Watching your children grow is a wonderful privilege of parenthood. I have always marveled at how they learn to sit up, roll over, crawl, and walk and how they go from crying, to babbling, to grunting, and finally to talking. I know that not all children go through the various stages at the same rate or the same way, which is another fascinating thing about being a parent. I’ve seen it with my own children. Emily, who has always been particularly verbal, pretty much skipped grunting. Just today at the store Scott told her that her mouth must be tired from all the use it gets. Then we have Timothy. He accelerated to walking quite quickly, taking his first steps at 9 1/2 months instead of just over a year like his sister. He’s always been ready to go places, yet verbally he is between grunting and talking right now. Until Zachary came along, we figured we had children all figured out. In our minds, there were two types — walkers and talkers. Having been around enough other children, we knew that those two catergories were not completely gender specific. Zachary came along and blurred the lines a bit. At the ripe age of 10 months, he is babbling like crazy and desperately trying to start walking. The only thing holding him back is that he can’t figure out how to actually get to a standing position and hold his balance enough to start walking. He knows it has something to do with moving his feet so he kicks like crazy when he succeeds in getting one of us to hold his hands so he can stand. Unlike Emily who was contend to sit and babble or Timothy who was (is!) always on the go, Zachary wants to make as much noise as possible when trying to get around. I can already tell he’s going to be just tons of fun when he’s up and going! I can already hear us saying “Zachary, Sit Down and Be Quiet!!!”
This morning, Timothy demonstrated an ability that I really don’t remember Emily doing. It’s something she can do, but I don’t really remember the first time she did it. He had found one of Emily’s dress up bracelets. It’s a round purple one, but that’s not significant to the story. He put it on his magnadoodle and traced it. Then he took the bracelet off the magnadoodle, proceeded to draw a smiley face inside the circle and hair around the top. He then proudly said “draw mama!” Very cool. I would have taken a picture of it, but he had erased it before there was a chance.
For lunch, we went to Leal’s. Emily and Timothy both got kids’ menus. I really think kids’ menus are the best invention of the restaurant industry. What a wonderful way to keep children occupied while waiting for the food to arrive. Anyway, the children were having a great time drawing on their menu. Then the food arrived and Timothy decided it was extremely important that he write his name on his menu. So, he did.
I know it looks more like Jim than Tim, but it still impressed me greatly. So much so I had to keep the menu!
I suppose one of the hazards of parenting as you watch your child grow is that you form an opinion of what they will be like as they get into school. For example, we always knew Emily would be the smartest and best behaved child in her class. In many ways, that has turned out to be true. She’s doing great in school. There have been a few times when she has had to pull her folder because she was talking too much, but it never took being reminded more than once by the teacher. She still has straight “green marks” on her behavior record. She has made new friends and strengthened her relationship with some exisiting friends, and is generally all we had envisioned. Since we are both teachers, there is one area that we may take a bit too seriously. That is, grades. Yesterday she came home and informed us that she had made a 95 on her bible verse for this week because she had forgotten the scripture reference. We both know that 95 is great, but it’s not a 100. It’s not like she made a B (we shudder to think about when that will happen!). To be honest, we’re being harder on ourselves about it that we are on her. If we had just quizzed her a few more times, things would have gone differently for her. And she did miss school on Monday, so she had one less day than the rest of the class. How dare those teachers give her less than a perfect grade! If we have such a hard time when she gets a less than perfect on a memory verse, what are we going to do when she starts bring home math grades??
How wonderful it is to be able to just enjoy the uniqueness of each child and to be surprised as they do something unexpected.