Monday, September 21, 2009

This is our firstborn.

My crash course in child rearing.

She cried a lot as a baby. She slept all day and was up all night. We felt pretty helpless and frustrated but mostly clueless during the first few months. There was a lot of "Why won't she stop crying? She must be sick. What's wrong?" and "It's your turn to hold her. I need to sit down." We hadn't realized yet how much babies eat. They're pretty much always hungry. By the third kid, we figured out all you have to do to shut 'em up is stick a bottle (or to my sore nipples' dismay) a boob (sorry) in their mouth. Poor Katie, I fed her so much she was always projectile-vomiting after nursing.

Today we are still clueless, but sleep deprivation is no longer a viable excuse. This little thing, now almost eight years old, received her first phone call tonight.

teeny meek voice- Hello?
(I'm sure there's a mouse on the other end) Is Shannon there?
Yes, just a minute. (calling outside) SHANNON! PHONE!!
long pause... What??
You have a phone call! Come inside and talk!
What? Who is it? Is it just Daddy? What do I say? *teeny tiny voice* Hello?

Then the rest of the conversation went something like this. (but at a much higher volume than the above interaction.

Who is this? Oh! HELLOOO!!! *giggle giggle* Yes...yes. Oh I know... squeak squeakity squeak...
Hang on a sec...
to the two year old we babysit who is not making much noise at all - Would you mind to please be quiet?! I'm on the PHONE!
Ok, I'm back. giggle giggle.... play date? Oh yes! giggle cackle...
Are you done talking now? Are you there? Hang on a sec.
to the 2 yr old- I am on the phone, can you please be more quiet?
okay, I'm back. Now she's twirling around and pacing. Then sitting, lots of pauses and more giggles. Then finally, after a ridiculous (but cute) amount of snickering and smiling and giddiness, she says bye and asks me how to hang up.
Then she importantly informs the disturber of her peace that it's ok to go back to playing now, she was making a play date and is now off the phone.

I remember when I witnessed the first smatterings of her growing out of little kid-dom.
We were watching the live-action version of Peter Pan which stars a lovely twelve (?) year old Wendy and a very cute Pan, about the same age.
It was one of the first live-action movies I dared to hope the kids might be interested in, (Disney is great but a person can only handle so many fairy tales before they go bonkers) and it was the scene where Wendy offers Peter a "kiss". As I sat wondering if it might be too "old" for the kids, I heard a noise near me that I couldn't identify. It was sort of a squeaky but squashy sound-like someone was smothering a happy little kitten. When I looked over, I saw Shannon in a very twisted/contorted position making these alien noises with the crookedest wicked little smile on her face.
I thought she was sick.
Are you ok?
Hee hee heee.
Oh. I get it. Here we go. That one snuck up on me. I wasn't expecting any attention to boys or romance till she was... I don't know, older.

So now we've reached the next emotional milestone.
At least it was a girl calling.


  1. That's it, you've lost your phone. You'll only get to use it while she's in school and in bed, just ask Mom. I hoped that she had a little bit of me in her.:) Just be assured that someday - probably about 20 years from now she'll be calling you to talk to.

  2. I'm done for if she has a little bit of you in her! She'll be on it forever! And when she's not home anymore, I'll be on it forever, talking to her!! :)

  3. We grandmas have it right...listening to her!