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In Between

December 27, 2009

We are inbetween the holidays here in Spain. Things have quieted down, although there are still festivities in the plaza and family and friends still visiting for a coffee and cookie every once and awhile. There are friends to see that we haven’t seen in years and there are still Nativities and Christmas displays to visit. For Queenie this all has very little importance compared to the kids train down in the Plaza Mayor. Well, the carousel too, but mostly the train. She is obsessed with trains. Tio came in on a train the other day, a modern one, but she stood there staring and smiling as it entered and left the station, barely paying attention to her Tio until we turned around and walked into the station. This obsession started a few weeks ago when we watched The Polar Express. It was, and still is, the first real movie that she has sat and watched for the entire 2 hours or more that it runs. And she didn’t just watched, she was emotionally involved in it. When the little kid fell she gasped and cried out, “Oh, no!” There were quite a few other exclamations of “oh, no!” during the film as the train slides on the ice or the kids skiis down the top of the train. She gripped her elephant tightly throughout the movie and asked to watch it again when it was down. “Choo-choo!,” she exclaims. “Dond esta choo-choo?” (I’m spelling how she pronounces, geez, all you perfectionists out there!) The way that she asks is by looking at you and saying, “Choo-choo? Ah-huh!” while nodding her head.

Since  that first time she has seen The Polar Express (aka Choo-choo) 5 times. So imagine having a little one just a short, twenty minute walk away from Abuelo’s house that you can get on and ride! Just imagine! And imagine that your parents and abuelos were, well, not that smart and took you there just the second day of a two week long vacation! She woke up today immediately asking for choo-choo, and not the movie this time. Yesterday Principe promised to take her to ride it again today, and her little two year old mind remembers, let me assure you! Since the first time that we took her (after having seen it in the Plaza but not being able to ride it) I promised her that after night-night naps she would be taken to ride the train. So yesterday, when Principe told her he would take her she made the sign for ‘bed’ and said, “Nigh-nigh? Choo-choo. Ah-huh.” She may not speak a language others understand, but this girl KNOWS!

Beyond the trains and glorious celebrations, Queenie’s abuelos have had the opportunity of seeing her throw one of her biggest temper tantrums yet. I think, in the end, what was bothering her were her teeth. She is doing strange things with her tongue and mouth throughout the day and will suddenly cry out or lash out. This was Christmas day, after having stayed up until 11pm two nights in a row and not getting good naps for quite a few days, so sleepiness also had something to do with it. But it is interesting, because it seems as though neither Principe nor his brothers throw any temper tantrums ever because the abuelos had no idea what was going on. Every time she gets her coat on now (the trigger on Christmas day) they make comments of, “Watch out!” or “Let’s see if she gets it on today!” They don’t understand that the coat was only the trigger in her world that set off the fireworks. But I am wondering if more verbal kids don’t throw as many temper tantrums, or perhaps they begin them but their parents are able to curve them away by understanding what the child wants instead. Looking back I told Principe that I think what Queenie wanted was to stay in the church for something, but of course, was not understood. (By the way, if this isn’t flowing well from one thought to the other it might be because when my inlaws see me writing, either on the computer or elsewhere, they become like moths to a flame and suddenly have so much to tell me. Never fails, either. Things that I see with Queenie everyday they suddenly must point out to me, or ask me what I want for lunch, or if they should change her diaper or, or, or, or.)

Anyway, the temper tantru literally lasted longer than 40 minutes. We had to get her home from the chruch kicking and screaming (thank goodness it is only 6 blocks away) and from the moment we put her in the corner to allow her time to calm herself down, forty minutes passed on the clock. Forty minutes before she would even take elephant in order to allow herself to calm down. Ever few minutes we tried to help, but only made the situation worse, so we ended up sitting in the opposite corner of the room, waiting. In our house we would leave her alone, but the room we are all sleeping in isn’t exactly temter tantrum proof, so we hid at the opposite end. Half an hour later I rocked her to sleep. She slept for 4 hours.

In the midst of the train and coloring and temper tantrums, etc, in the midst of the wonderful holidays that Queenie is having (and we haven’t even exchanged gifts) I have been called huge, asked if I am gaining more weight than with Queenie (actually, I’m gaining less, but the tummy is sticking out more than with Queenie) and constantly have people trying to rub my tummy. Okay, that isn’t true, the “people” is concretely my mother-in-law, but she does it about 4 times a day and I HATE IT! Besides that I am exhausted by the constant calling of Queenie from one side to the other or being counter acted upon by Queenie’s abuelos in almost everything. Yesterday I took a nap with Queenie to escape, literally. And although I was awake I stayed in bed, as I heard “discussions” being carried out. (My inlaws and their kids don’t fight, they have discussions. They speak to each other in VERY LOUD VOICES, but don’t you dare say that they are fighting, they’ll get offended!)

Tomorrow Principe and I go to Madrid, leaving Queenie here by herself. Leaving her here by herself itsn’t what worries me. I know she will be fine and she is at an age where she should be able to adapt. What worries me is that her abuela doesn’t seem to understand her when she says the few words she knows to say. Because of this I am going to have to write down an eating schedule. Especially the eating worries me because as little as Queenie eats, if she is hungry and you don’t understand her she will throw a fit until you shove food in her face.

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