Moana

Holy crap the music in that movie SUCKS!

“Remember the Coconut, remember it’s trees!” “Don’t mess with Maui when he’s on the breakaway.” and a never ending circle of “where you are, where we are, who we are…”

So, having a toddler is totally rad. And watching the same movie over and over is super cool. Particularly this new garbage on the internets. I mean, I am sure that if I go back and look at The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast I would likely roll my eyes just as super hard if I can remove the nostalgia for a minute and just listen to and watch the story. But at least the music was interesting. I mean right? Or am I totally gooping nostalgia over that too? “The seaweed is always better in somebody else’s’ lake…”

We’ve also been watching SING on repeat which is equally irritating because it’s all pop music. Designed to get into your brain. Worm into your ear holes and then get stuck bouncing around in your subconscious underscoring everything you do. But it makes her booty boogie with the beat. Which is so damn adorable. And her face lights up. And apparently, she has recently decided she has a lot of opinions on the story (as she keeps pausing [yes actually pushing the pause button because our freakin genius daughter knows how to do that] the story to postulate complete with hand gestures before unpausing and continuing with the movie).

Anyway. That is really just to say that I am at rehearsal with a loop of “Remember the coconuts…remember the trees!” combined with “Cuz baby you’re a firework!” running underneath the play “Life Sucks” by Aaron Posner which I am definitely sure is not the score the director or sound designer had in mind for this production.

 

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Hannah on Being 2

This chick has emotions in abundance. And she does not know what to do about it. And it is equal parts adorable and disastrous. She absolutely displays the crazy pants mood swings I associate with the “normal” pregnancy stereotype. I will tell her no. She will look at me and throw something (anger) and then drop her head to the floor and start crying (sadness) but something in the exhalation of her fake tear breaths just tickles her so she starts giggling (happiness) and then looks at me and remembers I told her no so she stops giggling and glares at me again (back to anger) before launching herself at my leg for a big death grip bear hug (love). All day. This happens all day. This full range of emotions takes about 2 minutes to cycle through. There are approximately 10 hours my kid is awake (on a very very very lucky day) and taking an hour out for eating and Blues Clues, we do this about 270 times a DAY! Frustration, anger, sadness, crazy laughter, shame, love, hug, slap.

And you know what? I am no damn help. It just gets worse kid, but then you don’t have mommy’s leg to hug. But they do make this super awesome stuff call wine. ūüėČ

Other than having all of the emotions blow through her tiny little mind constantly, she’s also got language on the brain. She will talk up a storm! It’s mostly nonsense stream of consciousness but there are definitely some very clear trains of thought and explicit instructions going on there. Yesterday, I woke her up and did the morning routine of diaper change, outfit selection, and general bedroom clean-up. (If you don’t get to her immediately after she wakes up, she throws every single thing out of her crib.) She did not stop muttering throughout this entire process. I caught words like “Ba!” (bottle) and “B!” (bellybutton), “Coo Coo” (Blues Clues), “Daddy” (pronounced da die), “sh”, “NO-no-no”. She loves to throw away her own diaper. Weird, but I’ll take it! I let her off the changing table, handed her the diaper to throw away in the hallway, and watched her little finger wag while she continued to provide me a summary of her itinerary for the day? She marched downstairs reminding me to “sh” be quiet because “Da-die” is “honk shoe” (snoring sounds). At the foot of the stairs, she took a left and made sure I was following her before literally running into the kitchen. She threw her bottle into the sink, went to the pantry where all of our shoes are located and grabbed her sneakers. She brought them to me muttering “shoes shoes” the whole time and then sat on the floor and stuck one foot as high in the air as she could, pointing to the shoes and then pointing to her foot. Once I got her shoes on, she grabbed a pair of my flip flops and put them on the floor in front of my feet and then just looked at me to make sure I would put them on. Which I did. And then she ran right to the back door and clear as day shouted “OUTSIDE!” to which I of course had to say, “let’s have some breakfast first. Are you hungry?”. Clearly the worst thing a mother could possibly say. Her face melted, she picked up and threw a cheerio that was on the floor from some other tantrum, squatted down so her tiny lil butt was in the air and put her head on the floor, started fake crying, peeked out to see if I was looking and when she caught my eye, started giggling and then ran over for a hug. Holy hormones batman.

Her vocabulary is picking up. There are definitely words that she is connecting, words that she is using to consistently label, words that are the actual label for the actual thing. Phone is a new one. The Phone is where Coo Coo comes from. I got a gift card to Amazon for my 10 year anniversary at this company, so naturally I spent that on Shelby’s birthday and spoiling Hannah. She now has a fancy dancy kindle fire where Coo Coo can come from.

She has not lost her insatiable curiosity and her absolute love of heights. She plays on the big girl equipment at the park and will only consent to the baby equipment if there is another kid playing over there that looks interesting enough to try and be friends with. She has no time for sloth, she runs everywhere and barely notices or cares if you keep up. In fact, she’d prefer if you didn’t because you’ll just pull her off those giant monkey bars she

really wants to climb and then she’d have to put her head in the dirt for her two minute emotions coaster and that would just be “yuck”.

 

The thing is guys, she’s not even two. We’ve got like 3 more months. So I’m a little scared that this will be life until she’s 20 and stops calling home.

Zoo 2.0

We joined the Zoological Society. I don’t know if I mentioned that before but it seemed logical given our child’s deep devotion to all things animal. The membership basically rocked our socks the first time we used it because one of the perks is your own fancy pants entrance. We foolishly went on a Saturday and the line to get into the park was almost to the parking lot. But not for us, we strolled right on up and right on in.

This zoo is broken into two regions; Africa and North America. That first time, we started in Africa. But there are two loops, one for the big game animals and one for the little guys. We kinda did it wrong and ended up going through the monkeys and bugs a couple of times before linking up to North America. It got late and the park was getting ready to close so we tore through North America kinda hurriedly. We also missed some of the animals that had already been put away for dinner or whatever they do behind the scenes when the tourists are all gone. Still, we walked back to Africa and got to glimpse the giraffes and elephants which are my favorite animals by far.

This time, we started in North America. It was hot. Most of the animals were asleep far away in the shade but we did get to see a lot of the aquatic exhibits that we missed the last time. The sea lions were out and being very photogenically compliant in their swimming around in front of all the windows (I mean for those who are halfway decent at photography unlike yours truly). There were lots of fish of course. We saw the otters being silly. But once again, the polar bears were not available. They haven’t been available the last several times I’ve been to the zoo. Methinks they may no longer be residing in the zoo at all, and the teams are just buying time until a new pair arrives, but that is mere speculation. We may just have fantastically bad timing.

sea lion
Unimpressed

They also have several kid zones throughout the park. Animals are cool n all, but all that walking gets kinda boring. Let’s SLIDE! I let Hannah loose in one while Shelby rejuvenated with some french fries and shade. I’m fairly certain we could have just stayed there all day and she would have been pleased as punch. Instead, after about 20 minutes of playing I lathered her in sunblock and strapped her back in the stroller to continue our trek toward Africa.

And that’s when it all started to go horribly wrong.

It was hot. And though the paths offer a lot of shade, they also offer a lot of hillish type walking. Particularly up to the exhibits. Oh yeah, did I mention that Hannah had one of her UP UP UP nights the night before and didn’t let us go to sleep until 5:00am? So everyone was already kinda edgy and raw from being up all night. Hannah was tired of being in her stroller but could not be counted on to stay on the path. Shelby was hot, tired, and soooo not interested in chasing Hannah and the subsequent hysterics when we tried to wrangle her back into the general direction we were attempting to walk. I was hot, tired, and trying to balance humoring Hannah and appeasing Shelby.

And then Hannah started sweating sunblock into her eyes. Which she tried to rub out with her slippery sweaty sunblocky hands. And she would only eat a bite of one snack before getting upset and requesting something else. And Shelby ran out of ice cold Diet Coke. And then Hannah just had a complete meltdown about shoes and heat and stinging eyeballs and WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT PARENTS? ALL I SEE IS A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT COLORED ROCK BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY MY BRAIN CAN CHANGE THAT INTO A SLEEPING GRIZZLY BEAR.

It was nap time but I couldn’t stroll Hannah fast enough to get her relaxed and sleeping. (She falls asleep in the stroller often, but really only if she has consistent movement at an up pace. Not super fast, but also not general meandering.) We never made it to Africa. We got as far as the center junction before we finally decided to call it quits and catch the tram back to the North America entrance. I took Hannah to the restroom while Shelby started the car and got the AC blasting. Hannah found contentment sitting in the sink and turning the water on, completely dousing her shoes and legs but thankfully not her outfit as I had stupidly not packed her a spare. A quick and loudly protested diaper change later, we buckled her up in the nicely cooled backseat. Within seconds, she was napping peacefully and stayed that way the whole drive home and then some.

I’m glad we paid for the membership. I would have been frustrated and harbored resentment if we had driven the almost 2 hours to the zoo and paid full price for about an hour and a half inside only to then drive 2 hours back home. But as it was, we recorded some valuable lessons about what to pack, how to manage time and expectations, and what times to shoot for given the kid’s temperament. I look forward to further exploring presentations and feeding times to increase our likelihood of a) seeing active animals at all and b) showing Hannah something super cool. (I mean, this trip she seemed to be the most fascinated by a large bird that sat fairly closed to the exhibit viewing area cleaning it’s wings. So sleeping lions and tigers and bears lose out to something that actually moves. Imagine how cool it would be if we actually saw lions tigers and bears moving! [I don’t think this zoo even has tigers.])

We’re also planning a quick trip out to the coast this summer as our Zoo membership includes access to several aquariums as well. I think that will be a more successful trip what with the indoorness and air conditioning and water. But then again, she may just have a meltdown because we won’t let her in the tank with the fishes.

Toddlers. It’s a darn good thing they’re cute.zoo

 

C’Mon Kid

Just when I thought we had everything sorted, she goes and does THIS again…

Tuesday she went to both the dentist and the doctor. She was given high praise at both appointments for her above normal perfection, her plaqueless teeth and her positive demeanor. She was poked, prodded, stabbed and made generally uncomfortable. Her nap schedule was all off. I was worried about how she would sleep that night, but she slept like a dream.

The next two nights however…

There are so many things. Things that are likely contributing but not solely responsible for the disruption. Individually they would not be cause for alarm, but together they make for an unholy amount of¬†garbage for a toddler to deal with and I don’t know how to fix it.

She’s 18 months old and gaining her independence, but still so very much a daddy’s girl. She shushes when he’s sleeping, but can’t help herself from running to the bedside screaming “DA!”. If momma tells her no, she runs to Da for comfort. If Da tells her no, she runs to Da for comfort. The mention of his name makes her smile. She is happy to stop whatever amazingly fun (read inappropriate toddler activity) she is engaged in to see where daddy is, or bring daddy something, or say bye-bye, or blow kisses. Shelby has a show that opened last night and has been at rehearsal most nights when she goes down. She looks for him when I take her up. She blows kisses to the couch and then frowns at me. She is restless without him.

She has 4 new teeth coming in. Like whoa. 4! Overachiever. They don’t seem to be causing her much pain or anything. She’s not overly chewy or cranky. I didn’t even notice them until we went to the dentist. But maybe they are bothering her more than I realize?

She also shot up 4 inches in the last three months. So there are definite changes happening fast and loose with her body. Who knows what other havok is ravaging her body and mind, immeasurable by stethoscopes and a twenty minute observation session.

The temperature in our house (and let’s be fair, the weather in general) is so all over the place right now. Her room is either a super sauna or an ice box. I can’t seem to dress her right to account for either scenario though both are¬†likely to happen ALL IN THE SAME NIGHT EFF U NC. And the vent in her room blows directly over her crib. But she sleeps with a quilt now. It used to hang over her window to make it darker in her room until she pulled it off the wall. Then, I just hung it over the side of the crib to help block her face at least from the intrusive sunlight during naptime. It didn’t take long for her to start pulling it into the crib before I even got out of the room, so now we just leave it on the mattress for her to do with as she sees fit. She still hates having blankets cover her legs though. Often she wakes up with freezing feet and a sweaty head. Pull it together toddler. Pull it together.

And then there’s the nap schedule. We’ve toyed with pulling her to one nap a day. We’ve been inconsistent lately and I know that is screwing her up. She is the kinda kid that sleeps better at night when she sleeps well during the day so her nap schedule being all wonky could be contributing to her overnight schedule. Her previous sleep schedule:

7:30 – 9:00 AM – wake up.

10:30 – 11:00 AM – first nap in which she sleeps for about 30 minutes to an hour.

2:30 – 3:30 PM – down for second nap in which she sleeps for 3 hours.

8:30 PM – bedtime routine starts including bathtime, bedroom prep, and “chapter book” which is usually watching 15 – 20 minutes of a movie with Da!

9:00 PM – bed

With her tendency to not sleep at all for one or the other of her naps, we started looking at the probability of reducing her to one nap per day. But as I say, we’ve been inconsistent. With some of her appointments scheduled based on her previous schedule and our own fatigue and attempts at getting the house in some sort of functional state, we just throw her at the crib when she gets cranky. Sometimes she sleeps, sometimes she has quiet time, sometimes she lays there talking to herself louder and louder until she finally works herself up enough to yell for Da! So we don’t have a consistent schedule anymore, and I think we just need to pull the trigger and set a one nap a day schedule and get her used to it, but dang it’s hard to even deal with right now.

Tuesday she had her appointments. Tuesday night, she slept all night and was still out cold when I left for work Wednesday morning. I am told she did not nap well on Wednesday though. That night, she got cranky early and I had spent the day googling the transition to one nap a day and blah blah so I put her down a little early, like 8:45. She slept for a few hours, her typical second nap duration, and then she was up. Up Up Up. Talking, playing, trying to engage us in chasing and tickling. Begging for shoes. Like, dude, it is 2:30AM, we are simply not going outside! Wednesday night she woke wide up and wouldn’t go back to sleep until 4:30AM. She still only slept until 8:30 Thursday morning. Unsure of how to handle a night of no sleep and the wishy-washy ness of one nap or two, Shelby put her down at about 11:00 AM Thursday morning. She slept for about an hour and a half. And then she was up. She played hard, inside and outside. I thought groovy, maybe we’ll get her so tired that the whole second wind will even be exhausted by bedtime,¬†but her dad suggested we put her down at 3:45 (and she was a SUPER crank right about then) so we did. And she did not sleep. She talked to herself for an hour before finally screaming to be released from this boring prison. Once again, because of Dr. Google, I pushed her bedtime routine a little early and had her in the crib by 8:30PM Thursday night. She slept until ten minutes to 1, at which point she woke up shrieking. We both let it go and she soon settled down but then spent the next hour tossing and turning and groaning but never crying for more than 30 seconds. Until 2, when she was once again up uP UP and in no way interested in sleeping.

Since I had to come into the office today, Shelby was in charge of staying up with her. He took her downstairs and I fell asleep after about 20 minutes of convincing myself he had it taken care of and the best thing for me to do was sleep. About 30 minutes later, she was at my bedside saying “Shh Shh Shh. Momma!” The explosion in my heart blew my eyes wide open. But it was short lived as she then punched me in the face. (It seemed accidental, but also looked pretty darn purposeful if you ask me.) Once it was apparent she just wanted to play in the bed and wasn’t going to lay quietly and go to sleep, Shelby took her back downstairs. That was at 4:00AM. I didn’t hear much activity after that and fell asleep again pretty hard, so I’m hoping they did too.

6:30 my alarm went off. 6:45, I heard rustling and the unmistakable timbre of toddler garble downstairs and figured I’d better get my shower started in case there was some significant momming that had to happen before I could leave for the office. By the time I got downstairs, she was once again asleep in the crook of Shelby’s legs.

 

 

Observations

She calls the moon a ball. We go out for a walk in her stroller and she catches glimpses of the half moon in the sky. She points and shouts “BALL!” which comes out really more like “BOH”. And then she keeps pointing and shouting. And I say “moon” and she says “MOH!” and twists in her stroller so she can continue pointing and staring. And the she hears a dog and straightens out, looks everywhere for the hound, and ever so silently says “vuh vuh vuh” which is her version of “woof woof woof”.

If I ask her to hand me her plate she will. If I ask her to bring me the iPad she will. If I ask her to put something in the sink, or give it to dada, or take it upstairs, she will she will she will. I’m not sure how it transpired (though I have a fairly good idea), but when I came home from work the pantry was doused in Cumin. One of those giant bottles almost completely emptied onto the floor. There were tiny handprints and long dragging finger scrapes all around the edges. I handed her the dustpan and she dove right in, doing more damage than good but clearly understanding that she was given a tool to clean up with and did the best her uncoordinated body parts would let her do.

When I ask her to hand me her bowl, she hands me a ball. She does love that word.

She hands me her little toddler bathtub before climbing into the big bath fully clothed. We brush her teeth every evening. With toothpaste.

She loves to be outside. And if there is even the tiniest hint that she can go, she grabs a pair of shoes. Sometimes they are her shoes and she smiles sweetly at you repeating “shss…shss” (very little in the way of vowels) and sits and presents a foot to you for her shoes to be put on. Sometimes, they are your shoes which may or may not be entirely appropriate for the adventure. My rainboots are a favorite of hers since they are quite easy to slip on and she can fit her entire body into one. But today she gave me the heels I had kicked off at the door, like those were totally acceptable for shoveling bark in the backyard.

She is fast. She has always been fast. But now she is fast, and brave, and taller than usual. She can climb higher than she used to. And boy does she love that. Did I tell you about the time I had a dream that she was like Lord of the Game of Thrones/Hunger Games tribe because she climbed the tallest heights? Yeah, still true. She climbs on chairs, stools, desks, beds, couches, end tables, real tables…our house looks like some kinda of weird checkers game because you can never have a chair too close to a surface or she will wreak havok.

She goes up and down stairs without holding on. She goes up and down the brick stairs outside just like an adult. No squatting, no hands, no turning around and sliding down on her tummy. Straight up core strength body correction and balance to lift a foot and place it on a lower step without falling over. I still catch my breath every time.

She likes piggyback rides. She kinda sucks at staying on for horsey rides, but piggyback rides are a win.

OMG she lotions. And combs her own hair. And wipes herself between diaper changes. And remembers we put the sunglasses on the bookshelf before her nap so she can have them after. She sleeps with a blanket. She has a possessed toy that won’t stop singing at the slightest vibration so it sits under the crib. We turn it on to put her to sleep but then it doesn’t go off all night when she shifts. She throws stuffed animals at it to make it start up again. She is smart. I mean, she’s smart for her age. She totally headbutts the cat and the baby gate, so she’s not¬†that¬†smart, but she is smart for her age.

Which is 18 months. Already.

Magic Kingdom Indeed

Things are different with a kid. Everyone says it. Everyone believes it. But no one KNOWS it until you have a kid.

I am a coaster kinda girl. I love riding Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain (c’mon Disney, what’s your fixation on mountains?) and the like. I will happily stand in lines for upwards of an hour and a half just for the 4 minutes of wind in my hair, butterflies in my tummy, and bragging rights. And then I will run across the park to stand in line for something else, and go back to the first side for my fastpass. Lots of ill-planned cross park running to minimize wait times and maximize thrills.

Enter baby. Who does not like to wait in line for anything. Who does not meet the minimum height requirements by a long shot but would probably love all the mountains as much as I do. But who is also equally entertained by climbing on benches and making faces at her daddy to trick him into giving her popcorn. (She is spoiled though, so there is not a lot of tricking that needs to happen.) ¬†The park opened at 9 and we were safely and happily inside by 9:30. We headed directly to Tomorrowland so Shelby and I could get in line for Space Mountain. We’d use the wait in line time to develop a plan for maximum coaster time and baby enjoyment and the Magic of the Magic Kingdom would rain upon us in all its super parenting glory.

Or Not.

By 9:30, the wait time for Space Mountain was already 2 hours. how is that even possible???? So we headed over to the terminals set up 500 feet away to load our tickets with fast passes which is when I discovered the fastpass system is completely different than it was 3 years ago AKA the last time I was at Disney World. All fast passes are loaded into the terminals, so you can fastpass any Magic Kingdom ride from the terminals in Tomorrowland unlike before when you had to actually go to the ride you wanted to fastpass. Feelings and opinions and GRRRRRR. Blah, long story short, there were no more fastpass times available for Space Mountain. THE PARK CLOSED AT 11PM. 30 MINUTES INTO THE DAY THERE WAS NO POSSIBLE WAY WE WERE GOING TO SPEND LESS THAN 2 HOURS IN LINE. I mean I like coasters, but not that much.

Once our idea of our day at the Magic Kingdom exploded we had to recalibrate. Let go of preconceived and formerly experienced Magic Kingdom of our Youth and focus on Newly Experiencing Magic Kingdom for our Youngin. We were reluctant to believe it, but we ended up having a really nice time. We just sauntered around like old people. Went into that door because Hannah could and it was only 20 minutes until the next showing. Nevermind it was probably boring and awful cuz Hannah could go in and it was only a 20 minute wait (spoiler alert. We were at the Magic Kingdom. Nothing is boring and awful.) Then we’d saddle up and keep cruising around the park. “Are you feeling a little hungry?” “I could eat a thing.” “OK, let’s see what they have at this place we are conveniently standing outside of.” “Nah.” “OK, let’s grab a bag of popcorn at the cart right there and keep sauntering along.” “Yeah.” “Country Bear Jamboree in 10 minutes. Wanna?” “Sure.” And so on and so forth.

It was relaxing. It was surprisingly eventful. Hannah got to ride several rides and see lots of shows. She got to meet Goofy and Donald. She was terribly excited the whole time we stood in line, pointing and giggling. She just in general seemed to be real into the idea of meeting a giant dog (?) and her current favorite word “Duck”. But as soon as it was our turn she was all “Nope. Where’s dad? Must clutch Dad’s leg! Where’s dad?! Giant DOG THING IS PLAYING PEEK-A-BOO!!! DOES NOT COMPUTE!!!¬†DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.”

We rode the ferry and the monorail. We walked more than 16,000 steps. We had dinner at Epcot and got to watch the fireworks from the warmth of the restaurant window. Hannah got some souvenirs. Everyone was well tired and felt pretty good about the day’s accomplishments. I snapped a very cute pic of Hannah’s silhouette on our way home.

Epcot

It was magical.

15 Months

My baby is 15 months old. She had her check up yesterday. She is so so smart.

The last several appointments have consisted largely of vaccinations. The nurse will come collect us from the lobby and show us to our room. Hannah is still measured by laying her flat on the paper of the exam table and drawing with pen where she begins and ends. Her head is measured with a tape measure. And then she is stripped and taken down the hall to the scale for a weight measurement. The nurse then deposits us back into the room to wait for the Dr. While we wait, we put Hannah in a new diaper and let her wander about exploring and playing.

The Dr. comes in eventually and conducts her exam, running through typical milestones and checking off boxes. Reminding us of what is to come in the next few months, what’s normal. Letting us ask questions. She looks into Hannah’s eyes and ears. She tries to look in Hannah’s mouth but in public is one of the only times she has it shut. She checks her leg rotation and takes a peak in the diaper to make sure there are no concerns. She giggles with Hannah, tickles her, smiles at her and squeezes her chubby little thighs. And then she leaves.

Hannah continues to play.

And then the nurse comes back to give Hannah her shots.

By laying her flat on the exam table and poking her legs.

Hannah does not like shots.

Hannah does not like this nurse.

At our visit yesterday, the nurse came to collect Hannah and I from the lobby and Hannah ran to my legs. Not that that is unusual, but I could tell she suspected something. We walked down the hall as normal and Hannah’s grip on my hand got tighter. As soon as we made our way into the exam room, Hannah burst into tears. Big crocodile tears pouring down her cheeks. Reaching for me to pick her up. Struggling to get out of the room and as far away from the nurse as possible. She would not let me lay her on the exam table. She couldn’t breath she was crying so hard. We finally got something resembling what was needed and the nurse left the room. I made sure to hug Hannah, tell her she was a brave girl, and keep her clothed until she calmed down a little. She struggled when I tried to get her clothes off. She kept trying to jump off the table. But she wasn’t crying anymore.

I took her down the hall, she saw the nurse waiting at the scale and immediately started crying again. Hugging me hard around the neck. Scurrying up my body like a monkey in a tree. Crying and reaching when I dropped her on the scale. Talk about heartbreak! How do you tell someone that doesn’t speak that this thing that is clearly not OK really is going to be OK?

And then we went back to the room. I got her calmed down again. I tried to put a diaper on her but she refused to go near the exam table so I let her play until she peed on her feet. I let her sit up on the table¬†alone while I cleaned up the floor. I didn’t try to push her immediately into laying down. I let her hold a wipe (she likes to help wiping herself when we change her). And then I gave her the diaper to hold until the Dr. came in. She tensed, but she let me lay her down. Then I put her on the floor and let her navigate the room with this new person in it. She never cried. It took a few minutes for her to lighten up enough to smile and giggle, play and climb without a wary glance over her shoulder. The Dr conducted her exam as usual (everything is perfect of course) and then the Dr. left.

And then the door opened again. Hannah saw the nurse peak her head through and lost it. Crying. Hiding. Barely breathing. I picked her up and hugged her tight. Walked over to the table and made her lie down. Put my arm over her tummy and kissed her face which was contorted with rage and pain. And when her shots were done, scooped her up as quickly as I could to rub her back and squeeze her tiny shaking body. And as soon as the nurse left, Hannah calmed down. Let me put her pants back on, helped me clean up the toys, and walked down the hall all by herself.

I’m sad that she’s made the connection. I’m sad that the nurse gets such a bad wrap. But I’m also weirdly proud that my daughter is that smart, that she knows who does what and adjusts her behavior accordingly. That she can settle so quickly with someone that doesn’t cause her pain. That she still trusts me and wants to hug me even though I make her get shots.¬†I don’t like having to give Hannah so many shots, but I am grateful that they are available to her. I am grateful that she will get so many of them young when she can’t remember it hurting. I am grateful that we are almost done.

We got home and she ate some lunch. She drank a bottle and had some quiet time. And when her daddy was preparing to leave for the night, she sat in my lap and put her head on my chest and looked up at me and gave me kisses without me asking. She waved bye to daddy and played with her toys. And slept soundly the whole night through.

2 more shots. One at each of her next two appointments. And then she shouldn’t have to get anymore for 2 years. Hopefully that will be enough time for her magnificent brain to rewrite the script for the nurse.