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.

Buttcheek: is there a funnier word?

Let me tell you about a milestone as significant as I can recall in our daughter’s young life. In the animated classic movie Moana, one of the century’s great cinematic characters, Maui, as portrayed by our fine nation’s current highest pimg_5522aid actor (can’t wait to read this line in 30 years), esteemed thespian, Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, remarked in a pinnacle scene: “Really? Blow dart in my buttcheek.” This seemingly irreverent and inconsequential line actually may have singlehandedly ignited an irrepressible and relatively highly developed sense of humor in 4 year old Hannah Pickett.

I’m not exaggerating. Ok, well, maybe just a tad bit of hyperbole. But ever since that monumental moment in our daughter’s life, the word buttcheek has now been forever immortalized. And from it a beautiful, unbreakable, unmistakable bond has been forged between father and daughter. Hannah and I, regardless of the circumstance, no matter how grave, will always and forever will be able to crack each other up with one single movie line.

I’ve indicated before in this blog that Hannah has an awesome sense of humor, and I’m guessing most dads think the same thing of their kids. Even though I’ve been warned that her fits and tantrums and random acts of emotional meltdown are child’s play compared to what’s to come when the unmistakable, unforgiving hormones of puberty strike, I’m quite certain that this shared love for immature, crude humor is going to see us through waters choppy enough to chatter Moana’s canoe, but not her destiny.

How do I know this? Here’s a story or two.

img_5294Not long ago we watched Home Alone. It was a little over Hannah’s head at times, but she stuck with it and the payoff in the last 20 minutes was unbelievably fantastic. She laughed so hard I can’t believe she didn’t pee her pants. Well, she was on my lap and in a nightgown, so I guess I’m lucky she didn’t pee on me. And as soon as it was over, even though it was bedtime and she was exhausted, she HAD to set “traps” for Sam and I. We played along and the traps worked remarkably – we had ourselves a little Kevin McAlister. And so we did it again for the next several nights: fast forward to the last 20 minutes, then reenact some of the scenes. And she laughed hysterically each time. There may not be a sound in the world I love more than Hannah cracking up.

Not convinced she’s a future queen of comedy?

As I write this I’m wondering if maybe she’s a budding delinquent who is going to be playing over the line pranks on people when she gets older. That. Would. Be. Awesome. At least until she seriously injures someone and/or goes to jail. Then it’s not so funny I guess.

Back to buttcheeks. Of course it’s slightly embarrassing when she says borderline inappropriate things in front of her great-grandparents, but you have to take the good with the bad. And at least she’s not picking up serious vulgarity, at least yet. Sam and I are pretty good at watching our mouths. Well, Sam is, my filter is pretty loose.

Other updates, since I haven’t written anything since last summer, include:

-Hannah is starting to spell and sound out some words (the first word she spelled besides her name was “hat” and that was a pretty cool moment) and she really wants to learn to read. Sam does an amazing job with her when they’re home a couple of days a week developing so many skills.

-She still loves art, crafts, and “projecks.” Her drawings seem to improve almost daily, especially the tattoos she draws on me with markers, which is one of my favorite activities. I will not be mad one bit if she becomes a badass tattoo artist when she gets older.

She loves gymnastics and seems to be doing pretty well at that, improving every week.

-She starts t-ball this summer, playing on a team with her friends/neighbors Noah, Olivia, and Riley, and I hope she loves it.

-The girl can sing. I know we all think our kids are the best singers, artists, etc. but I swear she can carry/match a tune beautifully. I’m excited to see if she develops that. Nothing would make me a prouder papa than to see her singing a solo on a stage one day.

-She loves nature, especially bugs. Except spiders. We’ve had a freakishly mild winter with some 60-70 degree days in February, so we were able to take a hike a couple of weeks ago in the woods and her favorite thing was turning over every rock and log to look for bugs. She just reaches right down and picks up potato (rolly-polly) bugs, worms, centipedes, whatever. Except spiders. Wonder where she got that?

She loves her baby brother Logan and is and will continue to be an awesome big sis. She helps him learn words, eat his food, and consoles him when he’s crying.

-She couldn’t admire anyone more than her big cousins Monica and Mariah. She emulates them when they’re together and asks if they’re going to be at every family gathering.

-She has a vibrant fashion style. She has to wear a skirt every day, unless it’s warm enough to wear a dress. Her pants must be tight, not wiggly. And everything is super colorful.

-Drama, drama, drama. Hannah will throw a meltdown fit in an instant, but come back to reality just as quickly. I’m told we ain’t seen nothing yet. God help us.

Final story. And this will stick with me forever. We were at the park a couple of weeks ago and an older girl was helping Hannah climb and do other stuff. When they stopped playing together, Hannahimg_4683-2 came to me and said: “She was very nice and helped me a lot. When I get bigger I’m going to help people too!” I couldn’t have been prouder at that moment. I made Hannah stop what she was doing, look me in the eyes, and I told her that’s the best thing she could ever say and that I was very proud of her for thinking that way.

It’s moments like those that I’m thankful for the people who raised me and for my extremely thoughtful and kind-hearted wife.

March 4, 2017. Tags: , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. Leave a comment.

A Glossary of Hannah-isms

Listening to a 3 year old can be exhausting. There’s the lack of punctuation, the disjointed, and at times, incoherent sentence structure, and properIMG_0852 grammar is nonexistent. You have to concentrate extra to follow along and interpret, and much of the time it’s a mix of nonsensical madness and hysterical drama. At least with Hannah that’s the case. 

But I absolutely love it. Her high-pitched voice melts me. When she asks for something nicely and uses the magic word she usually gets it, within reason. Sure, there are times when we’re tired or in a hurry and her talking isn’t really improving the situation. But at times like that, when I find myself starting to get a little impatient, I try to gain perspective and realize she won’t want to talk to me endlessly forev er.

And notice I said “listening to.” That was intentional. Because there is no talking to a toddler. At least in terms of a discussion. They hear what they want to hear, masters of selective deafness. 

Sam and I  thought it would be funny to list some of Hannah’s terminology. She tends to have a language of IMG_0882her own. Here are some examples, starting with her version of the word, an example of it used in a sentence, and our interpretation:

Sometimes (“sometimes I go to zoo yesterday) –usually starts a sentence describing something she wants to do or recently did… sometimes both. 

Yesterday (“are we going to go to school yesterday?” Or “yesterday I already ate my sandwich.”) –can mean yesterday, can mean tomorrow, can mean five minutes ago, can mean right now. In her mind it’s some sort of timeframe, it’s up to us to decide for when the time is or was. 

3 minutes (“time to leave the park, Hannah” “noooo…3 minutes daddy?!?”) –considering she can’t tell time this can range from anywhere from 1 minute to 10 minutes depending on where we need to be or if it’s about to thunderstorm. 

IMG_14133 more minutes (“I just want to watch the show for 3 more minutes “) –a request from Hannah, usually as she bats her eyes, tilts her head and gives me a sheepish smile. She has little concept for time so this also does not typically get an entire 3 minutes.

 

Last one (“I’m going to butt bomb on your belly, daddy” followed by, from me, “last one”) –usually a request or demand from mom or dad that is always acknowledged and usually respected, but occasionally has no numerical value or significance. 

One more (“Just one more cookie, daddy”) –when she says it usually that means we’ve already done “last one” 2 or 3 times

So, (“So, yeIMG_0706sterday my sister is playing with me”)  –typically signifies the start of a new story or question. Alternate spelling/pronunciation is “Sooo”

Sister (“That’s my sister” or “My sister’s name is stayzya” or some other nonsensical made-up name) –hard to tell if she has imaginary friends that are her “sisters” but she seems to have a lot of them, their names are ever-changing, and they all seem to get along for the most part. Maybe that’s who she’s posing with here. Who knows.

Number ten (“Let’s number ten we’re at the castle and I’m Elsa and you’re Anna and Logan is Olaf and Daddy is Christoff”) –we believe she means “pretend” but somehow she thinks that word is number ten. Can’t make this stuff up.

Yeah, sure! (“Hannah, want some ice cream?” “Yeah, sure!) –enthusiastic, high pitched, and always with a big smile. One of my favorite things to hear in the world.

Chillin’ (“Hannah, what are you doing on the toilet still?” “Just chillin’) –we aren’t sure where this came from, I have my suspicions maybe one of our/her favorite teachers, but it’s pretty funny.

Sometimes what? Chicken butt or Kitty butt or Silly butt or anything butt (no sentence needed) –I believe Sam started this with her, the classic saying being “Guess what? Chicken butt.” She morphed it into using one of her favorite words, the aforementioned “sometimes” and we can go back and forth on this for hours. Well, minutes actually. But it cracks us up. Because I’m a child, too.

IMG_0666I’m sure there are many more that we missed here, but this gives you a little peak into the beautiful, whimsical, determined, bright little mind that is Hannah Marie Pickett.

 

 

November 11, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. Leave a comment.

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