Thursday, April 18, 2024

Phoebe tales

This morning I took the kids on a walk to go find the aftermath of a fire that was in our neighbourhood. We didn't know what had happened. All we knew was that Andrew went out to run a quick errand last night while I was reading to the kids before bed...and he couldn't come home the same way he'd left because there was a fire engine blocking the road, actively spraying water at a flaming something.

We still don't know what happened, but we found the location of the fire. It wasn't a house or anything, just someone's side yard that had been thoroughly torched for some reason or other. 


Phoebe walked the whole way and filled her stroller up with a pile of pinecones "to show Daddy."


When we got home the kids ran in through the garage door and slammed it behind them, which is borderline responsible. I mean—they remembered to close the door! But Phoebe was right behind them and was a little upset about having the door slam in her face (but at least it was only that and not on her fingers, right?).

She can do a lot of things—more and more things every day! She can reach the lights at the top of the stairs to the basement and will stand there and flick them on and off and on and off. And she can reach the light switch by the couch. But she can't reach any other light switches in the house. 

She can open the garage door from inside the house, but she can't open it from outside of the house.

It's frustrating for her to sometimes be able to do things and not be able to do them at other times. So she was pretty frustrated by her inability to open the door. 

"Momma—open door for this little..." she pouted, and the paused.

"This little what?" I asked.

"For this! Beep-boop-beep-boop-beep!"

"You're a robot now?" I asked. 

"Yeth!" she lisped enthusiastically. 


Josie played Animal Crossing with Phoebe (I think it was Animal Crossing (UPDATE: I've been told it was a game called Untitled Goose Game, where you are a goose and you run around terrorizing people with your honking)) and there was some goose that you could click on and it would say "Honk, honk!" You know, as gooses are wont to do.

Phoebe thought this was delightful, so she's added goose to her repertoire of morning animals that she likes to pretend to be. Usually she's a puppy or a kitty, but the other morning she started aggressively snuggling me (the way that she does) while saying, "Hont! Hont! Hont! Hont!"

"What are you doing?" I asked, being as yet unfamiliar with her goose antics. 

"I'm a doose!" she explained. 

"Ah! You're a goose this morning!"

"Yeth! Hont! Hont!"

Which reminded me of a joke Alexander used to repeat—to everyone's great amusement—when he still fronted (for example, using /d/ for /g/ or /t/ for /k/) many of his sounds.

Q: What does a dead goose say?

A: Haunt! Haunt!


My friend Joy came over this afternoon! Joy of all Joys!

When we were in high school, our group of friends would say, "Joy! I haven't seen you in forever!" to Joy whenever we saw her, no matter how long it had been since we had last seen her. 

These days it feels like it's typically been about forever between visits. But! She's in Atlanta for a conference and braved the metro to come see us (the MARTA terminal at the airport is closed, so it involved a shuttle from the airport to the next station and then a metro ride). Andrew picked her up and Joy and I spent the afternoon catching up...mostly marveling that we still feel like we're 20 or so and yet somehow her oldest is graduating next month and my oldest is graduating next year and her baby sister just graduated from college and...somehow the world decided that we were fit to be fully-fledged adults. Like, we're not even kind of  adults—you know, like, young adults. We're actual adults...with children who are basically young adults. 

And somehow it all seems a little fake. Or impossible. 

And yet. Here we are.

Instead of taking her back to the MARTA station, Andrew drove Joy right to her hotel (because although her hotel is also not too far from the metro, she'd have to ride our line back downtown to switch to the other line to get to her hotel, which is just between the hospital and temple). He took Phoebe along for the ride. 

"You coming, too, Momma?" Phoebe asked while she was getting buckled up.

"I'm not coming," I said. 

"Oh," said Phoebe. "Is that auntie coming?"

We've had so many family members stop by (Uncle Clark, Aunt Lynnea, Auntie Josie) that I guess Phoebe assumed everyone who stops by is family. And Joy basically is. 


Phoebe has been working on staying dry at night. 

She hates when I make her use the potty in the middle of the night, but I often try to get her to go pee when she wakes up dry in the night because...I take it as a sign that her body is waking her up in order to go pee. 

Most humans don't actually enjoy soiling themselves. 

Phoebe doesn't either, but she hates using the potty in the middle of the night and will stubbornly just pee in her diaper so she doesn't have to use the potty. 

This wouldn't be so annoying if she wasn't so nearly potty-trained through the night in January (before COVID got us...again). Since getting sick she's wet the bed (abundantly) every night. 

Since she wouldn't use the potty willingly, I tried rationalizing with her. 

That has a good record of success with two-year-olds, I hear—rationalizing.

Anyway, I use it as a tactic during daytime potty training as well. I say, "If you want to be in charge of when to use the potty, be in charge. Listen to your body and get to the potty when you need to. But if you can't do that—if you repeatedly wet your pants, for example—then I get to be in charge of when you try sitting on the potty."

Between that and the Daniel Tiger song ("Do you need to go potty? Maybe yes, maybe no! Why don't you sit and try to go?") we got our daytime business sorted quite quickly. 

So I said to Phoebe a few nights ago, "If you don't want to use the potty at night—fine! That can be your choice...if you can stay dry. But if you keep wetting your diaper then you're going to have to try going potty when you wake up in the night."

"I will stay dry," she decided.

And then she stayed dry for three nights in a row. 

Last night she didn't stay dry...but she did sleep in her bed the whole'll call it a win. 

This evening she got up (a couple hours after being put to bed), I asked her if she needed to use the potty and to my surprise she said, "You want me to doe pee? You dot it!"

"Wait—seriously?" I asked. 

"Yeth," she said, settling herself on the potty. "And a poopy, too!"

"Okay," I said. "I can't wait!"

So she did her business—her word is her bond, apparently—and I helped her clean up. And then she said, "Why did Daddy already leave?"

"Already leave?" I repeated, and then it dawned on me. "Oh. Oh, sweetie, it's not morning. It's still night time. Daddy is downstairs working in his office still. We haven't even gone to bed yet!"

"No!" she said. "It good morning! Me waked up! Me goed potty!"

"Oh," I said. "It is still the middle of the night! Let's look at the window. See how dark it is outside?"

"It dark!"

"It is dark," I agreed. 'It's nighttime."

"Where is the sun?"

"The sun is on the other side of the world. It's sleeping. We need to go to sleep, too."

She took a long time to settle back down to sleep, but she eventually drifted off.

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