Thursday, August 26, 2010

I am what I am, and that's all that I am


The other night, I was attempting to make dinner but something kept getting in my way.

That something was Chase's head.

Every time I went to add something to the pan or stir the food, his head was peering over the stove examining the bubbling concoction.

I had to pause, and was caught up in the memory of something I had completely forgotten about. I laughed as I saw this exact scene roughly 10 years before. It was during our early days in Seattle. Chase was about 10 months old and completely insatiable. His curiosity was so consuming that sometimes it drove me crazy.

EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. when I was making dinner, he had to be propped up on my hip, watching everything I did. He would lean out, one hand tucked safely behind my arm, and peer intently into the pan. Time after time, I would pull his head back out of the way so I could see what I was doing.

There was no activity interesting enough to keep him busy during this time. He would crawl over to the stove, pull himself to standing at my legs, and cry and fuss until I picked him up. There was no way around it. I eventually just learned to multi-task, as all mothers do. I was able to cook, chop, rinse, and stir with one hand and a 20-pound kid on my hip.

But what's funny is that he is EXACTLY THE SAME at age 10 as he was at age 10 months.

It got me thinking about the other two, as well.


McKay has always been a rule follower. Even as a toddler, he felt compelled to obey the rules. So much so, that often his free-spirited brother caused him a great deal of stress. He'd watch anxiously as Chase ran behind the counter in a restaurant or tried to jump up and operate the cash register in the grocery store.

Which was probably not at all annoying to the store employee actually operating the cash register.

Looking to me for help, McKay would wring his hands in worry and say, "Chase! We not s'posed to do dat!" Chase, meanwhile, was completely oblivious to it all and could have cared less about getting in trouble. By the time I could catch him for a scolding, he was already off exploring something else.

Today, Mack is concerned as ever with doing what he's supposed to. The very idea of stepping out of line causes him near panic attacks and ulcers. In fact, last year the Husband offered him twenty bucks if he'd get a pink slip at school just once. Pink slips are handed out for being late, missing assignments, goofing off, etc., and they entitle one to a lunch detention with the teacher. From what we hear, they are used on quite a frequent basis at the middle school. At the start of sixth grade, McKay was consumed with worry that he'd get a pink slip, and stressed constantly about it.

Even with the Husband's offer, he has yet to earn that twenty bucks.


This little chica is also exactly the same as her baby self.

She is, and always has been, everybody's mother. I often hear her correcting the boys' grammar, as well as their behavior.

Her teaching moments and lectures are usually met with eye rolling and a lot of sarcastic comments, which enrages her even more.

[Ah, the wonders she could have done with baby Chase.]

She is also extremely articulate (and was as a toddler, too). I have to constantly explain and negotiate things with her. It's not a simple matter of being told no. She wants to know what, why, when, and how. The ever popular phrase, "because I said so" is just not in her vocabulary.

I don't know why it's so surprising to me that they are the same people they've always been. I think I've known it, but not really connected the pieces of this puzzle together.

Do you think that means I was a stupid baby?

Never mind. Don't answer that.


Andy Johnson said...

No, it means you were an OCD baby.

jen@odbt said...

Cute post. I can identify with McKay. I was that kind of child and still am that kind of adult. Maybe Chase wants to start cooking dinner for the family.

Anna said...

I was hoping to see a comment from your brother, I guess I am too early, but I am sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to see what he writes.

Your offspring are beautiful just like their parents. Keep up the good work.

shilo said...

You mean I gotta chase my child for the rest of my life and hear him talk a mile a minute? This one's a pistol. Ah, gotta go...

Julianna said...

Scary isn't it? My youngest's been an instigator of trouble since he was in my belly and sat on my siatic nerve. Couldn't move for almost two days until he changed position. -J

Karey said...

Lucky you! It sounds like you're going to have a chef in the family (and we could all use one of those!), a child you never have to worry about and a daughter who will be a wonderful mother. Not a bad combination.

Stefani said...

Sometimes I look at my teenagers and realize they ARE exactly the same as those babies I knew so many years ago. It makes me laugh every time.

Emily said...

so funny, I love to see pictures of them the way I remember them most--thanks!

Tristan said...

You lined up all your toys alphabetically didn't you? ;-)

Loved getting to know your kids a little more!

Lauren in GA said...

I can't wait to read Dan's answer to your parting question.

Dan, she said not to answer. I just wanted to point that out, again.

I bet as a baby you were an incredible writer. Okay, fine, as a toddler you were an incredible writer. 'Cause baby, you sure are now.

I loved reading more about your kids. Reading the, "Chase! We not s'posed to do dat!" made me laugh.

Travelin'Oma said...

Personalities are totally born in to a kid. We still see it, too. You're wise to understand that early. It takes away a lot of "mother guilt."