Layla likes food – I think that has been well publicized. If we take her out and we don’t bring fruit or something as a appetizer for her she starts to get very cranky before her main meal comes. Well that is fine but means you need to always have fruit on hand and then have to prepare it all before we go anywhere. Well Kara came up with a little genius of an idea – just give her a plum! It keeps her amused for at least 15 minutes and she will chew every bit of edible substance off it!
The Best Toy in Our House October 13, 2011
We have the GREATEST toy in our house, and it’s called “Whatever-Layla-Is-Playing-With-At-This-Exact-Moment!” Hayden has been breathing down Layla’s neck big time lately, and whatever she is playing with is the ONLY thing that he is interested in.
Hayden and Layla stayed at Grandma and Grandpa’s last weekend while John and I participated in an annual neighborhood party, and when she came back she had a little purse she likes to play with there that she wouldn’t let go of that Grandma let her keep for now. She has been carrying that thing around with her every waking moment since she came home, except when Hayden takes it. To be fair, he is really nice about playing with her toys. Unlike many his age, he tells me he wants to play with it instead of snatching it out of her hands. The trouble is he is just relentless. He sees her playing with the bag and he has to have it. It’s like mental gymnastics trying to keep everyone happy – showing Hayden that sharing goes two ways, and just like I expect him to share he also gets to share the things of Layla’s that he is interested in, but also wanting Layla to get time to spend with this toy that she treasures so much, and also making sure Hayden doesn’t think that just because he wants something doesn’t mean he can always have it, and reminding him that when he is in the middle of playing with something and Layla comes over to him I don’t let her take it away from him so I won’t let him do it to her…
Today I remembered I had made a bag with fabric that had construction vehicles all over it that was kid sized, so made a big presentation of it that it was a special purse just for him. He looked at it and said he wanted a little red one like Layla has. So much for that! He told me a number of times this morning that he wants a bunch of purses for Christmas. Incidentally, it’s funny to watch him play with the bag, compared to how Layla does it. She carries it on her shoulder like a woman does. Hayden was “playing” with it today but holding it by the strap and whipping it around. He did like putting his big airplane in the bag I gave him, too.
So, when Layla does have to give up the bag to share with Hayden there are a lot of tears, so I have been spending a lot of energy trying to find equally interesting things for her to play with while Hayden has her precious bag. The next part pretty much writes itself if you have any experience with any 4 year old ever (or read the first line of this blog), but as soon as she gets interested in any other toy suddenly Hayden wants to play with it. Usually he will drop the bag and tell me that Layla can now play with it, but even so she is usually not too thrilled to have the new toy that is interesting taken away so soon even if she does have the bag back.
Kids meal October 5, 2011
Layla has always made us proud by being a good eater. Her appetite has finally seemed big enough to justify getting her her own kids meal when we are out sometimes (really she and Hayden COULD share a meal, but if we tried to implement that we would have a sobfest on our hands from both of them – sharing takes practice). Even when we do get her her own meal, or if I know I am having something that she would like and she can eat as much as she wants, she still wants whatever she thinks I have brought for her in my diaper bag. The other day we were eating at Qdoba, and she was getting all filled up on rice and beans and there was still plenty left, but she started gesturing to my bag and burst out crying when I said I hadn’t brought her any fruit. Lesson learned!
We went to Hayden’s very favorite restaurant, Red Robin, a few nights ago, and we ordered Layla her own mac & cheese. She was SO excited when it came that she was kicking her little legs and bouncing and laughing while she was waiting for me to cool it down so she could eat it. She’s a foodie!
Hayden’s been cracking me up lately with more things that fall into the “where does he come up with this stuff” category. He keeps bringing up “Coca Cola.” We were eating at Jimmy Johns and he pointed to the cup and said, “This says Coca Cola.” (He loves to point at words and tell me what it says, but he can’t read so I just play along.) It did say that on the cup somewhere, but not where he was pointing. He must have just asked enough times what “Coca Cola” spells while we’ve been out that he recognizes the branding, because the only time either of us would have used the words “Coca Cola” would be when we were reading it – otherwise we say Coke like the rest of civilization! Anyway, a couple of days later he was pretending to get me a drink and he was listing out all the different drinks he has that I could choose from, and he again said “Coca Cola.”
Shortly before our Jimmy John’s Coca Cola conversation, we passed a McDonald’s. I didn’t even notice it, but Hayden said, “There’s McDonald’s, when are we going to go there?” Hayden has never been in a McDonald’s because John and I don’t like it (as a vegetarian there is not a huge incentive for me to patronize the place, and John was converted into not eating McDonald’s after reading Fast Food Nation years ago). He asked me why we don’t go there and I told him Mommy and Daddy don’t like the food and it’s not very healthy, and he seemed to get on board with that for the time being. I just find it funny that he knows what it is when he hasn’t had direct exposure to it. I don’t even feel like he’s seen many commercials for it, either. Some marketing genius should be patting him/herself on the back for saturating our culture so successfully that that could happen!
Layla is officially a full-blown walker now. She hasn’t completely given up crawling yet, but the majority of the time she is walking. She even stands up on command if she is crawling a lot and we tell her to stand up and walk. It’s that adorable baby walk where the arms are usually way up in the air like she’s holding on to someone’s hands. I remember when Hayden did that, and over time the arms would come further and further down until for a while they were straight out in front of him like Frankenstein.
I bought them both shoes for the autumn, and I have been nervous about her wearing them outside because if she were to crawl on the concrete the toes would quickly get worn. Luckily, I discovered this with a cheap pair of shoes from Target before I put her in the non-cheap Stride Rites and Umis! So she has her outside shoes that are completely worn in the toes, to the extent that we are on the verge of an official hole in them, and then her pretty indoor sparkly ones (what could be better than sparkle shoes?!!).
A couple of weeks ago I had a cold, and I was blowing my nose nonstop. It goes to show just how little gets past toddlers as they are taking in everything around them, because the next thing you know Layla is grabbing tissues, holding them up to her nose, and blowing! She is big time into tissues at the moment. We have a box by the couch and one of her favorite pastimes is taking tissues out of the box, blowing her nose (baby-like) into them, carrying around the tissue for a while, stuffing it back into the box, finding paper towels that are hanging around (waste not, want not! If it wasn’t used it gets to hang around until it is) and stuffing them into the box, and we have even had a couple of dryer sheets that I had set on an end table while folding laundry that ended up in the tissue box. Then she takes them out again and blows her nose, and back into the box they go. The entire contents of the box are pretty much ruined at this point because everything inside is all screwed up and some of it is not even tissues, but it’s pretty cute even so. 🙂