Part of Molly’s bedtime routine is to sit on the toilet for a while. She actually loves her toilet time. She pulls up a step stool with a stack of books and sits on the toilet and looks at her books. Normally we have to put an end to her toilet time after a few minutes because she is just relaxing but not getting ready for bed. But tonight while Molly was browsing books on the toilet, I went off for a minute to check in with Kit. When I got back to Molly, she was yelling, “I went to the potty! I made urine!” Now, Molly has been known to have an active imagination at times, but I did not get the sense she as making this up. She was grinning ear to ear and super excited.
I congratulated Molly on her fine toilet work. After wiping and washing hands, we went back to tell Kit and Claire. Kit screamed really loudly with delight and started jumping around. Molly got super excited too and started doing the same. Personally, I was excited too, but my ears were literally ringing from all the noise. Molly was so proud, though! She said she wanted underwear now, and she thought Santa would know she used the toilet.
Claire, who was in a grouchy mood, initially tried to be excited but get a little irritated, maybe from the noise and/or maybe a little hint of sibling rivalry. This was the first small whiff of sibling rivalry we have ever seen from Claire in her 3 and a half years as a big sister. Claire complained that we were screaming too loud, and we are always asking her and Molly to quiet down if they are anywhere near that loud. (She had a really good point. We were really quite loud.) Claire also said, sourly, “I but you’re going to email everyone in the world!” and then left the room. Later she could complain about having to go out in the hall with just Muffin and her last remaining fish to get some quiet. We had a certain amount of recognizing that Claire uses the toilet many times a day, and nobody ever says anything about it, but when she first did it as a toddler, we were really excited for her. Molly was feeling sympathetic and started a “Claire used the potty!” chant and dance.
Last night at 3:30 am, Molly started to cry a tired, mournful cry. It started slowly and then built up with intensity.
This was certainly not the first time Molly had woken up crying in the middle of the night. The last time she woke up crying, she was about to vomit. The time before that was actually pretty scary. She had decided to sleep on the floor next to her bed and somehow ended up stuck laying on her back directly under her bed. Her crying was muffled by the bed above her, which made the scene all the more scary. She was really upset and took a while to calm down. After that, she started sleeping on top of her bed again every night.
So back to last night. Kit and I ran towards the sound of Molly’s crying. Molly was standing in the dark on the step stool at the sink in the girls’ bathroom, crying loudly. We asked what was wrong. Over her cries, Molly managed to say, “I need a bookmark!” and then burst into tears. Kit and I looked at each other puzzled. I actually had to step into the hallway to cover my laughter. We then ran off to find something to pass as a bookmark. We gave Molly a scrap of note paper, and she went right back to her bed happily and stopped crying. When we asked if she needed anything (like to be tucked in or a hug) Molly said “No, get out of here.”, not in an angry way, but just to say, “No, I have it covered from here.”
We may never know why she needed that bookmark so badly, but it was definitely a bookmark emergency.
Last fall, around her third birthday, Molly discovered the joy of television, but only if it was a Charlie Brown show. Now in the new year, she is still locked on Charlie Brown. Kit recorded the New Year special, “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!” a few weeks ago. Molly loves this show and always calls it, “Magic New Year Charlie Brown.” As such, she seems to think that the character Charlie Brown is actually named Magic Charlie Brown, perhaps from mis-parsing her previous favorite, “It’s Magic, Charlie Brown!”, apparently interpreting the title as “It’s that guy named Magic Charlie Brown.” At first, we corrected Molly on the name of the show, but now we all sort of enjoy calling it “New Year Magic Charlie Brown”.
Molly had a nanny recently, and while I was working, I heard Molly ask to watch “New Year Magic Charlie Brown”, to which her nanny replied, “What’s a Magic Charlie Brown?” After attempting in vain to explain that Magic Charlie Brown is on the big black thing on the wall (the TV), Molly eventually gave up and moved on to playing puzzles with the confused nanny.
Molly still refuses to watch any television show that does not involve Charlie Brown and the gang. I have to admit, we are all kind of hooked on the various Peanuts holiday specials, whether in season or not.
Claire has been absolutely wiped out since school started back up after the holidays. She even took her first nap in years!
Claire lost her first pet today. He had not been with us for long.
About a week ago, Claire picked out four fish and a snail to put in the aquarium that she had received from Santa for Christmas. Their names where Larry and Mary (the two tiny fish), Spots and Sonny (the two slightly bigger fish), and Max the snail. Today Sonny stopped moving and gradually sunk to the bottom of the tank. We are not sure what caused his premature death.
Claire was sad to lose Sonny but managed to hold back her tears. We buried Sonny under the large pecan tree in the back yard, under a few inches of soil. We all showed our respects with a few words. Claire came up with something like, “Sonny, you were only with us for a week. But we loved you, and we will always remember you.” It was a brief but dignified ceremony. Then Claire came inside and went to work on a small marker. It was a nice drawing of Sonny with a few extra sparkles stuck on it to make it fancier, and then taped to a straw and stuck in the ground on Sonny’s final resting place.
Molly missed the ceremony since it was held during her nap time. When Molly woke up, Claire was anxious to show Molly the grave. Once outside, Molly was not so interested since she wanted to ride her little bike instead. Since Molly would not pay her final respects to Sonny, Claire did it for her.
Claire got to eat her bowl for dinner. The bowl was made of tortilla chips and contained pureed black beans. Claire was excited enough to specifically ask me to blog it. She said that the bowl was really delicious and joked that it saved the restaurant from doing dishes.
Somehow Molly ended up wearing this outfit to school today. She picked it out herself, and she was so proud. While getting dressed, Molly indicated that she wanted to wear bloomers with her leggings, and skip the skirt. Oh yeah, and the bloomers go on the outside.
This outfit is a physical testament to Molly’s contrariness. She loves things to go different than how they are supposed to go, especially clothes. She often likes to wear her shoes backwards, intentionally swapping left and right shoes. One time she asked to wear her shoes backwards, meaning with the front on the back. Alas, it did not work. Molly often wears bloomers to bed. The other night, she wanted to wear them backwards. She even started to say she wanted to wear them upside down but, on visible reflection, stopped herself. She has learned enough to realize that, like the shoes, would not work. Darn physics!
The girls tend to get worked up at night, reaching their peak of silliness and pure volume right before going to bed. We had always thought of this as the girls “working each other up”. However, this theory was accidentally put to the test this week when Claire was off to stay with Grammy & Grandaddy in Corpus Christi for a few days of winter break. As the evidence clearly demonstrates, it is not “the girls” who get worked up. Molly does it just fine all by herself. In fact, she may go crazier without Claire than with her.