So let's play a round of Good baby/Bad baby to help us get a full picture of how Audrey's behavior has been shaping up lately:
GOOD BABY: Elmo comes to the park
It was a beautiful sunny day and I decided to take Audrey to the playground in our housing complex so that she could throw bark and try to go down the slide headfirst. She insisted on bringing Elmo with her, and she carried him the entire way there without throwing him a single time. Once we were at the playground, she brought Elmo to the top of the play structure and then sent him down the slide ahead of her. It was cute as f***.
"Elmo loves the slide AT LEAST as much as I do. Maybe more!"
BAD BABY: The string cheese incident
Audrey and I were shopping, and it was taking a long time. When shopping takes a long time, Audrey gets progressively more and more restless, as she doesn't want to stay in the shopping cart but she can't even a little tiny bit be trusted to walk next to me. So I have to bring a lot of things along to keep her entertained. Snacks are WONDERFUL for this purpose.
I opened up a package of string cheese and gave it to her, thinking "string cheese has got to be one of the least messy snacks in the world. I am quite a genius for thinking to bring this along!" I handed her the string cheese and stepped away from the cart for a moment to look at different mirror options.
When I looked back, it was a disaster. Instead of just taking bites of the string cheese like a normal person, she had sort of chew-bitten her way through 75% of it in one go, chewing part and then shoving it into her mouth and then chewing the next bit (while it was still attached) and shoving that into her mouth and continuing on and on until she had a good 4-5 inches of half-chewed semi-attached string cheese in her mouth at once.
I looked at her and shrieked "NO AUDREY! THAT IS TOO MUCH!" And she ... started spitting it all out. Half-chewed saliva string cheese stew coming out of her mouth while she sat in a shopping cart in the middle of a large retail establishment.
I put my hand under her mouth and caught all the cheese. Glanced around and nobody was looking. Thank God for the little things, eh? But now what do I do? It's not as if there's a trash can right next to me, and my hand is full of this disgusting mess. I can't just throw it on the floor.
So I made her eat it again. I separated off appropriately-sized bites and put them back into her mouth one by one. I respect you too much to tell you what happened once I had gotten all the big chunks out of my hand and was left with just the fragments in a puddle of baby-juice.
We won't be bringing string cheese shopping with us anymore. Bad baby.
Here is a lovely sunset to take your mind off half-chewed saliva string cheese stew.
GOOD BABY: She fancies herself a doctor
Any time I do something remotely medical to Audrey, she insists on doing it for herself again afterwards. So whenever I take her temperature under her arm, I then hand her the thermometer and laugh as she spends the next ten minutes carefully lifting her shirt and trying to shove the thermometer into her armpit. If I sit down on the ground with her, she will also start tugging at my shirt so that she can take my temperature as well. She likes to stick the thermometer in my belly button too, for whatever reason. It's goddamned adorable.
She also tried to use the fetal Doppler to listen to the baby inside HER belly after I let her listen to her little brother or sister's heartbeat inside me. Turned the Doppler on all by herself, lifted her shirt, and started putting the wand against her stomach and moving it around. I eventually helped her out by moving it up to her chest so that she could clearly hear her own heartbeat coming through. She was thrilled, and it made me totally forget about the fire station for a minute.
BAD BABY: She trashed the kitchen multiple times
I boiled a chicken carcass and was busy mining for meat and throwing the bones in the trash. My hands were covered in chicken bits, but Audrey wanted me to read her a book. So I nicely asked if she could find something else to do for a few minutes while I finished with the chicken. She was like "hey, no problem!" and opened the drawer with the saran wrap, foil, ziploc bags, etc.
For the next several minutes, I watched in impotent horror as she pulled every single bag out of a 100 pack of ziploc sandwich bags, throwing them on the floor. Well, first she emptied the box into the drawer itself, and THEN she started throwing the bags one by one onto the floor. I probably could have stopped her, but then she would have remembered the book she wanted me to read and I really needed to finish with the chicken. So the bags flew.
She pulled all that other stuff out of various drawers and cupboards as well.
Also, I ordered a giant box of fun-sized bags of Utz chips because I AM OBSESSED WITH THOSE and they aren't available on the west coast. On multiple occasions, she has decided that a fun game would be to toss bags of Utz all over the floor.
In her defense, that does sound like a pretty fun game.
Another time, she threw a fit because she saw her plastic containers of fruit in the fridge. So I was like, "okay, you can have some peaches as a snack." I filled a little bowl with peaches and gave them to her. She ate exactly zero of them, and instead spread the peaches and peach juice everywhere. She offered neither explanation nor apology.
GOOD BABY: She cuddled with Elmo in her crib
Every morning, when Audrey makes her first noise, I turn on the video on her baby monitor to see what she's doing. Is she actually up, or is she just whimpering in her sleep?
One morning, I turned on the monitor to see that she was sitting up and holding her Elmo doll cradled in her arms like a baby. And she was rocking him.
So f***ing cute.
BAD BABY: She recycled all her binkies
We keep our trash can under the sink, but also keep a swing-top garbage can out in the kitchen for recycling. For whatever reason, Audrey has recently become enamored with the recycling bin, even though it's been in the same place for the entirety of her life.
The other day, I caught her shoving a pacifier into the recycling bin, and when I asked her what she was doing, she was like "... uh oh!"
So I had to take the top off the recycling, and pull out every single item one by one until I had found the THREE binkies she had put in there. At this point, some kind of binkie RFID tracking system might be a good investment.
GOOD BABY: We stopped and smelled the roses
It was another absolutely gorgeous day, and I took Audrey with me to walk the 100 yards to the mailbox. Along the way, we passed the leasing office with its beautiful landscaped garden out front.
Audrey refused to go any farther until she had pointed at, named out loud, and touched every single flower growing in the garden. Getting the mail, which usually takes a minute or less, took us almost half an hour that day.
So, thanks, Audrey, for making sure I stop and appreciate the little things every so often. It's too easy for adults to forget about that part. The flowers really were quite lovely.
She liked the purple ones best.
All in all, weighing all these things together, I think I'll keep her. :-)
She's damn cute, after all.
And, she doesn't judge me when I decide we should go get donuts in our pajamas. You can't put a price on that kind of loyalty.
She was even more into those donuts than I was.