***update*** I will be posting the chicken picture and the X-ray picture when I get home next week:) Of course you need the visuals to go with the story…:)
I went in tonight to kiss my girls while they slept. One of my favorite things in the world is to kiss their sweet, damp hair as they fall asleep after a warm bath. To breathe the sweet floral scent as their chests rise up and down slowly, and their faces glow with peace. In these moments, I remember the days right after they were born. Crazy, beautiful, glorious days.
Anna Elisabeth Smith was born on December 2nd, exactly 2 minutes before her sister Abigail Grace (this is pointed out frequently). From the moment she was in the world, she has lived up to the typical “older sister” role. A few days after Abby was released from the NICU, we brought her home and she was having a really hard time adjusting. One night, we put them in their crib (they shared one when they were teeny-tiny), and Abby was absolutely hysterical. We rocked. We fed. We bounced. We cried. We rocked again. We gave up. We put her in her crib next to Ellie and walked out of the room to the sound of her screeching. Todd and I looked at each other, trying to decide what we should do. Should we give her a binky? Should we give her some Mylicon? Should we give her food? Should we give her away?
We were debating the plan from the family room when we heard the most glorious silence known to man. It is the sound that makes hormonal, weepy, exhausted mothers fall to their knees in gratitude. That sweet, sweet sound of nothing.
We tiptoed into the room where they were sleeping and we both melted when we saw what had happened. Ellie had one of her thumbs in her mouth, and the other stretched out into her sister’s mouth. She was two minutes older, and was already taking her role as big sister seriously.
A few days ago, Abby (our daydreamer) decided to jump off a couch in a poorly-planned attempt to fly, and she landed on her two front teeth. Ellie insisted on coming to the dentist with us to sit with Abby while she had her X-rays done. We were all happy to know that her grown-up teeth were about to push out her baby teeth anyway, so there wasn’t any permanent damage. They let us have a picture of her X-ray, and if you have been within a 10 mile radius of us in the last several days, chances are you have seen it. I have to carry it in my purse at all times in the event that Abby meets a stranger she wants to introduce to her “teeth-picture.”
Never a lack of adventure at the Smith house.
The other day, we had a really funny conversation while I was teaching. We are doing Sing, Spell, Read and Write (which I LOVE!), and they doing great with their letters. We were working on the letter “B,” and for one of the exercises, they have to cut, color, and glue the pictures that begin with that letter. There are a bunch of pictures, but only a few that match the letter for that day. As we looked through the pictures, I was saying things like, “What is this one? Ba-ba-ba-ball! Right! So that starts with B!” Ellie starts cutting, but she is being more quiet than usual, and I tell her to start saying them out loud so I can make sure she knows what she is doing. She does two in a row correctly and then holds up a picture of a chicken.
“Ba-ba-ba…..chicken.” She starts to color it.
“Ellie, that is a ch-ch-ch-chicken. Not ba-ba-ba. Ch-ch-ch.” She has a look of disgust. She repeats, this time with a little more intensity.
I decide to take a different teaching route and start to point at another “B” picture. “What about this one, Ellie? It’s a ba-ba-ba-bus. See the difference?”
She is still coloring the chicken. She pauses and looks me dead in the eye, crayon frozen in midair.
“Mommy, why do you hate chickens?” Okay. She’s serious. And I’m about to spit out my Diet Coke.
“Ellie, I don’t hate chickens. It just doesn’t go with today’s letter. Why don’t we hold onto it and we can talk about it when we do “C.”
I can tell by the look on her face that this is probably not going to fly. Abby chimes in.
“Mommy, Ellie is right. You shouldn’t hate a chicken.” Four eyes. Staring at me. Accusing me of poultry-hatred.
“Girls. I do not hate chickens. I like chickens. It’s just that chickens do not start with the letter B.” They look at each other, and as a show of solidarity, Abby starts to cut out her chicken. I bury my head in the lesson book so they don’t see me laughing. I did take a picture of Ellie holding the picture with a look of disdain.
Later that night, a neighbor-girl was over and they are playing dress up. And by “dress up,” I mean “destroying every closet in the house.”
I am in the kitchen making dinner when Ellie saunters in with a feather boa, tutu, and oversized purse.
“Hi Ellie. What are you doing?”
“We’re playing ballet dancers. What about you?”
“What are you making?”
“Chicken.” Clearly I have not thought this through.
She stops in mid-prance and looks at her friend, who, apparently, is in the know about her chicken theory.
“Told you,” she whispers under her breath.
Her friend nods in wide-eyed unison as they march into the playroom while I trail off…”I do not hate ch-ch-ch-chickens!”
Two days later, Ellie announces that she is a becoming a vegetarian.
I serve her vegetables, in order to prove that I am an equal-opportunity food server.
She smells them and pushes her plate away.
“I think I want chicken, mommy.” She smiles. We eat chicken (some of us with loose teeth), and of course during our nightly prayers, Ellie talks about her beloved picture, and the day early next week when he will rightly claim his throne as the “C” word.
Have I mentioned I love homeschooling?
On another note, I want to thank you for all of your kind words for Todd. They meant a lot to both of us, and I hope that now he is over his “grammatical stage-fright,” he will be back to post again soon.
Blessings to you all tonight…