Another Leap Ahead

This is a big day in our house. Clover has waited six months for this day, wishing her life away, as my mother said. Today Clover is officially four and a half years old. Clover loves to talk wistfully of the future, saying – and assuming – things will be different when she is older, like maybe she will like vegetables more when she is older. Yes, many of the things she says are true – she will dramatically change by the time she is older, however, usually it takes ten years or more for big changes to occur. She seems to expect that overnight, when she turns five, she is suddenly going to keep her room clean. For her, four and a half was another milestone – maybe she will like slides again when she has the maturity of a four and a half year old. (Oddly enough she seems to have gotten over her slide phobia this weekend while testing different systems at a play structure store. I guess she was right.)

Clover wore a dress to school today and left to tell all of her friends that she is four and a half. I hope her excitement isn’t dampened by her friends, all of whom are older. I can see her proudly announcing her age, only to have other kids say so what, they are already five. So what is right, though, but it matters here because it matters to Clover, who has lived through a year where on this day every month, the attention has been on her brother, who turns 11 months old today.

Rocket seems to have altered his mindset too recently. His been doing little bits of walking from here to there for awhile now, but he seemed more than content to crawl, despite my begging him to walk. I know most moms don’t want their kids to walk so soon, but with summer almost here, I hate the thought of poor Rocket’s bare knees scraping on the ground when we are outside. This weekend, he seems to have decided to walk. There seems to be a clear shift in his thinking about how to move around. I watched him standing up when he didn’t think he was being watched and when he wanted to get somewhere fast, instead of getting down and crawling, he stayed up and walked. He was able to stop himself, regain balance, and walk again. Still only walking about 15-20 steps before falling, but he seems much closer than he was a few days ago. At one point he was opening some cookbooks I left on a chair and when he heard Kevin get up to stop it, Rocket tried to run away, only to flop over after a step or two in his excitement. The funniest thing was that he thought he could run away.

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Once he is officially walking all the time, maybe I’ll feel sad about his growing up so fast. I forgot the mourning part earlier this month when I took him for his first haircut. He really needed a haircut as it was in his face and shaggy, but not in a cute way as I had hoped it would grow. I was preoccupied with finding a time to get both kids to the salon, plus make appointments and dealing with the general logistics of getting two kids anywhere on time that I didn’t think much about the first haircut. It wasn’t until he was home when I realized that he looked like a little boy instead of a baby. That’s when the sadness hit. I could grow out his hair again, but it would never bring that bushy haired baby back.

Rocket has never been much of a waver, despite how much people – usually strangers – try, saying “bye bye” over and over while waving to Rocket. He would just stare back, hands unmoved. Recently he started doing this straight, low arm, flat hand wave thing to people that was hilarious. A friend called him the mayor because it is a politician’s wave. Then he quickly moved on to pointing. If someone he recognized said hi to him, he’d point at them. Kind of a silent “right back at’cha.” Now he points at anything of interest. A truck drove by as I was about to load him into our car and he excitedly pointed to show me. I flip on the light switch and he points to the light.

I miss my kids as little babies, I do, but it is hard to be sad over what is gone when something new, exciting and unexpected unfolds here every day.

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