Thursday, September 17, 2009

We're communicating!

I just breathed one of the biggest sighs of relief of my life. Sometimes things that Rachel says don't really make sense and they can be quite perplexing, like the time we heard her saying, "Daddy kill you." Life really couldn't move on until we had figured out that what she was really saying was, "Daddy carry you." The few minutes it took us to figure that one out were a little freakish.

Lately she's been saying something else worrisome, but not anything that we felt we had to figure out right away.

What she's saying is, "Don't beat me!" and somehow we feel that it's alright for her to wander around saying that. Beating is fine but killing crosses the line, I guess. She talks about beatings a lot. "No beating me!" she'll yell at us, or "Beat me, please! Daddy, beat me!" or simply, "Don't beat me!" Bothersome and a little perplexing, yes. Life-threatening, no. I finally figured out what she means by it, though, which is relieving.

This morning I asked her to help me get breakfast ready.

"No!" she said.

(As a side note I once asked her if she contradicted everything I said solely on principle. Her answer: Yes).

"Well, if you want to eat you need to help me. Come on," I told her.

"Okay. I want cereal!" she said and then tore off down the hall toward the kitchen screaming, "Don't beat me! Don't beat me! Don't beat me!"

She got to the kitchen several paces ahead of me then wheeled around to face me and smugly remarked, "Ha! I'm beating you, Momma!"

Ooooooh! I get it!

Don't beat me = Let's have a race

That makes sense. Andrew and I are often initiating races with her. We race up the stairs, we race getting dressed, we race going to the bathroom to brush our teeth, we race anything Rachel doesn't want to do because somehow taunting her with, "I'm going to beat you!" is very effective at getting her moving since she likes to do everything first.

I wonder if she knows the other meaning of beating someone, as in beating someone up. I also wondered momentarily why we declare, "I beat you!" when we win a race. Perhaps back when we were uncivilized Neanderthals the winner got to actually physically beat the loser. I doubt it, but it's interesting to think about in a gruesome sort of way.

Learning to communicate with Rachel continues to be challenging and hilarious.

Last night we had a long talk about staying dry before I put Rachel down for the night. She's had a lot of trouble staying dry through the night since getting back from Israel. Frustrating, frustrating, frustrating! It's so bad that I put her back in diapers, something I swore I'd never do...but the amount she's peeing is ridiculous. She hates putting diapers on. She cries and carries on about how she's a big girl and needs to wear underwear to bed.

"If you stay dry tonight then tomorrow you can try underwear again," I tell her every night.

She has yet to stay dry. I think she's been dry three times in the last two weeks. Arrrgh!

So we got her all diapered up and all ready for bed and then, just when I'm leaning over to put the cherry on top of our bedtime routine--a goodnight kiss--she says, "I have to go potty."

Of course. We hop out of bed and rush to the bathroom where I fumble with diaper covers and pins before Rachel gets to sit on the potty. She sat down and went right away.

"Alright, back to bed," I said turning on the tap for her to wash her hands, "What a good girl--you did your pee pees and that will help you stay dry!"

"I can't," she said, "I'm not done."

"Well, you already went pee. What else are you going to do?"

"More pee pees."

"Oh?" I asked. "I don't think you have any left. That was a lot of pee pee."

"No, I'm not done. I has more!"

"Alright, then do it so that we can put you back to bed."

"No, not now," she informed me, "I will sit here all night. I will go pee pee. Then I will stay dry!"

Logical, very logical. I'm just not sure how well this plan was thought through.

In the end, after a lot of tears (and begging for Daddy, asking, "Is my Daddy coming back?" (Ramadan schedule means that graduate classes are scheduled for after iftar so sometimes Andrew doesn't get home from school until 11:30 PM--last night was one of those nights)), Rachel ended up back in bed.

So I won...but I guess you could say that I beat her.

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