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5 Years ago today

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Five years ago today, extremely sleep-deprived versions of Josh and me checked into Vanderbilt for the 4th time in one week. I did not know the difference between real contractions and Braxton Hicks, and apparently I was a slow learner. Oops (and oops again, and again). I don’t remember much due to a drug-induced haze, but I know I slept, and a baby was born at 2:58 PM. I, off course, loved her immediately, I think I cried–I know she did–and I didn’t want to share her with anyone. I have vague memories of people coming to hold her (i.e. “Stealing my baby”)–people like her Daddy and her grandparents. I know Josh kept telling me to sleep, and I wouldn’t because I couldn’t stop staring at her. I kept interrupting her while she was eating because I was convinced I was doing it wrong. The one thing you should never tell a mother-to-be? “If you’re nursing your baby correctly, it shouldn’t hurt at all.” They should tell you, “Nursing feels WEIRD at first, but you’ll get used to it.” At some point during my hospital stay a nurse made me cry. I can’t remember about what. I hadn’t slept in about 5 days straight. On the day we were supposed to leave, they forgot to check us out, so we sat in our room for 2 hours packed and waiting…and waiting…and waiting. We took a very orange little carrot baby home. She ended up in the children’s hospital a couple of days later for what one of the nurses at our pediatrician’s office later told me were some of the highest jaundice levels she’d ever seen. While we were there we learned that good nurses make all the difference in the world, and if your child is being admitted to the hospital, you should remember to pack changes of clothes and a grownup sized blanket for yourself. We were there for two nights. At one point I remember Josh and I going on a “date” to the hospital cafeteria for Ben and Jerry’s.

Now Emmeline is five. She loves math, science, mud, bugs, princesses, all things pink and sparkly, and building lego cars. She is excited to meet her baby sister and help change her diapers. She wants to feed the baby cheese and bananas and was very upset when I told her that was a no-no. When I told Emmie she wasn’t allowed to play with bumblebees, she ran inside crying. If she’s mad, she’ll shut herself in the bathroom. Emmie loves stories, but prefers to look at the pictures and make up her own words. We’ll get books from the library and she’ll tell me, “You don’t have to read that to me, Mommy. I already read it to myself.” She could spend an hour sitting at the table with art supplies. She’s saving her birthday money for something, but she hasn’t decided what. She’s stubborn, intelligent, dramatic, and always thinks her way is the right way. She defends the ones she loves. She wants to stand out in crowds, and she usually succeeds. We’ll never have to worry about her giving into peer pressure because she won’t even give into parental pressure. She’s a difficult child to parent but an incredible child to watch grow up.  She’s full of personality, she’s never bored, and she’s never boring.

 

She has always been her Daddy’s girl.

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Conversation Highlights

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Gareth aka Buddy (When he was born Emmie couldn’t say Gareth so we all called him Buddy and it stuck): 

He’s going through a superhero phase right now, and he’s an especially big fan of Batman (thanks in part to his Batman t-shirt and his Batman Little People toy). So when I correct him for disobeying, I usually say, “Gareth, Batman wouldn’t hit/bite/steal toys/etc.” It always works because Gareth wants to be just like Batman. Yesterday he was hitting Emmie with a stick, so I (Gently!) Poked him with it a few times to show him how it felt.

I told him, “See, Gareth, it hurts when you hit Sissy with the stick.”

Gareth frowned really big and said, “Mommy, Batman wouldn’t hit Buddy!”

I stand corrected.

Emmie:

Emmie and I like to look at the dresses on ModCloth. I’ve never ordered anything from there, but it’s fun to dream. We like to play, “Pick out a dress for Mommy.” The winner is usually something pink. I know you’re shocked!

Last night, Emmie’s favorite was this frothy confection. I told her, “That’s cute, Emmie. I bet your Daddy would like it too.”

And she replied, “Yeah, Mommy, I bet Daddy would take it from you!”

I had to do a double take. Did I just get bedroom advice from my four-year-old? I’m confident she didn’t know what she was saying. At least I think I am. Either that or she thinks her Daddy likes to dress up in pink polka-dot party dresses. I’m not sure which one worries me more.

One thing’s for sure, life is never dull when you have a very precocious child. We try hard to keep things innocent in front of Emmie, and still she understands things way beyond her years. I wish I could have a nickel for every time someone has asked me, “What are you saying to this child?!” My answer is always, “I have no idea!”

One time we were giving a college-aged church member and his dad a ride somewhere, and Emmeline told them a pretty accurate story of how she was born. Thankfully the dad just thought it was hilarious! I tried changing the subject, but Emmie was determined to finish her story. When we got home she and I had a talk about what are appropriate stories to tell people. Someone asked me where she got her information from, and I told them, “She asks a lot of questions, so we try to give her an honest answer but one that is innocent and age-appropriate.” She’s a verbal processor, and when she wants to understand something, she’ll ask you about it nonstop until she understands. Evidently she reads more into our answers then we’re telling her. We’re in trouble with this kid!

I’m just hoping this fascination with how things work, math, and body parts means that she’s going to grow up to be rich, successful scientist who can support Josh and me in our old age. We’ll have earned it after raising this crazy (more like crazy-smart) girl.

Emmie’s favorite store

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Josh was holding an advertisement he was about to throw away. Emmie recognized the logo and stopped him.

“Daddy! You can’t throw that away! It’s for Goodwill.”

“It is, huh?”

“Uh-huh. It’s Mommy and my favorite store. We shop there all. the. time.”

“Really?”

“Yes, Daddy. They have super cute clothes and great prices. Mommy got this shirt for me at Goodwill, and I love it so so much.”

The scary part is, she’s not parroting anything. She comes up with stuff like this all on her own. Josh calls her Donna Draper. Also, can Goodwill always be her favorite store? That would sure make her teen years a  lot easier on me!