Thursday, June 26, 2014

The More You Know

Genevieve has always been a bit stingy with her affection. Ever since she was old enough to communicate, if I ask her for a hug or a kiss, roughly 9 times out of 10, she purses her lips, lowers her eyebrows, and shakes her head "no." Sometimes she even pushes my face away from her if she thinks I'm getting too close and might try to sneak in a hug or something.

I know I shouldn't take it personally; it's just who she is. But I'm not going to lie, it stings a bit, especially after having Josephine, who is just the snuggliest snuggler ever, and hugs and kisses me all day long. Even though she hurts my feelings a little by not wanting to give me any affection, I make sure not to let on. I don't want to create a situation where I'm forcing her to give affection to an adult when she clearly doesn't want to, because obviously I don't want to teach her that kind of lesson.

Genevieve is also the kind of kid who says "no" to just about everything you ask her to do. Or maybe it's just because she's almost two, who knows. The other day, I was trying to hold Genevieve down and clip her talons while she flailed and shouted "NO!" and I gave up and asked Josie if she was ready to get her nails trimmed. She sat sweetly and silently and let me clip them, and lo and behold, as soon as I was done, Genevieve inserted herself on my lap and shoved her hand into mine, frantically pointing at the fingernail clippers.

FLASHBULB MOMENT: All I have to do is ask Josephine to do something and Genevieve will want to do it immediately. I have been trying not to abuse this power. I'm saving it for moments when I really need it. 

Tonight, I was getting up from the dinner table and asked Genevieve for a kiss. She said no, and I just walked away laughing, but I heard Josie say "I'll give mama a kiss!" so I ran back in to get one from her, and wouldn't you know, Genevieve planted one on me, too.

So there you go. I now know how to trick my youngest child into giving me a hug or kiss, should the occasion arise. 

Parenting, am I right?

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Odds and Ends

I wrote about Genevieve being a picky eater the other day, and I specifically mentioned that she doesn't like strawberries (Oh, I just love them so much! Aren't they pretty universally liked?) and a few hours later I was standing in the kitchen cutting up some for Josephine. G came over and started trying to tell me something. A lot of shouting, pointing, and wild gesticulating later, I offered her a quarter of a strawberry, which she threw to the floor. She just kept trying to tell me something she didn't have the words for. I asked her if she wanted a WHOLE strawberry, and she sighed with relief, smiled, and nodded enthusiastically. She then proceeded to eat five strawberries. 

So, I stand corrected. Genevieve likes WHOLE strawberries. Heavens to friggin' Betsy, am I right?


We have been beaching it already (I'm sure some of my fellow Michiganders think we're downright nutty, but the weather has been gorgeous!). It's been nice because it's warm enough to enjoy the beach (as long as you don't spend too much time in the water), but it's early enough in the season that the beaches have been blessedly empty. 

Josie is in heaven when she is at the beach. She loves to play in both the sand and the water. Genevieve, on the other hand, mostly keeps busy by carefully choosing a rock from the beach, walking down to the water's edge, throwing the rock into the water, laughing and clapping, then clomping back up the beach to choose another. Over and over, for HOURS. I swear, this kid just needs a job, and she is usually happy. Oh, she also takes lots of breaks to eat and sand and put rocks in her mouth, but those activities are far less adorable.

Oh, and Josie calls whatever body of water we happen to be near "the ocean." I love it. I always let her know that it's a lake or a river, but I smile and giggle inwardly every time she calls it the ocean. 


Did I ever tell you that during the month of May, Jeremy had to take TWO business trips and was gone for almost two weeks? He was in Atlanta, and then the very next week he drove to Denver and back. It was a bear of a month. At least this time he didn't bring home a train whistle for the girls like when he was in Massachusetts in October. He just ... gave them a train whistle and then left me alone with them all day. He went back to the office! And they blew a train whistle all day! 


We got Josephine her first two-wheeler (with training wheels), and ... it feels like a big deal. She looks like such a big girl up on that bike. She loves riding bikes and her scooter, which she calls her skateboard (tee hee!).

Genevieve loves her little tricycle, but get this -- even though she is much taller than Josie was at this age, her feet don't reach the pedals, even though Josie's did. So apparently her legs are shorter than Josie's were? She is a little frustrated that she can't reach the pedals, but she is content enough to scoot around like Fred Flintstone.


Oh, and while I'm still thinking of beaches, the other night when we made a quick trip to the beach before bed so Josie could make a sand castle, she walked over to a spot on the beach and told me "This is where to dig for buried treasure." She started digging, and wouldn't you know it, two minutes later, she was holding an octopus sand mold. 

I'm thinking of taking this kid to the casino.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Jeremy won't be getting home until after the girls' bedtime for the next two nights, and when that happens, I am always sure to phone in dinner (sandwiches and raw veggies! leftovers! snack tray! whatever takes five minutes or less!). I decided to be extra fun and make dinosaur macaroni and cheese from a box for lunch, and I was planning to have leftovers for dinner. I failed to check what leftovers I have. I have ... homemade macaroni and cheese. Lazy FAIL.

Speaking of the macaroni and cheese from a box, Josephine and Genevieve are different in OH SO MANY ways, but one that is very interesting to me is their eating habits. I made a box of macaroni and cheese for lunch and added broccoli, tomatoes, and diced grilled chicken. Josephine ate every bite with gusto. Genevieve painstakingly picked out the macaroni and cheese and left everything else in the bowl, then asked for more. At this point, the only vegetable she will eat (sometimes) is bell pepper, and you might as well forget about meat. She doesn't even like strawberries! Who doesn't like strawberries? It's gotten to the point where I'll sometimes sigh to myself at bedtime and think, well, she had pickles today, so ... that counts as a vegetable, right? 

This has been a funny little nature vs. nurture moment, because from the beginning, I fed Genevieve the way I did Josephine, and they get the exact same meals (especially now that G can have dairy). I offer a variety of healthy foods with enthusiasm, Jeremy and I let her see us enjoying healthy foods, and I don't use foods as punishments or rewards. Josephine will eat anything you put in front of her and then thank you for making it for her, and Genevieve will give you a withering look, throw it to the ground, and beg for ketchup. 

This is Genevieve shaking her head "no" and saying "BLECH!" at the same time. Charming.
Nature - 1, Nurture - 0. 

Don't worry, I give her vitamins, and she makes up for being picky by being really really cute. Fellow parents of picky eaters, I send you a fistbump of solidarity.
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