Yup – She’s Ours

Posted by mwallach on October 15, 2011 in My Kids |

Dear That’s Life,
It is unclear why I am still surprised by what my kids say. They are, in fact, my children, capable of anything. “Out of the mouths of babes” and “Kids say the darndest things” applies here on a daily basis. Somehow, their comments reflect their personalities. “I hope you wrote that one down,” says my husband’s grandmother each time I share the newest pearls of wisdom uttered by my offspring. I confess that I don’t – as the comments come fast and furiously – and then I remember that I write a column.

My daughter, who struggles like many other children with the pronunciation of certain letter combination and sounds, works very hard on those corrections. “Th” continues to be her greatest challenge. It often takes a number of reminders and retries before she pronounces the word, although it comes with great applause and personal satisfaction. To her credit, she does not get discouraged – she is proud of herself when she gets it right. In effort to show her she was not alone, a friend of mine told of her own personal struggle with the same letter combination.
“When I was little,” explained my friend, “there was an ice cream store called Thrifty’s.” Unfortunately, she consistently mispronounced it as “Frifty’s”, forgetting to stick her tongue out from between her lips as she said the TH. Before she was allowed to get ice cream, she had to say the name correctly. “I had to say Thrifty’s instead of Frifty’s before I could have any,” she told my daughter, although my little girl was not following the train of thought. Staring at her blankly, she said, “I go to Carvel,” only to add, “but I don’t have any trouble saying that…”

Her twin brother often has some one-liners that make me cringe, some that make me wonder and some that leave me shocked. Walking into his room one night this week, I noticed the train wreck that seemed to have hit my home. Toys were strewn everywhere, his train set was out, the wreckage seemingly spread out for miles. Annoyed at the destruction and apparent disregard for his belongings, I said, “Why did you trash your room again?” As if he was deep into his teen years, though he is far from it, his reply came with the same tone as one would expect from a true adolescent. “Ma,” he said tersely, “I was working on a project.” Even before I could ask him what he was doing, he readily explained. “I was building Europe,” he said. Stunned, I turned on my heels and walked out of his room. When your preschool son tells you he’s building Europe, there is not much else you can do.

My toddler, too, has come into her own. While I used to sing her a song called, “My Mommy Loves Me ‘Cuz I Don’t Talk Back,” those days are over. She no longer goes silently into the night, content to be towed around and easy to please. Now, she refuses to sit in her high chair, screaming the word, “No!” at anything to which she objects, immediately rejecting food not to her liking. Her newest protest is against wearing a diaper decorated with any character other than Elmo. “No Cookie Monster!” she yelled, grabbing the diaper and throwing it half way across the room. “Are you kidding me?!” I asked her, to which I received a growl and a repeated “No Cookie Monster,” this time in a husky voice. Slightly afraid of the dybbuk that momentarily took over my toddler, I comply, knowing I will have to fight her inner demon another day, hoping it will not be while she lies on my bed without a diaper.

I know it is not their fault, fully aware that if we had brought home a child from the hospital who did not end up being feisty, we would surely be more concerned. I had hopes for her as it seemed she was starting differently from the others. Entering the terrible twos and the youngest of six, however, she does what needs to be done to ensure she is not forgotten. The irony is that she is so loved by each of her siblings, all of whom want to be with her and can’t get enough. Able to hold her own, however, she lets them know when she wants her space or if she has had enough. Even I have been put in my place. Feeling the need to kiss her uncontrollably, she was done with me way before I had filled my need. A loud, “Stop it, Mommy!” could be heard down the stairs, prompting me to both back off and laugh hysterically.

The passing of Steve Jobs affirms a personal realization that I still cannot figure out how to do anything on my ipad besides play music and watch movies. As I reflect on that truth, my two-year old pulls up her favorite Elmo game on my ipad, without help. “My pie-pad,” she says, bopping back and forth as Elmo’s voice comes through the speakers. Now that Jobs has passed, I guess I will have to rely on my toddler for assistance. After all, she thinks it is hers anyway. She told me so.

Guess we brought home the right one after all.
As Seen in the South Shore Standard Oct ’11

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