Friday, July 18, 2008

Amelia Bedelia

Our children challenge us mightily sometimes. Just when you are completely exasperated with them, they do things that are unbelievably sweet, cute or just plain funny. Somehow God knows when we need something to restore our sense of humor and balance. And a sense of humor is critical to good parenting!

The parenting challenge of the moment is that Amelia is officially turning into a vampire. Not only does she not sleep through the night, now she's started biting at daycare. In the last week, she has bitten twice, and was caught once just before she bit. WHAT? Where did my sweet girl go? What happened? The first time she bit, she wouldn't even admit she'd done it. ACK! That was almost worse than biting in the first place!

Just when we are at our wit's end with the girl, she shows her sweet personality and makes us laugh. It started last night. Well, technically, early this morning, at 2:30 a.m. She started to fuss a bit and then wound up yelling, "Dad! Dad! Daddy!" This was not the sound of a child who would be going back to sleep on her own. So Daddy, God bless him, got up.

When he got to her room Amelia said, "Blankie all wet. Bleagh! Put in dishwasher. Clean it up." He tried to talk her out of it, but she was insistent, repeating it over and over. I just lay in bed and laughed. Since I was already awake, I went into her room and just agreed with her. "Yes, the blankie is wet (it was a little sweaty). I'll go put it in the washer and clean it up." Then I gave her a clean blankie and she settled down to let Jeff rock her. I must admit, she comes by her OCD tendencies honestly -- from both sides.

Today when we picked Amelia up from daycare, she was trying to kiss one of the boys. Sheri reported that Amelia was trying to kiss all the boys today, as Amelia ran around us saying, "I kiss Owen." I am quite certain I actually saw hair leap off Jeff's head as his two-year-old daughter ran around him yelling about kissing the boys. Perhaps I'll get him a shotgun for his birthday this year.

We don't have the biting problem licked, but we're using nail polish ("pretty nails" says Amelia) as the incentive and punishment. If she doesn't bite, we'll paint her nails, which she loves. Grandma D. started that bit of girlishness! If she bites or even tries to at daycare, they remove the polish as part of her punishment. This does NOT make her happy. And it sticks with her. She told me, "Pretty nails all gone," when we picked her up today. And she knew why, too, so hopefully it is teaching her something.

Maybe she'll quit biting AND learn to sleep through the night at the same time. (sigh) A mama can dream, can't she?

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