Monday, May 29, 2006

On Having Children

This is Daughter. She is 2. This is me catching her in the act of stealing my remote control. She does that. Takes the object and runs. It's scary. Hope it doesn't mean anything. Daughter, apparently, is grown. Yes, she was born that way. I wish I was technologically savvy enough to get her ultrasound photo up on here but I'm not so just use your imaginations.

Picture if you will a slick, black sheet, approximately 3 inches x 3 inches. In the middle is a ghostly image of a face with a pefectly round head faced straight on. The eyes are closed as if in meditation. The nose is a little wide, a little puffy looking. Move down to the mouth and you will see it forms an almost straight line. That, my friends, is the face of determination. Remember that song from the 80's: "It's written all over your face. You don't have to say a word." Let's see. Who sang that, again? Oh, I can't recall now. Husband can figure it out for me later.

Anyway, I told everyone while I was pregnant with her, "THIS is the face of determination. This one is going to be stubborn. Mark my words." Now you could say I was speaking that into existence, as it were, but I think I was just bracing myself for a coming storm. Better to admit it and prepare for it than close my eyes to the truth later as I laugh off the possibly embarrassing behavior she'll likely display in public.

God knew what He was doing. He gave me my sweet son first to throw me off the scent and get me to relax and accept being a parent again. This is him. This is Son. Son loves me despite me and it's the most humbling thing. He keeps telling me what a great mommy I am and I keep saying, "Are we living in the same house?" Son is 6.

Now his ultrasound? Well, did you ever see that part of The Twilight Zone Movie (I LOVE Twilight Zone, new and old) where the crazy little boy brought his new adult friend to his cartoon world where all the adults of his family were afraid of him and what he could do to them and his sister was upstairs with no mouth? Well, Son's ultrasound could make HER smile. (You didn't see that coming, did you? Thought I was going somewhere else with that? Yeah, these are the connections I make in my brain. You should try seeing in there sometime.) Son's ultrasound was similar to Daughter's in the position of his face - dead on - or should I say, "live" on - though slighted tilted. But his eyes were open, though eerily vacant looking, but it is an ultrasound after all. And the boy was smiling. He was, and you can't convince me otherwise. I saw him and shared his pictures, "See this face? THIS is a happy child who will make people smile."

So what do I have today? A headache.

They are running around the living room right now chasing each other. It's not 8:30 in the morning yet and they've been up an hour. I've had to referee 2 fights already.

Daughter: "Mommy! (Son's name here.) (something incomprehensible) my toys!"
Son: "She won't help me clean them up! I want to dance!"
Mommy: "Daughter, go clean up your toys. Son wants to dance."
Daughter: "I don't want to. I'm busy."
Aside: Yes, Daughter does speak like this. My children can carry on conversations. Son could do it at that age too. It's easy. Talk to your children like people and not like they came from the planet Baby and only speak Baby-ease, and they will learn to talk.

Mommy: Daughter, go pick up your toys! They're YOUR toys!"
Aside: No matter how hard I try, somehow I can't get heard unless I yell it. It's like I'm a TV and they've got the remote on mute and suddenly something I say looks interesting so they push the mute button and I'm as loud as a commerical at midnight.

Daughter sits determinedly on the floor and looks up at me. I say pick them up so she runs to the chair and sits there determinedly. I take some steps toward her and suddenly she feels a need to clean.

Sigh. The playing just turned to yelling. Son says something about "hate" but it sounds like he's repeating something she said. She screams more and tells him to get out, I guess she wants him to leave the living room. He runs in to tell me she fell off the chair but it's the usual antics. Nothing for me to write home about - just to blog about.

Separately, they are sweet lambs. Together, they rival a Caribbean-born hurricane. Son? Yes, Son does make you laugh. He loves to be silly, though it's not really funny stuff. Just silly 6-year-old stuff that makes me roll my eyes but he's an entertainer, dramatic. I wonder if he'll be something creative one day. Daughter is strong-willed. She's a mini-me. She will tell you no in a heartbeat. She wants to, "Do it myself!"
"Daughter, you aren't big enough yet."
"Yes me is!"
Tell her to put something on the kitchen table and she'll take it to the dining room table out of spite. Tell her to walk, she runs. Tell her to run, she insists you carry her. I wonder if she'll be a business tycoon, buying and selling companies and taking no prisoners.

I wanted my kids close in age but not too close. My only brother and I are 9 years apart, which was cool most times, but I wanted my kids to experience growing up with another child around. Who knew I'd sometimes have two 2-year-olds and sometimes I'd have two 6-year-olds.

Got children, dear reader? No? They are loud and messy and apparently need to fuel up every hour, on the hour. They are more expensive than you can plan for. They write on walls and pee the bed at 2 in the morning. They hurt each other on purpose. They rival for your attention and you find you must do everything as equally as possible (hard to do and very tiring) while trying to teach they can't always have what the other has. Sometimes they hurt your feelings and step on your bare foot with hard sneakers. Don't leave lotion sitting around because it will be in their hair if you turn your back. I assure you you will grow to loathe hearing them scream your name in an obvious complaint. They whine. They cry. They scream in church.

Yep, I think we'll have another one.

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