A Smiley Video for a Happy Frozen Friday

My kids love the movie “Frozen.” Like almost all kids. And I’m not ashamed to say that I also love it; I’ve probably seen it a dozen times and I could still cry every time, if I let myself. I will most likely go on about the reasons why another time.

For now, here’s two-year-old AB’s side of a (highly edited) conversation we had in November about the plot of Frozen. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll probably recognize a concept or a direct quote here and there. You may also notice some outright fallacies. If you haven’t seen the movie – don’t worry! This information doesn’t make enough sense to contain spoilers.

Mostly, I just love her sense of drama. I wish you could see her, when E closes his bedroom door – she’ll go knock and sing the whole first verse of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” complete with wistful “Okay, bye…” at the end. Or even better, the two of them do an inspiring version of “For The First Time In Forever” – with many bits missing, but the passion is there.

Anyway, here’s this. I hope it makes you smile. Happy Friday!

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A little note to my favourite two-year-old

Dear E,

Yesterday, we went to the hospital. No big deal for us – you’ve been to the hospital several times recently because Daddy has follow-ups for his surgery. You like it there; there are elevators, and a tree of balloons outside the gift shop. You especially like the parking meters. (E: “There’s the meter!” Daddy: “Yeah, we’re gonna put some coins in there.” E: “Not corn, Daddy – MONEY!”)

While Daddy was being attended to, you and I rode up the elevator to the third floor just for fun. You ran down the empty hallway, so independent, adventurous, adorably tow-headed. But when I told you that we had to go find Daddy, you said, “Okay,” and came right back. (This is not always the case when I ask you to do something.) As you took my hand, you said, “You’re my favourite friend, Mommy.”

Sweetie Pie, I’m so glad you have so many friends, in all shapes and sizes. You know that all the grown-ups who come over are your friends; so are the kids at day care, and everyone you meet at Daddy’s work and my school. You are loved by more people than we can count.

I am also thrilled beyond description to be your favourite friend (although we did determine on the way home that Daddy is also your favourite friend). We told you that you’re our favourite friend too, but you won’t fully understand what that means until you have your own child someday. We love you so much that the entire sky cannot hold it all.

And we will love you like that forever. As you grow, I’m sure we will not always be your favourite friends. You will get mad at us as you push the limits we set for you; you will think we are tough on you just to make your life harder; you will discover we are old and uncool (not to mention sentimental!); you will undoubtedly give us snarky, ungrateful attitude sooner or later; you will probably make some very large mistakes that will make us angry; you might even tell us you hate us at some point.

We will still love you, as fiercely as ever.

It’s wonderful to know that you, at this moment, see the world as full of friends. You are secure in the knowledge that you are loved. (The other night, after a group of friends left – E: “Where’s Heather?” Mommy: “She had to go home.” E: “I want my friends! I want Skye!” Mommy: “She had to go home too, but she loves you very much.” E: “Yep. And Heather does too.”) As far as you know, the world is chock-full of only people who smile and want to hug you and read you stories.

I know this impression will not last. Someday, you will know people who will be mean to you, for no good reason. (I am hoping we can raise you not to be one of the mean ones.) You will have your heart broken, possibly multiple times. I can hardly bear to think of it.

For now, and for as long as you’re willing, we will stick with you as your favourite friends. It’s our privilege.

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Help! My two-year-old is out to destroy my sanity…

Apparently it’s World Gratitude Day today. (I’ve never heard of this, but Care2 told me. I bet Oprah started it.) I started today feeling as ungrateful as I have in ages, all because of that wonderful kid I love so much. It seems unfair to gripe about him when I’ve been collecting bits of bloggable awesomeness about him all summer that I still haven’t posted… but that time will come. And I guess I’ve done a couple of posts about his good points in the past, ha ha.

This was the first day I’ve arrived at school feeling like I just couldn’t do it. I was completely drained before I started, and it was all on my two-year-old. (Okay, not ALL – but still.) Very, very two, that kid. He’s had a cough for the last several days, so hasn’t been sleeping well (neither have we) and has been grumpier than usual. Think uber-whiny. Combine that with the fact that he has assigned himself the moral obligation to contradict everything anyone says… and you get some very frustrating situations. Take this morning:

E: I have to poop on the potty!

Mommy: Okay, let’s go!

E (arriving at his potty): Noooo! I don’t wanna go on the potty!! (struggling but eventually sitting down)

Mommy tries to give him a hug instead of words, knowing that this often succeeds in calming him. Not today.

E (shriekily, pushing Mommy away): No, you don’t wanna give me a hug!

Mommy tries giving him a kiss instead.

E (still pushing): No, you don’t wanna give me a kiss!

Mommy gets up and goes to find her abandoned breakfast.

E (screeching): Mommy! DON’T GO AWAY FROM ME!!

[Perhaps you can sense that we’ve been at this for a while. It’s been a hard acculturation, since he’s always been a pretty easygoing boy and we’ve been, honestly, quite spoiled. Now I’m having to get used to being told that I’m not what I think I am, and that nothing else is what I think it is, either. This kid has literally denied his own arms – as in, “Let’s get your arms in those sleeves-” “No, they’re NOT my arms!” Sometimes it’s funny; sometimes it’s quite unfunny; usually it means we take forever to get anywhere – physically or metaphorically. For a while it was a handy-dandy coercion method (“You don’t want to eat your peas…” “Yes, I do!!”), but that is wearing off. Now I’m even getting attitude: he has recently been loving the word “already” (as in “No, I already gave you a kiss, Mommy!”), and yesterday when I would ask him to confirm something he wanted, he would say, downright bitchily, “I just SAID that alREAdy!!” And then there’s the sustained cry/whine – our babysitter didn’t witness it, but he saves it for us, so I’ve been getting it all the way to her house, and all the way home, and for large chunks of the evening, too.]

I think I jinxed myself by talking to my EAP counselor yesterday and telling her how the transition to school had been going well: my co-workers are great and my students are lovely, my energy level is surprisingly okay, for the most part I’ve been able to separate work and family so I don’t get sad at work, and I’ve had lots of help with new curriculum so the stress hasn’t been bad.

Then I arrived at school today feeling defeated and pointless, for real, for the first time. It was a deflating moment, with a lesson I apparently need to learn multiple times: being “okay” is subject to technical glitches.

But I’m lucky. I went on yard duty and ran into one of my colleagues – someone I knew for sure would totally understand if I kvetched about my son. And she could tell by my face it had been a rough morning already (by 8:35). It was good to unload a little.

Then, fortunately, I had a bit of prep time to decompress. And then, I walked into my first classroom, where Mr. A had his whole class sitting perfectly, facing the door with beaming faces and hands in laps, waiting eagerly just to say “Bonjour, Madame!” in unison as soon as they saw me. Now there’s a moment that can turn your day around. 🙂

By pick-up time today, E seemed to have reached a turning point. There was no whining, no melting down about leaving, or about his seat belt (which he must clip himself), or wanting to play with my keys, or wanting to lock the doors, or any number of things that have been touchy subjects lately. He just talked about things, and even threw a few yeses in with the nos. He was happy to see Daddy when we picked him up. When we got home, he spent a long time just sitting all snuggly with me, patting my arm. We played and had a lot of fun, and he didn’t cry at all. Huh.

I guess it might have something to do with me being away so much, all of a sudden. Going from summer, where we’re together almost every day, to five workdays a week… it’s an adjustment. On Tuesday morning last week, I told him I was going to work, and he insisted, “No, you’re not going to work! You goed to work already!” Poor sweetie.

I am learning. It is a very interesting process, trying to figure out the best ways to deal with twoyearoldism. A lot of it is actually learning about myself – analyzing my own reactions and why I have them – and which ones are effective.

E is now angelically sleeping, having gone down virtually without protestation, saying he loved us. He was coughing when we laid him down, and he said, as he often does after coughing when we look worried, “I’m okay.”

I don’t know quite how these two personalities co-exist in such a little guy… but I guess I’ll take both. And feel gratitude for both.

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A Two-Year-Old’s Bedtime Stories

I’m pretty grumpy.

A) I’ve just spent the last hour-and-a-half trying everything I can think of to get my toddler to sleep (I guess I should be glad he usually goes to bed without incident, but we didn’t get to that stage without a fair bit of work);

B) I was trying to write a post about the two national holidays we’ve just celebrated and realized that I’m not having a good writing day (or week for that matter) – nothing I write sounds original or witty, it sounds like a Grade 9 paragraph or something even cheesier;

C) my beloved MacBook Pro had an incident since my last post, resulting in the logic board leaking gray-green gook on itself… which was UPSETTING and is part of the reason I haven’t posted for so long;

D) I’ve been (typically) tired and strangely short of breath with iffy circulation all day (my limbs keep feeling like they’re about to fall asleep), which is unnerving;

E) maybe it’s because that silly Baby #2 is still transverse despite the fact that we’d both be more comfortable with his head where it’s supposed to be; and

F) is for the effing car alarm that’s been going on and off every few minutes for the last hour. Seriously?? Haven’t we solved this yet???

So anyway, I know full well I have little to complain about in life (but HA, I did it all the same). I acknowledge that I could easily come up with a list of things that are GREAT that would take up all the letters of the alphabet including the most expensive ones (Q and Z). Here is the thing that would currently top the list:

Two-year-old E is rolling around in his bed, good-naturedly refusing to sleep. Mommy is attempting the technique of lying on the big bed beside him, reminding him to lie down every time he starts to get up. It is not working. E is babbling about trucks and car alarms and slides at the park.

E (suddenly, in a sing-song voice): Once upon a time! A girl named Everett. Sleeping in the bed. Head down.

Mommy: Semi-hysterical giggling, muffled in the pillows.

E (in the same storyteller voice): Sometimes… there’s a [long unintelligible word] named Everett. Playing in the sand. With a digger.

Mommy (unable to suppress her curiosity): A what named Everett?

E: A front-end-loader.

It must be noted that Auntie Em started the tradition (which I’ve continued whenever we need a distraction) of telling short impromptu stories about a little boy named Everett, whose life resembles my son’s to a remarkable degree. He loves them. They also work with the power of suggestion – yesterday when he was unreasonably grumpy after his nap, I told him a story of a little boy who got up from a nap and his mom asked him if he would like a snack and he said, “Yes, please, I would like some raisins with a drink of water,” and right then, the story came true!

So yeah… my grumpiness is silly. I still have the coolest kid ever.

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