Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And a Happy New Year

How is everyone? Did you survive the weekend? For a minute there, I wasn't sure we were going to make it. I don't know if it was stress from the regular holiday insanity, but Penny and I didn't get along well last week. Every day was Opposite Day, the Word of the Week was "NO," time outs were threatened and enforced. I nicknamed her the Bipolar Baby because her mood swings were so extreme, I wondered if there was an adolescent trapped in her two year old body. She was crying one minute and laughing maniacally the next. I had an emergency play date with my sister-in-law and her kids, and it helped immensely (although it did involve the extrication of a traumatized Penny from the upper tier of a local play-land).

On Friday I had to go to 5 different places with all of the other last-minute shoppers and I dragged Penny along with me, and in hindsight, she put up with a lot. Also, I think there were some underlying fears about Santa, which I finally picked up on after Penny said, for the tenth time, "I don't like Santa."

Part of our problem was we went into party mode, as any self-respecting member of my family does this time of year. Penny stayed up too late, slept in too late (I never thought I would ever say that), and was surly as hell. Then Christmas morning came, and there were presents from Santa, and presents with Britt's family, and presents with my family, and Penny was totally overstimulated.

Seriously awesome rocking horse from our cousins in CO. Olivia is along for the ride.

Fortunately, Opa came to visit, and for the first time, Penny said, "Opa, you come play with me?" And how could he resist?

Drawing with Opa.

Using up the purple.

And now, she's back to her normal, (relatively) reasonable, adorable self, and we're friends again. She has many new things with which to play, and now that the chaos has waned, she's been telling jokes, like this:

Penny: "Mama, say Knock, Knock."
Me: "Ok, Knock, Knock!"
Penny: "Who there?"
Me: "Interrupting Cow."
Penny: "Come in!"

Also, she's been expressing her own opinions about songs on the iPod or the radio, and admonishes me if I change songs. "Mama, I like this song, don't change it." LIKE I would switch away from New Sensation!

Speaking of expression, the easel was pure genius, if I do say so myself. Penny received oodles of art supplies from her family (who got the memo from Santa) and she creates something new every day. She's already used up the purple pastel and the red and green ones need replacing as well. And this makes me very happy. I want 2011 to be full of art, of reading more together, of doing at least one thing with Penny every day that makes me feel like I'm doing a good job fostering her imagination, her creativity, or her emotional well being. Even if a whole day is crap, if I can point to one thing every day and say, "That was great when we did ____ together," then I think that will make for a pretty good year. And I think we can do it.

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