I feel like I’ve been writing about the kids a lot recently… like, more than usual. It’s almost as though this is… I don’t know… some sort of mommy blog or something. Huh.
On the one hand, I know. I KNOW. They are amazing and wonderful to ME, but every parent thinks their kids are awesome, and what makes me think mine are any better or more interesting or whatever than anyone else’s? I mean, PRIDEFUL MUCH?
On the other hand, my children are no strangers to MAKING MY HEAD EXPLODE, so when they’re being fantabulous I do feel like I’ve earned the right to share it with the world, you know, just to offset things like the stories about boogers. That’s our motto of parental pride around here, you know. “SO MUCH MORE THAN BOOGERS!” we chant around the dinner table. Go Team Mirspawn! WOOOOOO!
Anyway. You love it when I brag on my kids. You know you do. Hey! Where are you going? Come back!
Let’s start with something cool about Chickadee. Oh, my darling Chickadee. My mini-me. She of the pendulum-moods, which is so hard to deal with and yet is so familiar to me. One minute everything is great, and the next the world is ending. (I have no idea where she gets that. OH MY GOD LIFE SUCKS. Hey, something shiny. I LOVE LIFE!) This has been her way since babyhood, really, and I don’t expect it to change.
This morning for some reason she decided she wanted to walk down the stairs with me. Of course, I had things to do downstairs, and I had just woken the kids up and was planning to, you know, head downstairs to do them. She wanted me to wait while she got dressed.
She FREAKED OUT.
Now, I can hear you thinking, “Um, Mir? This is not such a great story about why your kid rocks.” But actually IT IS, because I said nearly the same thing I always say in such situations:
“Chickadee. This is not how I want to start my day. You can have a meltdown or you can make a better choice and move on. I’ll see you downstairs.”
And I left and went about my business, fully expecting her to stomp downstairs and exact her revenge as soon as she got her clothes on. Except—and I still can barely believe it—she LISTENED TO WHAT I SAID and MOVED ON. She came downstairs in a perfectly pleasant mood and ate her breakfast and read the paper with Otto and helped me pack lunches and was a joy to be around.
Maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for us it kind of is. It’s an even bigger deal because this is a growing trend with her; the meltdowns and the mood swings aren’t gone, but the storms are shorter. I can’t be certain, but I think they call this strange development MATURITY. It’s a relatively foreign concept around here. But you know what? I LIKE IT. More than that, SHE likes it. My complicated girly is more relaxed and happier and more just HERSELF than I have seen her in a long time. And that is awesome.
[Edited to add: And! Last week one day when I was ALL STRESSED OUT she chided her brother for giving me a hard time, and then at bedtime she asked me for her “happy thought” (this is where I give her something funny/happy to think about as she falls asleep) and then said, “Okay, now I am going to give YOU a happy thought so that you don’t worry all night. Let’s see. Imagine you live in a big giant mansion, with rooms that go on and on, and there’s a ballroom, and you’re having a big PARTY with all your friends from EVERYWHERE, and me and Monkey, and you and Otto are dancing, and there is a GIANT CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE and you get to have FIVE pieces!” It really WAS a very happy thought, but mostly because it made me giggle, how she knows that my family and chocolate cheesecake are pretty much my idea of happiness.]
As for Monkey, his recent trials and tribulations haven’t dampened his spirit. The gifted class just finished up a unit on William Shakespeare (because all second graders need to familiarize themselves with The Bard, dontchaknow) and he brought a packet of work home. Interspersed among pages of facts and notes about the time period and Shakespeare’s family are a series of letters Monkey wrote (I assume this was a class exercise).
First he was Shakespeare’s father, writing (inexplicably) to one of Monkey’s own pals:
April 30, 1564
I’m afrade William will get sick by the Black Plague. I think its something in the garbage. Maby its rackoons. What do you think? William is just yong I don’t want him to get sick. I want him to be healthy. Bye Leif.
Then he’s Shakespeare:
October 11, 1590
Anne had a baby! I’m so excited about her. Her name is Susannah. Anne had twins too. Ther names are Hamnet and Judith. Its crowed in my dad’s house. I’m in london right now. I don’t know what theatre to pick there are three.
But all is not rosy for Shakespeare, as we turn back the clock:
October 8, 1578
School is very hard they don’t even let girls go. I’m studying greek latin and geometry. [Ed. note: Greek Latin! That sounds complicated!] Dad is in Debt that’s not good. Dad sold his house to the bank. He might go to jail. Then I have to live with mom. Than I’ll have no dad
Finally, there’s evidence that true love conquers all:
October 9, 1582
Roses are red, Violets are blue, I love you, you smell like perfume, come and dance if you like, ride on a horse and not a bike, you and me under the moon, beside the lagoon, so come if you wish because I love you write me back if you don’t come.
And I know we can’t be certain or anything, but I’m thinking Shakespeare probably wrote something EXACTLY LIKE THAT when he was young. (My son, u be reedin him. Reed him, he iz giftatated.)
Look, I know everyone thinks their kids are the best. You’re never going to hear me claim I got the ones that are the EASIEST, so just let me have this.