Oh, the bink. Oh, the love affair with the bink. When we left Whistler a week and a half ago we told Ellie we left the binkies in Whistler. We were prepared for an agonizing drive home and agonizing it was. The funny thing about expectations though is that we were not upset or surprised by how agonizing it was so we gritted our teeth and beared it. The first day and night were tough, real tough. It was as if in broken-record fashion all that came out of Ellie’s mouth was “I want the pink bink. I want a binky Mommy. Where’s my bink?” The next day it was a little better and we planned it perfectly so that she was in school during this process. After school she was pretty sad not to have her binky. We tried distractions, which worked for a little bit. We used lots of responses, such as “I know it’s hard to give up something you love,” “you can do it Ellie, you’re so strong.” But it seemed like the thing that worked the best was a hug and saying “I know, I know baby girl.” There was a bit of a mourning period, so now that it’s [mostly] passed, we thought we’d do a little Ellie bink tribute.
As you all know, we love our Ellie boo so incredibly much. She is the light of our lives and makes us smile ten times more than before (and we smiled a lot before). She is however, starting to develop quite a little personality.
Most of this new personality comes with all the excitement we could possible bear. She’s starting to color, which is so fun to watch. She listens for the most part, when she puts the crayons in her mouth, and I tell her that we don’t eat crayons because they will make us sick. She’s really enjoying reading her books, especially the dog ones. She loves playing peek-a-boo, especially when she’s the one raising something up over her eyes and dropping it down. She’s really starting to get some coordination when it comes to playing her little musical instruments too. Her aunt Ashley got her some musical toys for in the tub and she’s really starting to be able to play the drum well. Tonight when we were in the bath, she gave me a piece of the xylophone and the stick. I showed her how to play it and then gave it to her and she did it perfectly – well, as perfectly as you would expect from a one year old!
The part of her personality that’s starting to come to light that isn’t as adorable is her slightly sassy side. It baffles me where she gets this from, but she really does know that she doesn’t always have to listen. Don’t get me wrong, Ellie listens for the most part. For example, she holds her sippy cup over the side of her high chair and we say “Ellie, hold on tight. If you drop that cup, you won’t get it back.” Lately she responds so well by pulling the cup back over onto her tray, to which we give strong encouragement. I suppose there really is just one thing Ellie cannot resist: Max’s dog dish.
Ellie frequently hangs out in the kitchen with us, playing with whatever spoons and kitchen tools tickle her fancy. Lately though, she can’t resist meandering on over to Max’s dog dish. We say “No Ellie, we don’t touch Max’s dog dish. Max doesn’t like it when we touch his food. We don’t eat Max’s food.” Nothing really gets her attention though and she remains focused on the prize. A part of me wonders if it’s because she snuck a few of Max’s kibbles into her mouth a couple of times and she happened to like it. Regardless of the reason though, we must find a way to stop it.
The other thing is that she’s been quite the challenge with sleeping lately and I’ve started to read articles that suggest it might just be her way of acting out. Some of the articles are saying that she now knows what she needs to do to get our attention. I definitely agree; when she screams bloody murder, I do whatever I can to stop it. The question is now, at age one, whether this is helping her or not. Also, some articles say she could be going through a bout of separation anxiety. She definitely has been more clingy in the past couple of weeks. Also, when I try to put her to sleep, she screams every time I lay her in the crib, but Brian has the magic touch. In the back of my mind though, I wonder if she’s just teething and in a ton of pain. She’s gone through similar sleeping spells in the past when she’s gotten teeth in. They’ve lasted for weeks on end, even though most of the articles say teething only lasts a few days on average. I just think Ellie might be outside of the average when it comes to teething. Is that naive of me? When I went in tonight after she cried and screamed for a few minutes, she calmed down a bit and started chewing on her binky and then her finger. I went to put my finger in her mouth and she started screaming bloody murder again. It seemed obvious to me, but how long do I let that be the excuse, if that’s what it is?
This being a parent stuff is tough. I took Ellie in to her annual appointment a couple of weeks ago and the doctor asked me how things are going. I said “They’re totally awesome when she’s not sick or teething.” He chuckled.