Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oh it's started all right...

I don't seem to be getting the hang of this blogging, the good intentions, the promising start and as always a la Ruth the bit where she gets bored in the middle.

I was supposed to write a highly entertaining Leah-blog about our new house, but now 2 weeks late I still haven't and it seems a little old news now. I was then going to write a blog about our lovely day today, all sunshine, picnics in Yerba Buena gardens and two rides on the carousel accompanied by photos. But then we topped off a lovely day with dinner out and it all came unravelled, so why not just blog about that? It's not my bedtime so no excuse.

Leah developed some weird temperature on Thursday that had us trying to get home early to take her home only to be trapped in the 49ers traffic. She had a slightly rough night and a very whingey Friday which left me slightly frazzled. By Saturday she was quite a bit better and we even got quite a few laughs and giggles out of her. But she wasn't eating and she was still very very cranky. In our desperation we were giving her whatever she might actually swallow, all the usual favourites seemed to be out (pasta, omelette, yogurt not out of a squeezy tube) and we even resorted to a chocolate digestive biscuit - the biscuit part has to have some nutritional value doesn't it? Little did we know that while she was unwell Leah was also practicing and storing up her terrible two tactics. After 2 days of giving into her every whim 'because she's not well' she had it down to a fine art and was just waiting to lay it on us.

Today the sun shone brightly and warmly on SF, we walked the now 5 blocks to the wonderful Yerba Buena gardens, we had our picnic on some rocks, Leah running back and forth to pick up a tiny piece of cocktail sausage, 2 goldfish crackers and a fruit smoothie.
We headed over to the children's playground where she merrily plonked on the xylophone and splashed in the stream, then we took her for a special treat - a ride on the carousel which she loves. She proudly chose her giraffe and sat quietly holding on for a good 3 or 4 minutes before the ride started and although she didn't crack a smile the whole ride I knew she loved it. How did I know? Well when the ride stopped she started to screech and do the full body jerk and kick that would have her face down on the floor pounding her feet and hands into the carpet if I wasn't holding her up in the air. The plan was always to give her two rides so I tagged with Paul who first tried her out on a goat:
then a horse for her second trip. Anticipating full melt down I headed off to the ice cream stand as soon as I saw the ride slow down but she came off as good as gold having said goodbye to all the horses.

We ate our ice-creams and tripped merrily home and tucked Leah in for her afternoon nap. We were feeling confident as our beautiful girl smiled her way downstairs after her nap (made a change from the crying of the previous two days) so decided to go do dinner. We chose the quiet and family-friendly Nama (sushi) and ordered food that Leah would normally happily pick at. The first warning sign came as she refused to sit in the high-chair, the second came when she wouldn't even sit on the bench next to me, the third came with our food as she narrowly missed jabbing herself in the eye with a chopstick and was not impressed by our attempts to prise it out of her hands. Paul and I took turns trying to distract her with toddles about the restaurant, even the lovely waitress tried to take her off our hands but stranger anxiety has also settled on our girl at the moment so that was a no go. After several more refusals to eat and shrieks as she was put in and out of the high chair two more times we decided to save our dinner, box it up and take it home (the second time in one week). The tantrum continued the 2 blocks home as Leah protested being held by Paul and not me. We continued our dinner at home with Leah alternating between the high-chair, face down on the floor, face down on my leg, head pressed against my foot and then finally, and most pitifully Leah trying to get some comfort from Dave the zebra, her hiding tent and then my handbag as Paul and I did our best 'ignore the bad behaviour reward the good' and tried to continue our meal. She finally quietened down and was rewarded with a cuddle and some quiet story books with mum and then pyjamas, milk and In the Night Garden with dad.

So all in all that was nearly 2 hours of on / off mini-tantrums. We know they're pretty small in the grand scale of things, we've seen bigger kids lose it completely and utterly, we know that they can be louder, longer and messier. But we've glimpsed the future....and it's not pretty.

At her doctor's appointment last week our doctor's attending did her usual fly-by visit and after running through a number of checks very matter of factly informed us that the terrible twos had started. We re-ran through the checks wondering what in particular had tipped her off, we're in no doubt now.