And then came Abby. Some days, she just seems to have her cute-o-meter set to maximum, and this was one of them.
She was no angel (behavior-wise), however, and I'd just gotten finished doling out a time-out when Tom came down to check in and provide Abby with some late-afternoon distraction in the form of her new jack-in-the-box.
As it turns out, Abby has had a change of heart regarding this particular toy between Sunday (when she last saw it) and today.
|Remember this guy?
She began to whine and pace when she saw the box, and at first I thought perhaps she wanted to wind it herself. Then, the monkey popped out the top, and she became even more distressed. Abby, I asked, "Do you want Daddy to give it to you?" He was standing where she could see it, but was still holding it, midway down the steps to the basement.
"Or, do you want Daddy to take it with him?"
"Yeah. Back to Mima's house!"
I have to say, she may not like the toy (today, anyway), but Tom and I both got some pretty good belly laughs out of the exchange. I'd say that makes it more than worth the purchase. Heh.
Abby saved the best for last, however.
While I was in better spirits upon my arrival to the dinner table, Michael managed to fry my already frayed nerves within minutes by screeching and yelling in my ear, almost non-stop, for ten minutes or more. He stopped only to inhale whatever food I dropped on his tray, at which point he commenced the mind-fracturing, ear-puncturing noise. It seems he's discovered that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and has no use for subtlety.
When I'm not holding my ears in pain, I've been trying to renew my efforts to teach him a few signs that he can use in place of vocalization, but so far my attempts have only resulted in fits of giggling on Michael's part. I'm not sure how much he understands yet what I'm trying to show him.
In any event, I was all too ready to abscond with Abby to the basement when dinner was finally over and Tom offered to take Michael into the shower with him for a quick-clean of the night's entree.
She was quiet and sweet, snuggled up next to me on the loveseat as she flipped through the pages of some new "Second Christmas" acquisitions. As I listened to her point out familiar animals on the pages, and took in the sweet scent of her soft, downy hair, I could feel a calm settle over me that I hadn't had the privilege of experiencing for days. She hadn't asked me to read to her, but I felt inspired to, tired as I was, and her excitement was palpable as I began. We blasted through all three books in no time (it was easy, as they were Michael's; therefore quite short, and heavier on pictures than words), and then she happily returned to flipping through the pages herself.
I had actually started to nod off a little, tucked in beside her, when my stomach rudely announced its digestive activities in the form of a lovely gurgling sound. Abby's head shot up and around, and she looked over at me, somewhat alarmed. "It's okay, Abby," I assured her. "Mommy's tummy just made a funny noise."
She looked instantly relieved, and subsequently, self-assured in some private epiphany. She had it all figured out.
"Raspberry's pooping!" she exclaimed.
I laughed so hard that tears sprung from my eyes.
When she observed that "Mommy's crying," I had to correct her. "No, sweetie, Mommy's laughing."
Quite knowingly, she intoned, "Mommy's laughing."
I gave her a big squeeze. Thank you, thank you, thank you, my sweet Abby Rose. What a way to end an otherwise miserable day.