Friday, October 31, 2008

King meet the King

Ah, so many things rattling in my brain. I was going to comment on the election, but naah, I won't. It's been a long week (this was actually the calmest Halloween school day ever. Well, excluding the fact that I marched into Caroline's class dressed as a moose leading the first grade story book parade. Oops.)

Despite the insanity at work (paper work, meetings, paper work, meetings....), I have really been enjoying the girls lately. The other morning we were heading to school (on time!). I had Elvis playing and we were just jamming along. Suddenly I heard a strange roaring sound behind me. Lily had started up her mechanical T Rex. I looked in the back and he was leading a kick line and roaring along. Gives a whole new spin to All Shook Up. The funniest part is Caroline was ,yet again, calmly reading, ignoring the goofiness around her. Why can't she dredge up this same inner calmness at night when Lily is chasing her around yelling "Eeexcellent!"? She goes from zen to insane.

It's trick or treat time and Lily is actually out in a costume! Yeah! I have finally figured out that I have to a. not make things a big deal and b. act like I don't care. Her school parade was Thurs and she was the funkiest fairy ever (hot pink tutu, green glitter wings, rainbow striped tights, and hot pink cowboy boots!). When we got to school, she stripped out of the wings and tutu. I calmly left her with her teacher and prayed she'd change her mind. I didn't try to bribe her or shame her. I didn't worry about the fact that I had taken an hour off to watch the parade. I just went outside to wait with our sitter. When the parade came by, there was Lily in the front, in full costume, beaming and waving. I guess we are both growing up.

Well the monsters are back. Time for the sleep over portion (Caroline and her two BFF's). Sweet dreams.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Lily, like most three year olds is a mimic. She takes mimicry to the next level, though. She recites lines from jokes and movies with perfect timing and accents for various parts. Right now, for example, she is going around saying "Ketchup, ketchup. I'm riding the bus, I'm shopping" in her best Homer Simpson voice (her daddy's TV choice, not mine). This talent has a dark side. She seems drawn to repeat he most inappropriate expression 20-30 times.

Case in point, this summer's episode of potty mouth syndrome. I will admit that I am to blame for this one. I am a very mild mannered person. I relish my bookish and introverted ways. I would rather read or bake or go to a yoga class. Well, you get the idea. I am however a recovering potty mouth. I don't know where it came from, but I could hold my own with Marines. Over the years I have really reigned myself in. I still have one old favorite left, jackasss (or his cousin dumbass). Usually it is used while driving or in reference to Rob (when the kids are out of ear shot). For some reason, Lily loves the word jackass. One night while putting her to bed she looked up at me with the sweetest face and said "Sometimes, my daddy, he be a jackass." I guess the kids weren't really out of ear shot. After swallowing my laughter, I explained that jackass was a mean word and she couldn't say it. That seemed to satisfy her. Until this summer.

This summer, Lily learned to talk out of the side of her mouth like Bill Murray (I swear she has never seen Caddy Shack). One day while we were going to the vet Lily says (out of the side of her mouth) "I couldn't stand being with those jackasses any longer." (in reference to her father and sister). At this point I began to worry that she would get kicked out of preschool or worse. I got a hold of myself (it was shockingly funny after all) and told her to pick another word. She chose pine cone and then proceeded to use it correctly for the rest of the summer (ie "What a pine cone."). I finally had to ban pine cone when she called her grandmother a pine cone (my mom didn't know what it meant, but my brother was quick to enlighten her and I wanted to melt into the ground).

Now she is reformed, whenever she hears a bad word (yes I told her everyone that I could think of. It's George Carlin for preschoolers, well a little cleaner) she runs to the offender and states "You can't say shit. Shit is a bad word. We are a loving family, we don't say shit." Great, I have given birth to a pint sized Andrew Dice Clay. The only thing that comforts me is when Rob tells me that he was reciting Steve Martin routines (you know the one about the cat?) at the age of four. I guess she comes by it honestly.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Always Blooming

I was always a late bloomer. Which explains why, now after everyone and his/her mother has a blog, that I am starting. Mostly it is a way to share my surreal parenting stories without jamming my friends' inbox.

Shortly after Lily was born, Caroline asked me which girl I loved more. I gave her the pat "I love each of you in different ways." She of course demanded details and examples. I came up with Wonder and Joy. Caroline, with her big heart and bigger ideas, is my wonder. Lily, with her wise guys ways and silly sense of humor, is my joy. Three years later, it still holds true.

I have been thinking a lot about the wonder portion of my duo. Maybe it's the change in the seasons or the change in her, but Caroline seems to take my breathe away almost daily now. I was always so worried about the basics: sleeping, eating, learning to read and write. I never realized that what she is learning now at 10 is more important than all of that. I can see the kind of woman that she will grow to be and she is turning into a pretty neat person. She's the kind of kid that I would have loved to have had as a friend.

The other morning we were late (my fault as usual, but I never own up to it). After hearing lecture 120 entitled "The next time I want you to....," the back seat got quite. Lily was singing to herself and Caroline was reading. She looked so beautiful. Her hair pulled back into a ponytail with a wide headband (this weeks signature look) and she was completely and serenely engrossed.

Every week she tries out a slightly different personality, but it is always the same variation of a cool little person. She bounces from rocker chic to eco warrior to librarian. Her take on cliches is funny. She is concerned that she can't hang out with the "smart kids" because she plays the drums and likes to wear black (I blame Disney for this misconception). Once I set her straight, she seemed to like the idea of not really fitting into one category. She has so many interests and passions.

I just have to say that even though 10 can be very frustrating (she's a smart ass and very impatient), I think that it is the most rewarding age yet. I am proud that we have helped create this budding adult. It feels like Rob and I are standing on the edge of a cliff. She's ready to fly at any moment, but are we ready to let her go?