I thought I should probably be writing this stuff down since the girls are changing so fast and they're so stinkin' cute!
Manners matter. They both have good manners. They say please and thank you and excuse me. Not because I make them say it but because I always say it to them so it's just natural for them to say it to me. Gosh, could it really be true that our children mirror what we say and do?
Go away! When they show up at the door of the bathroom while I'm using the potty, I've been known to bark "Go away!" while gesturing madly in the direction of the playroom (where they should be). Now, when Maddy is mad at me, she'll yell "Go away!" and punctuate her demand by vigorously pointing. Is it too soon to implement the "Do as I say, not as I do" rule?
Memories. They're three years old and significant events in their life will, potentially, be things they'll remember from now on. They won't remember China or orphanages or foster care or Gotcha. But the Tuesday night beatings will probably have to cease or we'll have one heck of a therapy bill later.
They're proud of me. After pooping in the potty or finishing all of her spaghetti or picking up all of her blocks, or waking up from her nap and not screaming bloody murder, Maddy will flash me a gorgeous smile - her eyes will twinkle - and she'll enthusiastically exclaim "I'm proud of you, Mama!" Gwen has started doing it after golden moments too. I'm not sure what they think it means but I've said it to them many times and they must think it's another way to say "We have an abundance of happiness because Mommy is smiling!"
Hiding. Anything that is not in view is "hiding". Drop the spoon and can't find it? (It's hiding) Only one shoe on a child's foot? (The other one is hiding) Nothing is missing or lost or misplaced or gone. It's just "hiding".
Role play. Gwen has decided to role play for the first time. She'll tell me "I be Daddy." Then she'll say "Hi Mommy" and I'm supposed to say "Hi Daddy!" Then she'll say something about going to work and head for the garage then turn around and come back "home". I'll ask her how her day was and she'll rattle off a bunch of totally incomprehensible stuff. Gee, just like Daddy!
Maddy recently decided that she's going to be the Kitty. She'll answer all of your questions with "Meow" and she even scratches her own neck (our Kitty loves that).
Sympathy empathy schmpathy. When Gwen hurts Maddy, I try to force her to cough up some sympathy by asking her if she'd like to experience the same painful thing she inflicted on her sister. "Do you want Mommy to hit you on the head with a block?" "Do you want Mommy to smash your hand in the door?" "Do you want Mommy to pull your hair?" Gwen is always silent at these moments but Maddy is vigorously answering for her: YES! YES! YES!
Poor me. When Maddy is chastised about even the most minor thing, she'll run screaming from the room (for dramatic effect). This is because I've started asking her to take her pity party to the laundry room. She never actually gets as far as the laundry room because, apparently, it's not much fun to throw a pity party unless you have a live audience.
Maddy used to smack herself in the face when we chastised her. We initially responded with snuggles and hugs and requests that she not "hurt our precious sweet girl". She's not stupid so she immediately figured out how to manipulate that situation to her advantage so I switched gears and started saying "Do it again" when she'd smack herself. Now she looks at us like we were crazy. Then we all laugh and she forgets that she's supposed to be self-mutilating or sulking.
That's all I can think of for now. I'll try to post these "Personality updates" more often. The girls (or their therapists) will get a kick out of reading them later, I'm sure.