Friday, April 10, 2015

The 7th Child is Easier, and other essays from mom

The 7th Child is Easier, and other essays from moms who have gone insane.

My 7th child is a delight. She is always happy and giggly. I was expressing this to my parents while I wAtched her empty my mom's towel drawer, one by one, delighted by each new color and print. When she finished, she toddled away and I just refolded the towels and put them back in the drawer. It never even occurred to me to tell her "no! Don't do that."

Arwen is almost two and has yet to tell others "No!" I don't think we bother to use that term with her much. After 16 years of exploring toddlers, we have learned that anything we desire to keep safe, we should keep out of reach of youngsters. So if Arwen sticks her hands, up to her elbows, in the peanut butter, the person who gets yelled it is not Arwen, but the one who left it on the table ( where she always climbs up to), and then Arwen is gently extracted and washed up in loving hands with gentle tones.

I also learned to find the joy in all of her developmental phases. Instead of stressing, I just laugh and enjoy her attempts to kiss me with her open mouth with the sharp little teeth that bite my chin.

I realize that she will grow up so fast, so I play with her while she wants me to. By talking some obviously meaning gibberish, and pulling on my hand, She asked for my help to find grandma's kitty, who she managed to shut in the bedroom, so I showed her how to look under the bed and dresser, but kitty still eluded us. Then she squealed with delight as kitty ran out.

Sometimes I wonder how my other children would be different if I had the wisdom to treat them as I treat my latest. But alas, all those skills are earned the hard way, and I have the gray hair to prove it.

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