Give Me Five

Well, here we are. Hannah is half a decade old. When you say it like that it seems like a pretty long time, right? Well, I think most parents would agree that it flies. I’m sure I’m not the first one to say that when it comes to parenthood the days are long but the years 544466_10150888169785940_187973573_nfly by.  I can’t say that it feels like yesterday we were pacing the basement of Sam’s mom’s house trying to soothe Hannah to sleep, encouraging her first steps, or dismally potty training, because when you throw a second kid in the mix it all becomes a bit of a blur. But I do remember quite vividly the exact moment she was born, completely blue and silent, and that hour-long 5 seconds before they cleared her lungs and she let out the first of a million future wails.

We have a remarkable little girl. I know, I know, you think your kids are remarkable too. And they probably are. But it’s so incredible how much of a pedestal we put our own kids on, I’m not ashamed to admit it.  For all the parental training we went to, I think something that would have been the most valuable is if someone we respected told us: “Look, you’re going to think your kid is the greatest thing ever. Everyone does. But that doesn’t mean you have to go around telling everyone, including your kid, such a thing.” Humility isn’t easy and we all know plenty of people who are self-declared super-humble beings.

19424285_10109407802220799_8242603081089313193_n (1)My point is, I’m not going to go into all the amazing things Hannah does that your kid probably doesn’t. I’m not going to talk about how she’s pretty much the smartest preschooler in North America or that she’s funnier than Tina Fey and Chris Rock combined. Or even that she’s stunningly cute and beautiful (fact: if you google “cutiful” she’ll be at the top of page 1), but that’s not what I’m writing about tonight. That would be way too obnoxious and I’m way too humble to do that.

For posterity’s sake I do want to write a little bit about what she’s into. If you don’t care because you already threw up from my previous obnoxiousness then feel free to go back to your Facebook stream.

Hannah’s favorite activities: eating sweets, doing gymnastics, doing anything with her IMG_0179older cousins Monica and Mariah, who she completely adores and admires; spending time with her Aunt Heather and her many loving grandparents; going to the park; drawing/coloring, doing projects with her momma, playing with her world of little animals and people (Littlest Pet Shop, Palace Pets, Disney princesses, etc.), playing with Barbies, playing with stuffed animals, reading books, watching movies/shows/videos, swimming, riding her bike/scooter, playing with her friends in the neighborhood and at school, and, of course, making poop jokes.

Hannah’s least favorite activities: eating vegetables, getting her hair washed, taking naps, and sharing with her little brother. And, sadly, t-ball. Maybe she’ll come around in a couple of years, but since she was about two and a IMG_0096half it’s been pretty clear team sports may not be her thing. And I’m totally fine with that as long as she finds things to do that she loves and involve movement.

Dad’s least favorite things Hannah does: she watches those ridiculously useless and pointless surprise eggs videos on YouTube. I cannot fathom what so enchanting about them but she gets complete zoned in on them. I don’t go around kicking people in the shins a lot, I’ve grown out of that, but if I saw one of the people who creates those videos I’d put a boot on and take a Messi free kick right to their tibia. Also, she whines and throws fits a lot when she doesn’t get her way and that’s pretty annoying. But show me a 5 year old who doesn’t do that and I’ll call bullshit.

Sorry, that took a dark turn there. Back to Hannah. If you’re still reading you’re probably aware of most of these things. But here’s something that really only Hannah IMG_6018and I know – every time I drop her off at school I make her pinky swear that she’s going to have an awesome day, or some variation of that, and I usually get a kiss or five. But, I’ve noticed something the last couple months that shows that she’s getting older and makes me want to cry a little – she’s slightly embarrassed to do our little routine in front of her friends.

 

She’s developing some self-awareness, a huge part of maturing, which is awesome, because I want her to be mindful and confident. But while she’s always been a little shy about being in the spotlight, this feels more like “daaad, the other kids are watching, be cool and just leeeave.” I know she won’t say that for at least a few more years, and maybe she never will because I think she probably already knows that’s just going to encourage me to be even more embarrassing. I’m pretty excited about that part of her getting older. She’s as goofy as I am and the older she gets and the more she understands the real world, the more important I believe it is to have a sense of humor and not take one’s self too seriously.

One last story that is more for us to look back on. I mentioned Hannah can shy away from the spotlight and can be a little self-conscious when it comes to other kids.

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But she surprised me a couple of weeks ago when she showed some grit and “who cares what others think” spunk. She ran into another kid at the Y and knocked some teeth out of place – it was pretty nasty, a lot of blood, pain, and tears and we thought they were going to have to pull the teeth. And that would have been the start of an interesting couple of years. However, instead of the teeth coming out they went back into place, but are turning gray, which you can kind of tell from the photos. Hannah told me one of those days that she doesn’t care if the teeth fall out or turn gray and she knows that it might look odd and other kids might make fun of her – “I don’t care dad, it’s OK.” she said. I absolutely love that attitude and hope she carries it with her long after her old goofy dad is gone.

Happy 5th birthday to my lovely little girl. I can’t imagine life without her.

 

 

 

June 27, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. 2 comments.

Hugs for everyone!

 

There are so many things I love about my daughter, some are obvious, typical 2-3 year old traits, some not so much. For instance, the way she says certain words, like calling her friend across the street Briley when her name is Riley, or how she rarely calls Logan by his name and just says “Baby B10333455_10152762065615940_1632903796570632761_orother.”

There are a million others that I can’t think of, and oftentimes I have her repeat silly or unusual phrases just to hear how she’ll interpret and repeat them. And I can watch her talk to and play with her stuffed animals, princesses, barbies, etc. for hours while they act out random scenarios.

I think these are fairly common, but she is extremely particular about the most random things, wanting to do it by herself, her way, in a certain order. And she’s a super picky eater, which leads to some interesting and taxing mealtimes.

Some of the cute and silly things she does are more subtle and unique to her, like her adorably infectious laugh or when she sings a song normal then fast then raps it then whispers it, all within 30 seconds.

Speaking of songs, I’ve been at Sweetwater for just a few weeks now and I’m one of like 5 out of the 900 employees that doesn’t have an ounce of musical talent. The best I can do is make up lyrics to the tune of random songs, usually to something Hannah’s been singing recently.

HoweIMG_3745ver, I think and hope Hannah will get into music. She loves to sing, most toddlers do I imagine, and when she’s a little older I think we plan to have her start taking piano and/or other music lessons. I can’t imagine anything that will make me prouder than to one day see her on a stage playing a piano or guitar while singing a song, and call me a softy, but I already know I’ll be in tears.

What made me think of this topic is we were at the softball park tonight and she spotted a handful of 2-4 year olds playing together and she excitedly says “there’s my friends! Come on Daddy, let’s go see my friends.” She didn’t know them, but you wouldn’t guess   that. This happens every time we’re at the park or any playground. Everyone is her friend.

I know there are some potential drawbacks to this. First and foremost is “stranger danger” – she’ll just go up and hug any mom she sees, or adult women in general really. We go get a donut every Sunday morning and she always hugs the girls working there before we leave.

She’s a little more wary of men, thank goodness, but still, at some point she’ll have to learn people have boundaries. Until then I just shrug my shoulders and smile, hoping the people aren’t offended or lepers. Another sad thing to think about is she’s going to get her feelings hurt easily when she gets a little older and not every kid wants to play with her. That will crush us to see, but that’s life.

You know what else she’s obsessed with right now? Bugs. Potato bugs. Spiders. Flies. And especially worms and ants. She loves nothing more than to walk around the mulch beds or anywhere there’s dirt and dig for worms. She hugs them. She talks to them. Then she puts them in the yard “in their home” when she’s done.

11088229_10152630437680940_7476979560827857102_nUnfortunately for the ants, they don’t get off so easy. The only way she knows how to pick them up is to basically squash them with her finger, and then she’s holds it up and says “look, I pick him up!” We try to tell her it hurts the ants, but she just doesn’t get it. So, sorry all you ant lovers out there, don’t call PETA on us. We trying to teach her respect for living things, but her attention span and memory are as fleeting as the butterflies she chases.

So that’s what Hannah’s up to as she approaches her 3rd birthday. She’s tolerating her baby brother more and more, but definitely doesn’t like it when he’s got both Sam and my attention at the same time. I think as she gets a little older she’ll be more helpful, she’s got such a loving heart there’s no doubt she’s going to be a great big sister.

 

June 6, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. 1 comment.

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