The thing I am the most worried about while Robert is gone is that Violet has been KILLING me lately with the bedtimes. Blech. She has been fighting going to sleep like you would not believe, crying and thrashing and refusing to stay in bed until, usually, my bedtime. I think we are up to 6 nights or so of this, and believe you me, I am ready for this little phase to end. Ironically, this miserable phase came on the heels of her sleeping so so well for a number of weeks, even finally breaking the 8-hours-of-undisturbed-sleep mark that had been her previous highest achievement to the elusive, heavens-breaking-into-song, honest-to-goodness sleeping through the night. Oh well, what's a mama to do? It'll all be different a week from now anyway. It's like kids change really fast or something. In this case, thank goodness, because these evenings have been rough.
Speaking of Violet, she recently has discovered the alphabet and can identify almost all the letters. She still confuses b and d and the like, but the cockles of my maternal heart are warmed by her glee about the letters. It does surprise me a bit to sit in the car with my not-quite-2-year-old and have her read off "U-P-H-O-L-S-T-E-R-Y" or some such group of letters, especially since I know Grace didn't know her letters by this age. I give all the credit to Word World. I also think that TV show may deserve the credit for Grace finally starting to understand the smooshing of letters/sounds together to make words. She is not really reading yet, but something has cognitively clicked in her brain so she gets it at some level and her motivation has received some kind of boost as a result.
My most recently completed reading was Rethinking Thin; here's what I wrote on Goodreads:
Really interesting. Kolata (a New York Times science writer) follows several overweight people as they participate in an academic weight loss study and explores why they do or don't lose weight and do or don't keep it off. There's a section on the history of dieting, which is wacky and interesting, explorations of what research has shown us about why we weigh what we do and cultural attitudes toward obesity, but the section I liked the most and found the most challenging to my preconceived notions about weight and dieting was about the biochemistry of satiety and appetite. She succeeded in convincing me that most thin people are thin because they are hard-wired that way, that being overweight is not really much of a health risk for otherwise healthy people (people with regular exercise and healthy diets), and that permanently losing weight is just not as simple as "eat less, exercise more", thermodynamics notwithstanding. Kolata doesn't give advice about what to do with this information, either on a personal or a policy level, but it does put how I choose to eat and live and think about my body in a new light.
So anyway, when I first finished the book, I felt so liberated and content and like my eyes had been opened to a new understanding of my body. (For context, I've lost a lot of weight since Violet was born but for the past number of months my weight has not budged, still a nonnegligible amount above what I had thought of as a good, happy weight for me. I am overweight according to my BMI.) I then had some in-real-life conversations about the ideas in the book with someone who dismisses these kinds of rethinking of weight issues. These conversations have really affected me and made me feel kind of awful; now I cannot quite seem to recover my baseline equanimity, not to mention the new contentment I had right after reading the book. I feel like my confidence has somehow evaporated and I'm actually feeling worse about my body right now than I have, I don't know, ever. I've got to somehow snap out of this. I've been rereading some different thoughts on body image, and staying far away from any fashion magazines, and reflecting on where my security/value/identity really come from.