Meet the Munchkins

I love my kids. I mean it. I LOVE my kids. They crack me up at least ten times a day each. (They also drive me crazy about ten times a day each, but that’s another story.) And while they have certain things in common, they are both very unique people. Every night when I’m lying in bed and my younger daughter is quiet and sleeping next to me, I think about how lucky I am to have my girls and I thank the Lord. So, I’ve been thinking I would tell you a little bit about these two special little people.

My older daughter is almost 5 1/2. She is intense. Her intensity used to drive me completely crazy until I realized that she is what is known as a “spirited” child. That explained why she would have meltdowns over little things, like her socks, and continues to test me on everything over and over. And they are emotional meltdowns, not tantrums; although she has had tantrums, too. So now I watch her triggers, and I keep her personality traits in positive perspective thanks to the book Raising your Spirited Child. She’s not loud; she’s “enthusiastic and zestful”. She’s not argumentative; she’s “opinionated and strongly committed to her goals”. She’s not nosy; she’s “curious”. She’s not explosive; she’s “dramatic”.

I assessed her learning style last summer (I can’t remember which book I used), but it said that she would do well using computer games. She does learn a lot from playing on the computer and watching television. She plays a lot of pre-school/kindergarten websites, but for someone who can’t really read yet she can also navigate herself around ones for older kids like Club Penguin and Barbie Girls. She has an excellent vocabulary, and she’s doing pretty well with addition of small numbers. If she were going to school, she would be eligible for kindergarten this coming fall, but I think academically there’s a good chance she would get bored. She has a low threshold for tedious repetition, which schools are full of.

Words that I use to describe her include: passion, trickster, tender, and assertive. She is so full of passion. She has high highs and low lows. It’s that passion that makes her so decisive and argumentative-I mean, “opinionated and strongly committed to her goals”. If she can learn to respectfully channel that passion, I believe that it can really take her far in life.  She is also a trickster; she wants to play practical jokes on people all of the time. Although, she is better at dishing it out than taking it. She is very tender with children smaller than her; she’s like a little mommy. She wants to take care of them, especially when they are hurt or upset. She will often extend that same tenderness to the adults in her life. And my oldest dear daughter is very assertive. Once she gets to know you she will talk your ear off, but even if she doesn’t completely know you, she is not a crowd follower. When she was in her first gymnastics class at age three, the teachers asked her to do something with which she wasn’t comfortable. She looked at them and politely said, “I think I refuse.” Recently, at t-ball practice her coach asked her to yell and scream on her way to home plate, and she promptly told him “I don’t want to”. She is not disobedient about the rules (at least in her classes), but she is not afraid to stand up for her concerns, either.

My younger daughter is just shy of 2 1/2. Her two mottoes are “I want to do it myself” and “I want to be naked”. She is very independent, and pretty much all of her tantrums revolve around her independence being thwarted. She is also generally pretty obedient; she may pretend to test me sometimes with a little grin on her face, but she rarely actually disobeys. She is also the most self-aware child I have ever encountered. Since she was about 18 months old she would tell me when she was ready to go to bed at night. She’d say, “Mommy, nap time.” At first, I thought it was a scam, but then she would put on her pajamas and go through the routine without a fight and be asleep within fifteen or twenty minutes.

She does not like receiving affection, though. She will give hugs and kisses on the cheek or nose (not the lips) when she feels like it, but she gets angry when people try to give her hugs and kisses without her permission. It is so hard because she is just so cute and kissable. The only one who can consistently get away with giving her affection is her big sister. She also still gives her big sister the most affection. Although, lately the baby in my belly has been getting a lot of kisses.

Her vocabulary is outrageous for her age. A few weeks ago she used the term “culinary” while playing in the toy kitchen at her granny’s house. At her two-year check up when the pediatrician asked if she was starting to string a few words together, we just laughed because she was already making short sentences. She’s also know all of her colors and shapes since before she was two (at Christmas she surprised us by knowing a trapezoid). She can count amounts up to about three or four, but she can’t recognize written numbers yet. She can recognize most of the letters of the alphabet, though. In the past few weeks, she has figured out how to use the mouse on the computer by herself which has opened whole new avenues of fun and learning.

Words I use to describe her include: focus, jokester, and spunky. From the time she was a baby, you could hand her a toy and she would proceed to examine it from every possible angle. She still has the same focus. Her ability to focus makes her appear very coordinated for her age, as she doesn’t usually make a big mess when she eats and she can already whack the ball pretty well off of a tee. She loves to make other people laugh; that’s why she is a jokester. She is always using funny voices and making funny faces, intentionally. While she pretty much goes with the flow most of the time, she is nobody’s doormat. She does not hesitate to stand up for herself or retaliate when she thinks she has been wronged. Other than working on the retaliation a bit, I am glad that she has such spunk.

Both of my girls enjoy dancing, singing, songwriting, the Beatles, SpongeBob SquarePants and playing sports with their Daddy.  They are both outgoing and make friends easily.  Then they have their little differences.  The older one dislikes talking on the phone and tomato sauce (except on pizza).  The younger one loves talking on the phone and dislikes hamburger.   It’s all a part of what makes them special.  So, if they ever ask me which one I love more, I can honestly say that I love them for the unique person each one of them is.

Now I can’t wait to meet this new little one and see what kind of person she turns out to be.  I wonder what characteristics she will share with each of her big sisters and which ones will be all her own.  I try to imagine what she will look like when she is born and as she gets older.  And I really can’t wait to see her with her big sisters and see her big sisters with her.  I love my kids.  I mean it.  I LOVE my kids.

Disclaimer:  I do not claim to be “Super Homeschooling Stay-at-Home Mom”.  I make lots of mistakes and like most moms there are things I want to do better.  I just want to share that I really LOVE my kids, and I love that I get to be home to see all of them all the time (except for those times I wish I could run away).

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