Posts filed under ‘Cute kids’
When I was a kid I loved to take baths. Not quite to the environmental era, I was allowed to fill the tub up close to the top. I loved steaming water, the kind that actually causes you to steep like a tea bag. When I got out my legs would have a pulse.
It felt good.
I am still all in favor for baths…for the girls. Bath time is play time. All three blonde beauties go in, along with sea creatures, cups, wash clothes. The water is turned off way before the half way mark. And they play. They sing songs all the while making a world under the sea comparable to any red head wanting to be “part of your world.”
They stay in the bath way too long.
I remember my mom making me get out after about fifteen minutes when I was young. “You’ll get all prunny.”
Well mom, on a rainy day with no therapy, no school, nowhere to go, a day where everyone is already bored by nine-thirty in the morning…
I’m bringing prunny back.
I could tell that my husband was very relaxed on our little get away. One night at dinner he ended his prayer for our meal with “Thank you, Bye bye.”
Lately I’ve been playing a game with Polly. I’ll ask her if she’s my baby and she will nod her head yes.
Today at lunch I sang out to her, “Polly, are you my baby?”
She shook her head no and signed “big.”
“Polly, are you my big girl?” I asked.
Her face broke into a smile and she nodded her head yes.
Today Lainie was cuddling with me and Zoya wanted a turn.
“No, Zoya, I’m older. I only have a couple more years and I’m out of here,” she said.
Apparently, Elaina is leaving home when she is ten.
I like to sing.
I sang a lot growing up. At first my concerts mostly took place in front of the full length mirror in my bedroom with the anecdotal wooden spoon as a microphone. But my singing life really took off after my dad taught me all the lyrics to My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music on a really long car trip.
In high school I loved to participate in the choir and sing in musicals and add jazz hands to my solos. I got to wear a white tuxedo shirt with a sparkly blue bow tie and cumber bun in the chorale.
The ability to carry a tune is passed down from my father. One of my mom’s favorite stories about going to high school with my dad is that the choir teacher always had him start a song because he had perfect pitch. She was also told in choir, on several occasions, to listen to my dad to learn how a song should be sung.
So I back-stroked through my small pond of high school singing The Star Spangled Banner at the beginning of basketball games and belting out jingles while scampering around knocking people over with my (by then) infamous jazz hands on stage year after year in musicals. (Mind you, this was in the early 90′s, back before high school musicals were cool.)
Then in college, well, how do I put this?
I didn’t make the choir.
The pond turned into Lake Michigan. There were lots of kids who had fabluous jazz hands and vibrato and a million different colored bow ties. I bombed my freshman audition. My tie was placed up in the closet and the door closed on that part of my life. I adjusted, put my voice on the shelf and moved on.
I still love to sing though.
While dating, S dutifully listened to my ballads. In the beginning of our relationship he was always ready with a smile when I would ask, “would you like to hear me sing the theme song from Beaches… again?” Sometimes I got him to learn one of my songs on his guitar so that he could accompany me.
Sadly his enthusiasm for personal concerts has paled through the years.
Thankfully, though, I had children.
All three of my girls have been rocked and lullabied to sleep. Sometimes I still break into song if one of my older daughters are sad or bored. The problem is they join in and I prefer solos.
Now I am left with an audience of one. Polly loves music. She gives a big toothy smile when I sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider or The Wheels on The Bus. She even obliges a little Bette Midler or my earthy rendition of the Beatles’ Let It Be at meal time.
Friday at lunch she ate and I sang. When I finished, she clapped and signed “more music.”
You know, I do have a full length mirror upstairs…
We are big believers in family movie night. Friday nights, usually you’ll find our family strung out from the week’s events. Occasionally we go for a walk in our neighborhood, but most weeks we pile pillows on the floor and get lost for a couple of hours, cell phones off and homework assignments tucked away for the weekend. With S’s job, a few hours of family focus is just right, no matter that we choose to glue our eyes to the television.
My favorite part is the end of the movie. The credits roll, spunky music from the movie starts and my girls pop up and dance around with wild abandon, for at least three minutes. Their dance is serious and they look out of the corner of their eyes to see if we are watching. If we are watching they laugh and shimmey a bit more, maybe do a quick twist to keep our attention. If we are looking somewhere else, no bother, because they are dancing, really, for the sheer pleasure of it.
Polly dances now. It’s scrumptous. The other night she rocked back and forth, back and forth to the music and then held out her hand to stop her sisters in mid-motion, coaxing them to mimic her moves instead. Pretty soon all three girls were doing the baby version of the electric slide.
I’ve seen a lot of wonderful movies. The kind of movies that make your heart stand up and jive and two step while your bottom stays planted in it’s seat.
The other day when we were out for a walk Elaina said that she can’t wait until she is a grown up. She’s excited to get a cell phone and to eat as much dessert as she wants.
What she doesn’t know is that when a person’s life is adult and filled with cell phones and jobs and bills, they forget how to dance.
Next time we finish a movie, maybe I’ll have enough wisdom, enough gumption to join my kids.
If you wake up on a Monday morning, feeling lowly for no particular reason.
If you go through the morning routine, pick out school clothes for the kids, kiss them as they leave for school, make oatmeal, have breakfast with your toddler, put a load of laundry in, still with a dark cloud hanging over your head, even though the sun is shinning brightly outdoors…
Don’t turn on the television and sit down with a hot mug of coffee with a little milk and turn on a morning show only to see the worlds most amazingly talented children. Kids who aren’t even potty trained pointing out where Turkey is on the map. Children who could catch a down beat on the drums at six months old or girls who don’t even have their periods yet who can sing like Whitney Houston.
Don’t do it.
I knew there was a reason why I don’t EVER turn on the television during the day.
S and I got a chance to pop in on Ella and her folks for a few minutes tonight. It was such a pleasure to see her sweet face. For an update on Ella and post-op pictures, go here.
Thank you for your prayers.
This beautiful little girl and her family could use our prayers. Emma and her brother Micah came home to live with their Mom, Dad, brother and sister from Ukraine not too long ago. Besides having Down syndrome, Emma has some added health concerns. Read about her and how to pray here.
Tomorrow Zoya will turn six years old. Her friend from Michigan is coming to spend the night with us in honor of the special occasion. I bought presents, and cupcakes, white and chocolate with colored sprinkles on top.
In the evening I will blow up balloons. Elaina will help me hang decorations, the obligatory ‘Happy Birthday Sign’ that has travelled from home to home with us through the years. Every year it dutifully turns up at the right time and never hesitates to be tapped up against cold glass.
Some days I cannot believe that I am mothering three girls. Each girl is so different from the next. And therefore, albeit subconsciously, I mother them differently. They are growing up, in spite of me.
Zoya is quiet. She can be easily talked into a nap on any given Friday after a long school week. Sometimes if she gets really bored she decides to go to sleep. This last year she got glasses. The other day she said she forgets that she is even wearing them.
Now her ears are pierced. The offer has been on the table for a while, but just last week she decided it was time. I helped her up onto the high stool, she held tightly to a white stuffed bear wearing a red bow tie. She mentioned she was a little scared, we starting singing ’Happy Birthday’ and by the time we got to the second syllable of birthday, it was all over.
She is tough, and private, and kind.
Zoya kept closer to me longer, but I don’t think it was because she needed to. She simply wanted to. Her six years has shown her different beds to sleep in, numerous plane rides, and foreign languages. When music plays her foot taps naturally to the rhythm. Her arms are graceful. She has her Papa’s eyes. Often, you will still find her curled up in my lap. No complaints here.
I’ve learned to slow down as her mother. We enjoy reading books together. She likes it when I tuck the blanket around her small body as I kiss her goodnight. Her best friend is a tattered cotton pillow…it’s difficult to make out the characters on the fabric after so many washes.
She’s made friends with a little guy in her blended Kindergarten class who has special needs. Today her news was that her teacher moved her to his table. They like to play tag together at recess.
When she decides to do something, it’s done. At two she was potty trained. All it took was an ‘I can pee’ doll and a few soft drinks. She never looked back.
Happy Birthday to my middle little one. It’s a privilege to be her mother.
Yesterday one of Polly’s therapists brought her a walker. She got it from the school she worked at. They never had anyone small enough to use it before now.
Polly has taken a few steps over the weekend, cruising furniture, holding on to an adult’s hands, gingerly stepping out.
Now she is walking. Polly enjoys walking with the walker…
I am ecstatic.
Today S took it with them to the therapy center and everyone was blown away with her little walking self.
One lady said it was an Easter miracle. OK, maybe I wouldn’t go that far, but I know what she means.
This is the kid who only started crawling about two months ago. The kid who finally decided to climb some stairs in the last few weeks. The kid who refused to lift her legs while standing.
If the stander wasn’t on loan, Polly and I could finally give it a good butt whoopin’.
And she’s so proud. Just look at that smile!
Sometimes, seeing is believing.
A friend of mine asked me how many times we’ve moved. For some reason I was thinking about it in terms of our oldest daughter, Elaina. After counting, I realized she has moved seven times. She is seven years old. Surprisingly, she is a well-adjusted kid. The other day, in a conversational lull, she told S and I that getting candy is pretty much her goal in life.
Elaina is nominated for a Pulitizer Prize at school in the category of Best Personal Memoir. Her book, entitled “Polly” is about her mom having a baby, and about the baby having Down syndrome. Her last page reads, “we lived happily together.” Today we received a note in her folder encouraging all Pulitzer Prize nominees to prepare acceptance speeches, just in case. She makes this writer mama proud.
Polly has a new gig. She has to stand in a device (that looks like something Grandpa would use in the Adam’s family) for three hours a day. Her legs and tummy muscles need to strengthen. Also, she has to start seeing the world from an upright position.
We are doing it in one hour increments. She does OK for about half of the time. The rest of the time she fusses. As I write she is in her trap making noise. When I look over at her, she stops whining and waves and smiles. When I go back to the computer, she starts to cry again.
Zoya’s phonetic writing is really taking off. I helped in her kindergarten class one morning about a month ago. Some kids in the class were just reading away. Zoya is doing fine in kindergarten, but she isn’t reading and then, she wasn’t writing much either. After meeting with her teachers (who think that she is doing great) I now work with her just a little bit longer every night after her homework is done. She is memorizing sight words and pointing them out in books we read together. The other day S sat down with her to read. Zoya batted her long eye lashes at him and said, “it’s a long one…do you mind”? The book was like twenty pages of pure text. OK, I exaggerate, but you get the point.