This is a bit late in coming, but we have a new addition to our family. A few weeks ago Hannah attended a birthday party for one of her classmates. The theme was a carnival and they had all sorts of carnival type games and carnival type snacks (cotton candy, corn dogs, popcorn, etc). In lieu of the traditional goody bag for the guests (which I never understood anyway) the hostess instead gave out goldfish to her guests! While I appreciate the sentiment and think it was an awfully creative idea, certainly better than the junk that usually comes in those goody bags that goes directly in the trash, a fish is a living thing! You have to take care of it, feed it, have someplace to house it, etc. We had none of the appropriate supplies and had to go out the next day and get fish products to welcome our new family members. Oh, and did I forget to mention that we received not one, but two fish? Anyway, Hannah decided to name her fish Evan and Catherine. We went out the next day after church and got a tank and some food and went to work getting set up to be fish owners. Unfortunately Catherine never made it to the tank. In fact, she didn't even last 24 hours! I expected Hannah to be quite upset about it, but really she took it pretty well. Evan is now happily living in his new tank is actually quite the entertaining fish. I have never seen a goldfish as hyper as he is. Maybe we got a fish with SPD! You should see this fish eat too. When you drop the food in the tank he dives and grabs at it like he hasn't eaten in a week! It actually makes a splash of water at the top of the tank! Do you think this means we aren't feeding him enough? We're giving him the amount of food the container indicates. All in all, this hasn't turned out to be as bad as I thought it would be, but just in case you are thinking about giving out fish at your next birthday party, I'd advise against it unless you want to make enemies out of all the parents!
Last weekend we had our second house guests of the season. Our friends Sarah, Jason, Evelyn, and baby Vivian came to stay for a few days. Let me tell you, Hannah was PUMPED about getting to see her friend Evelyn. She counted down the days on the calendar and tirelessly told every person she came in contact with that they were coming. We had a great time during their visit, but I think Hannah was definitely ready for a break when it was time for them to leave. Having to be "on" 24/7 is hard for anyone, but it was next to impossible for Hannah. She needs plenty of alone time throughout her day and while they were here she didn't get any at all. Even though I was constantly on her about being a good friend, admonishing her for not playing with Evelyn, and pushing her to be social with our guests I think she did pretty well all things considering. Sometimes I just expect too much from her. I have to remember that she's not like other kids even when she appears to be doing ok. It sure was sweet to see those two playing together though. It's been way too long. Those two know each other like the backs of their own hands still, even though they haven't seen each other since November! I think that's pretty amazing. One funny thing was watching Hannah try to engage Evelyn in play. Hannah absolutely had to be the one directing the play at all times. It was like she was a little mini CEO. I kept hoping Evelyn would put her foot down and say "NO! I want to play this," because Hannah desperately needs a reminder that it's not all about her, but unfortunately for me Evelyn was a total sweetheart and went along with whatever Hannah wanted to do.
Here's a random funny Hannah story for you that happened tonight. I was sitting at the table looking at a magazine that had just come in the mail and was trying to get Hannah to go upstairs to get her PJs, but Hannah was stalling. She saw an advertisement for the Sears Portrait Studio that had fallen out of the magazine and she said, "What's this?" I told her it was just an advertisement. She replied, "For babies?" I absentmindedly said yes, thinking that she meant baby pictures. She then piped up, "Then we don't need this because we don' t want to get a baby right?" I about died! Kyle called down from upstairs, "You've got to put that on the blog." She totally thought when I said it was an advertisement and that is was for babies that I meant it was for people to BUY BABIES! If that wasn't what a lot of people feel adoption is I would think this was even more funny than I already do, but since I wanted to be sure she knew that you can't buy a person I explained to her that it was for baby pictures and that babies enter families either by being born to their mommy or being adopted, not by being bought.
Hannah's behavior lately has taken a turn for the worse. Besides defiance that is like none I have ever seen before, she's getting more and more physically and verbally aggressive. She shouts things like, "I hate you! You're not my mommy anymore! and I'm not going to be your kid!" at me routinely and hits, kicks, and spits pretty much daily. The other day the library curse struck again. Our library has removed it's check-out desk and replaced it with all self check out machines. Don't get me started on how much I hate this set up. That's for another post. Anyway, we were trying to check out the books and Hannah wanted to do it. She had a book up on the scanner, but she was trying to swipe the wrong bar code so it wasn't working. I tried to help her turn the book around so that the correct bar code would scan underneath the laser and she totally flipped out and chucked the book nearly 10 feet across the lobby. It was a miracle it didn't hit anyone. I looked like she was trying out for Olympic Discus! It's pretty much impossible to enforce a timeout outside of our home anymore so I did the only thing I could do and I told Hannah we were leaving the library right now and that we would not be able to check out the rest of our books because of the way she was acting. She went ballistic. First she kicked me. Then she hit me. Then she took off running. Leaving the books behind I took off sprinting after her and caught her. She threw herself to the ground and desperately tried to wrench her hand out of mine and would not walk. Instead she continued to scream, kick, and hit. I had no choice but to pick her up and carry her out of the library. She was thrashing around kicking and hitting and pushing on my neck so hard I could barely breathe. Several times she was flailing around so crazy that I dropped her. Eventually we made it to the van . I'm not even sure how that happened and then I had to try to get her into her booster seat. That was not easy, but eventually I got her buckled in and climbed into the driver's seat. Hannah still screaming and kicking away, I started to back out of my parking space when I heard a click. She had unbuckled her seat belt and was attempting to get out of her seat! I was shocked. This was a totally new behavior. I reprimanded her and buckled her back up, but she would not leave the belt latched. I had to hold it in place which unfortunately put me in arms reach of her hitting. She raged in the car for about 15 minutes (which felt like 15 hours!) before she started screaming, "GO! JUST GO! I WANT TO GO HOME!" I tried to explain to her that I couldn't leave the parking lot until I was certain she was going to stay buckled in her seat but that just made her more angry so we had about 10 more minutes of her raging about wanting to go home. Eventually she just started sobbing and wasn't fighting me as much so I took a chance at getting back in my seat. We made it home in one piece, but I was a nervous wreck the entire drive worried that she would unbuckle while I was driving. I don't know what it is about the library, but we seem to have a knack for causing huge scenes there. Before long they're going to ban us from coming!