Wednesday, February 6, 2013

First Sentences

It was a cranky morning at the OWTL house today. For some reason the Girl, who is usually the sunniest of the children, woke up on the wrong side of the bed (which, if taken literally would be difficult as her bed is against the wall). When I presented her breakfast of toast and juice, she sat at the kitchen counter and proceeded to lick the toast. "I'm done!" she announced.

I tried to look unimpressed. "I think you might want to eat a little bit more than that." She shrugged and proceeded to stick her tongue through the center of her toast and sat there with the toast hanging off of her tongue for a good ten seconds before I said, "If you are going to be gross with your food and cranky, then you can leave the table."

"Fine by me!" She tore the toast off her tongue, slammed it on her plate and sat under the kitchen counter to finish her breakfast.

Sigh. They grow up so fast, don't they? Whenever I envy the children's youth and innocence, I am immediately reminded of the fact that I never have to do all that adolescence and teenager and twenties stuff again. Especially with all the stuff that people have to deal with today that I didn't have to worry about during the majority of my majority warming, college costing a bazillion dollars a year and then no jobs, the Internet, texting, social networking, the end of courtship, and men in skinny jeans.

Hate is a strong word. Perhaps pity is better.

Whenever I catch a glimpse of the sulky teenager years ahead, I like to look back to times when my children were just becoming the people they are today. I realized that basically everything that you need to know about the children can be divined from their first sentences. When the Girl was about two (she was a late talker), I came home with some new sneakers (tennis shoes to you southern-raised folk) that were white with a blue stripe. The Girl looked at them and said, "Sorry Mommy, did they not have pink?" This is so the Girl: concerned about my lame fashion choices and also a little pitying that I had to settle for a clearly inferior product. The Girl really was an extraordinarily selfless child. When she was very little and still supposed to be self-centered I was upset about something she said, "Don't be sad, Mommy. Be happy!" I have to remind myself of this kind-hearted little person when she impales toast with her tongue, sasses me, and eats breakfast on the floor.

The Boy's first sentence was crazy early - like 15 months or something. He woke up one morning and screamed to be rescued from his crib. The K went into his room to release him from his baby-prison and the Boy yelled, "No Daddy! Go away! I don't want you! Go get Mommy!" I, of course, loved that because the Boy and I will be together forever like any good Greek tragedy or a Robert Munsch book:

This picture seriously never gets less funny or less creepy for me.
Goodness knows someone has to take care of the kid until he figures out the difference between toilet paper and paper towels. Although everyone tells me that he's just being a boy and I guess I do remember eating dinner at the K's bachelor pad and using paper towels instead of napkins. 

As always, I feel sorriest for the Baby. As a dragged-along third child, her first sentence at about 18 months was, "Are we late for [the Girl]'s soccer game?" The answer was, of course, yes we're late, damn it!  We're always late. I've been late for everything since the Baby was born. The Girl and the Boy were never late for preschool. Not one time. The Baby has been late ten times in the last two months. Right this second I am late to pick up the Boy and the Girl at school. 

Probably because our new normal is being late, the Baby is totally unmoved by the tardiness terror that I was able to instill in the older children. I'll be running my hands through my hair and hyperventilating and the Baby is like, "whateves, Mama. My sock isn't straight and it hurts. Take it off and put in back on for the 9th time." Mostly I hate it because being late means that I can't complain about other people's lateness, which was one of my favorite ways to feel superior before I became one of them. Since it seems unlikely that I will ever be on time again, I'm just going to get this shirt:

Also, it's totally not fault. Socks have itchy seams.
My first sentence at about 18 months was, "Three kitties up there." For the longest time I thought that I must be especially brilliant because it meant that not only could I speak in sentences, but I could also count and identify animals at a young age. Recently, Mom told me that the "kitties" were squirrels and there were only two. Womp, womp. So, what you need to know is that I think I'm way smarter than I actually am and I will misidentify things, but act like I know what I'm talking about. Also, I really don't like squirrels and still refer to them as kitties under the misperception that they will be less likely to attack me. 

I take it that the pigeons have been supplying the squirrels with munitions. 
 Now to look at the road ahead which involves a lot of basketball because it's tournament time at the Decatur Rec. The Girl and the Boy are playing games tonight and I only hope they shoot as well as this kid:


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