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.

Nettles update: two years

Nettles,

It feels like there has never been any life without you in it. You are a puzzle piece that simply fit right in.

But there is nothing simple or obvious about you. “Third child” is a phrase I’ve tried to stop saying in the last few months – it doesn’t do you justice to label you, and I’m consciously aware of it even when I say very labeling things.

You’ve proven how different every child is, truly. In the last few months, abba and ima moved to the bedroom downstairs, making the upstairs a mainly child bedroom-zone. Every night, you go to bed as a bundle next to your brother and sister, and just about every night, you make your way out of the bed, through the heavy bomb shelter door, out into the pitch black hall, down the stairs, and into our room like it ain’t no thang. The first few times I was shocked. No peep on your part. You just did it. And it was just another lesson in how different every child is.

You have a goal and nothing stops you. Height doesn’t stop you. Kitchen tables are your ladder. Chairs can be dragged just about any distance in order to unlock the front door.

The earth is your free-range carpet.

Nettles, it’s coming. The inevitable. And I won’t say ‘you have no idea’ – you have some idea – but… yeah, you have no idea.

I don’t think you’re ready to be a big sister, but we never are the first time, are we? You’ve got great examples and I think you know that… you adore your brother and sister, even as you’re annoying the hell out of them. I can only hope they will give you guidance or inspire you or you’ve learned something from the last two years of being cared for so well.

 

Nettles update: twenty three months

If I had to sum up 23-month Nettles in one picture…

Here’s the story: One night last week, we hear a loud thump and screaming. We dash upstairs and Nettles had climbed out of the crib and fallen, presumably on her head.

The next day, it happens she’s home from gan and I put her down for a nap in the crib and go back to working in the kitchen. A few minutes later, I hear the pitter patter on the stairs… the little socked feet. I look up, and like a freaky child ghost, she’s standing there, staring at me, smiling.

She knows what she did.

So we move her to a bed. And the predictable happens: Put her down, she gets up. Put her down, she gets up. Leave her down, come downstairs, five minutes later… pitter patter.

Take her hand and bring her back up.

And then, last night, we come down. Sit at the kitchen table, chat over dinner.

And then.

We hear a shuffling sound.

“She’s coming down.”

I turn my head to peek around the corner of the kitchen. The stairs are right around a corner.

And there is Nettles. She’s crawling military style, backwards.  Her bum is up, her legs kicking her forward, her head facing away from us, nonchalantly sucking away at her pacifier.

She is acting like we can’t see her if she just comes down backwards.

We burst out laughing. Tears start rolling from my eyes.

Slowly, deliberately, Nettles turns her head.

She looks at me, she looks at her father.

And there it is, that shit-eating grin.

I actually laughed until I cried, and then cried some more, and crawled into bed to keep laughing, and then I hear, between gasps, the pitter patter, and Nettles is facing me, head cocked, smiling, knowing she won the day.

Again.

So Nettles, yes, you finally fall asleep. Yes, you will get used to your bed. Yes, this happens with most kids I’m sure.

But no one takes us for a ride quite like you.

No shoes are too big to fill.

And no one is going to mess with your style.

 

Nettles update: twenty two months

Nettles,

One of my favorite things, on the days I pick you up from maon (daycare), I love walking up the stairs to the second floor and before there’s any way you know it’s me you come running. Or do I have distinctive footsteps? Or do you do that to everyone until you finally get it right?

And then there are the days you play it cool, too cool, and put on a show of whining and crying that I’m there and you’re torn about leaving all the kids you’ve been pushing around the gymboree.

Either way.

Pushing yourself around is something you’ve been doing more. No one is going to put baby in a corner of calling baby ‘baby’. So yes, I need to stop.

You’ll get dressed in your brother’s pants if you damn well please.

You’ll help do the dishes no matter how much more of a mess that makes.

You will sort the silverware while my back is to you as I’m trying to finish work, and by sort the silverware I mean take everything out, lick some of it, and put it back.

You also will take care of all the baby dolls in the house. With blanket wraps, stroller pushes, the occasional toss.

But you will.

 

Nettles update: twenty one months

Nettles –

This is a crazy time. Last month, this month, the next month – all are and will be intense work months for me. So I haven’t been able to give you as much as I’d want. Write the chapter on being the third child of a full-time working mother someday. It will make people laugh for sure. Because this seems to make you laugh.

But you find ways to keep yourself busy.

And you find ways to help out around the house.

And I just want to add that you are one of my favorite ages.

Nettles update: twenty months

We’re welcoming winter, Nettles, and because it involves warm frothed milk, it’s officially your favorite season.

It’s also your first conscious dinovember. While your brother ponders the universe and your sister cheers them on, you have one reaction, every day, finger pointing:

“Whoa. Whoooa. Whoa! Whoa.”

You’re growing closer to your brother and sister, and they’re becoming more attached to you. Ok, I’ll admit, we’ve been asked “why did you guys make her?!” but all in all, they really do love and adore you. And they’ll drop what they’re doing to help you out. Most of the time.

One thing that hasn’t changed – you’re a messy, if very good, eater.

Nettles update: nineteen months

A couple months in maon daycare, and you’re becoming a tiny version of a kid.

Making ‘friends’ (well, maybe ‘petting’ potential friends/younger babies in your vicinity? Whether they like it or not?).

Adding new words to your vocabulary (as well as using a million words for the same thing, like tzetzi and geegee for pacifier? Or the same words for everything else – eemee is Ima? Me? Give me? Give me Ima?! Or what about mai, which is both water and milk, which is very inconvenient?).

Being Shabbat Ima, after plenty of practice swaying to shalom aleichem at home on Friday nights.

 

Nettles update: eighteen months.

“Do.” “Doy.” “Doos.” “Douche.”

Your vocabulary is brought to you by the letter D. It’s also nearly correct – ‘poo’, ‘bird’, ‘shoes’, and really on target with that last one, since you meant ‘wash’ and actually kinda said it in French. Or you’re cussing the shower, which wouldn’t surprise me either.

Also nice try with the flat-on-the-floor tantrums. You make a good effort. But I’ve been down this road. And you’re way too smart to the point I know you know when it’s not working and try a different route. And you do. Good life plan.

Since Yom Kippur is tonight, I want to apologize for something. Well, for everything you’ll be in therapy for already, but also for what I’ve given you without realizing it until this month:

Resting bitch face.

See Nettles, for the last couple months you were doing this hilarious face. You’d look up at me, cross your eyebrows, pinch your mouth, and scour. I’d laugh, you’d laugh, I’d copy your exaggerated face, and ask you what you’re so angry about.

Then one day while we played this game in the mirror, it hit me: you’re actually just copying my  resting face. My infamous resting face, where everyone thinks I’m angry when I’m just pondering what kind of puppy I want.

And then I laughed, and you laughed, and now I’m forever self-conscious of what face I’m making around you.

On that note, it’s ok that you look like me – for once, I have a kid who does – but I hope it means something that you’re way more excited about being around other kids. You’ve been having fun at your new gan with 394728946 kids around, mostly older ones.

One piece of life advice: when you think you’re being friendly to them, you’re actually hitting them. We are practicing the ‘make nice’ bit actively, but in the meantime, maybe try not to actively laugh while you slap kids. It could give your potential friends the impression that you’re, well, doing this on purpose.

Same goes for all the hair-pulling.

Here’s to a good year Nettles.