Some kid updates.

Have I mentioned lately that L. is the most delightful child in the history of children? She’s reached the stage where just about everything makes her happy and/or laugh. The other night I said that if she could disjoint her jaw, like a snake, so she could laugh harder, she would. If she’s awake, fed, and not tired, chances are she’s clapping her hands about something, smiling at someone, or trying to get someone’s attention so they play with her.

Her mobility gets a little better each day. Still not walking, but getting more comfortable standing without hanging onto something. She can go up the stairs incredibly fast for someone who couldn’t do it just a couple weeks ago. She’s developed the dangerous quickness that allows her to get across the room and into something dangerous in half the time it used to take her. No more setting her on one side of the room while I try to do something on the other side.

She’s taking after big sister C., it seems. She’s already climbing things, and problem solving along the way. She’s figured out if you tip something over next to the object you want to climb on, you can probably use it as a step to get where you want to go. This morning we were all in the basement. I was sitting at the bar reading and the girls were playing. I heard L. clapping and looked over to see her sitting on top of our large ottoman, grinning at me. As I ran over to get her off, she started laughing and rocking wildly, nearly throwing herself over the edge. I grabbed her and asked how she got up there by herself and saw an overturned plastic box that we use to store toys pushed next to the ottoman. Smart kid. The best part was the cheering for herself to get my attention so she could show off. She knows exactly what she’s doing. Stinker.

I’ve mentioned many times that this is my favorite stage. I’m in the midst of a project that has reinforced that. S. asked if I had ever collected all my blog posts about the kids into one file for archiving/printing. I’ve thought of doing that, but never actually got around to it. So I’ve been working through the various archives over recent days to pull all of the kid posts together. It’s interesting how much more I shared about M.’s development than about C.’s or L.’s. That’s natural. With the first kid, everything is amazing and new and you have to share all the details with the world. With the kids that come after #1, the developments are no less amazing, but they’re no longer new, and you’re also balancing what the other children are doing, making it difficult to track every little development.

It’s funny to read back through the ‘04-06 posts, until C. was born, and see how often I posted about pregnancy and M.’s every move. I don’t think I wrote about the last pregnancy all that much, and now the kid posts come much less frequently.

I’m starting to get excited about M. starting school for more than just getting her out of the house. I’m seeing some subtle shifts in her personality, the gradual change from preschooler into kid. Her questions are becoming more concrete, more logical. Her stories more complex. Her understanding of what’s going on around her greater. I have this sense that she’s going to blossom once school starts and make another huge transition, hopefully improving her behavior along the way. As good of a summer as this has been, in some ways I feel like a failure because I’ve not pushed her harder to learn new things, instead just letting her follow her own path each day. I don’t say that because I think we’ve missed an opportunity to learn things she won’t end up learning in kindergarten anyway. But rather because I wonder if carving out time to do school preparations each day might have improved her behavior and made life easier for everyone.

Another thing I’ve noticed is how the kids after the first kind of get the shaft. For example, M. knew all of her letters, both saying the alphabet and being able to identify them, around 18 months. C. can sing her ABCs, but can only identify a few letters. It’s not because she’s not smart, but because mom and dad couldn’t sit there with her, day-after-day, doing the alphabet over-and-over with her. Bath time with M. meant getting out the tub letters and going through them each night. Once M. and C. started taking baths together, the focus was more on getting everyone clean without any meltdowns, without anyone breathing in water, and without any fighting over bath toys.

C. brought me a lace bow this morning and asked me to put it in her hair so that she looked “extra pretty.” Modest much?