Understanding Laura

I am a crunchy oddball with too many ideas and too little time. Do you get me now?

Monday, March 02, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes

Kellie has been doing so well putting herself to sleep this past week. Unfortunately, a lot of our forward steps were lost in the backward steps we took during the recovery from her cold.

So, after a particularly trying night, I was at the end of my rope. With my patience worn aggravatingly thin, I squatted down to Kellie's eye level and asked in my most concerned Mommy-voice - "Kellie, what is keeping you up tonight?"

The sweetest and most mature conversation I've ever had with my daughter followed -

Kellie: Oh, I'm just thinking.
MaMa: What are you thinking about about?
Kellie: The carnival - I can go on the carnival when I'm older.
MaMa: That's right. You can go on the carnival rides when you're older.

There is a carnival in town for Fur Rondy. We drive by it several times a week. When Kellie asks if she can "go on it", we tell her she is still too little to ride the rides, but she will be able to when she grows bigger and is older.

Anxious to further clear her mind, Kellie continued with what I believe is every last bit of information blocking her from a peaceful sleep.

Kellie: And Daddy too.
MaMa: Yes, Daddy can ride the rides, too.
Kellie: When he's older. And baby Delia, when she is done growing.
MaMa: Yes, when Delia grows up to be a big girl, she can ride carnival rides, too.
Kellie: Like a tree. When I get older, I'm going to grow a baby like a tree.
MaMa: A tree?
Kellie: Uh-huh. And animals. Like a tree and animals. Delia is growing.
MaMa: Delia is growing. Kellie, you're growing, too. Your body needs sleep to grow. When you sleep, your battery recharges - giving your body the energy it needs to grow big and strong.
Kellie: Sometimes we need new batteries.
MaMa: I guess so. But for healthy little girls, they just need a good nights' sleep.

Most of the things in Kellie's life that are broken or are not working can be fixed by a simple battery change. Consequently, Kellie's logical little mind has deduced that any and all problems can be fixed by a new battery. When we were waiting in the Chiropractor's foyer, she was treating a decorative tile a little too roughly. After explaining to Kellie that her touches must be gentle or the tile might break, she very solemnly turned to the receptionist and said, "Oh, I'll bring you new batteries." In her mind, new batteries would be the ultimate restitution if her clumsy toddler hands had caused the tile to break.

Kellie nodded her agreement and began to lie back on her pillow. Her eyes, nearly closed, popped open suddenly as she sat up with the last little bits of information rattling around in her all-too-tired head.

Kellie: When I am older - I'm going to make a baby, and a tree, and animals!
MaMa: Okay Kellie, when you're older - you can make a baby, and a tree, and animals. But for right now, you need sleep.
Kellie: Oh, yeah. So I can get new batteries. Like the play ground.
MaMa: Kind of. The play ground is closed - you're just tired. Do you think you can go to sleep now?

The playground at the Base Exchange Mall has been closed. It is being replaced by a GameStop store. When Daddy explained this to Kellie, she needed to see for herself. After seeing the paper-covered windows into what used to be her beloved play room, she reasoned that the playground must be broken. They must be fixing it by giving it new batteries. It's still a fresh event in her mind - we're trying to ease her slowly into the idea of never getting the playground back.

Kellie: MaMa - I love you. Sometimes we get in a car accident. And we beep the horn.
MaMa: I love you too, Kellie. Yes, sometimes we do get in a car accident. And sometimes we beep the horn.
Kellie: Oh, and then we go to the hospital. We see the baby - she says "wah wah wah."
MaMa: Yep, if we get in an accident, we go to the hospital. We might see the baby on the monitor.
Kellie: Oh, yeah. But she's fine.
MaMa: Yes, Delia is fine.
Kellie: Oh, she was just scared.
MaMa: Yep. Just scared.

After our car accident on the 10th of December, we went to the emergency room. Kellie was assessed and the doctor said she was fine. For me and Delia - they had some difficulty finding fetal heart tones with the doppler. Kellie was worried the sound of the doppler had scared the baby. This is about the time when she started saying "the baby says wah wah wah" on a regular basis. All through the exam, Kellie insisted this baby was a girl - she's never strayed from that belief unless prompted by adults. I believe she truly connected with Delia in that moment. She has been loving and concerned and excited and involved with every aspect of Delia's life since that day. At my midwife appointments, she straddles my hips, facing me, and the midwife works around her. Kellie loves to kiss my belly and tell the baby goodnight. Delia is on her mind frequently, so I'm not surprised this was one of the things racing through her thoughts as she fought sleep. I just love her tender little voice whispering, "It's okay baby Delia" followed by a kiss on my belly. And I love even more her recent desire to lift my shirt up so she can snuggle the baby.

Kellie: I want to stay up until five o-clock. It's the middle of the night!
MaMa: It is the middle of the night. What about - instead of staying up until five o'clock, you can be awake at five o'clock tomorrow evening? Would that be okay?
Kellie: Oh, yeah. Time for nuh-nights.
MaMa: Yep. Time for nuh-nights. Do you think you can sleep now?
Kellie: Oh, yeah.

Often, when MaMa loses her cool after many many night wakings with requests for food/playing/going downstairs/etc., I will say, "Kellie - it is not time for _______! It is the middle of the night!"

Finally, after two grueling hours of chasing her back to bed followed by a lengthy and surprisingly deep conversation, Kellie laid her head down and was immediately asleep.


MaMa whispers, with a quiet chuckle: I love you.


  • At 7:48 AM, Blogger Grandma Ruthie said…

    WOW! Such a cute, smart, amazing, observant, cute, smart, amazing, sweet, little girl.

    Thans for sharing... it's almost a good as being there...almost.


  • At 7:50 AM, Blogger Grandma Ruthie said…

    Forgot my proofing eyes...

    Thanks for sharing... it's almost as good as being there... almost.


  • At 9:39 AM, Anonymous auntie em said…

    What a little thinker! I love the whole battery thing. So cute that she realizes what batteries do for electronic toys and that they must do the same for everything in life. If only, Kellie!! :) Love that girl and love you! Mwuah!

  • At 12:12 AM, Blogger MartaMolly said…

    Awwwh cuuuute!!!
    Such an amazing and deep thinking soul that Kellie girl is and
    truly beyond her years. From your entry I feel that I have shared in that intimate and most precious moment. Thank you for your poignant sharing, a g'night in the life of Kellie! Luvya!


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