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11:35 a.m. - October 25, 2006
The Dawdler And The Stacker
There's nothing like having two daughters break into a sprint to give you hugs when you walk into the door.

This is a pretty new development, ever since Kristin has become quite mobile. When she hears the back door open, she pretty much guesses it's me and runs right up to the baby gate. Of course, Katie has now followed suit, and being the older sister, can get to the gate before Kristin can.

Ah, sibling rivalry!

As you can imagine, Kristin is changing so much every day. She now has eight teeth, can say some simple words (I even heard her kinda sorta said "That's a baby!") and knows how to make sounds of kitties and puppies and cows. Yesterday, Liz taught her how a fish goes. (It's a visual thing...)

This morning, it was definitely Barnacle Kristin. I was on my way out the door and stopped into her room while Liz was getting her changed and ready to go. She saw me and reached out her arms to me to give me a hug, so I picked her up. And she would NOT let go. Katie, of course, then wanted to be picked up, and was telling Kristin "Let go. You're done, now. My turn!"

Well, Kristin is an independent sort, so she let go when she had her fill of Daddy hugs. Then Katie got her allotment as well - as I am an equal opportunity hugger. Liz got her fair share, too.

Both girls have distinct personalities and styles. Kristin always smiles, and loves to bop along to music and she plays air drums when she hears Daddy's music on the stereo.

She also shows you everything. If it's hers, like her sippy cup, or her book, she will show it to you and say "cup" or "book" and let you take it. Then she wants it right back, immediately, this instant, and will go "mine!"

But if it's not hers, she will give it to you and walk away. Yesterday, I was laying on the love seat watching Pardon The Interruption and all of a sudden Kristin handed me a magazine, then another, then another. Then she handed me a book, then another, then another. Then she handed me a map, and then an atlas. Then she handed me one of Katie's toys, then another. Soon, I had Fred Sanford's junkyard sharing the love seat with me. Of course, then she gave me one of HER books, and wanted it right back.

Mainly, though, she's a runner. She runs everywhere, and now Liz has to keep her in sight because she will fly down the aisles and hallways. I think Kristin is going to be an athlete. She's strong, and she can kick a ball pretty well and just loves to play with soccer balls and basketballs. When I'm watching football on TV, she recognizes it as a ball.

Of course, with Kristin being so young, change is a constant. Katie, though, has been changing quite a bit too.

If Katie were a super-hero, she'd be The Dawdler. Except when it's something she wants to do, then she's Pogo Girl.

It used to be that at 7:00 in the morning, Katie would be right out of bed and ready to go. She's already channeling the inner teenager and now has to be catapulted out of bed.

Today, Liz went to get her up at 7:15, at 7:45, when Liz was out of the shower and I was ready to get in, I checked and Katie was STILL in bed.

Even on weekends, when she doesn’t have Montessori, she's still later than normal. That could be good for certain things, heh, but we still don’t exactly know what time she will decide to get up. And then when it's time to change into clothes, if her favorites are in the laundry, she'll wait until the last minute and then claim that she doesn't have anything to wear, and she doesn't have any new panties, and that shirt doesn't fit, etc.

Sometimes, when our living room and library resemble a no-man's-land of toys, we ask Katie to pick up the toys before dinner time. Of course, this doesn't go over very well.

For one, she claims that Kristin needs to put away her toys. Yeah, that'll happen right now.

Secondly, she always says she needs help. We try to explain to her that she got the toys out, so she can put them back.

Then, of course, when she's putting the toys away, she stops to play with them again. So the time it takes to put away a room full of toys could be measured in hours, not minutes.

Dinnertime is becoming a challenge, and that's where I need to step back a bit on the uber-parenting. Kristin, of course, is at the age where she will eat what she wants, and when she is done, it all goes on the floor, usually demonstratively.

The other day, she winged a piece of bread in my direction and hit me on the cheek. Like I said, she's an athlete.

Katie, on the other hand, will dawdle over veggies, and over other food. Last night, for about 20 minutes, she said how hungry she was and how she wanted a snack. I said it was right before dinner and she didn't need a snack. So there was 10 minutes of whining about being hungry.

Of course, when dinner was served, she said she wasn't hungry. So dinner for Katie was a 40 minute experience, and basically she FINALLY ate enough dinner to satisfy Liz and me but only after a struggle.

Oh, she'll eat what she likes right away - but give her steamed vegetables instead of fresh veggies - or something like chicken parm - then she'll take her own sweet time.

And Katie is now the master of putting words to Kristin's thoughts. She was having salad before pizza, and we said she had to eat all of her salad before she could have her pizza. Well, she saw Kristin munching on lettuce and a crouton and she said that Kristin definitely wanted more salad and more croutons, and was willing to share hers.

Well, what I said was this: "We don't have enough croutons, and you can't read your sister's mind."

Bath time is also another dawdle time for Katie. She will just sit in the tub and come up with excuses not to get out of the tub. She'll arrange all of her My Little Ponies in a row and ask you to pick which one is the most beautiful. (It's a trick question – all of them are the most beautiful).

So bath time can take a while, but then, The Dawdler will become Speedy Brusher, because I think she just waves the toothbrush over her teeth once and considers it done.

Oh, don't think that I don't enjoy Katie at this age. I do! I do! She's full of questions, and always wants to know about what certain words mean and all that. Because she's full of questions, though, we have to be very careful about television, and even what we discuss out loud. She loves books, and is passing that trait along to her sister quite nicely.

I just wish she'd SPEED UP once in a while. Except when she's going too fast, then I need her to SLOW DOWN. Well, what I need is a tempo regulator, then. Anyone have one I can install on the cheap?


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