Thursday, December 07, 2006


Now that the weather has returned to normal and I have been able to do a little Christmas shopping, my thoughts have turned to my children and when they were little. How did these years go by so quickly? It seems like such a recent blur trying to buy Ninja Turtle items and American Girl dolls before Christmas. One of the fun things about Thanksgiving was the conversation about childhood and the stories. Now that my kids are adults, I love hearing their version of childhood events.

I have specific memories about my kids that stand out more than others. The highlights are due to either laughter or amazement or both. My brain chooses not to remember very well the times they were extremely ill or hurt. Those are the situations that caused me anxiety I'd like to forget.

1. Lucas: He walked before he was ready and well before his first birthday. Actually, he didn't walk, he would run. One time in our house in Seattle, he took off down the hall and hit the couch face first and then slid to his bottom. It left him with a lovely carpet burn from his forehead to his chin. Thankfully, I had an understanding pediatrician who knew immediately that I had not thrown hot coffee on my baby's face. But I'm not sure about the folks in the waiting room.

2. Lucas: When Kaley was a baby and had some sort of bug, I was disturbed by the color of her bowel movement while changing her diaper. It was a little greenish. Lucas age 4 and Kaley's third parent, started running around the house yelling, "Call 911!! Kaley's poop is green! Call 911!" I found out years later, he actually attempted to call 911. I am not sure what I would have told the paramedics.

3. Kaley: Our old house six blocks up the hill was brand new when we moved in. It took us a couple of years before we had any furniture in the living room. Kaley was about 2 and she loved to scribble on everything. She was very adept at handling markers. To her little brain, the empty room with white walls was crying out for a mural. After a time of uneasy quiet, I discovered my little artist had taken a permanent red marker to create a large masterpiece.

Thank goodness the builder had left us extra paint because it took at least two or three coats. She then did the very same thing with a red marker on the wall at Dave's office at UW---while he was sitting right there. After that, I had an unlimited budget for art supplies, paper, and coloring books.

4. Kaley: When Kaley was 3 and Lucas was 6, we traveled to Washington D.C. with Dave. We were staying in a large hotel in the middle of things. Both of my children were Disney babies and raised with the animated movies and sound tracks and toys. In the elevator at the hotel one of the buttons in addition to "Lobby" was labeled "Ballroom". I assume Lucas was reading off every button but Kaley was picking up on words, too.

For a day or two, she kept asking if we could push the "Ballroom" button. Finally, we said yes and the elevator whisked us down to the ballroom. The doors opened to a large unattractive empty dark room with tables pushed to the side and chairs stacked on top of the tables. Kaley was completely devastated. Immediately, I realized that my darling little girl had fantasized the ballroom way out of reality. She expected to see a fancy room and perhaps a beautiful princess in a gorgeous dress dancing with a handsome prince.

5. Lucas: Lucas had three imaginary friends named Gickey, Goosey, and Boo Boo. It wasn't so much that they were invisible and he played them, but rather he told me elaborate stories about their adventures. His imagination running wild, he would tell me with great detail about these creatures. When he was four and we had moved to our house in Mukilteo, I realized I hadn't heard much about Gickey, Goosey and Boo Boo lately. When I inquired about their status, Lucas calmly replied, "Oh, they got sucked down the heater." That was the last he ever mentioned them.

6. Kaley: I can picture it like it was yesterday---Kaley with her long beautiful blonde hair in a little blue dress and white tights. She was about three and she had plopped herself on the floor in the entry way. For some irrational reason I still do not quite understand, she decided to have a semi-fake tantrum. Was it because I had taken a toy away or not allowed her to eat a cookie? Oh no. She decided she wanted a pet seal. She didn't want a stuffed one; she wanted a real one.

When I said, "Well, sweetie, you have a big dog--you do not need a seal. I'd like a seal, too, but they are wild animals and we cannot have one as a pet," she became even more furious. There was no reasoning with her. So what did I do? Yep, I grabbed the video camera because I was laughing hysterically. And what does that do to a strong-willed three year old having a tantrum? Well, yea, let's just say if the tantrum wasn't quite real to begin with--it ended up as a doozy.

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Lucas and Kaley and the Thanksgiving wishbone.