October 9, 2006

Flawed Children

My children have flaws. Not huge defects, no reason to send them back or spend a fortune on repairs, but small nagging issues in design and/or operation. Although I may never be quite comfortable with some of these, I'll have to learn to live with it. My cross to bear, I suppose, part of the sacrifices we make as parents.

#2 is just plain goofy. He makes faces and strange noises, dances like a Bangle with two left feet in cement boots, and has the ugliest belly-button. He has the uncanny ability to forget every word I have just said to him within two seconds of going to do what I asked. He not only forgets what I sent him to do, he forgets we have even seen each other since I served his morning waffles.

Waffles, an exact science. If I don't cut #3's waffles precisely the way he requests them, we achieve total meltdown. Unfortunately his detailed requests change day to day, waffle to waffle, and come after the cataclysmic affront to his breakfast has been made. Some mornings the waffle is eaten whole, no butter, one square filled with syrup. Other days require a surgeon's steady hand to cut down the middle of the vertical (no, not the horizontal ones!) ridges. Other days he wants to do it himself. And no matter how long the last scrap of waffle sits soggy on the plate, don't even think of clearing his place.

#1 wakes up at 2am if the wind changes direction, #2 will sleep* through the big one. #1 is unable to make a choice -- which one superpower would you choose? Um, all the powers of the X-Men plus.... no, no, who is your favorite literary character? Harry and Ron in the first 3 books, and also... -- hope he never has to decide between girls, he'll have to move to Utah. #2 does not know how to blow his nose. His sleeves are dry, so who knows where it goes? #3 can curl 9 of his toes. #1 can have a conversation with anyone at any time, in any room of the house or any place in the city, at any time of the day, on any topic. And if he didn't have to eat or sleep, he'd still be talking. #3 finds snails for pets, and wants to be a marshmallow for Halloween.

I love my boys.

*glad I mentioned sleep, almost forgot the tooth under his pillow! Anybody got a quarter?


twobuyfour said...

Your boys are fabulous examples of children. I wish that I could spend more time getting to know them.

It always amazes me that our children don't simply grow up to be little versions of us. Instead they come up with opinions and preferences and physical traits completely their own.

They're almost human!

JK said...

almost... but not quite.

When you meet someone as an adult, you get to know them by over time discovering new things, unwrapping and unraveling as the relationship progresses (if they're worth unwrapping). Children are interesting, and almost the opposite, because we know them from the beginning, before they become somebody, and we continue to learn about them as they grow. We actually have some input on who/what they become, we know when they started this or first did that. We find new facets of their personalities almost as the same time they discover themselves, or watch them develop as they grow (talents, traits, ability to tell jokes), but as they get older we are priveledge to less -- who are they at school? in the huddle? at lunch with (shudder) a romantic interest?

twobuyfour said...

The other cool (frustrating) aspect of children is that as their tastes grow and personalities gel their preferences shift. If you know an adult who doesn't like mustard, you can probably bet that is a constant. That friend will have the same mustard-aversion ten years from now. Kids, on the other hand, are constantly revamping their tastes based on peer pressure, other new things they've come across, and whether or not they remember they've tried something before. Consequently a kid who HATES mustard one day might LOVE it a week later - and claim that they always have.