Sunday, September 27, 2009

Too Two to Quit!

As you will remember from last week's post, Avey turns two this week. We celebrated yesterday with lots of family and friends and Avey had a blast! Here is an abbreviated version of the party (Warning! This video contains LEVEL 5 giggling):
video
We were overwhelmed with generous gifts from near and afar. Although it may look like she enjoyed the tissue paper far more than the contents of the gift bags, she has been playing with her new things every minute that she's not eating or sleeping. And once again she has proof that she is the center of the universe (but she's sort of supposed to at this age)!
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Thanks to everyone who came and everyone who reads the blog to keep up on her and all of us! She truly feels loved day in and day out, and that is the best gift of all!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bipolar, or Just Two Years Old?

We've all heard the phrase "terrible twos", referring to toddlers at age two and their moodiness. Now, call me naive, but I never figured that our sweet little girl would ever have a drop of crankiness in her. However, as we approach her second birthday, Avey is making it pretty clear that she is perfectly capable of mood swings.

The other day, for example, she woke up from a two-and-one-half-hour nap. I thought for sure she would feel on top of the world after that kind of rest (I know I would). She was talking pleasantly to her Raggedy Andy doll in her crib when I came in to get her out. She casually mentioned to me that she would like her toy. With such a vague request, I responded, "Sure, you can have your toy," and set her on the floor expecting her to locate the toy to which she referred.

To my surprise, she transformed before my eyes into the embodiment of a tantrum! It was the end of the world! How could I, her own father, not know exactly which toy she wanted? Such abusive insensitivity had never before been heard of in the history of parenthood!

I tried to calm her down enough to get some more information on what she wanted. After several minutes I must have asked the key question because she calmed down enough to take a breath. "Do you want your toy?" She responded in her most pitiful voice, "Okay." I hesitantly picked her up, much like one might handle a landmine. She didn't explode until I asked her to tell me which toy she wanted. The eruption was enormous! I've never been shredded to pieces by shrapnel, but I can now imagine what it must be like.

After a few more attempts to put out the grease fire in my hands, I must have inadvertently thrown water on it because she was kicking and screaming so much I had to set her down. That was the wrong thing to do.

Finally, through sobbing and tears that would make a professional mourner blush, I caught the word "fridge". I realized she must want the teething ring we keep in the refrigerator. Sure enough, when I handed it to her, all was again right with the world.

I wish I had gotten the whole thing on video, but instead, here's another of Avey's musical moments: Click here for the original, full-length song.
video

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Role Models

Parents often worry about the kinds of people their children will look up to. We tend to think and behave like the people we admire, and so there's a lot of concern about whom Avey might end up idolizing.

We recently discovered the kind of individuals Avey has really begun to imitate and we're not sure what to think. Click here for the original.

Now here is Avey's rendition:
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On the one hand, he's fairly musically inclined, but on the other hand, he's a cartoon rat with binge eating disorder. What is a parent to do?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Careers

It's interesting how people tend to be defined in a large way by their choice of career. When meeting somebody for the first time, for example, one of the first question is usually, "What do you do for a living?" And then whatever answer is given usually is followed by a whole lot of assumptions about income level, education & intelligence, personality type, etc. We all have stereotypes about what kind of person a plumber is vs. a pro golfer, vs. a mechanic, and so on.

Kira and I often get interesting reactions when people find out that she's a therapist and I'm studying to become a psychologist. Some people start spilling their guts to us, beginning with their childhood. Some people start asking us what's wrong with their cousin or brother-in-law. And then some people end the conversation abruptly and walk away.

I think a lot of people worry about Avey because of our chosen professions. This image comes to mind of the three of us around the dinner table, analyzing Avey's most recent crayon-on-paper drawing for signs of neuroses. The funny thing is, I think it's probably the other way around; I think Avey does a lot more psychological analyses of us, and I'm worried what she's concluding.
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So when I try to imagine what Avey will be when she grows up, I sometimes worry that she is doomed to be one of us. Not that it's a bad field, I've just seen what it does to people. And it's not so much that she would follow in our footsteps, but that she would naturally seek out answers to why her parents acted this way.

I can imagine her following a lot of other career paths though. Some I can see so far are:
  • Singer (for obvious reasons)
  • Dancer (for obvious reasons)
  • Veterinarian (because she loves all things living)
  • Stand-up comedian (we could probably sell tickets now)
  • Cartoon voice (for obvious reasons)
  • Musician
  • Lawyer (she can convince anyone of anything)
  • Politician (she talks a lot without saying much)
  • Acrobat (she loves to spin and tumble)
  • Park ranger (loves the outdoors)
  • Dietitian (she knows how to refuse food)
  • Kindergarten teacher (she's just got that vibe)
  • Actor (drama queen!)
Oh, the possibilities!