Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Soren Update: August 2010

So the good news is that Soren has been potty-trained for about a week and a half now. HOORAY! Thus far, the process has been shockingly painless. Soren knew how to use the potty, he could use it, and he sometimes used it, so one morning I handed him a pair of underpants and said, "This is it, kiddo. You're a big boy now and big boys don't wear diapers." And he took it like a big boy. Without too much protest, the child took the underwear, put it on, and more or less started putting all of his waste, plus a toothbrush, in the potty. It was like manna sent from heaven. Also, there might have been a lot of candy bribery involved.

But anyway, a few weeks ago, before his miraculous entry into the world of Bigboydom, Abraham and Briar informed Soren that little boys who put poops in diapers were yucky-- and that yucky things needed to go in the garbage. "So I guess we'll have to put you in the garbage and the garbage man will take you away," said Daddy. Soren was panic-stricken. "But Mommy needs her little boy!" he argued.

Mommy and her little boy reading The River Why...

and admiring the sunset.

We keep Soren's Legos and building blocks in his room, so he often wakes up and quietly plays by himself while the rest of us sleep. When he bores of this, he'll start calling for me. "Mommy! Mommy! I awake! Mommy! I AWAKE!" One morning I woke up to the sound of him screaming bloody murder. Certain that a recently hatched nest of poisonous spiders was rapidly decimating the skin on his face, I ran across the hall. I did not, however, find him engaged in a desperate struggle with an army of arachnid assailants; instead, he was hunched over one of his complex Lego creations. "It keeps breaking!" he told me, tears streaming down his cheeks. "It keeps breaking!" So I, still in my underwear, knelt down and helped him resolve the issue. That fixed, he went back to building. After a minute he looked at me as if to say, "You still there?' and remarked, "I didn't call for you." So I left him to build in peace.

Another morning he woke me with the following: "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! I made a fire truck police car! Mommy! Mommmmmmmyyyyy! I made a fire truck police car! Moooommmmmyyyyyy! Mommy! Mom!mee! Mommy! I! Made! A! Fire! Truck! Police! Car! I! Made! A! Fire! Truck! Police! Car!" It took a while, but I was finally convinced that said fire truck police car was an interesting enough inticement to draw me out from under the warmth of my covers.

It was pretty cute.

This is the Fire! Truck! Police! Car! The green thing on the top is a light. He makes all kinds of delightfully creative things like this. And is it just me, or (in this picture) does he kind of resemble the crazy Sicilian guy on The Princess Bride?

A front view. Notice the wad of blankets on the floor behind him. That is where he sleeps, all snuggled up to the crack under the door. I swear to you, people, he does have a bed.

One of Soren's favorite things in all the world is gathering wildflowers. Some might refer to the ones he picks as weeds, but we know better. All summer long my windowsill has been lined with raggedy brown beautiful bouquets. He believes that if someone is picking flowers, they're picking them for Mommy. If I'm picking them, he'll ask, "Are you picking those for you, Mommy?"

Examining some little bit of something he picked out in the garden.

Soren's also begun making attempts at friendly chatter. For example, we recently went for a walk with my friend Amy and her little girl, Charlotte, who is a year younger than Soren. Charlotte, though talking, is not yet entirely conversational, and it was funny to observe Soren trying (in vain) to strike up a conversation with her. "I have a Gramma." And then, when there was no response:"I wike that fing you're holding, Charwotte. It's coo." And then, when there was no response: "My gramma's tree fell down...(pause)....My gramma's tree fell down....(pause)...My gramma's tree fell down.....(pause).....My gramma's tree fell down..."

Soren occasionally puts both his legs down one pant leg and declares, "I'm a merboy!" I should really take a photo for posterity. Or blackmail. (Insert evil laugh here.)

Soren and Grandma were talking about mice a few weeks ago. During their conversation, Grandma noticed that Soren was saying "mouses" when referring to more than one mouse. "Soren," she said, "I know it makes sense for more than one mouse to be 'mouses,' but it's actually 'mice.'"
"No it's not," said Soren. "It's 'mouses.'"
"You know that song about the three blind mice?" asked Grandma.
"Uh huh!" replied Soren, and he proceeded to sing it for her: "Three blind mouses!" he sang. "Three blind mouses!"

Soren's getting to that age where you start to hear yourself coming out in the things he says. Some of it makes me feel a little bad, like when he calls Liam a "nuisance" or tells one of his little friends, "And don't do that ever again!" Some of it is just funny, like when someone asks him how he's doing and he responds, "Very well." Or when something surprises him and he exclaims, "Good heavens!" And some of it is good. He often give me choices: "Mommy? Do you want to walk or run? Which one? Do you want a red block or a green block? Which one?" I was particularly pleased one evening when I was feeling quite sick and Soren pulled his Lightning McQueen folding chair up to the couch where I was lying. He took my hand, saying, "It's okay. I a doctor. I keep you. I sorry you're sick. You want a story?" (He wound up climbing all over me, repeatedly asking questions about why I wasn't feeling well, what kind of bug it was that made my tummy feel sick, why a bug would do that, etc, etc, and generally not assisting in the healing process in any way, shape, or form....but the thought was nice.)

And, of course, Soren continues to offer me heaping plates of Humble Parent Pie. It really is a good thing, because if he was a wonderfully easy child, I would think I was the most fabulously wonderful parent of all time. As it is, I've decided that I'm still a totally awesome mom, I just have a really temperamentally difficult child. This confidence, however, is often dulled by blood-chilling moments in which I am struck by the certainty that all of Soren's flaws are all my fault and that I'm the worst mother ever and that he will be a serial killer someday and it's all because of me and the egregious parenting errors I'm making with him every single day, day after day after day.

But anyway. I won't get into the gory details of his more nefarious antics here, but I will state that at this point in his life, Soren spends probably 80% of his waking hours in timeout because of the pain he inflicts on his baby brother. I will also note that he kicked, shoved, and hit at least four other children in nursery last Sunday, he tackled a two-year-old boy at my work party over the weekend, and fought with a one-year-old baby over her own toys. I might further state that he throws record-breaking, breath-taking tantrums over ridiculous things like having to walk on his own two healthy legs, that he disobeys just for fun, that he has stated a preference to be held down for all teeth-brushings so that he "can thrash and cry," and that he desperately needs naps but instead spends his nap time throwing objects (toys, dirty underwear, clothing, pieces of mattress, bits of bedding, etc) out his bedroom window.

That said, I still maintain an intensity of love for this child that continues to take my breath away.

Crazy kid.


Collette said...

Great post--Soren in a nutshell. Loved the attempted conversation with little Charlotte. What a kid!

I predict that his good side will prevail by and by. And that he will be very, very good.

But I do hope he never manages to squelch ALL his mischievous impulses. That would be so boring.
Can you imagine the blog entries? "Nothing much happened this month...Oh yeah, Soren won the Nobel Peace Prize again..."

To keep up readers' interest you'd have to dig up all the old stories. "Sure, he's President now, but you should've seen him at three!"

Nick Wheeler said...

I'm happy that you record these things. It makes me feel like I'm an important part of Soren's life. Not that I'm not... but it makes me feel like I'm not the long lost uncle.

Karen said...

Yeah for Soren's potty training! I knew he could do it!

And I still think it's so funny to hear him talk. It seems like he went straight from incoherent babble one day to proper and complete sentences the next.

Lol "Soren won the Nobel Peace Prize again..." best comment ever.

Collette said...

I'm wondering if perhaps some mention should be made of the role Grandma H. played in the whole potty-training triumph?


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