Having a really nice morning, all things considered. It was my first weekend off in about six months, and it was lovely. We were able to switch Jess to the Saturday dance class, so I took her first thing in the morning, and it happened to be on the one day of the year that parents are able to observe the class. This is my all time favorite - I cry every year, the sight of my gorgeous girl all dressed up in a leotard and dancing around the room with fifteen other little ballerinas... she's so exactly what I always wanted in a little girl. I wish I could have sent a snapshot of that moment back to myself in my twenties, when I wanted a little girl so badly.
We've been having a bit of hard time with Jess lately - lots and lots of tears. Like, enough to drown in, really. And it's so hard to deal with, because it's not temper tantrums, it's just crying all the time. She seems so sad and unhappy, and I can't figure out how to fix it, let alone make her happy enough to smile instead of sob. The only explanation I can come up with (big surprise here) is that it's entirely my fault. I must be neglecting her, Sam gets more attention, he demands more just because of his age, and when she's not crying, I leave her alone. She plays happily in her room with her figurines or colors or reads - and while I think I do a good job of paying attention to her, I must be dropping the ball at least enough to make her feel like crying. When I looked at the world from her perspective, Sam must drive her out of her mind. He's big enough now to know that he wants to be with Jessie, in her room, touching all of her toys, all the time, but nowhere near old enough to actually play on the same level with her. He can stomp on her toys, but that's as advanced as he's going to get. And while it delights him, it infuriates her.
So Marc and I are going overboard on really paying attention to her. Picking her up, talking to her, lots of affection, etc. And it seems to be making a difference. I'm going to go with it for a while, if it means carrying her around for a bit, or having her back in bed with us for a few months, so be it. She's such a joy - and it's so hard when she's crying, that it's worth a little back-sliding on the independence front. She's not even five yet - she's got the rest of her life to be a big girl, right?
Sammy is making leaps and bounds - he's so much more social and interactive now. He's smiling at strangers, actually playing with Becky yesterday at Target. He's babbling more and more, still not really any distinguishable words really, but he's a lot more vocal. He's just started talking with his hands too - he'll spread his arms wide to express confusion (which is so funny - and he does it all the time, making me understand again how baffling the world must be to him). He's really starting to taper off nursing too - he's still nursing like a mad man, don't get me wrong, but he's started falling asleep sometimes without it, and going for longer and longer stretches, both at night and during the day without it. Maybe he might wean before he's five....