State of the obvious.

So there’s feature on twitter where it autoplays videos in your feed on mute.

I was scrolling through to pass time and one shows kids after a bombing in Hass. You see these kids urgently rushed to a van to be taken away. They’re crying, they’re calling out. It’s on mute for me.

Maybe that’s why I noticed this, of all things: missing teeth. The boy opens his mouth and I see he’s got that mark of childhood, the tooth gaps. maybe he’s in kindergarten like my daughter. Maybe the girl with the missing front tooth is in second grade, like my son.

Missing teeth is universal. every kid on earth loses their teeth.

But I don’t need to state the obvious… right?

[The video was here.]

Koala update: seven and a half

Did you hear the one about the kid that wanted to know everything about everything?

(Aside from Sid the Science Kid, which you’ve grown out of,) that’s… you.

I can’t wait to show you Wikipedia… and to catch you at 11pm with a flashlight under your covers reading in a Wikipedia spiral…

Huge milestone this past half-year: learning to dive. Much like everything else you care to try, you really dove deep into that one.

Trying over, and over, and over, (ima look!), and over, and over (ima look now!), and over until you really got it right.

Even when there was no water around…

You spent hard core quality time learning baseball with your grandpa and uncle. That’s four sports you’ve gotten into over the years.

This made me proud – you took this on, on your own. When we were busy, or asleep, or pretending to be asleep – you’d wake up, come down, and work a little bit more on your model airplane project. Minimal frustration makes a slightly more mature boy.

You started second grade, and I know you love it. I know, despite your token response ‘my favorite class is recess’ – I know you.

Learning is your favorite class.

Zooey update: six months

Even after three other kids…

Even after seven years of parenting…

Even after hundreds, if not thousands, of sleepless nights…

It just goes to show you can still be taught.

Zooey, every day that you move, grab, scoot, reach, crawl as quickly as you can,

clinging to the idea that you can keep up with everyone here,

grabbing the bra by the horns…

…is another day you’ve taught me something new.

Bebe update: five and a half years

Bebe,

We enjoyed such a great summer together. It was the highlight of the last half year. Your curiosity is my favorite thing I discovered about you. You’ve got to touch and smell and feel and wonder at everything. It’s your age, and it’s you.

Wearing a flowery dress to feel pretty, while exploring a botanical garden to feel nature. That’s you.

Dressing up as Snow White, to pretend your a ganenet to dwarves… that’s you, too.

Your science projects – that’s you, too. I think the science here was trying to figure out how many stones could fit on this plate filled with water before the water spilled, but it also just could be that I completely missed the point.

And what’s also you is painting your nails and together, getting excited about the newest color we’ve got.

And like I said, getting dressed up for a mother daughter day at the Botanical Gardens, where you found colors and butterflies and beetles and frogs. You’re also so outdoors.

And that extends to the beach, which I think is pretty funny since when we first brought you, you were overwhelmed by the waves and the sounds and the textures – until you weren’t. Now you are the beach, too.

You are so water – being with and in and around water – running through sprinklers, floating in pools, pouring it, dumping it, splashing in it.

And another texture you love.. a good messy dessert.

And a good messy juice-making.

You are so many things, Bebe, and you are also Super Gwirl, and as long as you keep being everything you are, you will always be.

Nettles update: two and a half years

Nettles.

When you’re not around, I think about you. Randomly. You pop up in my thoughts.

I was thinking the other day if you had this much character a year ago. I guess you did but in smaller bites?

These days, the bites are getting chunkier (and I don’t mean because of your dinosaur teeth). You’ll ‘bite’ into anything – you’ll try whatever is happening du jour.

Can it be sat on? Can it be sat in? Can it be carried? Can it be dragged up the top of the couch and thrown? Can it be climbed? Can it make siblings cry? Can it make mom and dad laugh?

Chances are, yes. Always. Because whatever you want to happen, you make happen.

You’ll get what’s yours, and then some. Your eyes, man. You’re going to have to reign in those eyes. Or not… your eyes are your magic.

And your magic makes us crack a smile when you know you’ve got us cornered.  You have a sense for reading people. For turning it for your benefit.

It’s a life skill you’ll have to hone and develop. It could be huge.

I love your magic. Hold on to your magic.

A dream horse come true.

Because it’s so obvious I’m going to just lay it out, plain and simple. Because it’s so cliche, I’m going to hide behind my hands while doing it, peeking out between two fingers:

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who spent her early childhood in the 1980’s, into the 1990’s. It was a time of The Last Unicorn, of Lisa Frank. My Little Pony. Rainbow Brite.

It was only natural that the little girl, who’s first name actually was so suited to this, really really really wanted a horse.

Yadda yadda yadda… thirty years later… she has her own five-year-old girl…

And now, Bebe, who nearly six months ago started doctor-prescribed horseback riding (for building confidence and body awareness), riding, standing, trotting, smiling on a horse…

Zooey update: five months

It doesn’t matter how many babies you’ve had before. Or that they all looked like they came from the same mold. You’ll find yourself to sound repetitive, but also very very sincere, every few childbearing years.

So… hi Zooey. You are the cutest, smooshiest chubba chub I’ve ever bitten into.

To be fair – you are the first true chubba baby we’ve had.

I attribute this to the fact that you have held out – longer than your quite headstrong sister – on not accepting a pacifier or bottle anywhere near your face. We tried all the types and nothing. I’m actually impressed with you. You’re not aggressive about it – you give it a shot, look us in the eyes, and reject. Every time. Quite patiently, actually.

That’s not to say you won’t put everything else in your mouth.

Plastic grapes, rubber strawberry, your fingers, my fingers, a blanket, anything we leave on the floor, oh and also real food – you’ll have it at all.

We finally sat down and had you try some solid food, which I have to admit you have been pretty clear with me about your willingness to try. We finally got the point when you every so assertively pushed your face in your father’s bowl of dinner last week.

Interesting that it took that, but we didn’t quite pin it down when you assertively stuck your face in the pint of Ben & Jerry’s for the last licks the day before…

(Congrats, you win the family’s award for baby to get the earliest taste of ice cream).

So you’re really digging ingestion, just not a bottle of actual nutritious mother’s milk. Which is starting to get in the way of life, don’t you think Zoobs?

I’m starting to bring back the working mom lifestyle next week – your first foray into not having me around ever single second – and whereas I know you’ll be fine because I’ve been around this block a few times – this is a really really sad one for me.

There’s something final about this one. This is the longest maternity leave I ever took. It’s also the most intense – a lot of very real stay at home mom childcare moments. I’ve enjoyed every single second – I mean that very truly. I have not regretted anything or felt a need to rush back to the rat race. I haven’t worried about missing out elsewhere. This has been a deep exercise in living in the moment – and aside from anxiety related to going back to the rat race, I think I was able to achieve living in the moment with you a lot more easily than I have in the past.

We ran around Israel together. We flew to the States alone together. You’ve watched me keep my cool and lose my shit.

I’m really going to miss this time with you, Zoobs.

Let’s take a moment to cry it out. I know we’re gonna get through it. But there’s no shame in a therapeutic cry, Zooey.

 

Zooey update: four months

We’re in the States on a family visit and Zooey turns four months.

The themes of the last month include:

  • Very social smiles turn into very surprised sadness quickly… a rainbow of emotions.
  • Sisters in your face… Cosby show style…

  • Coos and coos and coos – there’s a lot to say, apparently.
  • Also bubbles and drool. A lot of bubbles and drool.
  • Wearing baby scrubs and otherwise modelling outfits your siblings never got through

  • Chub thighs. So proud of those.
  • Your second trip abroad in your lifetime. Ten-hour flights? No problem.
  • Desperately trying to figure out what will make you ok with sitting in the car… new car seats… mirrors… siblings’ singing… a creepy doll staring at you? Nope nope nope.