Thursday, December 23, 2010


Holidays are fun, wonderful things that bring people closer together and provide a break from our everyday lives. Unless you are 2. Then they are just exhausting. OK, I guess they are exhausting no matter what age you are; you're just better able to deal with it when you are 30 than when you are 2.

Ilya made it through about an hour of opening presents Solstice morning before she put her head down and told me she was tired. Tired! My daughter does not DO "tired." This is the child that took almost a year to sleep through the night. This is the child that, to this day, wakes up every night and comes upstairs to share her awakeness with the rest of us. This is the child who takes AT LEAST an hour to go to sleep for every nap and every bedtime. For her to freely admit that she is "tired" is such a rare moment. Like a butterfly landing on your shoulder: its so unbelievable and precious you don't know what to do.

The really crazy thing is, I KNEW it was going to be too much for her and I couldn't stop myself. I have such fond memories of glowing trees, baking cookies, littered wrapping as gifts are revealed. I wanted all that for Ilya. We had our dear friends Brendan and Stina (aka Uncle Brendan and Aunt Stina) over. Grandma Tutu, Uncle Hugo, Aunt Brandy, and Mana (aka Grandma Mel). I made pancakes and we opened presents.

Then - because that wasn't enough - I invited many more friends over for dinner. Such a fun day - full of friends, family, generosity, love and connection. I felt touched to have such wonderful people in my life. Ilya had a wonderful, exhausting time, and she did sleep well that night.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

How I Spent The Last Three Hours

The following is an excerpt taken from a Skype conversation I had with my friend while trying to put Ilya to sleep

[12/16/10 9:06:01 PM] Lena Eivy: I am currently engaged in a battle of wills - to the death - with a two year old who insists that it is NOT time for bed. Technically, she's right. Bedtime was TWO HOURS AGO! xMy current tactic: the supernanny. Everytime she gets up, walk her back to her room without making eye contact or saying a word then close the door. So far: Ilya 28/ mama 0. BUT it only takes 1

29 and 1 poopy diaper
Friend: awesome. drug her?
Lena Eivy: with what? I've got some run in the fridge
Friend: children's benadryl
Lena Eivy: we don't have that. besides I can't drug her every night...can I?
Friend: just enough times to set the pattern. Possitive association, late = sleepy

Lena: 30 and 1 naked baby

Friend: is she having fun with the game? Maybe you need to make it less fun for her... somehow...
Lena Eivy: I don't know how she would be having fun. I am not speaking to her, making eye contact, or reacting in any way...on the outside...


Lena Eivy: Help! I'm caught in a bad episode of "the supper nanny" only there is no super nanny

Lena Eivy: 32 and another naked baby
Lena Eivy: I love her tactics, though. "I'm hungry" "im thirsty" "I want to cuddle""I want to read another book" "I'm having a hard time going to sleep""Would you sing to me?""I love you, mommy""I want to wear a tutu"
Friend: ... I want to wear a tutu?
Lena Eivy: See how hard it is to remain passive

Lena Eivy: 35 naked baby x 3
Lena Eivy: 36
Lena Eivy: Having a toddler might kill me

Friend: and you're up to how many?

Lena Eivy: 41, but she hasn't gotten up for the last 6 minutes. cross your fingers
Friend: crossed

(4 minutes later)

Lena Eivy: did you uncross your fingers? shes at it again
Lena Eivy: 44
Friend: sorry

Lena Eivy: ahhh - she using the heart stings, "I'm really sad" "please sing me a song"
Lena Eivy: a minute ago, it was "I don't want you here. where's daddy?" Now, its "mama, I love you. I'm sad. I need you"
Friend: awww
Lena Eivy: don't you start too
Friend: yep. sounds like a stubborn child.
Lena Eivy: don't feel too bad for her. now, shes chirping like a bird
Friend: I wonder where she gets that

Lena Eivy: wait. hold everything. the sounds from the room have ceased. hold your breath. don't make a sound. this might be it. dare I look?
Friend: no
Lena Eivy: I dare and... YES! WE HAVE SLEEP

Total time from bedtime to sleep: 3 hours.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Ilya's preschool is this little haven of joy and love and perfection in the midst of a crazy toddler world. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it is only two hours a day twice a week or maybe its because the teachers actually went to school and learned how to deal with toddlers (I'm envisioning a place much like Hogwarts where they teach you magic spells and Jedi mind tricks - that was Harry Potter, right?). Whatever the reason, every time I walk into the classroom, I find myself very aware of every word that comes out of my mouth.

We walk in the door and Ilya's teacher warmly welcomes her with a smile and a comment about some twig or leaf that Ilya inevitably finds on our walk over. I tell Ilya that it is time to use the potty to which she replies, "I don't have to go." My daughter has a bladder the size of a peanut. She peas, on average, 5 times an hour. Sometimes she just sits on the potty for the entire hour to streamline the process. So, she knows, and I know that the changes of her "not having to go" are about as large as actually getting 8 solid hours of sleep a night (in other words, slim to none).

Teacher Linda smiles at Ilya as I madly search my brain for some sort of enticement to get her to sit on the potty that doesn't make it sound like I regularly bribe my child (because, as everyone knows, only bad parents do that).

"Why don't we just try," I lamely suggest. This doesn't even merit an answer from my daughter as she prepares to begin her day. I quickly grab for her hand and try again, "We sit on the potty when we get to school," (LAAA! I am the textbook of good parenting).

"NO!" crap. If we were at home, there would have been promises of food followed by veiled threats to take away the "big girl underwear," but we are not at home. We are at school, and bribery and threats are looked down upon. So, I do what any good parent would do in my shoes.

I give up.

Not surprisingly, when I pick Ilya up two hours later she is dressed in a completely different outfit, and I am unceremoniously handed a bag of urine soaked laundry. Awesome.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I realize that I haven't posted in quite some time, and, to be honest, this won't be a proper post, but I wanted to write down some of my favorite Ilyaisms before I forget them.

* Dandelions are called "wishes"
* Bows are called "rainbows"
* Ice cream cones are called "pine cones"
* When the kitty sniffs her palm, she squeals with excitement and proclaims, "the kitty gave me an apple"

It is not irregular for us to walk down the path looking for wishes while eating pine cones, wrapping presents in rainbows and eating apples from the kitty.