Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Proof that every kid, no matter how sweet, is a manipulative little twerp

My friend Jessie watched the girls tonight while Scott and I went out for the evening — chamber music played by the Pacifica Quartet and dessert at Gullifty's, a Pittsburgh institution with acceptable food and out-of-this-world desserts. It was wonderful, really wonderful, especially the part when we realized that Janáček's "Intimate Letters" quartet is a stalker piece. (I knew the title referred to love letters he'd written, but didn't know she was 40 years his junior and there were 700 letters over a ten-year period. Creepy. And kudos to the Pacifica for the fabulous interpretation.) And then we came home and saw that the light in Beth's bedroom was still on. At 11:30.

It occurred to us that though we'd given Jessie a quick rundown on Beth's bedtime routine, we'd neglected to mention that she protests being put in her crib every night and yells about it for a good thirty seconds after we've left the room. It's just a protest on principle; she goes to sleep almost immediately. But Jessie didn't know this, and Beth figured it out fast.

Sorry, Jessie. You've been played. By a not-quite-two-year-old.

Sigh. And she'd been so cute earlier in the day. I was feeding Sarah, and Beth was attending to her own important agenda while wearing her piggy ears, and she ended up putting two of Sarah's stuffed animals on their backs on the couch, pulling out two size 1 diapers, and pretending to change the animals' diapers. So cute. Her afternoon snack (airplane-shaped crackers my dad nabbed from his flight last week) was a hit: she polished off the bowl I'd given her and asked for "Mosh airplane crackers please o-kay" in her low-pitched little voice. And when we went to the playground with friends this morning she scaled the slides and then slid down on her tummy over and over again.

Sarah's going to learn how to do the play-the-babysitter thing too, I'm sure. Right now she's sweet and calm and watchful, but she's changing: there's a sobbing quality to her cry that wasn't there a few days ago, and she's less enthralled (and therefore less easily pacified) by her binky than she has been. She has a big sister who can't wait to teach her absolutely everything, and Sarah will soak it up like a sponge.

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