Cian has a bit of a speech impediment–if you’ve just met him, you might have some trouble understanding his “th” sounds, say–but that doesn’t stop the child from talking, usually constantly, usually about thirty different topics in the span of as many seconds. Last Saturday, …
The “baby” turned five over the holidays, which officially means that he’s not a baby and I need to give up the denial before it starts to get kind of creepy. His feet are huge. His hands are ginormous, to use one of his favorite words. He’s tall enough that I have to go up a size in his clothes again and he’s almost outgrown his car seat and he’s big enough that he’s starting to out-eat most adults when we sit down to meals. Pretty soon I’m going to be surrounded by all these friendly giants that somehow came out of me but are towering over me and I’m just not ready for that. Cian, by bringing up the rear, is simply rubbing it in.
“I don’t feel five. I only feel four.”
“You’re the best mom in the world. You’re so nice to me. You give me ginormous cookies.”
“Mom? What if dinosaurs were real? And we could eat them and they lived in our house and our house was full of lava?”
He gives away kisses to us like they’re Tic-Tacs. He throws fits and whines and whines when we ask him to clean up his toys, then mutters, “Fine,” and makes good work of them all within a couple minutes. He holds our hands and didn’t like the fire scene in The Greatest Showman (“It was too ‘cary for me” he says) and is Quinlan’s absolute best friend one moment and in the next fighting with her like they’re Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men. He is smart and funny and really good at drawing T-Rexes and he somehow started writing words and sentences when we weren’t looking (well, Saoirse was. Apparently she teaches him his letters while we’re off doing other things, like ruminating on how he’s not a baby anymore). He’s still a horrible sleeper, and most nights we can find him wandering around the upstairs, looking for somebody to keep him company.
He is five. He is the youngest. And he is still teaching me that patience is love, to never underestimate the conversational abilities of the preschool set (“You KNOW what I’m saying, Mom. Can you put down your phone and answer me?”) and that, sometimes when we’re wandering around aimlessly and just looking for attention, that’s all any of us need: just a friendly face to assure us that we’re loved, that others are right here, and that we’re not alone.
David asked me this morning, “Is it wrong to think he’s special? Just look at the way he plays: that imagination. I could watch him all day.” I laughed. No, it’s not wrong to think he’s special.
Not when every day he reminds us that he is.
I haven’t posted in such a long time, and the lack of writing/moment-capturing/shouting-rhetorical-pleas-for-help-and/or-wine-into-the-wilderness drives me nuts. The thing is, when I’m not writing/capturing/weeping it means that life is at its busiest, or fullest–which also means that it’s most likely at its happiest or stressiest (not …
Quinlan turns five this week. And, oh, this one. We still call her Mighty, but she’s more like a sprite. A really, really smart sprite who twirls through rooms on her tiptoes while talking with a vocabulary the likes of which I’m pretty sure I didn’t have until I was in college.
She still sucks her thumb. She’s still covering us with kisses and hugs, all the time. I mean, all. the. time.
Her favorite shoes are flipflops. She likes to feed the cat, and is way beyond excited to have chores. She’s actually really good at cleaning up her toys when asked, unless her sister’s around, and then she curls up on the couch with her thumb in her mouth while her sister does all the work and yells at her to help.
She still loves butterflies, and horses, and now My Little Pony. She digs the color turquoise (“bluish-greenish”), and baseball, and amusement park swings. Her favorite food is pasta with butter, she helps me bake and cook–always offering to help–and she likes to watch Magic School Bus and Odd Squad and Tinker Bell.
I think she’s beautiful. With the wild hair and the nose and the sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of that nose and her cheekbones, she is just perfect. Of course, all of my kids are perfect. Yours are, too. But, oh, this one.
David and I joke that she’s from another world. She comes up with these questions: “Mom? Are we just toys for giants?” and demands answers. She’s obsessed with cuts and scrapes and blood and how bodies work. She wants to know what happens when we die, how we die, exactly what the process is afterward. She wants to know why I use vanilla extract in muffins, why people have butts, what exactly will happen to that half-dried worm if she picks it up off the ground and pets it. She is unlike any other child I’ve ever known. She gets gross, and yet she’s so…delicate, in a way. Little tiny bird bones that surround this brain like nothing I’ve ever met. She hates going to church, refuses to pray in front of people, and yet talks about God and Jesus and what exactly is happening with this Holy Trinity concept as matter-of-factly as one would talk about picking up an extra gallon of milk for breakfast.
I still joke that she’s going to be the one throwing the craziest parties in college. Or spending 2030 touring with some jam band. Or pulling the best senior prank her high school’s ever seen. But I’m half-joking. Because I also see her as the girl who does all of that while wearing a lab coat, drilling out somebody’s dental cavities or mixing up medicines or coming up with the cure for cancer. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was top of her class in medical school. I see her–still our Mighty–saving the world.
One party at a time, of course.
Last week, somewhere between a family party on Saturday (with my brother and his wife in town from Milwaukee), and a weeknight meal and another get-together that went late, a sudden cold that required two days of school absence and a good dose of Free Willy and Dolphin Tale 2, a Friday evening pizza …