don’t mind the joke. My only concern with pee and poo has to do with ensuring that it gets into the toilet. Akka has this all figured out. We did part-time elimination communication with her starting at four months old. (Elimination communication is an absolutely ridiculous term which simply means doing what the majority of mothers do worldwide: aiming your kids’ waste where you want it to go). By the time she was eating food, and therefore creating actual human poo, it went directly into the toilet 99 times out of 100. We were terribly proud and quietly judged parents who spent any time cleaning feces off of skin. Dealing with soiled diapers seemed to us to be a completely disgusting and optional endeavour.
Then came Malli.
With him, we missed an elimination communication window. We had a rhythm for a while, lost it, and couldn’t get it back. He arched his back and screamed at being put on the toilet. So we gave up, embraced the diapers, and settled into the wildly extended North American diapering timeline. In a cruel twist, he’s remarkably fecally prolific. Three or four dirty diapers a day is normal. Six is not unheard of. Now that he’s two and seems ready to learn how the rest of us do it, I find myself ill-equipped to guide him. This is my first time. When we’re home, he proudly wears underwear. I’ve downloaded a timer that plays the sound of a meditation bell every half hour. It’s our potty timer. I’m training him like Pavlov’s dog. I just hope he doesn’t do a meditation retreat one day and find himself running for the bathroom at every chime.