Life with the children, 2020

March 29, 2020

June’s almost two now… already interested in numbers. She definitely says “Two, three, two…” as she’s putting thing into rows, which she loves to do! Toys, coins, any objects she is playing with may end up all lined up on the floor… But she’s doing rudimentary counting, at least she’s got the concept of saying numbers while placing the items. The first and most critical part of this whole numbers thing!

And she’s beginning to name the pictures in her books, not just say “What’s this? What’s that?” There are lots of new words that she understands… too many to remember.

April 10 (or so), 2020

Am still worrying about the grown kids/grand kids/kids…. this pandemic is getting serious. Makes me question what world will there be for them when it runs its course… Of course, I’ve always thought it’s gonna come down to us vs. the viruses.

I do find such joy in the kids, all of them, now! They are so amazing and endearing. June’s vocabulary and skills are growing by leaps and bounds every week! She is developing quite a temper, though. If she’s tired and doesn’t want to do something — like put on pants — she can be inconsolable. Just screams and screams.

May 20-22, 2020

Trying to keep up is hard lately, as we’re pretty busy. June is changing and growing so fast, some new little thing every day! She says so many things now – hard to remember them all!

The sweetest thing lately is her little “butterfly song.” She says “fly-fly-fly” (very quickly) for butterfly, and she’s made up the whole very sweet little song, in which the only discernible word is “fly-fly-fly” but is complete with hand gestures and waving arms, looking up and pointing, so clearly it is all about butterflies, which she loves and is very excited by. Marvin says they are June’s favorite part of nature. When we were at Granny’s, I asked June if she could sing her the fly-fly song. She immediately started singing and dancing around singing the same things she says when singing it for me. I think the word “high” is definitely in there! She sings other songs, but nothing as identifiable as the butterfly song.

She really loves music and always starts dancing when music plays. She also loves playing my guitar — and singing along. She gets the idea of melody and seems to sing notes in the chord I’m playing.

June 21. 2020

We had June’s fly-fly birthday party (she’s two) last weekend. She had fun, and Stewart, Kay & Jaap, Granny, and Andrew (Taylor’s friend from Jax) here for our first social event in Screven — all outside, on account of the pandemic. June related to everyone very positively during the party. She’s such a big, smart girl now! She speaks in complete sentences now, at least when she wants to! We were going out the door in our hats and she said, “Oh no, I don’t have my hat on!” Several other sentences lately. And — she’s getting very stubborn about getting dressed. Most of the time, she’d just rather not. Oh boy!

She has a huge vocabulary these days. Way too many words for me to keep up with. And she continues to be so sweet and happy most of the time! She did go on a string of unhappy days… sick and unhappy, maybe teething as there were stomach problems. But she’s good now, tho still some digestive issues.

Marvin and June are getting along so well lately! He’s better at playing with her and doesn’t get so frustrated. We do enjoy them so much and are so amazed at all they do! Though they are a challenge at times!

June’s throwing skills continue to improve. She can throw a ball right to you, judges the distance well and is right on target! She can throw pretty far, too. Also can run and kick a soccer ball over and over. She’s a ball girl! She loves for me to kick the big ball “so high!” and she does really well at throwing and catching it too! She just loves to run, climb, and play rough!

July 18

Language development continues… rocks are now rocks, not “row-ies.” We have such sweet times together! She really loves t play with me, hang with me. We just did lots of “A’s and flowies” in my journal… she loves to draw on my pages… and potty training is proceeding well, so proud of herself.

She is so responsive to our reactions to her. She was writing in my journal, made a wild stroke, and I reacted in a startled way. Then she looked at me with such sorrow, said, “Sorry!” very genuinely and hugged me. She also loves to bring all of us snacks whenever she is having them. I was still in bed and she came knocking on the door to offer me goldfish crackers. She always makes sure “Bubby” has a snack too if she’s having something — same with the gummy bear vitamins. She’s truly a sweet child! Very unselfish and caring. Though she’s lately becoming very stubborn as well and given to getting her way about things.

Sept. 9, 2020

Yes, she’s getting very headstrong. Very determined to do what she sets her mind to do, but she can be fairly easily distracted and gets over things quickly too. But she does cry and scream if thwarted. She’s also been very sweet lately, saying, “You home!” to us, holding our faces and being so sweet and huggy! The highlight of my day is coming home to the family and hearing June say, “Daddy home!” She often comes running to hug me and smiles so sweetly up at me. It has been hard with the ‘Rona — I have to stop her, strip and shower as soon as I get home, so I can’t respond to those sweet greetings! She also loves to give us all little kisses.

Another little sentence she says now is, “Ahhh! I broke that!” She’s a bit rough on things, even the books she loves, so things get broken. She’s rough and tumble right along with Marvin and stays all bruised and banged up. She loves to play outside, loves throwing, catching and kicking the balls, and she can play catch with me for quite a while with the little basketball.

Marvin’s growing up too, though he still has some issues with anger and screaming. He’s doing much better with most things, like bedtime and playing nicely. He and June have lots of fun together being wild kids. He is very protective of her and is usually letting her play with him now.

On the other front, I never get to see my older kids. Everything together has made it near impossible. It’s been very hard for me. I’m still non-grata with Liana, though there are some hints of a response occasionally… They all seem to be doing well, okay at least, despite the crazy times. I miss them terribly! I’ve tried to let them know how much I love them, but I’m not sure the message gets through. Life is so…. hard sometimes. Damn hard. I miss my Mom and Dad…

Sept. 26, 2020

Liana called to wish me happy birthday yesterday! The first overture she’s made to establish contact! It was wonderful to talk to her at last! But sad. We did not really resolve the break, but it was a good talk and it gives me hope that it will get better. It’s good to know she’s doing well, is happy and safe. I miss here, all the kids, so much!

June had her first real beach visit yesterday — St. Simons. We played in the waves and she just loved it! Squealed for a solid hour!

Oct. 10, 2020

A tiny connection has been established with Liana! I renewed her car tag, so I had to ask her for her mailing address, and she was appreciative, we exchanged texts, and things seemed nearly normal. Much improved, so I have a glimmer of hope… The birthday conversation seems to have helped.

A few notes on June and Marvin… June’s vocabulary is growing so fast I can’t keep up! And it’s so cute! She says “yep!” and “nope!” a lot now! She calls Granny “Bramm-ma” and calls Kay “Grammy-Tay.” Oh yes, now she knows her own name! If you ask, she says, “Anna June!” And she told me, “You John!”

Marvin continues to be challenging for me. He is pretty amazing in lots of ways. Very smart. He can recite the story of Wall-E from the book, nearly completely, and he does so, frequently looking at the book and pretending to read it. He really wants to read! He’s certainly an auto-didact, like Lucy. Drawing robots is his daily obsession now, and he’s filled hundreds of pages with Wall-E, Johnny 5 and others. He can keep up a narrative on something for half-an-hour as he draws, though it’s sometimes hard to know what he’s narrating… His defiance continues. I’m trying to be better but not very successfully. I am able to avoid the power struggles, though.

October 18, 2020

A Sunday in the cooling-off days… playing ball with June this morning. She can now throw the soccer ball up in the air and catch it. She’s so proud of herself when she catches it! She does love to play catch with me! She’s so coordinated! She says, “Three, two, five, go!” and takes off running across the yard. We have fun! She is starting to count a bit. She got 1, 2, 3 yesterday in counting something with me.

October 24, 2020

Now she is moving to “1, 2, 3, go!” a lot lately! And she knows the word, “sad.” I said something about Mommy would be unhappy if she broke the plant, and she said, “She sad?” Seems I often find myself wondering how much of our nice, sweet times together she will remember. I guess I wonder if I will live long enough for her to remember me at all. That makes me sad. At least she’ll have some positive emotional grounding for her life. We spend a lot of time playing! (She just drew a little face in my notebook and added eyebrows — she told me they were the eyebrows… and then she asked me to write, or “show her the ppi’s” — her word for letters — for her name.) A few new sentences: “I put this in the trash!” “I can share with you!” Lots of quality time on the porch lately… also lots of stinker behavior! Ya gotta watch her every minute! She’s into everything!

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