War of wills

Where to start? We’ve been busy the last few days, and Tess has been a huge part of that. Tess pulled herself up on Saturday morning and was standing in her crib when Dave popped in to get her. We thought it was a fluke, but she did it again. She’s also responding to our discipline attempts surrounding the dog bowl: a temptation we can’t take off the floor for obvious reasons. For two weeks, Dave and I say


(why not stick to a classic?!) when she touches it, then put her in her play yard alone. She’s safe there and doesn’t get an audience for her tantrums. Our confidence wavered when she started playing the minute we put her down and didn’t make a peep of protest on many occasions. Still, I think we finally got through to her! For the last few days, she’s approached the bowl, visibly thought it over, looked at us, then turned back to her toys. Yay! My mini-me (I knew I liked Kat!) in behavior has acquiesced. She used a spoon for the first time, and is becoming an ever nicer big sis. We’re delighted.

Less delightful? Her inability to share! Liam came over the other day, and while she watches him with great attention on the playground (to see if he’s screaming with glee or terror I think – she’s still not sold on swings or slides), she’s less delighted when he plays with her toys. Hopefully she’ll follow Liam’s example there too and learn that her toy extravaganza (Sassy) permits multiple users at a time. Sassy complimented us on our parenting (I’m bragging and don’t care – I was wildly flattered!), and said she’d catch on as long as we keep emphasizing it. So from doggie bowl to sharing we go!

Yesterday mom and I went bonkers on house stuff, sorting out so many things – in particular, the kitchen. I don’t know who’s more excited, me or her. I don’t think she ever wants to talk kitchens with me again! (Please see bull-headed description of mini-me above and draw your own inferences.) the progress galvanized me, and I woke up mentally drooling over what we came up with. We followed that hard work up with ADULT DINNER. That’s right: no kids allowed. Natalie was amazing and stayed with the kids for 11 hours so we could take a break. I adore our kids, but man! With Tess teething and Remy colicky, a half-day of freedom does the mommy good. At the same time, a day away from our little monsters reminded me that soon I’ll be out of days and back at work, so despite the release of grown-ups only, I felt a tug of distress. I know how hard it was to go back after Tess and how glad I was that I did, so I’m hanging on to that feeling as my return looms.

Tess rocked therapy today, and is at 9+ months for both fine and gross motor. If she keeps it up, she’ll switch to therapy once a month! Sweet. 🙂 She climbed stairs for the first time and climbed out of her high chair. May the hijinks begin.

As for Remy, we got news that his birth father’s parental rights will be severed in a month (unable to locate the father means they have to make every attempt to track him down before severance). The PI had no luck. So that last little worry has been dealt with. We’ll finalize in 2-3 months and Remy will take his place as O Prime, as Dan and Dave officially nicknamed the first Oplinger grandson! 🙂 Oh, and his skin is clearing up fast.

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