Friday, February 24, 2012

My Ever-Quotable Kids (Both Biological and Rental) Part 1

Another Friday has arrived, thus meaning that I've had all kinds of commentary from the children in my life-- all of which I couldn't possibly make up if I tried! :)

Stuff the Tween Says~
Molly (my almost-twelve year old rental tween and ONLY GIRL besides myself who isn't furry or feathered) pops in from time to time-- usually when the local school district deems it necessary to have a random day off and employers do not extend the same courtesy to her parents. ;) She's more of a "mother's helper" than a child in need of tending, but she's still in that wonky in-between stage of life. One minute she's applying her makeup, the next, she's building a fort with the boys! I heard this conversation in the car and nearly drove off the road, due to the unexpected (and perfectly timed) sarcasm from Miss Molly ...

Molly: Hey Amy, do you remember when my fish died and I was too sad to eat breakfast?
Alan: How did your fish die?
Molly: *eyes rolling to the point of potential permanent strain* He drowned, Alan ...

Look Who's Talking!~
Those of you who followed my blog last year may remember when I wrote about Kaelin (a.k.a. "the rental toddler") and his struggles with speech delay. My, what a difference a year makes! Thanks to the tireless work from his parents and his amazing speech therapist, Kaelin is anything but quiet these days! He is still struggling with some of his sounds, but the progress he has made in the last 11 months has provided me with yet another quotable kiddo in the house. :) He is also now a big brother to Jaxson, my newest "Rental Baby," who is seven months old. It's always interesting seeing siblings interact, and these two are no exception ...

Kaelin: Jax, take you(r) binky out and use your WORDS!
Me: Honey, Jax is a baby. He can't talk yet.
Kaelin: Jax have words, Tante!
Me: Oh, really? What does he say?
Kaelin: *sticks out his tongue* Phbbbbbbbbbt!
Me: *Uncharacteristically speechless-- not to mention outsmarted by a three-year-old*

My Ever-Helpful First Born~
Alan always wants to make sure that everyone is receiving special gifts and treats-- not to mention one who is highly susceptible to marketing! My little empath is not so little anymore-- he's almost as tall as I am and I can wear his shoes! His perpetual growth spurt aside, I am still most intrigued by how much Alan cares about everyone-- and I mean EVERYONE. I'm used to him urging me to go get myself a latte, but his mission to bless others with specialty beverages goes far beyond humanity ...

"Mommy, Suzie (our SUV) has been really well behaved lately. She's such a good car--don't you think she deserves some Chevron gas with Techron?"

My Unpredictable Youngest~
Wyatt continues to amaze, baffle, frustrate and amuse me more with each passing day. While he reads years beyond his grade level and knows all his multiplication tables at seven, he is just beginning to care more about quality time, lullabies and attachment objects. Because he has both Autism and ADHD, he hyper-focuses on something for days or even weeks-- then abruptly moves on to something else. This week, he has decided he cares a lot about his stuffed Snake ...

"Mommy, Snakey is the best guy ever. He guards my room. He didn't attack you, because you're on my 'friend list.' I'm going to take him everywhere I can. I know I can't take him to church or school, but there are a lot of places I can take him-- an Italian restaurant, for example ..."

What I've learned from my kids this week:

Little Jax is quite different from his older brother. He is more laid back about what bottles he'll take and less likely to awaken from a sudden noise (a real asset when you have three other children, two dogs and a frequently used espresso machine in the house), plays with toys more independently and it's possible that he's an even bigger flirt towards the ladies than Kaelin was! That being said, there are some areas where he's a lot like his big brother, as well. He needs lots of cuddles, loves to eat Tante's food (as long as it isn't peas) and is already a very mobile little dude!

While watching him play near my feet, I witnessed poor Jax struggling with depth perception, the inability to use his head to get himself to a standing position (this led to some rather awkward, yet adorable "baby tripod" moments) and the enemy of all little ones-- gravity. He would grin with accomplishment when he was able to obtain a toy he wanted, beam when he got his foot and his pacifier in his mouth at the same time and shriek with delight when he was able to make his battery-operated keyboard light up and make noise.

Just when it seemed as though the world was his oyster, he attempted to lay down on on what he was presuming to be a comfy, blanketed carpet. Sadly, object permanence and motor planning (to look before plopping backwards with great momentum, for example) are not skills infants posses at this age. Alas, the poor fellow did not land on carpet. In stead, he was rather uncomfortably arched across the roof of Old MacDonald's (plastic) farm. As I sprang up to retrieve the diminutive human slinky near my fuzzy pink slipper socks, his soft whimper and alarmed expression clearly communicated, "Tante, this was NOT my plan!"

Poor baby, he wasn't trying to rip a magazine, chew on a cord or give the doggie a bald spot-- he just wanted to change direction, so he could acquire and voraciously gnaw on his teething fishy. This wasn't an act of defiance, or even a testing of limits. The poor guy just didn't calculate his landing well; which seemed to make him as unhappy as the plastic rooster weather vane poking him in the tuchas.

What's a Tante to do? Of course, I scooped that precious little boy up, prattled on (in the tone of voice that I involuntarily use with babies, dogs and other smallish, adorable members of society) about how mean and wicked that plastic menace was for hurting my precious Jackaroo, dried his tears and kissed his chubby little cheeks until he smiled once more.

At thirty-four, I may have this whole walking thing down (for the most part, anyway), but I still relate to poor Jax stuck on that barn roof. As a busy wife and mom, I try, I really do, to stay on top of things. Doctor's appointments, paperwork, teacher conferences, laundry, dishes, menu planning, mending, church activities ... I have a lot going on, and (for the most part), I love it. However, there are times when I forget to check all three calendars, absentmindedly leave my keys in my pocket in stead of hanging them up, send the electric company's check to the garbage company or I misplace my cell phone (and it's ALWAYS on silent when I do). With one miscalculation, my full, but manageable day turns into a paralyzing ordeal. I feel completely overwhelmed, frazzled and stuck. I play the "if only" game, chide myself for not being more organized and I feel waves of panic and the reality of my failure splashing me in the face. To make matters worse, the more panicked I become, the more likely I am to have a "chick moment" and cry about it. Awesome. I'm already going to be late, and now I'm also going to have swollen eyes and a red nose when I get there? THIS WAS NOT MY PLAN!!!!!

It is then that I receive a reminder in my spirit concerning the constant availability of unconditional love and comfort from my Heavenly Father. He doesn't say, "I told you so," point out why things didn't work out or tell me this is the last time he's going to listen to my sniffling, whiny tale. No, He brings to mind scriptures about His boundless mercies, the promise to grant peace into my chaotic life and example upon example of how precious I am to Him. As if that weren't enough, once I calm down, He often also inspires me with the whereabouts of my keys, so I can get out the door! :) I will continue to fail each and every day of my life, because I will continue to live in an imperfect world as my imperfect self. What a blessing to know that I serve a God who knows my heart, in spite of what I actually accomplish! I also take great comfort in knowing that I do not slip and fall under the watchful eye of a God who sits nearby. I know that no matter how I stumble, sprawl or belly flop, I never leave the palm of his hand.

Are you sprawled atop your miscalculations and failures, wondering how you'll ever find relief? Are constant stress and worry a pain in your tuchas? Take comfort, dear reader, in knowing that the loving arms of God are always available to those who reach out for Him. :)

In Lenten Love and Friendship,

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