About an hour ago, I phoned my friend C. as I drove like a maniac towards our children's school:
"Just wanted to reassure you that I'll be there to pick up your boys for lunch. I should have them at your front door in about fifteen minutes!!"
C. was surprised... And then, so was I. For, as it turns out, it is not "my day" to do the lunch run. Because, as it turns out, it's not Monday.
See what happens when the premier of the province goes and magnanimously gives us a new long-weekend, in a wild attempt to win an election... er, um... I mean... make the month of February easier for us to bear?
He winds up messing with our heads, that's what.
That's not to say I didn't NEED the extra day tacked on to my weekend. For it was a busy one, I'll tell you. And while we bucked the rules and didn't actually wind up using the new so-called "Family Day" to rest and relax, we sure needed it to fit in all the festivities that went on around here. We were partying hard.
Child Number Two turned seven yesterday.
Can you believe it? Because I sure can't. And I'm not just talking about the bewilderment I feel about the fact that she hasn't yet managed to "do herself in" during this fairly lengthy period of time... Lord knows she's tried. And a few times, she's nearly taken ME along with her...
She was a troublesome little squirt long before she was even BORN (go figure). It took me several angst-filled years to become pregnant with our much longed-for second child. By that point, I was not as disgruntled and put-out as some women might feel, when the doctor ordered several months of complete bed-rest, in order to "hang on to her", as my grandmother put it. We often spoke on the telephone during those long weeks I spent on the couch. For she understood what I was up against, having lost several pregnancies, and most tragically, one infant daughter, herself. An old-school nurse of tough, Scottish up-bringing, she would jolly me through every conversation, and then sign off by saying:
"Now, you just keep your legs crossed, with your feet up above your waist, and HANG ON TO THAT BABY!"
And so, I did. I didn't dare disobey her.
My second child came into the world the same way she lives life. At top-speed, and with an element of surprise.
My o.b. finally conceded to my wish to be induced, rather than have a planned c-section. The agreement was that one whiff of a complication would send us straight to the O.R., which was booked and ready to go.
We didn't even have a chance to ponder any potential problems however, because not five minutes after they hooked me up to the IV, Child Number Two made it known that she was ready to make an appearance. How many women do YOU know who go in for an induction, and have a babe-in-arms in under half an hour?
She took 25 minutes. Two pushes.
And she's been going full-steam-ahead ever since, my tiny, yet mighty Number Two.
This was the child who was hungry every hour on the hour, for at least the first six months of her life. She would go from being a content, sleeping angel in my arms, to being a red-faced, screaming five-alarm siren, with no moods in between. My eldest daughter was the one who finally suggested that we try her with a soother-- wise girl already at the tender age of five-- and it was she who dubbed it "The Plug". When The Plug was in place, all was right with the world, but if you dared take it out... well, all hell broke loose, quite frankly.
It wasn't long before our tiny baby was up on her hands and knees and crawling like a demon, far faster than I could run after her. At nine months, she pushed herself up on her two little legs, without even hanging on to a piece of furniture, and walked straight under our kitchen table. She was so small of stature, she didn't even need to duck her head.
Life changed quickly after that. Average "baby-proofing" was NOTHING to our little techno-whiz. So called "child locks" had nothing on her. She unhooked the toilet seat clamp that even I had trouble figuring out, and dropped the cordless phones down the loo, one by one. She had mastered the point-and-click function of a computer mouse before she turned two, and we nervously half-joked about her hacking in to National Security. She comprehended language, and talked early. Woe betide anyone who let fly with a blasphemous expletive within her extensive range-of-hearing, because the little steel-trap of a mind would remember it, and file it under "For Future Use... Try In Front of Grandma".
She inherited her mother's obsession for power tools. The year she turned two, she drove the builders who spent months with us renovating our kitchen to DISTRACTION... They eventually had to come to an agreement with her: if she would stay OUT of the construction site while they were working, she could go in and have tea or coffee with them at break-time. Bang-on eleven and three o'clock, she would swagger through the door, sporting her little Bob The Builder tool belt, hard hat, with a mind-full of questions... More often than not, she would demand a demonstration of all the tools capable of doing MAJOR damage, and, to my dismay, the men were only too delighted to oblige...
Yep, she's stopped my heart more than a few times, all right. She's lept out of windows, and into large bodies of water... she has nearly succeeded in stealing my car... And the nurses in triage at the local hospital "high-five" us each time we present our "frequent stitches card" at the emergency room...
But, she has warmed my heart, too. And filled it up to overflowing.
In spite of her mischief and mayhem, my second child has a nurturing, empathetic, loving side to her big personality that overwhelms everything else.
She was the most thrilled of all of us, upon the birth of Wee Three, and "mothered" that baby as though it were her own. She got up at night-time as often as I would allow her, to "keep us company" during the midnight feeds. The image of her soothing her tiny sister's cries, patting her little hands and cooing to her, is still enough to move me to tears.
Her compassion and warmth extends well beyond the family, too, and she is a good friend to her classmates at school, as well as being an enthusiastic and consciencious student.
She is growing up to be quite a little Person, I tell you. And I'm proud of every, single inch of her.
Proud to be her mum.
Even when she's busy earning her nick-name,"Twister", and driving us all to the brink of madness. Because out of the madness, comes a merriment... a joy I never knew could exist until the moment I gazed into those dear little shoe-button eyes of hers.
Happy Birthday, my Big Little Girl.
As you once wrote to me:
As you once wrote to me: