Ella is no longer a baby; I guess she really hasn’t been for a long time as she’s almost three. She is still in diapers and all that but the threshold into kid-hood for me was her ability to reason and express that train of thought and so now we have arguments. She still throws herself on the ground and kicks her feet in protest but before that whole desperate process starts she says things like “I don’t want to” and “but pleeaaaaase”. Bargaining works too now, yesterday at my husband’s Grandmother’s funeral I was able to seal a deal for sustained silence with a peppermint candy. Whenever she forgot her promise all I would have to whisper “Do you still want that piece of candy?” and she would furiously nod and I would put my finger to my mouth and “shhhh”. I have to admit I love this, not for the begging, arguing and bargaining that is happening but the phrases that blow my mind; “It’s easy for towels to live in the closet because the closet is really a house for the laundry.” or “You don’t have to share shoes, just toys and candy but not shoes”.
She also tends to personify everything. I’m not sure if this is from too many talking spoons on Sesame Street or if kids naturally do that. I remember doing it when I was a kid. I always had to have two jelly beans in my mouth so the first on wouldn’t feel lonely and I was never mean to chairs and never left knots in my shoes because who wants to wake up in the morning with knots in their hair so maybe it’s genetic. Every one of my stuffed animals had a name and if you showed them to me today I could tell them to you, although Ella names all her babies the same name. Like when Ramona Quimby thought “Chevrolet” was the prettiest name ever, my Ella loves the name “Jealous”. You can often hear her in the corner of her playroom cooing “C’mere baby Jealous I will read you this book, don’t cry”. If you ask her what her giraffe’s name is she’ll tell you “Jealous” and her monkey? “Jealous”. And her bear? “Jealous”. Little ol’ ladies who ask and get the response “Jealous” often think they heard her wrong and reply to her “That’s a wonderful name” while simultaneously looking at me to explain. I gave up trying to explain with “Jell-us she names her babies Jell-us because she thinks it’s a pretty sounding word.” It doesn’t seem to clear anything up for minds expecting to hear “Janie she’s trying to say Janie” so now, I just smile and shrug.