parenting ups, downs and inbetweens vi

it's been a few months since i've done one of these and let me tell you, with time comes change and this boy is a-cha-cha-changing fast these days.


1. singing. atticus is starting to sing along to his favorite songs, request we sing more (even me!) and spontaneously breaks into song. he even sang out "happy birthday day to you" on his own birthday. can we say, brought. the. house. down.

2. foreign language. nelson discovered the show, pokoyo, and it has been a major hit with the whole family. it is entirely in spanish and nelson even approves of the accent. thank gawd right? atticus is very cute about watching it and comes to find me, says "hand" and walks me over to the living room to watch it with him. it's so fun to learn something together. of course, he is already picking it up much faster than i am and even pointed out a huge stack of latas (cans) at the store the other day. show off.

3. djing. atty is still president of the sam cooke club, but he has expanded his repertoire to include smokey robinson or smokey song, mama as he says -- aka play 'you really got a hold on me.' i guess singing that song to him every night for two years will make it a bit familiar. now when we're in the car he likes to shout a music line up, something like: "smokey song! twistin! ohh ahhh! (chain gang) cha cha cha!" in rapid succession.

4. squeeze. randomly atticus will just say "give mama a squeeze" or "give daddy a squeeze" and come running up to one of us for a squeeze and a hug. it's so sweet.


1. fears. i never would have described atticus as fearless, but he certainly wasn't afraid of too much. now things he wasn't afraid of last year, namely a few pool time activities are really making him nervous. he doesn't want to climb out of the pool, jump into the pool and slapped me when i dunked him under the water last week (per the teacher's instructions! i swear!). so yeah, maybe we'll stick to just kicking our feet and playing with the provided rubber ducks.

2. emotions. they are strong, in full force and change as fast as we consume a box of girl scout cookies in the cuellar abode. atticus can go from laughing to crying to smiling to screaming and back again faster than i can say cha cha cha. sometimes, it's really not pretty. and i have to just keep my mouth zipped tight (literally holding a hand over it) and let it ride. the other day (pre-coffee, of course) i heard myself sweetly asking atticus to not throw his magnetic letters under the fridge for the 86th time or i wasn't going to rescue them with the yard stick. and that he needs to help clean up the letters. especially since HE made the mess. it was his responsibility and i was just helping him because i was his mama and loved him. and beyond that, mama has a whole house to clean, laundry that needs to be rewashed, work to get to, eye cream to apply, groceries to buy, etc, etc, etc and he just lalalala played with his new kitchen, screamed "FIFTY-ONE DOLLARS!" for no reason at all and held a magnetic picture of phil and kristin. sigh. i am a supreme idiot. there is no point to even try to appeal to a two-year old's sense of empathy, sympathy or reason. they really do not fully possess these characteristics yet. i needed to appeal to his pure, animal nature. so i said, "atticus if you throw the letters under the fridge again, they're going in the garbage." that let out crying and whimpering but i think there has been less purposeful throwing of letters under the fridge. maybe.

3. physical reactions. also strong, in full force and at times, painful. we're trying v. hard to stay calm (read: i am trying v. hard to stay calm, nelson just IS calm) and say, "no hitting, atticus, that hurts and it's not very nice." but when i get elbowed straight to the boob, a little yelp comes out. and rightly so in my book. if you're going to learn not to do something then part of what you need to learn is the why. your actions really can hurt people. also, it's really not very nice either. i think it's sinking in a bit. after i put atticus in his crib and covered him up with his blanket the other night he said, "night night, mama" and i said "night night, atticus, i love you." then he said "no hitting, no kicking no scratching" and then paused and said "be nice." #proudmama


1. little general. my dad referred to me as the little general when i was little. let's just say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. examples:
  • time to eat, mama. 
  • feed the baby bird, water and cat food.
  • get into position, blanket, night, night atticus 
  • one pokoyo, FINE!
  • cap on the milk, put it away
  • put elmo cup in the fridge
  • time to clean up
  • sweep the crumbs, mama
  • time for rescue mission, mama. find the letters.

further documentation of atticus talk here.

related: parenting ups, downs and inbetweens: one | two | three | four | five

original idea inspired by jen loves kev.