Saturday, August 7, 2010

Child Prodigy

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times (and trust me, I know I’ve said it at least a THOUSAND times). Our precious princess is very advanced for her age. She has reached 96.8% of childhood milestones months earlier than the average child. From holding her own bottle, rolling on her side and rolling over, crawling, standing, cutting teeth, speaking, changing her own diaper… you name it, she did it earlier than your child. So, the first 19 months of her life has been – I dare to say – a breeze. Everything that her therapist tell us reiterates that the potency of her environment determines the pursuits toward which her energy will be directed, which has shown that an incredible amount of skill can be developed through suitable training. Golf claps to Chris and me.

While planning her second birthday, which is only 4 months away, we decided that we should invite her contemporaries to the festivities. Dr. Doogie Howser, Lisa Simpson and The Royal Tenenbaums make the list.

So, with her advancing at the speed of light, it shouldn’t have surprised us one bit that our Munch (we have a hundred and one different nicknames for her - it’s downright adorable how much we love her) hit another traditional milestone earlier than expected; the terrible twos.

Up until two weeks ago, we were blessed with our own little version of Saint Ambrose. Then we went on a weekend trip to Niagara (New York side and Canadian side) to visit with our bio-family, and something about the 12 hours roundtrip trip in the truck turned our angel into the princess of darkness.

When it came to bed time, we’d normally read her a book or two (she picks them out, which the first one is usually one of a variety of pop-up/flip-up peek-a-boo books), a slow dance to Steven Curtis Chapman’s Cinderella, and then she’d point to her hutch and select from the array of stuffed animals and dolls that she’d want to join her and Princess Something-Something (seen here) into the land of Honalee.

Early in the morning, she’d wake up and play with her dolls - peepless - in bed until one of us would come and, in which she’d pop up like a weasel, throw her arms in the air and give the biggest hug ever – each day getting bigger and bigger. She’d point to the outfit she’d want to wear that day and then point to her shoe collection in which I’d let her know which ones she could choose from. We’d hop in the car, listen to Hits 1 on SiriusXm, and we’d be off to daycare. Once there, she’d run into her classroom without a care in the world. Wave bye-bye to me, blow me a kiss, and off to her into her world she’d go.
When I’d pick her up in the afternoon, she’d bop back-and-forth in the truck to the song that was playing, singing along, and run into the house once we arrived. Straight to her high-chair, she would welcome whatever food was presented to her. After completing the entrĂ©e, would be granted dessert - all while uttering the words, “please” and “thank you”.

Afterwards, she’d climb the stairs and eagerly head to the bathroom in which she’d squeal with delight at the thought of taking a long, playful, bubble bath.

Then the routine would continue. And happily so.

Now, our little Beelzebub has bucked the system. When it comes to bed time, we still read and slow dance, but now it is followed by two hours of endless crying and bloodcurdling screams. The more we rock her and rub her, the longer she stays up. The moment we think she’s asleep, we turn to head out the door and the screaming begins – again… followed by throwing of the dolls, the blankets and the pacifier across the room. This game continues until the wee hours of the morning. Needless to say, the lack of sleep that both Chris and I have experienced over the past fourteen days has brought us to a new level of exhaustion.

She no longer wakes and plays with her dolls, because she no longer sleeps and the dolls have been ostracized from the crib. Princess Something-Something has now been converted to a voodoo doll of one of her teachers. She could care less what she’s wearing and the transition from the car to daycare has been one that even the toughest heavyweight fighter couldn’t bring down. Her teachers try to distract her so I can make my way out of the room, and as soon as she see’s that I’m no longer with her, they have to bring in the priest to exercise the demons out of her.

When I now pick her up in the afternoon, she wants every toy that I DON’T have in the truck to play with. No matter what I give her, she chucks it across the vehicle. Once in the house, she still goes straight to her high-chair, but refuses every type of food existing - - unless it is pudding or pretzels. Needless to say, we’re starving her. After force-feeding her (gently… we don’t need the Division of Youth and Family Services knocking at our door), she wants to stay up and play, and forgo her once beloved bubble bath. We watch the latest episode of The Backyardigans, in our bed with the lights off. She’s propped up on a pillow and covered with a blanket. All while uttering the words, “NO!” and “MINE!”. We ‘rock-paper-scissors’ to see who looses and has to bring her into her room.

We understand that she’s teething, so hopefully this explains her recent transformation. If not, Chris and I may be going on a much deserved vacation – just the two of us. For a long, long time. Meaning, never to return.