Friday, February 19, 2010

Mission: Impossible

There are days that the success of our mission rests partially on Henry's slim and wiggly shoulders. I have to admit, I dread and fear these days. He is after all, just three years old; a constantly changing mix of stubborness, willfullness, sweetness, mischief...I never know which Henry I am going to get.

We have some fresh snow here in NYC, so I try to get Henry out sledding as often as I can. In perfect conditions, this is a pretty painful outing to do with just one adult. Molly doesn't have a real snowsuit or boots (she could never walk in them), so she is bundled in about 100 layers. By the time I get Henry bundled and myself somewhat covered, we are all a sweaty, crabby mess. The stroller can't make it through the snow, so off we trudge with Henry walking, Molly strapped to my front, a pack on my back and our sled.

Molly is ambivalent about the snow, but she is fairly positive she doesn't want to stay strapped in the carrier or sit in it by herself. This forces me to send her down the hill in the sled with Henry. He of course, doesn't want her in there most of the time. Or if he lets her in, he wants her to sit in the back (she cannot). Or, he doesn't want to hang onto her (Clearly another problem). Since all of the "negotiations" have taken so long, she is a screaming snotty mess going down the hill.

This week was a perfect example of the tenuous bargain we strike. Henry finally agreed to let her sit in front, and hang onto her. I am dragging the sled down the hill, trying to catch some speed. I turn around and Henry has let Molly go and he is dragging his hands in the snow, slowing us down (purposely. just for kicks.) I holler at him to hold onto Molly. Which he does. He takes his now snow covered hands and grabs her right across the face. Now Molly is slouching, snow covered and screaming. He improved it slightly after more hollering by putting her in a choke hold. She doesn't really need to breathe does she? He then offers to give her a ride in the sled while he pulls. He doesn't seem to get after repeated warnings that Molly cannot take hairpin turns and actually remain in the sled.

We enjoy a little more winter bliss before Henry announces that he needs to leave right that minute before he pees in his snowpants. After the fun ends of me dragging him on the sled through the park, he decides he no longer can walk. I cannot carry him while carrying his sister, the sled and the backpack. So he proceeds to wail at the top of his lungs for the remainder of the walk home.

School Yard Rules

As Molly gets older, it is fascinating to see the inter-play between her and Henry. In the beginning, she was at his mercy. Unless I intervened, he took her toys, told her what to play with and ignored or paid attention to her based on his own agenda.

Now that she is fully mobile, she is quite the fiesty little one. She now knows which toys are his favorites and the minute he turns his back she strikes. She holds her own when he roughhouses in the tent they share. She doesn't play with any baby toys at all. Once she puts on a few pounds I think they will be an equal match.

It was funny watching them in the bathtub tonight. We have a set group of tub toys. The stacking cups, the foam letters, the fish, the boat, the temperature duck and bucket. The grand daddy of all the toys are two foam characters from Spongebob (Spongebob and Patrick).

Since Henry is the Big Man in the Tub, it is the unspoken rule that he rules the bucket and the Spongebob characters. Tonight, Molly had enough and decided to make her stand. Literally. She stood next to him and screamed right at him, pointing furiously at Spongebob. I told him he had to give one up so he (unwillingly) handed her Patrick. Not enough for little Norma Rae. She wanted Spongebob as well . She screamed and screamed until I begged him to cave. He handed off Spongebob, she sat right down and went on with her bath.

The Lady Has Spoken.

Big Day!

Henry wrote his first letter today, independently and without help. The letter "H" of course! Mom, Dad and Henry all are very proud.

How about some actual toys?

Henry has never been one to play with toys in a conventional manner when and if he is playing with them. He much prefers to find things around the house. Here is a recent sampling:

  • His number one favorite is a roll of twine I keep in the hall closet. Recently he had it tied to the kitchen cabinet and was sending things down like they were on a zip line. Down went the dust pan, spatula and other house hold objects. He then was opening and closing the door using the twine and telling us it was "Magic!"
  • Yesterday he started pulling the twine while it was still in the shelf and before I knew it he had wound it through the foyer, living room, wrapped around the coffee table a few times, through the dining room and then across the kitchen. He then proceeded to yank on it and give me a heart attack when his sled fell down with a huge crash.
  • Today he stuffed about ten envelopes with letters that he had written. Henry's version of a letter is some sort of bold one stroke coloring job which he then folds in a very angry looking manner and stuffs into an envelope. We mailed two of them to Grandpa Joe but he was quite peeved when I wouldn't let him mail the rest. He was in tears when I told him that the mailman would not know what to do with eight more letters written to Henry Schnell with no address or stamp.
  • This morning I came out to find him watching TV with all of his beanie baby "friends" stuffed into an amazon box covered with a receiving blanket. They were all sleeping. Although he does get mad that they won't shut their eyes.
  • He had an empty printer cartridge box that he had jammed between the jaws of his scizzors. Every time it flew out he would yell "Henry wins!" for some odd reason.
  • I can't recall why, but he was walking around with two dixie cups on his head like a hat.
  • He was precariously balancing on four huge couch cushions recently while Adam was holding him with just one finger. I think that was supposed to be a "tall building."
  • He loves to come out of his tent with all of his clothing on incorrectly when I send him to get dressed. There are at least three or four different configurations before he will dress properly.
  • We were doing an experiment mixing vinegar and baking soda in a glass. When I had finally run out of vinegar I left him with a bottle of water because he wanted to keep playing. When I turned my back, he added the remainder of Molly's blueberries to his glass to make blueberry pie.

These are just a very small sampling. Our house is constantly littered with Henry's different experiments.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Favorite Words

Before I forget them, I wanted to log that my two favorite words from Henry that he misprounouces are "Gymagic" for gymnastics and "Pispatula" for pistachios.

My favorite current word from Molly is "doorbell." Such a NYC kid! When she doesn't want to go to bed she points at the door of her bedroom and says "dooooor" in a very deep voice. She alternates that with "boooooook" if she thinks I am trying to skip her pre-bed reading time.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Dynamic Duo

Henry is always doing things that I tell him not to. He is not naughty, just fairly mischievous. Today I caught Molly chewing a piece of gum that he gave her. She of course refused to give it back without a fight.

She spilled milk on he floor today and he insisted on smearing it around with his bare foot. After landing in time-out, he explained that he "was just trying to help. He thought it would work. He thought he had a paper towel on his foot."

Molly has a little friend named Finn. Every time he sees her, he gets a huge grin on his face. He says "Hiiiiii" and goes in for a hug. She has now started sticking her arm straight out to ward off the oncoming hug. She is a tough one!

At school this morning, the mom in charge was reading the kids a few books. After the first couple of pages Henry tuned out and started to play with Molly. At the end of the book she said "Who wants to hear another story?" Henry piped up in his best chipper voice "Me!" It was hilarious to see him working her like a little politician.