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I just kissed two of my four children goodbye to college in two different states.
My oldest child is due with grandbaby #1 in October.
The youngest is still with us – for one more year.
These would be the two middle, crazy, clownish children. You know the ones. They have to vie for attention from the very beginning to establish pecking order. Children numbers two and three.
When my son was born (#2), my daughter (#1) immediately took control, and she was a natural. She talked for him, retrieved toys for him, made decisions for him, she basically ran his life. This would be why he didn’t walk until age 16 months and spoke in monosyllables. “WHAT??? WHAT DID HE SAY???” The grandparents would ask. “He wants you to get that toy over there and put it on the table so he can knock it off again.” #1 would eloquently reply. I didn’t even realize she was making all the decisions for him until one day a friend of mine laughingly commented that Nolan would never have to talk as long as Taryn was around to do it for him. And then my mom made a comment about her being like a steam roller and I got a little worried…
Three years passed, I got brave enough to try childbirth again, and #3 came along. She was a girl, which didn’t set well with #2, who already had barbies forced on him at a young age. Used to being the baby, he decided he didn’t really like her. And then, his lifetime playmate, #1, went to kindergarten, and left him with #3. He didn’t speak for two weeks.
One day I heard the baby fussing, which was unusual for #3, now about 7 months of age. She was a very pleasant blessing for a third child. I went to scope out the situation, and to my horror, brother had moved the play kitchen which served as a barrier to the single step to the play room. The baby had followed him in her walker, flipped upside down, and was hanging in mid-air. Brother was ignoring her and doing his thing with his cars or whatever little boys do to ignore their sisters in distress. And so went the story for at least another year – until #4 made her entrance.
To cope with being an easy going baby, loved and adored by all, save one big brother, #3 was the biggest goofball you ever saw in your life. And could she talk! Oh my goodness, she wouldn’t shut up. From the day she uttered her first words, that was it. I used to climb in the car, turn the kid’s music way up (to drown her out), and say “yes” and “uh-huh”, because she would talk just for the sake of talking. Talked a blue streak, that kid.
When they got older, #2 and #3 became extremely close (thank goodness, I think it was a safeguard against #1). They developed a news show, wore their Awana uniforms, and broadcast across the toy box with brother’s video camera. Occasionally there would be an altercation right on tape in front of God and everybody over who was to report on what.
As they got older they ordered #4 around – they enjoyed that. She got to be the weather girl in the news casts, along with anything else they decided they needed her for.
Of late, they’re into “Vining”. If you don’t know what that is, it’s an app for your phone. You can video stupid stuff that nobody understands and put it out there for everyone to see and it’s supposed to be funny. I still don’t get it.
These two are hard core college age now for sure because for the last 3 years they’ve been getting wound up at about 9:00 PM just as Jim and I are ready to wind down. They start bouncing off the walls, baking cookies, and having hot tub parties.
“It’s time for them to be with boys and girls their own age who do this sort of thing.” I remarked tiredly to my husband one night. “Yeah, but I’ll miss them!” he replied. “Me too, but I think we’re getting old.” I sadly countered.
Either that, or it’s just time for them to fly. God has a way of making these things clear – His timing, all along our lives. From that first baby’s cry, the instinct of what he needs, to that last kid’s urge to spread her wings, He makes all things beautiful in His time.
And now, it’s time to learn how to cook in smaller portions! Stay tuned, folks…