Mmm. Green beans.

I put three dapper little foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies in Ingrid’s Easter basket. They were so cute in their striped suits and bowties—and she is so fond of small, animal-shaped toys—that I assumed she’d be far more interested in playing with than eating them.

I was wrong, and holy shit, do I ever now know why we don’t usually give her sugar. She ate two yesterday and the other (unauthorized) this morning, and both times (but especially this morning, without Grandma around to channel the energy) it turned her into a crazed, wiggly, defiant, impervious creature.

The worst is it exacerbated our parenting problem du jour, which is that Ingrid squishes, hits and pokes Iris in ways that, while not always intentionally harmful, are clearly Not Safe. We’ve tried Be gentle, and we’ve tried No. That’s not safe. And we’ve tried You must be feeling very mad at Iris and What were you feeling when you did that? and Why don’t you use this doll to show me how you’re feeling? and You can tell mama you feel mad instead of doing that. We’ve tried time outs. We’ve tried telling silly stories about little girls who turn their baby sister into an orange and eat her up. We’ve tried Do this gentle thing with Iris instead. And we’ve tried (ahem) bat shit crazy freaked out mama screaming and running into the other room to get ahold of herself before she does harm.

Nothing works. She does not react to anything we say to her about it. She won’t talk about it, either in the moment or after. And if we give her a time out (which, for a while, we were doing with absolute regularity around this issue), she waltzes into it happily, hums and sings as she sits on the steps, refuses to engage in discussion afterwards, and then, often, goes right in for another round of squish the baby. Gah.

The morning was pretty intensely full of that. We finally got ourselves out the door to take the cat to the vet, and it turns out the cat has a six hundred dollar dental problem that is almost certainly painful and most certainly not in the budget.

Then when it was time to leave Ingrid refused to either put on or carry her coat, and I, with baby in sling, cat in cage, and diaper bag over shoulder, decided the best natural consequence would be to leave the coat behind at the vet’s office. So we did.

Later we walked to the coffee shop, and I’d thought the sidewalks were clear but there are some pretty big snowy stretches, so we mostly walked down the middle of the street.

By lunchtime, I think the bunnies had worn off; we were all calmer, and when Ingrid, standing next to Iris’s booster seat, began gently trying to lick pureed green beans off of Iris’s face, I was so relieved to see something even halfway resembling sisterly affection that I just let her.

P.S. Felted bag pics coming. It turned out ok. A says he'd like to use it as a stocking cap and put his ears through the handle holes.


  1. Licking pureed green beans--I love that! And leaving the coat behind is GENIUS.

    My kid gets whacked on sugar, too. Completely unacceptable behavior all of a sudden arises.

    I don't know what to tell you about the lack of gentleness. That sucks. It sounds like you have tried a great many approaches. Hm. I guess lots of supervision is all you can do till she gets over it.

  2. I missed this post.

    I call it "smothering with kindness".

    You are such a patient person.