Last week was a bit of a rough week here in our household, and without going into detail, I will just say that it caused me to realize just how important and how difficult it is to fit in quality one-on-one time with each of my four children when they are all so young and so close in age. But recent events have suddenly made me sit up and see how important it is to make my children my priority at this stage in our lives. As a result, I have been noticing more and more how much joy they add to my life and, particularly, how much laughter. For example, Rachel is in a very bossy stage right now, but coming from a 2-year-old who is the size of a 12-month-old, it comes off as quite hilarious. Imagine a 2-foot tall person staring up at you with the maddest face she can muster and saying, ‘Juice! Now!’ I don’t think it has quite the effect she intends it to have. The main problem is that she knows just how adorable she is, and she uses that to her advantage all the time. For example, lately she calls everybody ‘Poopy’ (for which I have Cameron and Anna to thank), and when I tell her she needs to say sorry for calling someone this lovely name, she says in a very angry tone, ‘SORRY!’ I will then respond in a stern voice, ‘Hey, you need to say it nicely.’ So she’ll say in a slightly less angry voice, ‘Sorry!’ Then she’ll look up, see the look on my face, and break into a huge smile as if to say, ‘You can’t be mad at me; I’m too darn cute!’ And of course she’s right.
Anna is just about to turn 5. It has now been about 2 ½ years that she has preferred to wear dresses rather than pants. It’s been so long, in fact, that she cries as if she’s being tortured whenever I make her wear pants or even tight-fitting tights because they feel so uncomfortable to her. But I have to admit, dresses really fit her personality. She is such a little princess (except when she’s teaching her little sister to say ‘Poopy’). She also happens to be a fantastic little reader. I’m particularly proud of her because she is becoming a favorite among all her little playmates, not because of how beautiful she is or how smart she is or how funny she is (although she is all of those) but because she is so nice to all of them. She is really learning well how to be nice to all her friends rather than playing favorites like some of the other girls her age tend to do. I’m very proud of my big girl!
Logan is just starting to crawl. He’s still trying to figure out the mechanics of it, but he’s gotten quite good at getting around. He is a bundle of smiles except when two teeth are trying to break through at the same time. Then he’s not as cheerful as usual, but he’s still adorable. Since he is about to get new teeth, I feel this overwhelming urge to follow him around with a camera taking pictures all day so that I can document my last baby’s final days of babyhood. I’m having a hard time with how fast this one in particular is growing up.
But I guess it’s inevitable. They grow up too fast. As much as people warned me that my kids’ childhoods would fly by more quickly than I wanted them to, it still shocks me when I realize how quickly my oldest baby’s first 6 ½ years of life have raced by. Cameron is quite a mature young man now . . . although I have to admit that he’s not quite ready to move out on his own just yet. The other day Jared and I were discussing what might be expected of Cameron if there were an emergency, so Jared called Cameron over and asked, ‘Cam, if there were a fire and Mommy and Daddy weren’t home, could you get everybody out of the house?’
He responded, ‘Yes.’
Jared asked, ‘What would you do?’
‘I would run and tell Anna to get out of the house, then I would go wake up Rachel and go get Logan.’ Both of us were feeling quite proud of our responsible young son at this moment, and Jared praised him, ‘Good job, Cameron. You are such a big boy.’
Then Cameron added, ‘Then I would throw Logan up in the air, do a roll, and catch him!’