Thursday, October 25, 2007

The fickleness of five



I've got a new Babycenter post here.
Oh how interesting life is here. The day to day changes. I claim to suffer from ennui, yet how could I when I never know what each day will bring. Will my lovely daughters be happy, sad, angry, surly, grouchy, stubborn, compliant, crazy, kookie, bossy or just plain lovely?

Esther has been stunning me lately with her vigorous swinging back and forth on the pendulum of maturity. One moment she is nuts, over tired, calling me a "wicked liar," throwing me pre-teen looks, smirks, shoulder shrugs, "whatever mom" hand gestures, and the next minute she is floating around the house, asking me if she can help me in any way, talking to Isla in this sweet, patient older- sister voice, and offering to empty the compost bucket.

Yesterday she listened to her little three-year-old friend Graeme tell her a story about his new Kitty and how this kitty may "look like it's been painted with a marker, but really it's just its fur," in his amazing cartoon character voice and expressive face and Esther just listened and gazed upon him with this look of sheer, nurturing admiration. She was appreciating every nuance of his little kidness. When he was done she smiled and said, "Oh Graemmy."

I love seeing this. Seeing her potential for compassion and empathy. Seeing the little grownup inside her. Seeing that person who pays attention and notices the small things in life that are so worth noticing. She does this with Isla too. She is always fondling and commenting on that little cleft in the back of her neck and envying how soft her skin is. She is so very aware of Isla's babyness and the fleeting fun of it all.

Then she yells at me for not taking good enough care of Isla, for not keeping her safe. When Isla falls down and cries (every other second), she picks her up and brings her to me, even though I have made it clear I have lost patience and think Isla can work it out for herself. Esther decides when I need to step in. She is the master of this house, really. She keeps me in line.

It gives me glimpses of the older, teenage Esther. And it's a bit scary at times. That is why I've gone out and bought this. It's good to be prepared.

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