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Sorry things have been so quiet around here. There’s not a lot to report, really. Peter is slowly improving; daily tasks are getting easier, and if you talked with him for a short time, you probably wouldn’t know anything was amiss.

We are more or less going about our regular routine now, with the difference that Paula has really taken over a lot of the tasks that Peter normally would have done, like taking care of Emmie on my work days and making dinner when I work late. Emmie and I are the only ones who can really hang out with friends, so if we have any social obligations, she and I will be the ones making an appearance.

Emmie has been one of the most challenging aspects of all of this, in some ways. Taking care of her is very, very challenging for Peter, I think mainly because she is really cognitively demanding at this stage. Frankly, *I* get exhausted after a day with her, so it’s not surprising it’s challenging for him too. She is getting closer and closer to three, and I am seeing all of those lovely behaviors starting to rear their ugly heads. (For non-parents, the “terrible twos” often are not bad, but three is often acknowledged as being way worse. Yay.).

If I’m not trying to outmaneuver her or outsmart her, which is getting much harder, she is throwing a tantrum/sobbing fit about something. It could be that I didn’t give her “lots of milk” in her cup (i.e., a quantity she deemed insufficient). Or that the food she was provided for breakfast was not “sumpin ‘pecial.” Or possibly that the way I was playing with the blocks was unacceptable, although she could not articulate exactly WHAT she wanted to have happen (more likely because she herself had no idea. She is extremely articulate).

It’s hard seeing my polite, sweet little girl who very much knows exactly what she should (and should not) do testing every limit. She randomly jabbed her Oma in the arm with a fork at dinner tonight, completely unprovoked and with a smile on her face. It’s rather like my angel has been replaced with a psychopath, actually. And while I know this is developmentally totally normal, it still is a really challenging time for Peter to try to be dealing with all of this. Thinking of appropriate responses and appropriate consequences can challenge the best parents in the best of times, but is very, very taxing when his reaction time is slowed and social interactions in general are impaired.

Luckily, Emmie still has many sweet moments to outweigh the challenging ones. She still randomly will tell me “I love you!” She is creating more complex ideas and novel thoughts daily. The other day, as I checked on her while she was supposed to be getting ready for sleep, she said “I’m just thinking ’bout Firetruck Sam” (Fireman Sam was a show she had watched a week earlier). She seems to have independently been developing a theory on where snow comes from. Initially, she reported snow was coming down from the mountains and the wind was blowing it off of them. Then yesterday, she said the clouds were shaking all the snow out of them and the snow was coming soon (she was not wrong about that). She also has ears like you wouldn’t believe and hears *everything*. Today, we were talking about Monsters, Inc, which reminded me that her Monsters University DVD was supposed to come today. So I said, “Speaking of monsters!” and ran upstairs to check the porch. I mentioned to Oma that I was expecting a package today, but she said she hadn’t seen anything. I came back downstairs and Emmie said, “What about my Monsters package?” (Oops!). Then, “Why you said ‘peaking of Monsters?” She also has asked me questions about very grown-up stories told in front of her that showed she understood quite a bit of what was being said (eek!). One last cute things she has started doing: She has started telling us our lines of dialogue in our conversations, especially if it’s a social exchange. For example, she loves asking “How was your day?” at dinner (though she seldom waits for the response). After asking everyone, she turned to Oma and said, “Now Oma, you say ‘Emmie, how was your day?'” Too funny.

So while nothing is terribly exciting around here, things are always constantly changing.