Log in

Troy B. Thompson
23 August 2013 @ 11:05 pm
Somewhere along the line, Tamisha and I ended up with a little roommate that I don't remember vetting. She's nice and all, but she leaves her stuff all over the place, wants to watch her shows rather than ours, never seems to have money to help pay rent, and she forgets to flush more often than not.

At her four year old checkup, her doctor said it best, that she's four going on fourteen. He was talking more about her vocabulary, I think, but if he saw how she can roll her eyes, say "Daaaaad....", and stand with her hands on her hips when trying to make a point, he wouldn't have said it so jovially. Luckily those times don't happen too often, and if you can say something totally off the wall, it breaks her concentration and she breaks down giggling and is back to her lovable little self. I hope that trick still works when she *is* a teenager.

Turning four was a very big deal to Naomi. Out of the blue she insisted on making her bed in the morning, "that's what four year olds do". She now has little chores like setting the table. She helps more and more with the cooking, especially making pancakes every Saturday morning. She's offered to put my shoes away when we get home, she's gotten my shoes for me when we're getting ready to go somewhere (honestly, we don't know where that came from). She'll straighten up a room without being told on a whim to "be responsible" (unfortunately this doesn't happen often enough, though). She asks to help often, so we try to encourage it by finding at least some aspect of what we're doing that she can help with. In my happy place, she keeps being helpful and never grows out of this phase. She often laments, though, "It's tough being a kid."

She's a very happy kid, and has gotten much more social. She's been desperately trying to understand humour, and every time we so much as snicker at something, she wants us to explain why it was funny. If you've never tried, it's really hard to do. Obviously she gets physical comedy. She's starting to get word play, although not perfectly (pear you glad I didn't say banana?) She's finally starting to grasp the concept of when I say something truthfully and when I'm saying something to be silly, and laughs appropriately. Even better, she'll continue the conversation pretending the silly comment is fact and we end up with hilarious discussions. Her creativity is absolutely amazing. From roleplaying, to the conversations her toys have, to her problem solving skills, to creating song lyrics on the fly, I'm in awe of what comes out of her mouth sometimes. And it's not just because I'm her dad, her teachers and other people she meets all comment on how funny and creative she is. It also helps that she seems to have an incredible vocabulary for her age, so you can have real conversations with her now.

And does she have conversations. She loves talking. Sometimes it's silly, sometimes talking about how kids at school weren't following the rules or taking her stuff, or how she bumped info / fell over / scraped against something / someone (she's a bit of a drama queen lately), and other times, it's asking advise or philosophical things. Yesterday she was telling us about a dilemma she was having where she likes to play with the girls and the boys, but at her school, the girls just want to play with the girls and the boys just want to play with the boys, "That's just the way it is." So when multiple groups want to play with her she doesn't know what to do. I'm not exactly equipped to solve popular kid problems, but maybe she can be an ambassador and try to get the two sides to play together, who knows.

She also loves reading. We read to her every night and more and more she's able to pick out words she knows, and she can sound out others. It's really fun watching her determination. Even driving by signs, she tries to figure them out.

Math is another area where she keeps improving and has fun. She's memorized some addition and she can figure out others. The other day, she told us how she was being responsible and cleaning up the classroom with one of her friends. "But it was a big mess, so we really needed four kids. We needed two more responsible kids." That's my girl.

She seems to equally pretend to be a princess, pirate, super hero, and puppy lately. Luckily she doesn't pretend to be a baby much now that she's four, which is fine by us - mainly because she doesn't remember being a baby so she's not good at it and it was really annoying. She also loves being outside and is still obsessed with swinging on the swing. We long for the day that she has enough weight to pump herself. She's also proven to be quite the climber, from Purgatory Chasm to climbing Mt. Wachusett without any help. She's continuing to take gymnastics, took swim classes over the summer, and is going to try dance classes starting in a couple of weeks.

She's very much into a creating phase now. She doesn't like to draw a lot because she doesn't think she does it very well, but give her legos or tinker toys or her new favorite, scissors and tape, and she'll create anything. In the past week or so alone, she's used tissues to make dresses for her tinker toy people she built, she's made a paper kite, a paper knee brace, a mermaid tail out of a blanket and clips, and she made a lego grocery store for her toys to shop in.

Clothing-wise she's still very feminine. She usually puts up a fight when we make her wear pants for hiking. The rest of the time, dresses and sometimes skirts, but not as often as she used to (she doesn't need access to her belly button anymore unless she's really stressed). Since I extended the chain to the light in her closet so she could reach it, her latest thing is having me close my eyes and then she goes in the closet to surprise me with what she's going to wear that day. Sometimes I have to open my eyes to help her button something in the back but then I have to close them again so I can open them for the big reveal. She's wearing 3T dresses for the length, but 24 month pants are still a bit too big for her. So keeping her in dresses is kind of a win for everyone.

She continues to be a great eater. She goes in phases with quantity but she's still eating whatever we eat, and has been suggesting things for lunches, which is great. She wanted to try spinach on her sandwich today and wanted to know what other things she could have on roast beef and cheese sandwiches (which she's wanted almost every day this week). She actually says things like, "Well, give me a little bit and I'll try it, and if I like it, you can give me more." Done and done. She's probably eaten more carrots than I have in my whole lifetime.

Best of all, though, she loves to cuddle. Every school morning I wake her up and she groggily picks up a stuffed toy and sometimes a blanket, then crawls into my arms to carry her downstairs where we sit on the couch and cuddle watching cartoons for a few minutes before making her breakfast. Some times she holds onto my arm so I can't leave. In the evening it's mommy's turn, wanting to cuddle after her shower and after stories for a few minutes before she goes to sleep.

As much fun as it is to tease about our little roommate, from what I hear and see from other parents, I think we've gotten by pretty easily so far. She is very sweet and always giving us little presents, doing things to make us smile, and sharing with us. Hopefully that doesn't mean she's saving up the terribles for some later year.
Troy B. Thompson
13 December 2012 @ 08:54 am
Several conversations with Naomi lately have been about babies. We told her the other day that we made her, and from that she extrapolated that grandma and papa made me, and their parents made them, etc. I was impressed on how quickly she picked that up.

In the bath the other day, she made a comment that she was washing "all the parts you put on me" which I thought was a cute concept. I pictured an expanded Mr. Potato head kit to make babies.

This morning on the drive to preschool, out of the blue she goes, "You didn't choose me, I chose you." "What?" "When I was born, I chose you and mommy to be my parents."

So I asked her more about it and she said she chose us because we looked like better choices than the other parents she had to choose from. She liked our style which was different from the other parents, and it didn't look like we would change our style in time. Apparently there was a big spinner to choose, and a doctor helped her because she was too little to use the spinner by herself.

It's times like this that I start to question what is and what isn't her imagination.
Current Music: Before You Were Born - Toad The Wet Sprocket
Troy B. Thompson
30 October 2012 @ 11:25 pm
Naomi is apparently learning Portuguese at school, because lately she has been referring to her butt as her bunda. I'm overjoyed. It took a while to figure this out, though, because when she says it, it sounds like Buddha, which seemed like very odd slang (if not somewhat disrespectful). I finally figured out what she was talking about and the word's origins through a rather eye opening Google search.

Naomi loves her bunda. I've caught her several times, sidetracked while getting dressed and standing in her underwear shaking her butt in front of her dressing mirror. All while singing her own made-up song which, as far as I can tell from the repeating lyrics, is called "Shaking my Tushie" So apparently she's learning some Yiddish too. Still, I hope she grows out of this phase before she's older.

She's particular about it too. While Naomi was running around in the all pink outfit she picked out the other day, Tamisha said, "Get your little pink butt over here." To which Naomi quickly corrected her, "I don't have a little pink butt, I have a little brown butt!" Naomi, one. Mommy, zero.

I imagine being obsessed about your butt is a normal part of being a preschooler. She hasn't perfected modesty yet, and well, butts are funny and she likes wiggling hers every chance she gets. Of course, butts aren't always funny. Watching my little Shakira checking herself out in front of the mirror is still not as awkward as being called to the bathroom and finding her on all fours with her bare bum pointed towards me as she cheerfully says, "Can you wipe my Buddha?"

Ah, the glamorous life of parenthood.
Current Music: Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-A-Lot
Troy B. Thompson
07 October 2012 @ 10:38 pm
We've been told the terrible twos are a misnomer, and that three is the age to dread. We laughed it off. Until. It was like a switch got flipped or something right after her princess party. Don't get me wrong, she's still a happy and sweet kid most of the time, but the other times make us wonder what we've gotten ourselves into.

The biggest source of conflict comes with wanting to be completely independent. While I want to giver her good self esteem and let her know she can do anything, it's also a scary prospect, and it… also… takes… forever… for… her… to… do… things… by… her… self… It's a balance of waiting to cheer her on, and just doing it for her while she's kicking and screaming because some of us don't have our whole lives ahead of us to spend waiting around for toddlers to do it themselves.

She can get into her carseat all by herself, which is great. The highlight of this for me, at least, is that I no longer have to worry about hitting her head on the car while getting her in. I assume she appreciates this too, if not the primary reason for her wanting to do it herself these days. BUT, it's not a hop, skip, jump into the car. If her hands were free that would help, but many times she's dragged a toy from home along with her, or she's wandered to the car and collected a stick or leaf or dandelion or some other part of nature to bring along for the ride. Then she s-l-o-w-l-y climbs up, and into her seat. And even though she's completely independent, she still wants help holding the seatbelt straps to the side for her, but only after she asks - if you try to be proactive she insists she can do it herself. She can now buckle the top and bottom latches, and the other day she even tried to pull the tightening strap down with her feet. She's accepted we need to do that part for her now, though.

She can also dress herself now. She was a little late on the development timeline with this one, but partially because she's so small, and well, it takes effort to get some shirts over her 98 percentile noggin. But now that she can get to all her clothes as well as put them on, there's no stopping her. Seriously, we can't stop her from changing her clothes constantly throughout the day. Weekends are little fashion shows, it's ridiculous. Her favorite outfits are "two piece dresses" i.e. a top and skirt. I think that's because she can mix and match. It also gives her easier access to her belly button. She also wears pants when she wants to look like a prince. For the most part, she puts together decent combinations, but every once in a while it looks like she dressed in the dark. I try to photograph both scenarios for posterity. She would also wear her big silver skirt every day if we'd let her.

Using the bathroom by herself now is old hat (unless it's being used as a stalling technique at bedtime, then she needs help with every step). She'll even run and go by herself and wash her hands without even mentioning it to us. The key part to this independence, though, is her stool to get up onto the toilet. It's plastic, hollow, and light. Somewhere along the line, Naomi realized that those qualities made it portable as well. She can use it to get things off the counter, to get her own silverware, to crawl into the couch from the side, to get into her highchair, to reach food we thought was out of her reach, and she has even used it to water the plants by herself. This is fascinating and scary all at once. She even tried bringing it outside so she could reach the bar on her swing set. It's only a matter of time before we walk into the kitchen and she's standing on the counter somehow because she wanted to get cookies out of the cabinet.

So with all this independence, she doesn't need us anymore. This is the basis of most outbursts, insisting she doesn't have to do what we want, or wanting to go things her way. This usually leads to time out on the steps or loss of bedtime stories. It's fairly effective.

The other day, though, after a very difficult morning routine, two of us to put in a ponytail, and literally having to pin her into the carseat while strapping her in, I lost my usual limitless patience. She just gave me a dirty look at the time and we made up by the time we got to school.

I don't like yelling, though, especially at her, and it's not the example I want to set for her either. So when we got back home in the evening, I sat her down and told her that I was sorry for flipping out on her even though she was being bad. "That's OK" and she gave me a big hug. Aw… Then as she walked away, in a cheery voice she says, "Just don't yell at me ever again."

Why you little...
Troy B. Thompson
02 June 2012 @ 04:23 pm
As soon as Naomi started showing interest, we began potty training her. Luckily she caught on quickly and liked the idea of being a big girl. The most effective motivation was her iPod app to remind her when to go, and gave her stickers and games when she did.

Her first day at daycare in underwear was almost a year ago, and she's only had a few accidents there this whole time. She's great about using public restrooms too, although lately she is frustrated that I keep taking her into the boys room when she's a girl. I've explained to her that I can't take her in there and she can't go by herself yet, but she keeps on asking.

Eventually, daycare sent home the pull-ups for during her naps, so we stopped using them at home too, but kept them at night since she always wants to drink a ton of water before going to sleep.

At the end of March, we made a trip to Lowe's and bought new toilet seats for the house that had a built in kid seat. She was ecstatic, "Now we just need to get little steps!" Which we did. Along with stairs for the sink, now she can use the bathroom all by herself, although she prefers to have an audience. We still have to work on that…

The last step was to stop wearing pull-ups at night. While I love the thought of it, even with the mattress cover, there's a lot to clean up if she has an accident, and in addition to taking a lot of time, after 2.5yrs, I still haven't become completely indifferent to pee. At the same time, it seems a waste that her pull-up is dry almost every morning. Naomi really wanted to stop wearing them at night, though, so we made a deal, stay dry for a week and we lose the pull-ups.

It took a while to do it, but last night was the night. "Naomi, do you like the idea of not wearing pull-ups tonight?" "I LOVE the idea!"

This morning we woke up to a dry and very proud big girl. Go Naomi.
Current Music: Wet My Bed - Stone Temple Pilots
Troy B. Thompson
12 May 2012 @ 11:06 pm
The family tree of Naomi's toys is very… tangled.

Family seems to be very important to Naomi and all of her animal and people toys are related to at least another one in some way. I've tried to figure it all out, and possibly diagram it for our own reference, but it's far too complicated and changes regularly.

She started out simple. Her dolls are clearly adults, kids, and babies so that made it easy. The black woman was mommy, and there were two white daddies which are the same except for one has a green shirt and one has a blue shirt. All the other ones were friends and the handful of baby figurines were just babies. Somewhere along the line, the babies that have blue onesies were adopted. I don't think the others ever were. One of the girl dolls claimed one of them, I think. When the grandparent figurines arrived, they took care of the babies too. Lately, Naomi has taken over the role of mommy for many of them, and most of the babies toilet trained by now. Of course, she still makes the babies sleep in the closet under the stairs for some reason.

The animals are a little more complicated. In general, the biggest animals are daddies, medium ones are mommies, and littlest animals are babies. If she has a lot of one kind of animal (like monkeys or bears) genders sometimes change depending on the relative sizes of the ones she's playing with at the moment.

She's picked up somewhat on genetics somehow, and uses this to determine lineage. For instance, one day Naomi way trying to figure out the parents of Peef's (the multi colored patchwork bear made by Santa). First she decided Christmas Bear (the white one with a snowflake on his belly) was the mommy. Then she told me Peef's daddy must be very colorful. When she found Tamisha's tie dyed'ed bear (we call him "sleepy" bear because of the state of his eyes…) he became the daddy. It all makes perfect sense.

When she has only one of one kind of animal, things get a little creative. I believe black bear was robin's mommy, for instance.

Not all families are perfect, though. A month or so ago, there was a family of three bears, and bears aren't always friendly in Naomi's pretend world. The baby bear was scared of the mommy bear because she kept growling at him. So while the baby bear was clinging to the daddy bear, we tried to get to the bottom of it. "She still loves her baby, though, right?" To which Naomi looked up at us with this concerned sad face and said, "I don't think so…" What do you say to that?

Sometimes non-animal things have families too. She had a little magnetic "T" that was talking, and then she gave me two pegs from her peg board and formed them into a big "T" and that was the daddy. The girl is inventive. I'm still waiting for her food to develop family trees...
Troy B. Thompson
27 February 2012 @ 06:50 am
My little girl passed another developmental milestone last night.

Naomi: Pointing at a commercial on TV, "Daddy, what's that?!?!"
Me: "That's the Muppets, honey."
Naomi: "The Muppets? I want to see more."
Me: "Sure, we can do that. I'll find some Muppets for you tomorrow."
Naomi: "I know, we can find Muppets on my iPad!" while scrambling off to get her iPad and bring it over.

We go into YouTube and I spell Muppets for her.

Me: "Ok, we'll start out with the basics." as she cuddles around the tablet.

"Mahna Mahna. ba dee bedebe. Mahna mahna…"

Naomi: "Look, mommy, The Muppets!"

I have the best kid ever.
Troy B. Thompson
05 January 2012 @ 11:06 pm
This morning, Naomi woke up saying she wanted pink sheets. Since converting her toddler bed into a full size bed, she's just been using the sheets we bought for the guest room and other's we'd had from our pasts. Ironically, getting her her own sheets was one of our Christmas gift ideas, but since she's very particular sometimes, I wanted her to pick them out. Today was Thursday so it was Daddy Day (TM), she'd mentioned Tuesday that she wanted to go to the mall to see Santa, people should be done returning Christmas presents and stock levels should be back to normal, so that became the project for the day.

There's something foreshadowing about taking your daughter to the mall when it opens and she's only two. I knew Sears had sheets with all of her current favorite characters and that was at the opposite end of the mall where I usually park. But it's been cold out and we'd both been getting cabin fever so I wanted to turn this into a walking exercise trip as well. I brought her stroller, but she wanted to walk beside it instead.

She kept wanting to look down at the lower level and the people there. She also loves to point out any letters or numbers she sees, and the mall is filled with those. But you know what a really fun game is? Crouching down while your daughter excitedly points out everyday things below and seeing how many people stop and look to see what you're watching. We tricked several people into doing it.

Things in a few stores caught her eye so we had some detours along the way too. She was fine looking at the Yo Gabba Gabba toys through the window of Newbury Comics, she hung out and danced in front of Abercrombie & Fitch, but she wanted to go into the kitchen store and the shoe store specifically. The items that attracted her the most in those two store were a red teapot, and shiny red stiletto platform shoes from the Jessica Simpson Collection, receptively. Help us all.

Her favorite thing about the massive shoe store, though, was that it was filled with full length toddler mirrors - one of the end of every shelf. Sadly, Naomi can't pass up a mirror. "Hi Mirror!" "Look, Daddy! Another mirror!" Finally, and I truly apologize for not breaking out the video camera at this point, readers, she started dancing in front of one of the mirrors. Then my little Shakira faced me and started shaking her little butt off... while looking over her shoulder to admire her butt. This is a little awkward enough, but then, as Naomi's a fan of narration lately, starts saying in her outside voice, "Look, Daddy, I'm shaking my butt!" "Uh, huh, come on, let's..." "I'm shaking my cute little butt, Daddy!" And while I don't know how many of the seniors and middle aged women in the store were *actually* looking at me, it felt like the whole store. And Naomi likes dancing, "Daddy! Come shake your butt too!" Alrighty, let's go...

Finally, we got to Sears. The first thing Naomi saw when we got to the bedding area was a sample bed made up with bright pink Hello Kitty sheets. She was in love and wanted to get onto the bed to test them out. Since that's not into Hello Kitty as much as she used to be, though, I walked her down the aisle and showed her the Princess Tiana sheets, the Tinkerbell sheets, the Dora sheets, and the Ni Hao Kai-Lan sheets, showing excitement at each. She almost chose the Cars 2 sheets. At the end was the Hello Kitty ones and without a word, she grabbed the bag and started tugging to try to get them out. Considering it takes her forever to figure out what she wants to wear in the morning, even if I narrow it down to two shirts ("Hmm... that's cute... but... I don't know..."), that was a far faster decision than I had anticipated. I grabbed the comforter, the sheet set, and the blanket since these sheets were a lot thinner than her current flannel ones. Luckily I had an empty stroller to carry them around in.

Naomi's second favorite thing in the mall (besides Santa) is escalators. And while I was paying for her sheets, I was also trying to distract her from trying to go down them on her own since we'd only done it once before. "Can we go down them... please?!?!" I had planned on the elevator, but I had a giddy toddler and a stroller filled with bedding, what could possibly go wrong? I held her hand. "Ready?" I balanced the back wheel of the stroller onto the first segment. As the segment turned into a stair and began it's decent taking the stroller with it, Naomi let go of my hand. Seriously? I had to hold onto the stroller, I was going downstairs like it or not. Naomi started wailing. Trying to remain calm and ignoring images of leaving her stranded in front of disapproving clerks, or worse, getting eaten by an escalator, I looked into her eyes like some sort of toddler whisperer and told her to get on the next step. Thankfully she did and climbed down the steps until she could hold my hand. When we got to the bottom, she gave me a big hug, told me how fun it was and wanted to do it again. Not today, hon.

On the main level, they now have a little playground, perfect for kids her size. Of course, she wanted to explore it, so we did. Things to climb on, slides, tunnels, matching games and a big touch piano keyboard on the walls, plus seating and electrical outlets for the adults. Very popular spot and I think we'll be returning throughout the winter. Besides playing, she made some friends and found a baby she liked, "He's soooooo cute, Daddy!" much to the amusement of the boy's parents.

She took a break to let me know she was hungry for lunch. As we'd gone through our snacks already I asked her if she wanted to eat at the mall or go home. Normally she wants to go home but she surprised me. Maybe she remembers that I always use the opportunity to eat Arby's when we go to the mall since Tamisha doesn't like them. And that I get curly fries. After lunch, we ended up going back to the playground for a while longer before convincing her it was time to head home.

On the way back she got distracted by pillow pets, cell phone cases, pretty much everything. We also stopped at the spot where Santa was last time we were at the mall. I think she had worn her Hello Kitty Santa / Christmas shirt that day especially for him. I explained that he'd gone back to the north pole until next year. Hopefully this will reduce the recent repeat of her singing Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

We'd spent over three hours at the mall, and by the time we made it out of the parking lot, she was out cold.

We had a great time, and I have the feeling this will not be the last time I take my daughter to the mall.
Troy B. Thompson
03 January 2012 @ 10:09 pm
Over the past few weeks, Naomi's changed dramatically. It's like advancement is in overdrive.

Personality-wise, she's gotten a lot more assertive. This is not necessarily a good thing. She's a lot more insistent on things to the point of being a broken record. Then somewhere along the line she determined she was in charge. We can just be sitting in the living room and she'll enter, announcing "OK, guys." Uh oh. Then proceed to lecture us with great passion about what we all need to do. In some ways it's fun and silly, and in others, wait, I'm being bossed around by a two year old.

Other times, it's just amusing and we have to stop ourselves from laughing. Tonight we heard, "Excuse me, mommy, I love you, but please get out of my way."

She's also working on pronunciation. Although she has a huge vocabulary and speaks fairly clearly, she's always had trouble with double consonants. Now she's making an effort to fix that... overly so, though, so words that were previously "bue" are now "blblblblblblue" She's getting it, though.

Combine the two advancements and we get into bizarre arguments. One of her favorite songs from Yo Gabba Gabba goes, "Think happy thoughts… happy thoughts… and a smile will come back to you." Well, Naomi says "Happy Butts". Insists that's the lyric. "No, Naomi, Thoughts, 'th'" "No! It's 'butts' The B sound. Ba ba ba ba... Happy Butts" OK, then....

When being assertive doesn't work, she tries crying. This isn't usually successful because Tamisha can tell the difference between real and fake crying. At some point, Naomi must have heard that there aren't tears with fake crying, so guess what she's been working on. She can now cry with tears on demand. In fact, yesterday we caught her using her finger to draw more tears out of her eye and trailing them down her cheek for a more dramatic effect. We just looked at each other in disbelief. Seriously?

She also tries the cute angle. The other day, when I wouldn't give her a cookie, she tiled her head, stuck out one leg with a turned ankle, gave a little pout, and said "Peeeeeeesssssseeee?????" Luckily, that has no effect on me.

But seriously, we're screwed.
Troy B. Thompson
06 November 2011 @ 08:00 pm
So today at Moe's, Naomi noticed a loose string on the waistband of her pants. So she's standing up in the booth, holding up her shirt, and sticking the end of the string in and out of her belly button and playing. Then she shoves as much of the string as she can into her belly button, wrapping it around like she's tying it off. She then grabs the string and pretends to pull as hard as she can, grunting for effect. With a sudden yank, she pulls it out and yells, "I got it!"