Susie left early today to go help Amy (Eleanor's been home all week with a terrible stomach bug, poor thing) and Amelie was asleep so Calliope and I had some Special Time together this afternoon. She really is so cute and funny. I lose sight of that sometimes when Amelie is around, or I need her to go to bed, or am in any way, you know, placing demands on her. But in that unstructured time, she blossoms, and I know that I need to nurture that if I want her to hold up during those times I need something from her.
Me, "Calliope, in two minutes, we need to get started on dinner."
Calliope, "Can I have a treat after dinner?"
Me, "I'll think about it."
Calliope, "How about if you think about dinner and I think about the treat?"
Me, "Okay, that seems fair."
Calliope, "It's a compromise bonanza!"
(A quote from one of her favorite books, Bi.nk and Gol.lie.)
Later, I was settling into my glider to nurse the baby and she leaned over the baby's face, so that her hair was hanging in the baby's eyes. I calmly asked her to move her hair. She did... and then a minute later, she suddenly, bizarrely, burst into hysterical tears.
I was completely baffled, but gathered her into a one armed side hug and asked what was wrong. "You yelled at me!!!"
She's not typically sensitive to mild rebukes like this so I'm still confused by this one.
We had a nice dinner together, I read to her while I nursed the baby, we bathed the baby together, something she wanted to do. Then she did some artwork while I put the baby to bed. And then when I gave a two minute warning for bedtime, and rebuked her for leaving a chair lying on its side in the middle of the kitchen floor and asked her to pick it up... she got that annoying hyper giggling fit and ran to the couch and dove behind the cushions. A behavior that drives me beserk.
I gave her a count-to-three warning or no songs before bed, and she jumped out and ran to her room and slammed the door.
Very well then. I stalked to her room, took her to the bathroom, then silently back to bed, taped on her diaper, quietly said "good night" and closed the door.
After all that quality time this afternoon building "carousel castle houses" with magnet tiles, and lots of time talking and cuddling and reading... I'm sorely disappointed.
I know it takes time but it's still frustrating. I'm dreading the long weekend and the nanny's week off next week. I've decided to ask the postpartum doula to make a flourless chocolate cake with Calliope on Friday for our Seder that night. Kill two birds with one stone -- occupy the kid and end up with a dessert to share. Maybe I will even get to rest a bit.