Thursday, July 31, 2008

Welcome to the Eighties

Yesterday I put Rachel into one of my old shirts. Since I got the shirt in 1985, she looked pretty authentically vintage. My favorite part is that she found a gold medal in her toy box and wouldn't part with it for the whole day. She thought she was so hip!

What completed her outfit, though, was when she found her sunglasses that we got in a spy kit from the Dollar Store.

Seriously, who wouldn't want to been seen in public with such a well-dressed chick? Of course, if anyone could pull off this outfit, it would be Rachel. She is borderline overconfident. This means that sometimes she still needs Mommy to hold her hand, but when she knows what she out!

Once she had that gold medal around her neck, there was no getting it off. I tried to take it off before we went outside, but it brought on a barrage of tears. This not being a battle I wanted to fight, I let her wear the medal outside.

I often have to think about which battles are worth fighting. Rachel has such a strong will that we get into a lot of "fights." I've never met a baby quite so tricky at getting her own way.

Just to give you a taste, a few months ago she was doing something she knew she wasn't supposed to be doing (shocker, no?). I can't remember exactly what it was, but it was something bad or dangerous enough that she needed to be stopped.

"Look at Mommy, Rachel," I told her. I often have her look at me before I tell her no. That way I know she's listening. Usually she'll look at me and I'll say, "Put it down, please," or "That's not a good idea," or, when I'm desperate, "NO! That's bad!" Usually she'll just stop what she's doing.

This time, however, I guess she either really wanted to continue her not-so-good activity or she just wanted to get on my nerves because she complied with my request, almost. Instead of just turning around to look at me, though, Rachel slowly turned around to face me with her eyes squeezed tightly shut!

I could not believe her gall. She got stuck in a timeout for that little maneuver.

From that incident she learned that Mommy means business. I learned that she is an exceptionally good listener with a whole lot of effrontery!

At least she's a good listener, though. I'm often surprised with how much she understands. She chews, sits, stands, lies down, claps, and growls on demand. She can correctly identify far more things than I have specifically taught her.

She recently learned that if she climbed up on a moving box, she could hoist herself up onto the couch. From there she can reach the light switch. Now she spends all day flicking the lights on and off and clapping for herself.

I think the relationship between the switch and the light is fairly complex, but Rachel seems to get it. When I ask her to turn the lights on and off, or if I ask her where the light switch is, she knows the answer.

She also knows where the lights themselves are. She knows what the switch does, but she understands that the switch is not the light. She really surprised me--I was expecting her to point to the light switch again when I asked her, "Where's the light?"

If only I could get her to be so happy about going to the potty as she is about turning the lights on and off. She knows how to take off her BumGenius diapers--they're just velcro. She can take off her rubber pants and tug on her prefolds. She can walk to the potty. She can sit on the potty. She can go on the potty. She knows where it is and will take me to it if I ask her to show it to me. She knows exactly what she's supposed to do in it. She just won't sometimes.

We had a 6 hour 45 minute standoff yesterday afternoon, all regarding the potty. It was a battle I was willing to fight.

She woke up from her nap at 2 in the afternoon and went potty, just as a good girl should.

Everytime I tried to take her potty after that, though, she threw a fit. She'd scream and kick at me and the potty and would refuse to sit down. She wasn't going in her diaper, though, so I kept trying to get her to go potty.

She nursed 3 times, played outside for an hour and a half, had a cup of water, ate dinner, played with Daddy, and went on a walk. I even let her run around without a diaper on for a full hour.

She would not go, although she did several variations of her potty dance.

Right before we put her to bed, I stuck her on the potty again. She started to fuss and I said something to the effect of,

"Oh, come on, Rachel! You know you have to go!"

She looked at me, gave a slight nod, and peed a tremendous amount of pee. She held her pee for 6 hours and 45 minutes just because she wanted to win our little battle. Seriously, what kind of one year old holds their pee for that long just to spite their mother?

I have a feeling I'm going to have to become very well versed in the arts of persuasion and reverse psychology in order to raise this child.

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