Why yes, they ARE speshul

By Mir
October 30, 2007

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.

I declined.


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

Dear Leif,

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

Dear Journal,

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

Dear Journal,

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

Dear Anne,

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.


  1. Megan

    Well, I WAS going to go posting all my Children’s fantabulosity and that but then I realized that a. that wasn’t the damn point was it? and b. well, we’ll skip over b. because it was pretty early this morning and… yeah…

    Monkey has so got the rhyming romance down baby. But… somehow when I read that I got Will flashing contorted finger gang signs and making pffft noises as he rapped his love to Anne. Have to say, those saggy jeans went really well with the starched ruff though.

  2. Andrea

    Those Shakespeare writings ARE preshus!

    You know, some days/weeks as mothers we just have to take our small victories. It’s times like these when I like to use all caps and say “GOOD FOR YOU!” :)

    BTW, your kids sound great. :)

  3. Jenni

    I love Monkey’s version of Shakespeare. If he ever does a full bio on him, please let us know. I’ll be the first one in line at the book store.

    Personally, I love to read about your kids. You write about them so honestly. The good, the bad, and the ugly. It all feels very real.

  4. Contrary

    If I got a letter like that last one, I’d be swooning a little bit. (a swoon, under the moon, at the lagoon!)

    This kid is gonna make like Cyrano with the love letters in junior high. Of course, he won’t have to hide in the brush because I’m quite certain that his nose is adorable, but he could make a few bucks from the less suave 7th graders (which is all of them, let’s face it)

  5. Aimee

    Those letters are THE AWESOME. Thanks for sharing them. And you know what? I kinda like it when you brag on your kids. It balances off the times when you tell us how you want to sprinkle them with bacon salt and eat them for breakfast.

  6. dad

    A gas poor York! You grew him well.

  7. Paula

    Burgeoning self-control in kids is always something to celebrate. And I totally agree with your son about being in debt– “that’s not good.”

  8. jennielynn

    Go team Mirspawn! WooHoo.

    You totally crack me up. I’m not even going to burst your happy bubble and tell you the dark side of maturity. Cuz I be nice like dat.

  9. Melisa

    I think I just got more insight into the psyche of William Shakespeare than I did in a whole week in Stratford Upon Avon this summer. Thanks, Monkey! And thanks for keeping it real, Mir!

  10. Leandra

    And you know what? It’s YOUR blog, so talk about your kids
    ’til you’re blue in the face! Now if you were talking about your kids all over MY blog, THEN we’d have a problem (amusing anecdotes in the comments nothwithstanding!) :)

  11. Burgh Baby's Mom

    Please, PLEASE continue to write about your kids. You see, I’m a few years behind you in this child-rearing thing. I fully intend to steal many lines from you when the situation is appropriate (“You can have a meltdown or you can make a better choice and move on.” THAT is GENIUS. I have stored it in my brain for my own personal use someday.) Besides, your kid stories are some of your funniest stuff. :-)

  12. Heidi

    Ooh, get Monkey to rap the love letter!

  13. Rachel May

    Gimme an M!
    Gimme an I!
    Gimme an R!
    Gimme an S!
    Gimme a P!
    Gimme an A!
    Gimme a W!
    Gimme n N!

    What’s that spell!?!? MIRSPAWN!!!

    Goooooooooooooooooooooo MIRSPAWN!!

  14. Sheila

    Methinks Monkey is a bit too practiced in the art of love letter writing. Whom dost thou think he has been courting with such lovely prose?

    “Hark! Is that a container of Bacon Salt I see before me?”

  15. mamalang

    My daughter and your Chickadee…separated at birth I swear. And when I mention that the stubborn arguments and meltdowns are fewer, I find a few pieces of wood to knock on. The sad part…whenever she does throw one now, I’m less patient, because I know she knows better. Which is totally backwards, but .

    Love the poem.

  16. LyndaL

    Oh! The Black Plague was caused by rackoons in the garbage? I see…….Wait…..we don’t have rackoons over here. Or did they all die from the plague….? Now I’m confused. Good job I don’t have to study that greek latin too.

  17. StephLove

    My favorite mommyblogs are the ones that give you a real sense of the personalities of the children (so many really don’t– it’s all about mom or parenting philosophy, etc.) and that’s why I love WCS. It also helps that my son and Monkey often seem like twins separated at birth (except for the complication that my monkey is a year and a half younger than Mir’s).

  18. BOSSY

    Her happy thought is so sweet, but Bossy hopes you don’t have to clean all those rooms that go on and on before the party.

  19. Ashlee

    You completely deserve that brag! You and your spawn are awesome and make me smile on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing, Mir!

  20. arduous

    Chickadee giving you a happy thought almost made me cry. And I’m at work!

  21. Sara

    Oh my gosh. Priceless! And your dad? I love him a little more every time he posts a comment.

  22. mama speak

    I’m reading along & then I read dad’s comment and have to giggle to myself. Your whole family is priceless.

    I like reading about your kids, it helps keep me grounded about my kids. And I’m really proud of Chickadee for moving on. So glad to hear that this part might actually get better at some point. (‘Course mine is only 4, so we’ve got a few years of tantruming ahead of us.)

  23. Stew

    Wow. I’m having a crappity day/week/month, and this little break reading was just what I needed, apparently. The letter to Anne Hathaway…it made me smile. Nothing in the last week has made me smile. Thanks, Monkey.

  24. Kimberly

    Go team mirspawn! (I just wanted a chance to say that because it makes me giggle.)

    I’m also tickled that your google ads are showing Stratford Festival at the moment (explained by Monkey’s unit.) We fieldtrip there!

  25. Manic Mommy

    A get out of school note for the the black plague is truly excellent.

    I’ve been trying figure out how to work my sons’ brilliance into a post. I like the direct approach. I may go with it.

    PS – Had to spell check brilliance, it looked wrong. Obviously, it comes from Daddy’s side.

  26. kate setzer kamphausen

    Dear dear Mir, please keep bragging on the kids. Because they are always so funny!! Even behaving, they are thoroughly hilarious. And your writing never fails to please – wry, gleeful, sad, it’s all such a treat. Plus, I tend to think your kids ARE awesome. Why shouldn’t they be? Why shouldn’t you tell us all about them being awesome???

    THERE IS ENOUGH AWESOMENESS TO GO AROUND. Awesomeness is not being rationed by the government. Monkey and Chickadee can be PERFECTLY AWESOME without taking the awesomeness out of the mouths of poor little un-awesome children in India. Because INDIA HAS TEH AWESOME TOO.

    Wow. Now I sound slightly bonkers. Wrapping it up now.

    Love the awesomeness that is Team Mirspawn. Please keep it comin’!!

  27. kidzmama

    I’m not sure how many of us would be reading if it wasn’t for your kids. Not that you’re not interesting, you are. But the kids…

    Monkey’s love letter is awesome. States his love, things they can do, and by the way please let me know if you can’t make it! Perfect.

    You are very brave to share the blog with your family. I am not that brave. Then again I really don’t like my family.

  28. Not The Mama

    I love the Mirspawn! How great that Chickadee is maturing and calming. I’m so glad that she is able to move on and not let little things spoil her mood for too long. It’s a hard lesson to learn — heaven knows I still have some problems with it!

    And those Shakespeare letters are AWESOME. Definitely something to keep for all time. He’ll love looking at those when he’s an adult.

  29. GulfCoastMommy

    Well no wonder you are a popular blog! what a fabulous read! Yes I am guilty, I kid brag. They are guilty too, they make me friggin nuts most days. God love em. I know I do.
    Glad I cam across your site, I look forward to reading more of it.

    much respect~d

  30. Lady M

    Having days where the people around you don’t completely and totally freak out? That’s pretty cool in my book. I didn’t strangle anyone at work today, and no one tried to strangle me, so I figure the day was a success.

  31. tori

    If I didn’t write about my kids, some days I would have nothing else to say! You are a good mom, so your kids are a big part of your life. I personally love reading about your kids because they are so similar to my own.

  32. Therese

    Mir, your dad cracks me up with his comments. It’s easy to see where your wit comes from.

  33. Wendy

    I totally appreciate how proud you must be of Chickadee pulling herself together and moving on. My daughter is the same way – often over that very same thing, “stay with me while I get dressed” when I have a million other things I need to get done. Control is a BIG issue for her. (I too have no idea where she got it from!) But seeing them move on without a full-blown tantrum is huge. I hope she was proud of herself – she should be!

  34. Ali B.

    Okay, I’ve stopped my typical lurker’s pattern just to say I don’t have the easiest kids, either (mine are the kind that when we leave other people’s homes, I can see them – oh, yes, I can see them – shaking their heads thinking, “wow. I never realized how easy OUR kids actually are…”). But wow – this post was a great reminder of why it is so much more than boogers.

    On top of it all…Dad’s comment? Very funny.

  35. Angel

    Brag away!!

    You know, my parents rarely said anything about my achievements, especially not to other people. I constantly felt like I could never do enough for their approval.

    So I do try not to overpraise my kids, but they know I take pride in what they do, and I’m not shy in sharing that I think they are great kids (which they are LOL). And hell yeah I blog about it ;) My daughter gets a kick out of it.

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