We're all about "me" from Day One.

(originally posted September 17, 2009)

My daughter, Cali (pronounced Callie), is eleven months old. She has just started holding her own bottle. If you're a parent you understand that she developed the strength and skills to hold her bottle weeks, if not months, ago. But she prefers having someone else do the work. She does this strange little hand jive while she's drinking...must be soothing. Anyway, this certain level of laziness or selfishness is comical to me. More so when I've handed her a bottle without warming it first. She won't eat. She may be starving. And she loves milk more than anything in the world. But she will not drink if it's straight outta the fridge-even if I'm holding it.

In fact, earlier this week she flung an entire bottle across the kitchen in disgust. If babies can give parents death stares, I'm pretty sure I got one. So I've learned that to keep the peace at dinner time (because she also insists on sitting with the family at dinner time regardless of when she ate last) I have to warm up her bottle and just pray that she chooses to feed herself...which could be my 'all about me' moment when I just want to eat a meal without getting up eight times or feeding multiple people simultaneously.

Looks like selfishness begins at the womb in addition to the urge to cheat (see previous post).

Butting in line comes naturally.

(originally posted September 15, 2009)

I'm on the fence about whether or not I believe that we're born with a competitive spirit or not. A few years ago I fully believed that it must just develop over time after we've been in situations where competitiveness weeds out the meek. But after this weekend, I am once again on the fence.

Last weekend I attended my nieces fourth birthday party. It was one of those neighborhood type of things where nineteen kids under the age of ten show up. I still don't know if their parents were there. And yet there were only like four cars in the driveway (two of which belonged to the hosts). This was a special treat for my three year old son. He has tons of friends but there are only five of them. I'm not sure he knew this many kids existed. But when the chaos was at its peak, the games began...with tape the bow on Minnie Mouse.

I'm pretty sure Caden's never played this game. And I'm not even sure he's ever really been dizzy. But after some prodding, he slumped over to the end of the line. The three kids ahead of him made sure he was back there instead of next to them. And I of course watched as close as a mother bird who leaves the nest for the first time...I was determined to witness every moment of this 'first' for him. Little did I know, the challenge was not the spinning and taping; it was just getting to the front of the line.

As the kids took their turn--there are nineteen remember--the others got restless. And the boys back by Caden seemed to hop in and out of line more than I could keep track. And with every one, my son would peek at me under his every-woman-would-kill-for- eyelashes-that-thick-and-long eyelashes, I immediately knew what he was scheming. He was waiting for the perfect moment to cut in front of these boys just so he wouldn't be last.

Gotta hand it to him for at least attempting to be sneaky. He failed by the way...just as he took a few baby steps up, the kid he passed swung around and scooted his way back in line. An evil look or two later, Caden was just about to the front. And moments later, he forgot that he was last.

So it looks like the only thing that's changed from butting as a three year old to butting as a twenty-nine year old is that I'm not sure the adults ever really forget. And I know we'd fight like hell to keep the place we cheated to get.

At the age of 3, we dream of being 16

(originally posted September 9, 2009)

When my son began asking if he could play baseball every single time we drive by the ball fields in our small town, I didn't really think much of it. But when we drove by a local high school a few weeks ago and he asked when he could go to high school, it dawned on me that he's already wishing he was an adult, or getting close to being one. When I tried to explain that he needed to wait until he's as big as his half-sister, Mariah (who's 16), he crossed his arms, stuck out his lip...keep in mind this kid's in a booster seat and his little legs are dangling a good 16 inches from the ground...and said, "But I never get to go to high school."


And between chuckles to myself, I looked at him in the rearview mirror and my heart broke a little that day. Is it society or something he learned at school or some desire that's implanted at conception that made this three year old crave to be older? Why can't he just stay focused on his Hot Wheel-centric life? Seriously, wouldn't life be a heck of a lot happier and less stressful if all we had to worry about was whether or not we would be going into town after day care to get a new toy? And who wants to be a teen all over again. That's just crazy...even for a toddler.