And the Kids keep on Growing

Ms Action is 5 years old now. She loves directing things and has become best friends since moving with the little 5 year old boy next store. They play together almost every day outside. She has also declared herself big enough for showers now, and insists on doing it herself.

Recently, she pointed out our front window at the older lady who lives across the street and gasped “Mom! That lady is a smoker who steals cars!” I stopped my laugh before it made it past my lips and asked “How do you know?” and she explained that her little friend from next door had told her. So we talked about how a rumor is a story that people spread about someone that may not be true, and I pointed out that if this neighbor lady was routinely stealing cars, she would probably be in jail, thinking that this evidence would be enough to convince her that we do not live across from a car thief. But instead she got even more excited and pointed to the mail car parked on the street outside, exclaiming that this was the police and that they must be there to take the lady away. I told her it was the mail carrier’s car, but she did not believe me until the mail carrier came back to their car and drove away without hauling our neighbor lady with them. Only then did Ms Action decide to take my word for it that the story about the neighbor lady was probably a rumor.

We also had a talk about calling people “smoker” It turns out that the little boy next store had also pointed out who smokes in the near vicinity and had declared that smoking was bad. So we talked about how people have names, and we should call them by their names and not call them smoker. That would be like someone calling her “yogurt eater” or “skirt wearer” instead of using her name (an idea which made her laugh). And we talked about how smoking isn’t very good for your body, but that smoking doesn’t make you a bad person. Whew. Five really is a whole new age.

Ms Drama just turned 4. She loves playing with any of her siblings and has a new penchant for layering her clothes. At any point on the day, she may be wearing more than one shirt or a skirt over her pants. She also layers her pajamas, which the other night included pants, a skirt, and a nightgown with a shirt over it. She thinks she looks fabulous.

She is learning how to stand up for herself and say if she does not like something. In one incident, she had brought an empty grape juice bottle outside with her after filling it with water. Ms Action and the little boy next store told her that the bottle was garbage and convinced her to pour the water out on the ground and put the bottle into the recycling bin. Ms Drama came inside and tearfully explained that she had really liked the bottle and that she didn’t think it was garbage. So we talked about how she doesn’t have to change her mind about something just because someone else says too. And that if she liked having a water bottle than that was just fine. And we practiced saying “No, I don’t like it when you say that. I like my water bottle.” And then we filled another bottle with water and she marched back outside to play with the kids, and even though they pressured her again to throw her bottle out, she was able to stand up for herself and came back with a huge smile to tell me that they stopped bothering her.

One night she was overtired and complaining about everything we were eating for dinner, and when I put the usual 50% water and 50% juice into their cups, she found one more thing to protest. She yelled that she liked her juice sweet, and that she didn’t want any water in her cup. And I was tired and rather grumpy myself, and so I slammed the juice bottle onto the table and said “You don’t want water in your cup? Well than I’ll drink the water right out of your juice!” and I took a swig out of her glass and put it back down. And to my utter amazement, she smiled ear to ear, took a sip from her cup and said “That’s much better, now it’s sweet” And I wasn’t about to argue with that.

Ms Pooky is 2 ½ and she is talking up a storm. She refers to herself as “my” instead of “I” which makes for sentences such as “Here my am!” She is also has an adorable habit of giving me a hug and declaring “I like you! You my best fend.” We’ve been slowly weaning off the breast for the last couple of weeks and it has gone surprisingly well. I hope to post on that another day.

Ms Pooky refuses to wear skirts, insists on always wearing socks (even with her sandals) and when her sisters dress up as princesses, tells them that she is going to be a king instead. She still has a huge love for her stuffed frogs and loves to watch Bob the Builder and Dora the Explorer. She is the only child I’ve had so far who interacts with Dora at such an early age, when Dora asks a question she actually answers it instead of staring at the screen with that glazed over look. One of her current favorite ideas has been to have someone tie an apron around her shoulders, after which she declares that she is a “supabhewo that can FLY up in the sky and SAVE people!”

Baby boy is just about a year old, and gets told by everyone that he meets that he has huge eyes. He is walking everywhere now, and gives sloppy baby kisses on request. He loves trying out new foods, and tends to laugh at his own jokes, that is to say, we aren’t always sure why he is laughing, but he usually is.

He has a never satisfied interest in electronics, and spends far to much time pulling the mixer out of the kitchen cabinet and dismantling the radio. He also manages to unplug the alarm clock every single day despite my attempts at keeping him out of the bedroom. He also seems to have a heightened sense of smell, because whenever I take a shower he avoids me afterwards and stares at me like I am an alien from outer space. Maybe I just don’t shower enough, but when I am freshly cleaned, he will run up to me with his arms up as usual, but when I pick him up he will squirm and shove me away from him as if he doesn’t even know who I am. But when I am my natural smelly self, he can usually be found with one hand under my hiked up shirt on my bare belly and his thumb in his mouth.

Do you think that’s enough info to come up with a blog nickname for him? A year old is when I usually try to invent one. So far the girls have been Ms, so perhaps a Mr is in order for Baby Boy? Still trying to think of a good name the fits his personality, do you have any ideas?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15454965172669677301 Bethany

    I love hearing how you interact with your kids and answer their tough questions. I feel like I have every one of your posts like this tucked away for future reference. :)(Re: Baby Boy's nickname… This is in no way a serious suggestion, but it made me grin to think of calling him just plain "Mr." in light of your new family situation.)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06233321050691782148 Michael Mock

    Your kids sound completely awesome.

    For Baby Boy… Mr. Rover? Mr. Explorer? Mr. UnFixit?

    I'm wondering if his reaction to you being freshly showered isn't a lack of normal body-scent, but instead a reaction to some sort of perfume-y scent in your soap or shampoo? (My wife and I are both sensitive to such things. They just make my nose itch, but my wife will actually break out if she uses scented products.)

  • Anonymous

    Howsabout Mr Merry?

  • http://madam-eglentyne.tumblr.com/ Clytia

    Mr Sparks or Mr Sparky because of the electronics?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18302037643126411567 Kristin

    My little guy likes to hold onto my stomach as well and often pushes his thumb into my belly button which makes me shriek.

    How about Mr. Adventure?

    My herd is very similar to yours with 3 girls and a boy. My oldest is 9 and little one is 2.

    Kristin

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04312854436949133540 illissemorsirion

    I agree with you Michael. I have problems with scented products (give me migrains) so it may be that he doesn't like the scent of the product

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08135229596877003069 Michelle Hughes

    So sweet. I love age 1 myself. (well, I love all the ages…their challenges and the fun parts) But age 1…oh, I could just stop time and watch those little personalities make themselves known to me forever. :)

    I dont' know about the names. YOu know, I have always just used my kids' names so I'm not very original in that respect. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02224561280478383821 Nancy

    Good point Michael. I too have adverse reactions to certain smells. I especially do not like flowery scents.

    Melissa, you should teach parenting classes. Well, I guess, in a way, you already are!

  • Paula G V aka Yukimi

    The stories are so sweet and I like your explanations a lot ^^

    About a nickname for baby boy… I like Mr Sparky. If I had to suggest some… I suck at nicknames XP Mr Stare-y, Mister Smiley, Mr Happy, …

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08553760391176072177 Joy

    Mr Wizard
    Sir Science

    Thanks for the updates!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06410682651072046347 TwisterB

    When I was a kid I remember a lot of body products like perfume and hairspray made me dizzy and nauseous, so I agree with the above posters that might be a reason. Also smell is important for bonding, so maybe he has just bonded to your smell more than you other kids? Who knows.

    You could go with Mr. Fixer or stay away from gendered titles and go with "little ___"

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00153117604262687451 RilianSharp

    Ms Pooky sounds like the kind of person I would get along with.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Melissa, it is very possible he has that perfume sensitivity that runs in the family. :) I love your descriptions! Noni

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03519675898483081005 Mrs. Searching

    Oh, nicknames are overrated anyway, lol. I love the way you explained the name-calling. It's hard to keep kids from absorbing the narrow-minded ideas of their peers. And to think our parents were afraid they'd expand our minds. Ironic, isn't it?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05049442534437457900 Jessica

    Baby Boy makes me think "Mr. Gadget" or maybe as mentioned upthread "Mr. Fixer."

    Oh, sure, he isn't fixing anything as far as you're concerned…but I bet he feels like he's doing important work. :D

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17967070182847617840 kisekileia

    I think Melissa's use of pseudonyms for her kids is a really, really good idea. It means that if people who know the kids later try to find this blog, to get information about what the kids were like when they were little and what the family is like now, they'll have a harder time than if real names are used. Most parents who blog don't really seem to think about the kids' privacy in later years, which I find really problematic. Using pseudonyms is probably a good way to help make it harder in future years for people who want to find stories about the kids to do so.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Hmm, I don't really use body sprays or perfume, maybe he doesn't like my shampoo.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Ooo, fingers in the belly button drive me crazy!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Michelle- Age 1 is so special, still super cuddly, but becoming more independent and discovering everything.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Kisekileia- I think its a personal choice, I really doubt that anyone could google my kids even if I used their real names because I don't use my last name. That being said, I would hope that any parent writing about their kids would have the discretion not to post things that could be used against their child later.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13674332089949439989 Melissa

    Yeah, I went with the gendered titles before I had really thought any of that through.

  • Caravelle

    when her sisters dress up as princesses, tells them that she is going to be a king instead.

    Ooooh, SMART girl. Go right for the top :)
    (do you know the Enchanted Forest series ? In them the king of the dragons is female. When humans wonder why they don't call her "Queen" dragons just get confused. "But that's a totally different job ! And it's rather boring, actually I think it's been vacant since the last one quit".)
    (I also recall that dragons in those books choose their gender as they grow up. You know, you'd think I'd have been tipped off by the princess who runs off to work for a dragon to avoid getting married, but I'd never quite noticed the extent to which those books play with gender)

    For the nickname, I know a commenter on another blog who calls her child "Kid Sparky". But I guess you'd want to avoid something that's already taken (especially since I can see that person reading your blog if they don't already).

    I'm impressed by your story about Ms. Drama. Given all the peer pressure people are under it's really important to know one's own mind, and to know when it's worth it to disagree. And it's not something that gets reinforced that much in childhood I think.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08135229596877003069 Michelle Hughes

    kisekileia – I appreciate that perspective. I am pretty careful about what I post about my children. Usually I post photos of them from when I've been out and about with them. Therefore, lots of people see my kids anyway because we don't hide in the house all the time. Actually, you hit a great point…one I was contemplating recently. I had a blogpost I thought about writing with regard to a disciplinary/teaching moment with my oldest. But I ended up deleting because it's one of those hard things pre-pubescent/pre-teen kids have to work through and a lot of them have trouble and I would never want her embarrassed because I told it to the world. So, I do consider my kids' feelings and privacy with regards to the things I post. But thank you for the reminder! It's always good to be thinking along those terms.

  • Nerdiah

    I call mine "Entropy Boy". I must confess I stole it from somewhere, I can't remember where, it certainly seems fitting when I contemplate the detritus on the floor after a hard days playing. Like the wake of a cyclone :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04848458622058432379 Arachne

    Kids are so funny at those ages! I myself have a 5 yr old girl and a 2.5 yr old boy.

    And Caravelle, I've read the Enchanted Forest series too and I love it. Cimorene was a girl after my own heart in the first book they way she kept trying to learn the things she was interested in, while people kept telling her the things she was "supposed" to do. I was a tomboy who also loved learning :).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08118845146287915430 sara

    awwww it sounds like he could be a Mr. Lovey :D


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