Sly is still ever ever ever so slowly learning to read. He's doing a little better these days at imaginative play, which I feel has never come very naturally to him. Rosie suggested that a good way to get kids playing on their own is to first sit down with them, and sort of "teach them how to play." Once they get the hang of a new concept, you can sneak away and they'll have a fun time on their own. I've been trying this recently, and having much success. For example, I got out the toy cash register Sly received for Christmas, and said we were going to play "supermarket." The kids helped me arrange all our play food by type on the shelves of an empty bookcase I brought into the playroom. Then I gave them a little basket so they could "shop." They brought their purchases to me at the cash register, I rang them up, and then told them how much play money to hand me. They loved it, and have been playing store very regularly since.
Recently, he was frustrated because we've stopped buying juice.
Me: "Well, juice has a lot of sugar, Sly, and it kind of makes kids crazy."
Sly: "Juice doesn't make *me* crazy. Stella makes me crazy!"
Meanwhile, I've finally accepted that Sly's "love language" is quality time, and the only way to keep him from acting out, hurting his siblings, and other wise acting crazy is to give him lots and lots and lots of it. Sometimes I feel like there's not enough time in my days to give each kid all the attention they want plus keep up with the cleaning, laundry, meals, dishes, etc. But I'm learning little ways to make it work. This past week, I worked really hard to include Sly in everything I did. He helped me in a lot of my chores, and I even popped up into his bedroom during his "naptime" (during which he hasn't actually napped for two years) to chat or play for a few minutes. It's made him a much more pleasant little man!
|Sly probably whacked Stella with that sword a second after this picture was taken|
Stella is speaking in full (adorable) sentences now, and wanting to do a lot more things herself ("do myself!"). She still can not get enough snuggle time. Her "love language" is absolutely physical touch. She constantly runs up to Tom and I, saying, "I want YOU, Mommy/Daddy!!" which means she wants to be held and hugged and kissed. She really is just a big sweetheart.
She's still resistant to potty training, but I'm not that eager to push it during the winter, anyways. Too many layers to pull off, and the potty seat is too cold for her to just sit on, waiting. But she's so good about naps and bedtime. Many days, she is just ready for sleep and says, "go nap now, Mommy." I love how she is so eager to please :-)
She's been playing with her dolls all the time, and it's so cute to see how she treats them like her real little babies. She asks to put (real)band-aids on them, give them (real)medicine, put them in the (real)bathtub, and change their diapers. Several times, I have found Linus' clean diapers in Stella's bed, which she must have stolen from under the changing table to put on her babies!
|first snow of the year|
Linus is still a very sweet and happy baby. And he's learned to crawl, which I love. Not only are crawling babies completely adorable, but it means they are able to entertain themselves much more easily. He's happy to just get around the house and play with things he finds. The only drawback is having to put baby gates up at the tops of the stairs....which we're still working on, because Tom's determined to find a creative way to do it without drilling into the nice woodwork.