The kids, some stories, and life

Sally and Bobby are growing apace. Sally is talking in full paragraphs (forget sentences!) and Bobby is starting to scoot himself around the floor. I consider myself lucky to be the mother of two such awesome kids. And so, I thought I’d treat you all to a bit of an update on them, and a few stories and antics as well.

Sally is in preschool now. When I dropped her off this morning, she immediately jumped into a game of “hide and seek” with the rest of her class. She was hiding under the craft table. She likes hide and seek a lot, actually. Sometimes we play it at the park, though I have to pretend I don’t know where she is because she insists that I hide Bobby with her before going off to count.

Sally has just entered her princess phase. This is being challenging for me, I have to admit. I suppose it was to be expected, with her in preschool with other kids and all. But telling her she can’t be a princess would be silly and counterproductive. Instead, I indulge her but make sure to emphasize her whole range of positive qualities, praising her for her strength and creativity, her endurance and her compassion. And seriously, who says princesses can’t be fast or construct towers? Princess Sally does BOTH!

Sally is completely in love with her little brother. Sometimes when he’s playing on the floor, she crouches next to him and puts her arm around him and says “I love you so much, baby! I love you!” Among the other things she says to him: “You’re mine, baby” and “Listen to me, baby! Listen to me!” (This often accompanied by her placing her hands on either side of his head and turning his face toward her.) If Sally’s playing with Bobby but he needs to nurse, she’ll say “Okay mommy, you can nurse my baby. But give him right back to me!” Bobby doesn’t seem to mind a bit. In fact, I think he rather likes being the center of attention.

Bobby, for his part, has turned into a happy, smiley, chubby little baby. He smiles on cue and has recently started laughing as well – especially when I tickle him. He has me wrapped around his teeny tiny little finger. He’s actually sleeping in my arms as I type this. Now that he’s starting to become mobile he’s starting to make trouble (because, you know, he eats everything he can find, including his sister’s toys!). I’m going to have my hands full with this one, I can tell already!

I love being a parent of two. I really do. I also love having a job. I love being able to go to the office and have space and time to accomplish things there without being spit up on, pooped on, or called to wipe someone’s butt. And I love having a spouse who expects to participate in the child rearing, and even to take an equal share. I’m so glad I live today, and not a hundred years ago.

As I head upstairs to take Bobby to bed, and then to get myself to bed as well before a busy day tomorrow, I can’t help but think about how nimble we have to be today to keep everything in the air that we do. Self, husband, kids,school, job, blog . . . sometimes I feel like I’m juggling, enjoying some of everything and being careful not to drop anything. But you know what? I’m loving every minute of it.

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Didaktylos

    However long a life you end up having, you will certainly be able to say that you have lived in it, not just existed.

  • Eamon Knight

    Do you know the Robert Munsch books? (They’re mandatory ;-)) See if you can find “The Paper Bag Princess” — it turns the whole damsel-in-distress-waiting-to-be-rescued-by-handsome-prince trope on its head.

  • Aimee

    Princess stories tend to get an overly bad rap I think. The toys and marketing that go with it isn’t very good – I will definitely say that – but the stories and films themselves are often quite good. I was quite the fairy princess as a child myself though so I have a soft spot for them. And I have the most active little fairy princesses I’ve ever seen.

  • stepbackintime

    The “Paper Bag Princess” is a great book, also the Patricia Wrede series about Princess Cimmarene (spelling?) I think the first book is called “Searching for Dragons”. These are novels, but I read them aloud to my son and daughter when they were about 8 and 9. The princess in this book tries to reconcile the pre-set gender roles of her kingdom with her personal desires, such as learning fencing.

    • Bix

      Cimorene! I thought those books were hilarious, and I remember liking The Paper Bag Princess too.

    • Rae

      Yes! I’m going to echo everyone’s recommendations for Paper Bag Princess! It’s a great story that has the princess element, but it doesn’t carry the message that you need to be beautiful or have a prince. I totally loved it!

    • Ariel

      “Searching for Dragons” is the second one; “Dealing with Dragons” is the first. I agree that they are great books.

  • Caitlin

    Peggy Orenstein has an excellent book about princess culture called Cinderella Ate my Daughter. I highly recommend it.

  • Noelle

    Meh to pop-psych books that are anti-princess. It’s good imaginary fun-time that encourages creating stories and practicing fine motor skills and developing language. Kids learn through imaginary play. Some girls really like the frilly girly-girl stuff, others are straight tomboy, some are all about art, others are bookworms, some are little scientists or philosophers and ask questions and experiment constantly, some are into sports, many dabble in a variety of those things. And all are welcome. The girly-girl princess lovers have their place with the rest.

  • Karen

    When I was 8 or 9, a good family friend who lived across the street retired and had to seriously downsize to fit into her retirement home. She gave me a 5′x5′ bookshelf filled with her books. I was a voracious reader, and although many of the books were really too old for me, I tore into them anyway. For the first couple of years, I was fascinated by books on Greek and Roman myths. I played out the stories I liked (or rather, the personas I liked) with Barbie dolls. There was a wise philosopher Barbie (she had a broken arm); there was Goddess Diana Barbie, in an odd amalgam of clothes that resembled to my young mind a warrior’s outfit; there was Goddess Aphrodite Barbie, an attractive blonde, who dressed divinely and made everyone love each other. (The sexual aspects of love still went over my young head.) I suppose in the modern world these might have been princesses, but they were strong women all; a budding feminist (me) was writing the scripts.

  • Danielle

    I only have a boy so far, but I freak out thinking about how I would handle to princess thing. I’m glad you found a positive way to handle it.

  • Ashton

    My nephew loves his baby sister tons too. It’s so cute. Not too long after she was born, someone said, “You love your baby sister, don’t you?” and he answered, “I love her so much I can’t believe it!” My mom responded something like, “I know just how you feel.”

  • Sally

    I love this post. And I love your kids’ names – my name is Sally, too and my younger brother is Bobby. We were born in 1961 and 1963, respectively.