Thursday, December 13, 2007


I love it when Barak explains things to me. He goes into earnest toddler mode, with lots of expressive hand gestures and much brow-furrowing. "Because dis, Imma, dis one goes dere," he informs me, punctuating his sentence with an emphatic point.

Yesterday, he closed his hand in his pajama drawer. I could tell right away he wasn't badly hurt, despite the full-volume howl--I asked him a question mid-wail and he stopped to ask, "What?" Then he came over and showed me his hand, upon my request.

"Where does it hurt? Show me."

"It hurts here. Dese ones hurt. See, dis one and dis one and dis one and dis one. But not dese ones. Dese ones [indicating un-squished hand] are okay. But dese ones [indicating hand of Tragic Drawer Injury] are all pinchy."

* * *

Lately, Barak has taken it into his head that he wants to sleep in underwear, not a pullup. This would be fine with me if he a) made this decision sufficiently prior to bedtime for me to enforce a fluid intake limit, and b) could actually stay dry during the night. He did really well one time, but the other two or three times--not so much. Last night he woke up at about 10 soaked and howling. "Imma! I pished in my unnerwear! IIIIIMMMMAAAAAA!!"

I got him up and changed, putting him in some plaid flannel pants and a long-sleeved t-shirt (the better, I thought, for unaided nighttime potty trips.) Barak was not immediately convinced. "Imma, dose are not pajamas," he informed me. "Dose are for dressed in da morning."

"Sometimes," I said. "But they can also be pajama pants. Like Abba wears. Abba doesn't wear fuzzy pajamas with a zipper, right? Abba wears pajama pants and an undershirt. See, like you're wearing. Abba wears pajama pants just like that." Barak considered this and decided he agreed. And went back to bed with no problem.

This morning, though, he woke up again soaked, and smelly. He definitely had to have a bath before school, so I herded both boys into the bathtub as soon as they woke up. I helped Barak peel off his wet pajama bottoms. He dropped them on top of MHH's pajama bottoms, which were slouched in a pile in the corner of the bathroom floor. "Imma, look!" he exclaimed. "Dose are Abba's pajama pants and my pajama pants! Dey match!"

* * *

When Barak was Iyyar's age, and up until pretty recently, he really wanted approval. If I asked him to do something, he would do it more or less immediately, with a big grin on my "Good job!" If he saw that I was annoyed, he got upset, either inwardly or outwardly. By eighteen months, his response to "Barak, no!" was "ooh--busted."

Iyyar's response to "Iyyar! No!" is, "Hee hee! Gonna make me?"

It doesn't help that Iyyar has a partner in crime, but I think most of it is just his personality. Yesterday, Barak and Iyyar decided to make a mess. I was in the living room listening to them play in the bedroom, and heard, "Iyyar! Let's make a mess! Let's make a mess, Iyyar!" I came in to their room to find that they'd completely emptied the whole bookcase, other than the unreachable top shelf, of all books and toys. "Barak, did you make a big mess?"


"Okay, so now we need to clean it up." I helped, but I made Barak pick up all the toys and all the books, put together all the puzzles, and get everything back on the shelves. So far, so good.

Until Iyyar remembered how much fun it was to make a mess, and with a gleam of determination in his eye headed back to the bookshelf and started ripping all the books off the shelves. At 31 weeks, I was not so into the idea of crawling around the floor picking things up again, and he was about to undo all of Barak's hard work. "Iyyar!"I shrieked, in a serious "DO NOT DO THAT!" tone. "Iyyar, NO! No, no, no!" Iyyar just laughed, and pulled them all off the shelf until I grabbed him away.

He completely ignores most no's and also all requests to come here--I remember that at this age Barak didn't come reliably, but he did come most of the time. (Do not compare children, do not compare children, do not compare children... ) Iyyar only comes if he thinks I've got something good for him--lunch, for example, or a ball, or socks. Did I mention that Iyyar loves having his socks put on? Sometimes he'll even take socks out of the drawer for himself, and try to put them on on top of his existing socks (and shoes). It doesn't work so well, but he'll never know if he doesn't try. If he starts dropping things off his high chair tray and I say no, he'll look me right in the eye and drop one more thing--now, the first time he drops, I just take his whole tray away and that's it. Ditto with hitting--one hit and he goes in the crib alone for a minute, which sometimes he minds and sometimes he really doesn't. Would it be mean of me to take all the blankies out of his crib before putting him in?

* * *

I think I may have mentioned here oh, forty or fifty thousand times that Barak has never been a good sleeper. Last night, he had one wakeup because of a wet bed, which was understandable. But he also woke up, at 1 and 2 and 5, with much less urgent requests. "Imma! I needa book! IIMMAA! I need you to get a book for me!" I told him to go back to bed, of course. "I don't wanna shluff. I needa book!" I refused to get out of bed, and tried as hard as I could to sleep through his pleas. Eventually, I got up and put him back in bed, where he stayed, howling.

I don't remember what the problem was the second round, but it involved Barak screaming in his room and then coming into my room to scream some more. The third time, he started out screaming about needing a truck or whatever it was, and then segued into screaming that his eyes hurt. MHH really doesn't like it when he does that, because he feels it's crying wolf--one of these days, he really will be hurt and we'll ignore it. "IMMA! IMMA! IIIIIMMMMMAAAAA!" He screamed and screamed and screamed, and this time did not wake up Iyyar. I started to get worried, not about him, but about Iyyar--how could he possibly be sleeping through such volume.

I nudged my husband. "He's screaming for me, so I don't want to go in there, but can you make sure everything's okay? I don't know how Iyyar can be sleeping through this." MHH heaved himself out of bed and trudged in there. "Barak, it's late. Imma needs to shluff. If you wake Imma up at night, she'll be grumpy tomorrow and nobody will have any fun. Go back to sleep." I was asleep again by the end of the sentence, and the next thing I knew my husband was back in bed. "I told him to go back to sleep. Iyyar was snoring."

I guess he's adapted.

1 comment:

LeahChaya said...

By eighteen months, his response to "Barak, no!" was "ooh--busted."

Iyyar's response to "Iyyar! No!" is, "Hee hee! Gonna make me?"

OK, can we get some more data points on this one? *I* think I see a trend - ds#1 is the 'listening' kid, ds#2 is the 'too busy to listen', either due to plain ol' inborn personality, or the need to be different - my ds#1 and ds#2 fit the mold perfectly, even with a sister in between. And a friend's sons fit as well, with more than 1 sister in between.