Sunny is Eight

Sunny is 8

As I gave Sunny her bedtime hug last night, I told her that it was a little sad to think that this was the last time I would be the mother of a seven year-old.

“Unless you have another baby,” she said.

“The very last time,” I replied, hugging her a little tighter.

“Mom! Can’t! Breathe!” she said, then giggled like a hyena-loon hybrid and kissed my ear.

She was so excited to be almost eight that she couldn’t settle down. “It’s okay, Mommy. I know how to sleep-wiggle!” she said.

Sunny Getting Down

I would have called her on it, but she might be right. This kid never walks—she dances and bounces and skips and jumps over all the cracks she can so my back doesn’t get hurt.

Super Sunny3She loves superheroes and dogs—the last time we went to the Family Museum, she bought two little dog figurines with Her Own Money and named them Connor and M’gann.  When I asked her where she’d found those names, she rolled her eyes and said, “After Superboy and Miss Martian from Young Justice.  Duh, Mom.”

Super Sunny has pledged her allegiance to DC, but still cuddles up to watch Agents of SHIELD with me and has Opinions about the Marvel Universe.  She thinks Tony Stark is a hoot, but Captain America needs a secret identity.

And that the Hulk needs a hug.

Super Sunny ReadsShe also loves to read. A few months ago, I found her in the bathroom, standing naked from the waist down with a wad of clean toilet paper in her hand, lost to the world in the open book on the counter.  She’d apparently hopped off the commode, glanced at a page, and immediately forgotten where she was in the proceedings.

“She’s yours, all right,” my mother told me, after she stopped laughing.

She’s also a Wesson.  Last week, at dinner, she passed more gas, loud and prolonged, than a non-parent would think could be held in a body that small.

“‘Scuse me!”  she said, calmly.  And then, as her older sister fell off her chair cackling, and the adults around the table tried to gather themselves to explain proper protocol without doing the same, Sunny nodded to herself in satisfaction and said, “I have very good manners.”

It’s no surprise that she was due on April Fool’s Day and then tricked us all into throwing her a birthday party a day early, by doing an unexpected, last-minute somersault in utero.

Come to think of it, that’s probably what she was trying to do last night, as I tucked in my seven year-old, one last time.

 Happy birthday, Sunny-girl.

We love you.

Even your sister.

When Janie Met Sunny


My First Baby is Twelve

Birthday Cake2

It seems to be a tradition now that the schools close on Jane’s birthday.

Last year, it was the Polar Vortex. This year . . . it’s whatever excuse the meteorologists have cooked up to explain the -30F chilling winds screaming across the plains and right up our noses into our brains.

Since she was off—and I took a vacation day to look after both kids—we gave her one of her presents early: the Nintendo 2DS that I swore the Oath of the Good Mother* I wouldn’t buy but found cheap at GameStop, which sells refurbished stuff at very good discounts. Such a good discount, that I promised to take her to the nearest GameStop to get, you know, a game or two to play on it.

Let it be said that five minutes after I made that promise, she was bundled up and in the car, honking the horn.

That’s a sign of a good gift, wouldn’t you say?

Of course, since the store was in the Mall anyway, I held that promise over her head to force her to try on  couple of winter coats, because her old one is two years old and fits her like a puffy, purple straightjacket.  Luckily, she adores the new one she found—a black trench coat number with a lot of zippers—so that makes it a kind of bonus present.**

We grabbed lunch, then went back home so Jane could play her new games and a somewhat jealous Sunny could do her math homework.

Tonight, she’ll open the rest of her gifts, if we can pull her away from this one.

That gives me the afternoon to contemplate the evolution—if you’re the parent of a Pokemon trainer, you’ll get the pun—of my first baby.

Eleven, I think she and I would agree, wasn’t much fun for anyone.  The hormone fairy arrived and treated her like a punching bag for a while, and when she tried to lash back, she missed and hit the family instead.  Her body and her mind stopped synching up for a little bit, there, and the misalignment sometimes garnered the kind of attention she wasn’t equipped to handle. She kind of forgot why school is important—or didn’t believe us when we reminded her—and though she managed to regroup, it wasn’t quite enough.

Twelve, I hope, will be better for everyone.

But especially my beautiful girl, who is bright and funny and willful—and hella won’t-ful—and creative and all kinds of loud and maybe a quart low on self-esteem.

Happy birthday, Janie—may you collect them all.


*”I swear  on my intentions to be a Good Mother that I will never _________________, until such time that I wear down, cave in, or explode.  So help me, please.”

**It also makes her look about seventeen, which might be a problem, if she could stop talking about Pokemon for more than three minutes at a time.




My Last Baby is Seven

Sunny is seven today.

Yesterday,on  her last day of being six, she refused to pronounce a single R, because it was the “wast chance I’ll evew get to do baby tawk, Mama. I hafta be big tomowwwow.”

Dear heaven, I hope so.

As bittersweet as it is to know that I’ll never have another six-year old . . . I think I’m ready for seven.

I’m pretty sure she is, too—she rode  her bike, all by herself, for about half a block at a time, while Jane decorated the birthday cake she’d baked for her little sister, also all by herself.*

Nyan Cake!

Happy birthday, my Sunny girl.

And yes, the pop-tart is all yours.


*Except for the gray parts of the cat, which are made of gumpaste. Gumpaste, for those of you who have never worked with it—you lucky, lucky people—is hateful, evil, sticky stuff and because I couldn’t find any ready-made in gray, my hands are still a faded, patchy, inky black from the food coloring I worked into it. Never. Again.

My First Baby is Eleven

Birthday Cake2

Janie is eleven today.

She’s still young enough to be excited by the magical possibilities of her birthday and a bit disappointed that she’s off school today—stupid Polar Vortex—so she has to wait to hand out cupcakes . . . but old enough to worry that none of her classmates will want to come to her party, which is at the end of the month and may or may not clash with the party of a friend.

She’s growing up, all over, and isn’t sure she likes it much. Puberty, she tells me, is kind of gross.

The struggle between her present and her future has begun, and even as she fires the first volleys in her righteous war of independence, the changes in her body and swings in her moods scare her.

It’s going to be a bumpy ride for all of us.  I can see the potholes from here.

But as long as she lets me, I’ll listen and hug and do my very best to show her that she’s loved and loveable and lovely.

Because that will never change.

My Beautiful Daughter

Happy Birthday, Watson!

Watson's Birthday2

Happy birthday to my sister-in-law, who arrived with her ginormous Swiss Mountain Dogosaurus a couple Februarys ago for a short visit and—like the modern, flip-side combo of Mary Poppins, Mervyn Bunter, Jarvis,  Archy, with a touch of Jensen, and possibly Roque—has been wrangling, feeding, driving, guest-posting, co-conspiring, geeking, shopping, listening, vaudevilling, tutoring, and seeing to the cinematic deficit of the household ever since.

Simply put, you’re the awesome m’dear, and I wouldn’t want to confuse the neighborhood’s (or blogosphere’s) idea of our family dynamic with anyone else but you.

And seriously put, may this coming year be everything you need it to be.

(‘hitting twenty’ may be stretching poetic license a touch for us, but screw it, the rest works)