Sticky note #7

The beauty and glory of childhood is how fast it passes. One minute you have a mewling baby and the next an antagonistic big kid. Another blink and my big boy will be a pre-teen ... and then (gasp) a teenager. Blinks in time that hold so much weight, you know you can't carry them alone. That's why I'm so thankful for this blog where I can chronicle my children's evolution. For example:

-- We've spent many hours teaching our children the value of volunteering and community service. When possible, I have taken Javi with me to serve food, clean up parks, collect food, and other good deeds. However, he has remained the typical "I want more!" American child. Until this Christmas. I am so impressed by his spirit of generosity right now.

For instance, he found out that our friend's son is in love with Teen Titans right now. Javi decided to search his closet for his old, still-in-great-condition Teen Titans backpack and give it to this child -- without any suggestions or prodding from any adult. He also wrote a note to go in the backpack telling the child to have a Merry Christmas. After the mom left, Javi let me know he wants to share all of his things with other kids. I'm so proud of him!

-- If I could design a child to act just like me, he'd be Javi. I am often taken aback by how much alike the two of us are -- in good and bad ways. We both love to argue/debate and it kills us to walk away without having the last word. We both find a way to win on a technicality and we both file things away in our rolodex brains to use later.

But we have fun things in common, too. This month, Javi has become a little foodie, and it warms my heart! His new favorite show is Good Eats and he thinks Alton Brown is a superhero. He was upset that Kevin didn't win Top Chef and wants to be Andrew Zimmern when he grows up. For Christmas he asked for an Easy Bake Oven (for boys) and keeps fantasizing about all the amazing creations he'll make. Yesterday he asked me if I knew how to make a foam. I had to let him know (gently) that I barely make it through crock-potting something for dinner. He was so underwhelmed. :) I may be nurturing the next Thomas Keller. Did I mention being proud?

-- Speaks in full, complicated sentences and can hold comprehensive conversations. But until recently she couldn't (or wouldn't) open the door to her own room. Instead, she'd lay in bed and yell for someone to come get her (just like Javi did at her age). So I took it upon myself to start knocking on her bedroom door in the mornings so she'd have to open it on her own.

Huge mistake. The child now comes and goes like the Queen of Sheba. This morning, she popped up in the bed with us at 4 am ready to party. Or at least that's what I heard. I slept through the whole thing (as the mountain man entertained the princess). Also, I'm not allowed in her room without knocking first. If I try to enter without knocking, she yells at me to "get outta here!" Hello, two-going-on-twelve.

-- The dexterity required to open her door was surprising. The determination to watch her Barbie movie is something else altogether. Maybe a mixture of annoying and dangerous. The child pulls something sturdy up to the entertainment center, climbs up, opens the DVD case and pulls out the DVD, and then pops it into the DVD player. And she can do it in a span of 2 minutes or less. I know because that's how long it took me to pee and she was watching the movie by the time I got back.

If the mini-DVD player is out (which it often is thanks to the mountain man's inability to put things back where they belong), she'll skip the whole tv set up and go straight to it. I've found her sitting in the floor with one of Javi's GI Joes watching "Bobby the nutcacka" way too many times. I guess I should just bolt everything down and be done with it.

-- It's wintertime in these parts. Yes, winter means a median temperature of 50 degrees, but that's really cold to us with Southern blood. To keep Bella warm, we put her to bed in either zip-up or two-piece footie pajamas. She rarely stays that way. Every single morning, when I go in to get her, she has stripped down to her diaper (and some days that is gone, as well). I can't keep clothes on her to save my life. If she isn't manhandling the electronics, she's stripping her clothes off. Hopefully this is just a stage and not a sign of things to come. ;)

-- I really can't say enough about her verbal ability. I was so worried for so long that she'd be as delayed as Javi was. Also, every child in our family has had some type of speech delay, so I was paranoid. I wish I could take that time back. This girl is a talker and she does it with clarity and maturity that takes all by surprise.

She's also a little learner bee. I don't think her school focuses much on academics, but Bella knows her alphabet by memorization and sight. She also knows her numbers. She broke into the child lock on our junk drawer and came running to me yelling, "I foun' a eight Mama! I foun' it!" Sure enough, she was clutching an 8 candle in her dirty little hand.

Bella also loves to count things, including how many of something we all have and how many of something she's seen. She told me the other day that she saw five red lights on the way home. The mountain man backed up her story -- apparently she counted them out loud. I asked her how many green lights she saw. She told me, "I seed one, but it not Daddy's light. It for da peeble." The mountain man said, "Yep, the other people got to go, but we had to stop."

All I can say is, I am promising myself not to waste anymore of my day worrying that either of my children will be left behind in this world. They definitely have it all together!


  • Susan Berlien

    I have to remind myself of this every day!! And I still forget now and then. It all does go so fast and it seems no matter how hard we try we canot remember and capture every moment.. so enjoy it now.. live it now. :)

  • Of Pandas and Pirates

    WTG Javi on showing the true spirit of Christmas! :) I hope to one day watch him on TV making yummy food!

    Bella is too cute. I wish her and Miranda could play together!

  • Kim

    Tell Javi that I was very upset that Kevin didn't win Top Chef, too!!! He was the best of the season!!! boo hoo

  • Anonymous

    Bella's too stinkin' cute, Kelly. And I love that you compare her to the Queen of Sheba. We use that shorthand a lot in my family, too! (I once made my mom business cards that said Jan Dickler / Queen of Sheba when she was having a rough patch at work...)

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