Constance Marie's Blog: Is My Kid Smarter Than Me?
We’re so thrilled to welcome back Constance Marie, our original celebrity blogger! The actress, mom to 2-year-old daughter Luna Marie with fiancé Kent Katich, stars on Switched at Birth, premiering on ABC Family June 6 at 9 p.m.
In her latest blog, the actress finds Luna Marie gaining the upper hand in a few scenarios. But when she tries to get Mom’s attention at bedtime, it’s all Constance can do not to laugh!
IS MY KID SMARTER THAN ME? Wait! Is it smarter than I? Never mind.
Okay — well, if any of you have been following me via Twitter or on Facebook, you know … I work hard at being the best mom I can be. But I have to admit, I have had it kinda easy … my kid sleeps (mostly), always ate and if I explained things to her … she pretty much minds me! Cut to … NOW IS IT POSSIBLE SHE IS SMARTER THAN ME? Seriously? She is only 2!
Here are two examples of Luna Marie getting the upper hand.
HITTING: When it first happened (don’t get me wrong), it was actually funny.
Luna Marie would be in her gym class, she would be standing near another kid … and she would be quiet, not even interacting with the other kid. Most of the time the child didn’t even notice her. Luna Marie would start looking the kid up and down for a long time, taking them in … and then suddenly she would WHIP OUT her arm and BAM!!! Tap that kid with gusto! Outta nowhere!!!
Of course, I explained to Luna Marie that, “It is not okay to hit people or babies. You can hit your TOYS or ball if you are upset BUT NO BABIES OR PEOPLE!” The crazy part is she wasn’t even upset or fighting with the kid … she was frickin’ stealth!!! Just quietly standing there then, BAM!
I taught her she HAD to make amends … say she was sorry and then retouch the kid gently. Then my genius child decides it is better as a three step process! To do the WHOLE ROUTINE! BAM! SAY SORRY … THEN TOUCH GENTLE! OMG!!!
Needless to say … she got the lesson I taught her … then figured out a way to make us both happy! OY!
SIGN LANGUAGE: So when I started filming my new series, Switched at Birth, I had to learn sign language. I had a great deaf tutor coming to my house, every day (because I had to learn sign language almost faster than humanly possible, but that is another blog).
His name is Anthony and he has a VERY kind energy … (he is good with kids!). I prep Luna Marie that Anthony cannot hear and he does not speak — he only talks with his hands in sign language. She doesn’t really get it, but wants desperately to meet Mama’s teacher! So she wakes from her nap and I let her come in the office to meet Anthony … SHE JUST STARES AT HIM.
Anthony gestures, “Hi” and shows her a few signs — for mama, dada, milk, apple and cookie — ya know the basics! She is in awe!
I think to myself, “Poop! I wish I had taught her sign language like my other mommy friends,” but Luna Marie spoke so early, I didn’t think I had to! Who knew I would be doing a series where I had to become fluent in sign language?! Life, right?
Well, Luna Marie became obsessed with signs! Good, right? Of course, every time Anthony came over she wanted a new sign. “Happy,” “bed,” “baby” … and she learned so fast! I was in awe. She remembered them all and one day, asked Anthony to give her the names for all the characters in the show Yo Gabba Gabba! (She doesn’t get to watch TV but we showed her one episode over and over about birthdays, so she understood the party concept — but that is another blog.)
To which Anthony signed, “What the heck is that?” I explained, and he sweetly did his research and comes up with name signs for them!
Foofa — Opening your hand on top of your head like a flower
Muno — Making a circle in front of your forehead with your hand, like a one-eyed monster
(FYI — That is how a person gets a name sign, a deaf person has to give it to you.)
Luna Marie was soooo happy! And for a long time she would show us her signs … then one day … she was over it. I would ask her to sign, and she decided she didn’t want to or would change the sign to how she wanted to do it! So I didn’t force it.
Cut to weeks later. We are putting Luna Marie to bed and I had learned a routine — that if she keeps playing or messing around in the crib, you just go in silently, no talking, no engaging, just silence so it isn’t fun. We would check her diaper and put her back down, then leave, so she gets playtime is over and it’s time for nite nite. It really worked well. Mostly she got it…
TIL ONE NIGHT. She was soooooo feisty, flipping on the changing table … rolling around, giggling … and seriously just having a party … and I like the irritated, silent sentinel … just changing that frickin’ diaper, face expressionless. I was so tired and could only keep thinking, “PLEASE GOD LET THIS END!” I just wanted to get back to sleep.
And then she does it… SHE STARTS SIGNING!!! WITH SUCH GUSTO … “MAMA” “HAPPY” “HAPPY” “DADA” …
CRAP!!! IT WAS HILARIOUS! She knew she wasn’t supposed to be speaking and I wasn’t gonna speak to her, so she TRIES SIGN LANGUAGE!!!
I am stifling laughter soooo hard, I have to bite my lip! And turn away because I am totally cracking up!!! I grab another glimpse and now she is working even harder …
SHE IS NOW WHISPERING “HAPPY!!!!” “HAPPY!!!” then she kicks it into overdrive!!!
“MUNO” “FOOFA” “BROBEE” “PLEX” “TOODEE” AND YES!!! LAST BUT NOT LEAST “DJ LANCE” SHE DID THE WHOLE Yo Gabba Gabba ROLL CALL!!! (If you don’t know those characters ask your friends!)
She is soooo sneaky … SHE HADN’T SIGNED IN WEEKS! When she needed it most she whips it out!!! OMG! What is a mother to do?!?!
FYI, it didn’t work … I didn’t break! Well, if you don’t count my body quivering with silent laughter as I put her down! I was a rock … sorta.
Frickin’ kid is a genius. I am in big trouble! ?
— Constance Marie