A Little Bit of Zoe

I've had a lot of posts about Ana lately... and about Ana AND Zoe. I thought it was about time to have a completely Zoe post. Teeny tiny tidbits about my big girl. Random odds and ends...

- For Zoe... the word skunk has always been "stunk". I don't know why, but that one little letter switch makes Nick and I both completely hysterical. Some examples of Zoe... "I smell a stunk! Do you smell that stunk?" and "How come Alex, Larisa and Nina are stunks?" That was the best. Trick-or-treating and having Zoe let everyone know "My cousins are stunks!"

- Zoe is in the full blown "all by myself" phase. Everything is "I can do it ALL BY MYSELF!" She dresses herself, goes to the potty by herself, cleans up by herself, showers by herself... etc. etc. etc. Unless of course she decides "I NEED HELP. WWWAAAAHHH. SNIFFLE SNIFFLE SOB. I CAN'T DO IT!" Then of course "all by myself" goes right out the window... until 3 seconds later when we're on to another activity and another "go away, I can do it all by myself!" emerges.

- My world has been taken over by "Why?" I knew it was coming. As a preschool teacher I had experienced it. I still had no idea how irritating and seemingly irrational it could be. I had no idea that it would feel like I was having every nerve in my body repeated poked over and over and over again. I can't even think clearly. When do we get past this?

- When Zoe doesn't want something she will try telling us she doesn't like it (even if we know she does). There is one absolute best and memorable time she used her "I don't like it" tactic. We were having dinner, and after asking her to eat numerous, she announced "But I don't like chicken." We looked at her and said "Zoe, it's pork. Eat." She responded "Oh" and cleaned her plate.

- Like trying to get out of eating (or doing) something by saying she doesn't like it, she will also try to convince herself she DOES like something by just saying it repeatedly. One example would be jello. One time we were at Aunt Andrea's house and the kids were all having little bite sized jello squares. Zoe would announce "I like jello." and then put the square in her mouth. Then she would sort of gag and spit it back out into her hand. She repeated the same procedure about 5 times... "I like jello.", mouth, gag, spit, repeat. All of the adults just kind of watched with wonder. I finally told her to stop and that it was alright if she didn't like it. We haven't had jello again, but I am almost tempted to make some just to see if she'd try again.

-Zoe calls directions "Gretchens". It was extremely difficult to figure that one out the first times she said it. We couldn't figure out who or what "Gretchen" was... and Zoe couldn't begin to define directions. She was actually looking for a small piece of paper that came with a hopscotch game. I can't even remember how long it took us to figure it out... but it was frustrating all around.

-Some of the boys at school have told Zoe she's a baby. Most children I know have gotten upset by being told that. They whine, or cry, or run to an adult and do the "So and so called me a baby, sniffle sniffle." That's all fine... and normal. Zoe, she doesn't get upset... she gets annoyed. She sternly states "I'm not a baby, I'm a big girl!" in a tone that says "What are you, an idiot? Can't you see I'm not a baby? Now, Ana, she's a baby. Me, I'm 3 years old, duh." I love that she doesn't get her feelings hurt and just states the obvious with such a seriousness.

-Zoe has become a master storyteller. Her newest tale involves her living all by herself in a red house in Canada. Zoe - "Mommy, you and Daddy and Ana can live here in the green house. I live all by myself in my red house." Me - "Oh really. Where is your red house." Zoe - "It's in Canada. I go there on a big airplane. You can't come." Me - "Well, who is going to cook you dinner?" Zoe - "Well, Alex and Larisa can come. They can help me. And we'll have juice." The red house has been talked about for over a week now. I'm expecting her to pack her bag any day now and announce that we need to take her to the airport so she can go home.

-Sometimes when Zoe wants something she will say someone told her it was OK... or that it was someone else's idea. Zoe will wake up from nap and something will come out of her mouth like "Mommy, I do need a cookie. Grammy said so. She said yes." Um, Grammy is in Florida. We are in New Jersey. Unless she flew here and snuck into our house and your room while you were snoozing... well then no... Grammy didn't say so. She did not say yes. (If she were here, sure, that would be true.)

Zoe could very well be the best big sister ever. Still, after 4 1/2 months, Zoe is madly in love with Ana. She still calls Ana her baby. Every day she tells me she needs to hold Ana, or that Ana needs to sit by her in her chair. She has taken on an exaggerated version of the tone I use with Ana... that sweet perky Mommy-voice... only sweeter and perkier. Zoe can get Ana to laugh and smile like no one else can. She is just so interested in all things Ana.

Some times all of Zoe's little quirky things will come together and I will get statements like "Mommy, Ana wants to sit with me. She told me she wants me to read her a book. You can go do laundry and do the computer. I can take care of her all by myself. I'm a big girl. Ana told me, yes."

She is just such a big girl. She's got a huge personality. She's friendly and talkative (so so very talkative). I have other parents tell me Zoe is just such a nice girl. Such a sweet child. It fills me up when other people will just volunteer their opinions about how "good" she is. I know there are moments that Zoe brings me to the end of my rope... and tries her hardest to poke at my very last nerve. She can yell, and scream, and throw tantrums with the best of them. But there are more times that she makes me smile... makes me laugh... makes me want to just squeeze her and cover her with smooches. Sometimes when all of her "Zoe-ness" just makes me realize how truly special she is. Sometimes my love for her is just overwhelming. Oh, you mommies, you all know what I mean.