Ryan has been talking up a storm lately. He can say pretty much anything and talks in sentences. He really likes watching airplanes and helicopters and will sit in the car and say (over and over), "Where Eh-Opt-er go? Where Ae-pane go?" He also says, "No, don't DO that!" and "stop that right now!" to Matt and I and Addie too. He's been having a lot of crying episodes as he discovers things and is rebuked. He really wants to go his own way and do what HE wants to do. He's not as bad as Addison was (yet), but he's stubborn in a different sort of way.
Poor little guy, he's not going to have much of a birthday this year. We aren't doing our big Halloween double birthday because Addison really wants a My Little Pony party ( don't know why, she doesn't really play with them that much), so I decided to do a small party for her, inviting a few friends for a couple of hours instead of just a big free-for-all. And since Ryan doesn't have "friends" yet, we will probably just do a little family party with whoever can come. Plus I really want to make a fun cake for him! I was going to make a Thomas the Train cake for him, since Mom got him a big train table that will be for his birthday, but Ryan apparently has an opinion. He wants a hippo cake. We let the kids watch a silly You Tube video of an animated hippo and dog singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and Ryan is obsessed with it. "Watch Ippo Dong?" is something I hear about 50 times a day, no joke. So when I asked him if he wanted a Thomas cake in the car (just to talk, not that I expected an answer), he said, "No Bommas cake. Ippo Cake." Well nuts, I thought. I gently encouraged the Thomas cake, since I'd already found some cute ones online, but Ryan was insistent. Later on another car ride, we tried again while Matt was in the car. Ryan still wanted a hippo cake. I told Matt that I would probably make a Thomas cake anyway, and Matt said, "That's not what he wants." I told him that Ryan wouldn't remember, and Matt said, "He's not ever going to have another birthday where he turns 2 and wants a hippo cake and you should make what HE wants, not what YOU want!" So I thought about it (a hippo cake? Really? Although I know he would like it), and I decided to try to make a Diego cake with water and yes, a hippo on it. That could be fun. Not that anyone will be there to see it, but like I said, I don't get many chances to make fun cakes, so we shall see how this one turns out. I've already picked out a Diego rescue truck toy for Ryan's birthday, so a Diego cake will work. I'm planning on making a castle cake for Addison, with My Little Ponies stuck on it.
Addison has been having a rough several months in terms of her attitude and behavior. We are having LOTS of defiance and anger at being told what to do. She has her own ideas about EVERYTHING and quickly gets angry and upset even the first time she is told no. I've been trying to teach her some ways to show anger that don't include growling and spitting (?), throwing toys, hitting, screaming, or saying ugly words. She frequently says, "I''m MAD at you!" while crying. I tell her it is ok to be mad, but NOT ok to say, "And I'm going to be mad forever and you are the meanest forever and you do bad things ON PURPOSE!!!!" Or at least not to screech it at me! I'm trying to figure out the line between allowing her to get mad and BE mad, but not allowing her to express it in a mean way. So what's a "nice" way to express anger? Especialy when it seems to bubble up so quickly. I am pretty sure it's a developmental phase, moving along with her learning a lot more about our lives and what we do, and she's starting to reason things out for herself. She sees no reason why she can't go up and down the stairs all day and bring all her toys up and down, and my reasons (Daddy's working, she freqently needs me up there to reach a toy or the light, Ryan will want to come up and down and needs supervision going both ways, Ryan is even louder than Addie, I'm in the middle of cooking downstairs, toys get moved from up to down and down to up enough as it is, etc. etc.) just don't make sense to her, so I have to put my foot down and she loses control. It's not flying into a rage, it's just tears of anger and frustration. I don't like feeling like I'm rebuking her all the time, and I try to find other "postives" to give in on throughout the day (yes, we can make popcorn in the machine, yes, we can plant a flower, yes, we can make banana bread) even if they aren't the most convenient thing for me.
In between though, she is delightful. Last night she spent a good 20 minutes pacing the kitchen telling me long, long story about the two bad guys who were trying to kidnap all her Littlest Pets and their various schemes and adventures and her daring rescues. She adores the Lion King and sings the songs all the time (what prompted me to talk about her being angry a lot was something she said last night at the table when she was mad - I told her something that she didn't like and she pouted and said, "Well, that's not the way I see it," which was a direct quote from little Simba in the movie). And she understands some wordplay, puns, and things like that on a higher level than she used to. She still remembers everything (today she was playing with a little kaleidescope and said, "I got this at Aunt Sarah's house with the big trampoline and all the kids" - it was Aunt Sherry's, but still...that was Christmas last year and I didn't remember that's where she got it), and you absolutely cannot talk in front of her anymore about things she doesn't need to hear. At least spelling words still works!
Matt and I go to Parent Orientation for Addie's preschool in a couple of weeks, then to Open House with her the next week. I'm savoring these last few weeks of all of us together all day every day, but I think it will be fun for her and for me once she starts school. I'm not so sure how Ryan will take it.