Like Pavlov's Dogs

If there's any doubt about whether or not Mila has a sister who is a dancer, ask her to count to ten. She'll do it, but first she'll count to 8 with perfect rhythm a few times. She has to TRY to remember that 9 and 10 are in there. She also accurately identifies "tapping" shoes versus "jazzy" shoes versus "foot undies" and you know what? I didn't know about foot undies until I was an adult. Why does a 3 year-old know about them?

Oh, yeah. The sister thing.

Mila can also do a couple of tap steps, which, she's never taken a class. She has no interest in taking a class. There has never been a moment when she has indicated that she wants to know more about dancing or do any actual dancing. It's just a thing that is gained through osmosis. If you're in this house, you'll find yourself doing a ball chain blah, blah, something or other. What? You thought I pay attention when the other kid is teaching me these things? Of course not.

The thing that cracks me up the most, though, is this thing.

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"Hands on hips, smiles on lips!"

It's a dance thing. Alexis has heard it approximately 6246942806 times in tap class (and others, probably) and she has repeated it to her sister. Of all the crazy things for the little one to obey, she obeys THAT thing. Every time. But only if Alexis is the one providing the instruction.

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It's almost always a little bit awkward, but I think that's why I like it. I could offer Mila $1 million and a couple of books of matches and she wouldn't smile for me. If Alexis says it, though, that's different. You have to follow Alexis instructions. Awkwardly.

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The only question is, how long will this last? Will Mila be in middle school and still automatically obeying when someone says "Hands on hip, smiles on lips?"

Gosh, I hope so.


I'll Try Harder After A Third Dance With Stanley

Prepare thyself to judge me ... I haven't even tried to get Mila to sleep in her own bed since hockey was on my television all of the time. Listen, I know it makes me a slacker parent, but playoff hockey cannot be interrupted. Small children who are supposed to go to sleep at some point around the first period either need to go to sleep quickly or adapt. I missed an entire game early in the playoffs battling with her to go to sleep. After that, I chose my battles a little more carefully. Or rather, let's say Mila chose to adapt by laying on the couch and falling asleep whenever she wanted because hockey. I was watching hockey.

So, hockey ended (With another Stanley Cup, thank you very much! Clearly my parenting choices led to that outcome.). In theory, the "go ahead and sleep on the couch just don't talk to me" shenanigans should have ended as well. They didn't, though, because Mila is a force to be reckoned with and sometimes I just don't feel like reckoning.

It's okay, though. I had a plan.

I had a plan that I would bust out ye old toddler bed and that would be the end of Mila running the bedtime show. 

For the record, Mila never did crawl out of her crib. She will stack chairs in the kitchen to crawl on top of the fridge, but for reasons I'll never know, she considered the crib to be an inescapable cage. That's part of why I waited to dig out the toddler bed - it seems like the sort of thing you go to out of desperation. But cages only work if the kid goes into them in the first place, so...

I kept putting off the toddler bed switch, but then I decided the time was right. I talked it up and made a big deal out of it and YOU GUYS, MILA WAS SO EXCITED. She crawled into that bed and tried to stay there all day on Sunday. She would have put her pajamas on and gone to bed at 2:00 in the afternoon if I had let her. 

I, of course, didn't.

But when 8:30 rolled around, I did expect that she would at least be a little interested in her fancy new bed.

News flash: she wasn't.

The kid who spent the whole day eagerly anticipating sleeping in her new bed has since talked about sleeping in that new bed endlessly. Constantly. SO OFTEN. She will only lay in it up until about 7:00, though. Then she turns into her usual couch-demanding self.

And it's all my fault. 

But, hey, at least I get to cuddle with a tiny little sleeping person. That is a definite upside.


She Is Bigger Enough

The hard drive on my laptop recently bit the dust, which isn't exactly a joyous occasion, but it was a good reminder that backups and complete stories stored in places that are safe are good. Thus, excessive blogging about a topic, AHOY! I don't want to forget the stories that go with the photos.

While there are certainly fancier places to beach, Ocean City has the Boardwalk. And the Boardwalk has things. Like, amusement park rides. 

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Mila really super likes amusement park rides.

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(Ignore the expression on her face. That's just her RBF that she keeps on hand for when I have the camera.)

As part of my always-evolving efforts to bribe Mila into acting like a respectable human, I kept telling her she could "ride the horsies" if she did all the things respectable humans do. Fortunately for her, she complied enough for me to get her a few tickets and let her go.

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One spin around the horsies wasn't enough, though. Mila had a few more tickets to burn, so she asked to ride something else. And then something else. And then something else. And a magical thing happened - she was tall enough to ride all of the things in the kid area! By herself! Without obnoxious high heels or anything! And the signage was clear and there were visual indicators to know when she had wandered past "her space" and ... well ... Kennywood, take notes. 

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And then we purposely wandered past "her space" and found a giant area where Mila was still allowed to ride, just this time with a "responsible person" at her side. I found me one of those "responsible people" and there was fun.

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So much fun.

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Basically, I now know that if I want to set Mila free and let her ride and ride and not run into moments of "you're not bigger enough," I just have to go to Maryland. It's totally worth the drive.