Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ending of an era

With kids it always feels like it's the ending of an era of some kind- the last summer that we'll  have a newborn in the house, the last year that I'll have Calista all to myself, the last year that I'll send Camden off to elementary school, the last week before we move into our new house.  So many endings, but also so many beginnings- the first year Lauren starts elementary school, the first time we saw our new house lit up in the dark, the first time Mila rolled over and ate rice cereal.

Watching the evolution of children is fascinating- evolving from helpless infants into witty, funny little people.  One of the biggest blessings that has come to me from having five children is learning to slow down, to allow the house not to be perfect, to allow my body to look like a mother's body, to let the kids figure it out amongst themselves more, and as we did this morning- to make a batch of brownies for breakfast just because the three year old wanted some.  They grow up too fast to not indulge them with those little pleasures every once in a while.


I have a love-hate relationship with this growing up business.  I love seeing what they're becoming, but it breaks my heart to see them growing so quickly out of childhood.  

As I lay Calista down for a nap yesterday, we sang "Hey Diddle Diddle" five times before she wrapped her arms around my neck and rubbed my nose in an eskimo kiss, then popped her thumb in her mouth before rolling over to take her afternoon nap.  Brownies for breakfast, "Hey Diddle Diddle," and eskimo kisses.  Life with a three year old is so adorably quirky.

Here are a few of the funny things I've been jotting down lately:

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Lauren (age 5) has been a little obsessive about marriage lately, talking about it several times a day.  I had to draw the line when she asked the little boy next door (age 4) if he thought they might get married some day.  I told her she was too young to be talking so much about marriage.  I told her if she wanted to talk to me about it, that was fine, but that talking about it with boys, especially at this age, was a definite no-go.  

She didn't say much about it for several days.  Then one day she tapped me on the shoulder, got on her tip-toes and whispered in my ear, "When I'm 10 can I start talking about marriage again?"

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I asked the kids to clean up their toys in the living room.  Luke was dragging his feet and not doing his share so Camden said to him, "Start cleaning up!  Do you want mama bear to come out or would you rather she stay in her cage?!?"   Um... yeah.  I'm pretty sure he was referring to me.  Yikes.  We all had a good laugh over it though.

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Calista has become quite the little sassafrass with her siblings.  She quickly figured out that she would get a swift swat to the bum from me for calling her siblings "stupid."  The other day Lauren found me to tell me that Calista had just called her "stupid."  Calista came toddling behind with wide eyes as she waved her arms.  "No, no, no!  I didn't call her stupid, I just called her stupe!"  She's repeated that same stunt several times since then, so now she gets swatted for calling her siblings "stupe" as well.

Just the other day she insisted she hadn't called Lauren "stupid" but "Snoopy."

"And Snoopy's so, so, so funny, mommy!" she said with a innocent smile.

Yeah right, sis.

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This summer has been extremely challenging for me.  When I think of the most challenging times of my life, I can narrow them down to only a handful of times in my life.  The last year will definitely be a part of that handful of times- selling a house, the move, the new baby, Dennis being gone all the time, spotty air conditioning combined with a hot summer, cabin fever, nerve pain that won't go away, yada, yada, yada.  I'm sure Dennis probably braces himself every day before coming home, wondering what his wife's mood is going to be like.  The other day he came home from work and asked tenatively, "How are you feeling today?"

I laughed and said, "Oh, just come out and say it.  What you're really wondering is..." and I motioned for him to go on.

He smiled and said, "Ok, what I'm really wondering is... how's your crazy today?

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Luke came home from school the other day frustrated that he had gotten so many comments from the ladies about how handsome he is, especially his beautiful eyes.

"I've got to do something about this," he said to me.  He then started thinking of all the ways he could help curb this terrible plague of attractiveness.  

"I could wear an eye patch- on both eyes!  Or I could have Camden punch me in the face and give me a black eye!  Or I could not shower!"  

I laughed harder and harder with each epiphane.  Oh man... that kid.
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Luke had to write this note to his teacher on the second day of school.  That's right, the SECOND day of school.  That lil' stinker.  But he's also my most thoughtful child.

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The boys are on an anti-girl campaign.  It's a constant struggle to remind them to be kind and patient with their little sisters.  But then I see things like this and imagine them brainstorming together to create this poster, and have to laugh at the comaraderie their shared rivalry was created.