Well, we've hit another hurdle. Chago's been biting Saia pretty regularly now for a couple of weeks. Timeouts and scoldings aren't working anymore, so we've resorted to animal deprivation. That is, we've started taking away his favorite animals (stuffed, plastic, etc) and throwing them in the "trash" (really just into a large box in the kitchen, but they don't see that part). He's lost 3 animals so far and it really didn't seem to be changing things for the better. So, we began offering them a sticker to put on the calendar for every day they were good (i.e., no fighting, no time-outs, and generally listening to Mema all day long). Once they received 3 stickers, I would make a special phone call to the garbage man (with whom I'm on very close terms, apparently -- "please, Mama, please please call the garbage man") and ask him to bring back one animal (or doll -- as Saia also "lost" a few back in January), as appropriate. Both received stickers on Monday. Saia got two more for Tuesday and Wednesday, so she got back Juana, a doll her Grammie gave her (and Mommy named) for her 1st birthday. She was thrilled. Chago asked if he could hug Juana since he couldn't have his animals back. [yes, it broke my heart] But yesterday he finally got his second sticker, so this morning we all really encouraged him to be good today, so that he could get his third sticker and choose which animal he wanted back. "Chago be good, Mama," he reassured me. "Alright, son. You can do it. I know you can," I said. "Then Chago has 3 stickers," he showed me on his fingers, "and Chago get 3 animals back." "Um...no, son, you'll only get one animal for 3 stickers." He wrinkled his eyebrows and stared up at me completely confused. "But Chago get three stickers, Mama. Chago get Sheer-khan, Mufasa, and California Condor." And I'm looking at him, totally appreciating his logic, and amazed that this little man is negotiating so strongly for what he believes is right, prouder than I've ever been because he's trying to understand and, more importantly, get me to understand what fairness is --- when I realize, 'this little twerp manipulates me EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!!'
Yesterday was Mommy's birthday, so the kids sang their over-rehearsed rendition of 'Happy Birthday' to her which never ever seems to get past 'Happy Birthday to you...' (even after they've sung that same verse 20 times!)
And then they started pleading for some cake. It was a German Chocolate cake covered with fresh strawberries (stems on). So, Mommy just scooped up a tiny bit of frosting onto a couple of strawberries and let the kids have at 'em. Two seconds later, Chago is spitting something onto the floor. "Bubba, what's wrong? Why are you doing that?" Mama asked. "I don't like the green part, Mama," he said very matter of factly. "Those are leaves, son. They're not for eating. Let's throw those in the trash."
Went to the Oakland Zoo this past weekend. It was really amazing -- built right into the hills, maintaining as much of the natural terrain and vegetation as possible. You can't even see it from the highway. It had a children's train and sky ride and petting zoo (none of which we actually got to this time around, but yes, I did pick up the application for a season pass).
We were there for most of the morning, and the kids talked SOLID for the whole 3 hours! Every plant had to be identified, every child was a potential victim of the terrible hugging duo, and every animal absolutely had to have a name -- we saw the Dawn Patrol (the elephants), and Simba (the lion) , and Sheer-Khan (the tiger), and then Chago wanted to see the merecats. Merecats, I tell you. What two-year old specifically requests 'merecats'? And then when we found them, he yells excitedly, "There he is! There he is! There's Timon!"
Mommy had to run into work on Saturday to let in the painting crew. The kids were absolutely not having it. So, there they went at 6:45 in the morning -- decked out in their jammies, unwashed, unkempt, barefoot, but happy.
On the way, Saia expressed to Mommy how glad she was that there was no traffic (will have to tell the 'watch out for traffic' story from the Alameda County Fair some day), while Chago was simply enchanted with the remnants of the full moon.
Due to the minor delay in packing up the kiddos, Mommy was a little late and the painters were a little huffy -- apparently, a little too much so for The Mighty Saia, who stridently declared that she did not like them.
"Why don't you like them, baby? You don't even know them," said Mommy.
"Because," replied Saia, "they are mad at my Mommy."
[definitely the kind of girl you want in your corner]
Two new sippy cups. Two very excited children. [Hmm...remember when you used to be that easy to please?] So, Saia says, "Here, Mama, taste this. It's yucky water." "Mmm...," says Mama, "and what does yucky water taste like?" "BUGS!!!" yells Chago from across the room.
"Here, Mama, taste this. It's yummy water," tempts Saia with the other cup. "And just what does yummy water taste like?" Mama wonders tentatively.
"ORANGE JUICE!!!" shrieks Chago. And they both roll on the floor in a fit of hysterics.
While on one of their regular walks this afternoon, the kids found the perfect sticks [they're very finicky about these things]. Saia began waving it around saying she was going to cast a spell on Maleficent [the wicked fairy in Sleeping Beauty].
"What kind of spell, Saia?" asked Mema. "A baby spell," replied Saia excitedly. "I'm going to make her a baby so she can be happy."
"What's dat, Mema?" she asks impishly. "That's pudding, Saia," explains Mema. "Saia wants some," she clarifies. "Well, we need to make it first," continues Mema. So they do -- with Saia mixing and pouring the [sugar-free, of course] concoction into 6 little bowls. "One...two...three," she counts as she helps Mema put them in the refrigerator. "Four...five...six. There are six, Mema!" "That's right, Saia. Good job."
After naps, Mema prepared snack. Saia gobbled up her pudding and asked rather expectantly for more. "There's no more, baby," replies Mema. "Saia wants more pudding, Mema," she says a little slower and a little louder because, clearly, Mema didn't understand. "I know, Saia, but that's all there is. There's nomore pudding," Mema says firmly.
Exasperated, Saia illuminates her obviously absentminded grandmother, "Yes, there is, Mema. Saia had one. There are six!"
"Saia, tell Mama a story for the blog," I begged at breakfast this morning. She thought for a while and then actually put down her fork for this, it was so important. "Saia," she began [because they still tend to speak of themselves in the third person, which we're desperately hoping they outgrow at least before they start dating], "slide down pool, and...and...and" "Yes, baby," I coached. "And Saia slide down pool." "Yes, sweetheart, you slid down into the pool, and then?" "And then...then...then [her fork is flailing about now]." "Take a breath, Saia." "Then...then...Saia fall on Chago! [cackle, cackle, cackle]" "But Saia," I interrupted. [still cackling -- practically in tears now] "Saia," I called again. [now Chago's joined in] "Saia fall on Chago!!!" he shrieks. [both now laughing uncontrollably] "SAIA! Mama's trying to talk to you..." [hysterical laughter, heads thrown back, fists banging on table] "Saia... [she teases him] fall on...[he's waiting for the punchline now] Chago!!!" she screams. [roaring chortles now, both coughing, tears streaming]
The swimming pool went up this weekend, and the kids were just besides themselves with excitement. They played and "swam" and splashed all afternoon, and fell asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillows.
But around 2am, Chago woke up screaming. We waited a while before responding, hoping he could calm himself down. But he kept getting louder and louder, and we were trying to make out what he was saying through the screeches, but could only really hear the word "fish".
When I went in to check on him, he was inconsolable. "What is it, baby? Mama's here." Scream. Cry. Yell. Kick. "Son, it's okay? Were you dreaming?" Shriek. Bawl. Kick. "Chaguito, tell Mama what's wrong." "Mama?" he asked. "Yes, Bubba." "Mama?" he asked again. "Yes, baby, what is it?" "Mama...[sniffle]...Mama...[escalating again] I AM NOT A FISH!!!"
It's Friday, so anything goes. In fact, the day started out with 2 timeouts before 7am, so really, there was no place else to go but up.
This afternoon, Chago pointed out to Mema that he really preferred "Yay!" as a form of praise for his potty runs instead of "Good job!" When Mema relayed this to Mama later, Mama pointed out that Chago had specifically asked her to never say "Yay!" but instead to only use "Good job!" to praise him. So, now we're just waiting to hear if he's requested anything different from Mommy before we begin to worry that the manipulative watch-me-wrap-you-around-my-finger-with-ease gene is hereditary.
Lying in bed this morning with the world's earliest rising twins, I hear Chago whisper (because Mama insists on whispers until at least 6:15am) 'The sky is pink like a flower.' So, I pry open my eyes and roll over to look out the window and wouldn't you know it, it's a gorgeous shade of pale pink. What a smart little cookie. A simile at two. I couldn't be prouder.
'Do you think it's pretty, Chago?' 'Yes. It's pretty like Saia.'
Two dry diapers this morning!!! Is it possible? Can it be? Are we finally there? And at the tail end of that thought...no, no, no, let's go back to the soggy wet and soiled diapers and the changing tables and bottles because otherwise this means that they're growing up and that our next steps are moving to big kid beds and school and first kisses and driver's licenses and proms and graduations and relationships and college funds and grandchildren and dammit dammit dammit I'm just not ready to be a grandma yet!!!
'MAMA!!! IT'S SIX-O-O!!!' And when I roll over to check, it's really still only 5:15am. 'Go back to sleep, Chago!' 'Mama, I have to go potty! I have to go POT-ty!! I have to GO potty!!! I have to go pot-TY!!!!' Ugh. 'I'm coming, Saia!' 'Mama, NOW it's six-o-o!!!' 'No, Chago, it's still dark. It's only 5:30. Let's go back to sleep.' 'Mama, I want some water.' 'No water, Saia. It's time for sleep.' 'Mama, do you remember when it was six-o-o?' 'Yes, Chago. That was yesterday. Right now it's only 5:45. Please go back to sleep.' 'Mama, please cover me.' 'Okay, Saia, now go back to sleep for 15 more minutes.' 'Mama, I want my blue lion.' 'Where is it, Chago?' 'Downstairs.' 'Well, then that's where it's going to stay. You can go get him when you get up.' 'At six-o-o?' 'Yes, son, at six-o-o.' 'It's six-o-o now, Mama?'
And so begins the inevitable influenceof TV(or, at least a microcosm thereof -- 'Pinnochio'). As I was helping Chago maneuver over the potty this morning, I asked him to try holding it so that we can work on his...uh...aim. To which he casually responds, "No, thank you, Mama. I don't want to wash my hands -- and that's not a lie."
So, on one of our regular outings this past weekend we were pulling into the parking lot at the mall circling for a spot when Saia spies the great big bright red bullseye on the building and yells in her I'm-so-excited-I-could-pee voice, "There's Tarjay, there's Tarjay!!!" ------ She's two. What have we done?
Kindof anuneventfulholiday, actually. Although we made huge strides on the potty front this long weekend. Chago is finally asking to go pretty regularly, but now clues us in that he's ready to do his business by staunchly muttering in his best Garbo "Now, leave me alone, Mama (or Mommy or Mema)". Saia has been waking up with dry diapers for over a week now, and this morning...they BOTH did! I was overjoyed walking to the curb this morning with a trashbag of diapers less than a quarter full. It's the little things, I know.
We started potty training about 6 weeks ago, and finally canceled the diaper service about a month ago determined to rely on disposable diapers only at night going forward. (Yay!) We tried to pique their interest in the whole going-to-the-restroom experience with books about the potty, and new undies, and their own step stools and potty seats. But, unfortunately, these children are not easily bought. The bribery, we found out pretty quickly, would have to be much more substantial. We moved on to rewarding successful escapades with 15 minutes of a children's video. Naturally, they began running to the restroom 10,000 times a day.
Welcome to our blog!We'regoing to make every effort to update this at least weekly, if not more frequently, with the new, the latest, the freshest info coming out about the West Coast Twins. Be sure to check in often for new pictures, interesting tales of the terrible duo, toddler "jokes" (as relayed by Chago), and play-by-play potty training progress! You don't want to miss this!!!