Heaven help us! My son sucks his finger! Okay, so it doesn’t sound like that big of a deal and it’s actually pretty cute. AND it means I’m not tethered to him by my own pinky finger anymore (his choice slurper until he discovered his own fingers). BUT, I’m a mom and instead of enjoying the moment, I immediately begin to obsess over what this means for his future. (What if Harvard finds out??!!) None of my kids were sucker babies! Orion gave up his sucker at three months and never did discover his thumb. Lithany wouldn’t suck on anything until she was nearly two and then suddenly she chews her “Poe” (blanket) which she can no longer sleep without… this being a fact we did NOT grasp until we moved her from her crib to her big girl bed and committed the horrendous crime of leaving Poe in the crib. It took us quite awhile to figure out why she wanted back in the crib so badly. Her articulation suffers greatly when she’s suffering emotional turmoil. Once Poe was relocated to the bed, all was well. Then, as now, all I can think of is the fight we will have to get them to give up their ‘comfort objects’. Aww… the memories are worth it, though. What stories would we tell if our kids didn’t have little quirks.

Speaking of things that we don’t appreciate at the moment for fear of the impending consequences… after church this morning, my mother and I were gaily strolling to the van. The lot had been clear when we exited our vehicles, but we were now enjoying nearly 1/2 inch of accumulated sticky, fluffy, snow-ball style flakes floating onto our heads and making things just a little bit more slippery. We ever so cautiously walked to the van and as I buckled my children into their seats, I began speaking loudly to my mother still carefully making her way to her own vehicle. Suddenly, she disappeared! For about a half second, I though “Where’d she go?” that was followed by the insanity proving thought of, “How sweet, she’s playing peek-a-boo” which lasted a quarter of a second. This was followed by my first rational thought “MOM!”

Being the dedicated daughter that I am and knowing that my mother’s back and neck have seen better days (and being particularly disconcerted since the recent story of another church member (younger) breaking a femur badly enough to need pins in the last week), I heroically rushed to her rescue. About a step from where she lay prostrate on the asphalt, my tactics changed. Assisted by the ice, I began a life saving maneuver to keep her out of harms way until she was ready to rise… I slid into her like a pro ball player slides into home base… consequently sliding her neatly part way under the shelter of a neighboring parked car.

Seriously.

Alright, we really did enjoy that moment to be truthful. Laughed quite a bit as I recall using funny phrases like “kicking me while I’m down!” and other such nonsense. In the meantime, we had to figure out how to help her get up (difficult enough on a carpeted floor, and we were on a sheet of glassy ice) while laughing hysterically. I ended up getting on hands and knees so that she could raise herself. We tossed jokes about that around for the rest of the morning and will probably continue to do so for sometime. Only thing darkening that ‘beautiful’ moment of kicking my own mother under a parked car is wondering how injured we’re going to feel in the morning. OUCH!

At least one moment that I did NOT appreciate today was picture taking. (Yes, folks, our baby is three months old and is only now appearing in the traditional Wal-Mart shoot.) I was tired and grumpy (despite the parking lot entertainment) the kids were tired and hungry, and Lithany won’t smile for anyone without vast amounts of effort. Poor kid. She has such a lovely smile when it shows up. I suppose we’ll have to look at them like black pearls… they’re all the more precious because they are more rare? We don’t have a lot of really ‘smiley’ pictures of her. Not even snapshots. She’s ever so melancholy. She has, however, developed a social laugh that makes everyone else break out into a real laugh. It’s hilarious. Even her baby pictures that scroll through our screen saver have very few smiles. We do have a few really good “tantrum” shots though… and I’m pretty sure she was only two months old in the first screaming picture that we have.

Lithany is the one, though, that makes the rest of us laugh. She’s delightful, if a bit sullen looking much of the time. She is our butterfly that can’t land on anything for more than a few spare moments. She’s methodical one moment and scatter brained the next. You never really know what to expect from her. Our even-keel family needs her desperately. Otherwise our house would be so predictable.

Perhaps because of Lithany, I need Orion all the more. He is so steady and sweet when he isn’t pretending to be a macho evil guy. He sat and held Asa like a trooper. Doing his best to smile (forced though many of them were) through all the turmoil of his sister’s fidgeting and fussing and his baby brother’s flopping. Truly an angel. Asa was starving, but not one to miss the chance to show off his charm, he responded beautifully to all our efforts to show him off.

One of the other quirks that is causing me a lot of reminiscing for some reason is Lithany’s fascination with making discoveries a’ la toe. It took us FOREVER to figure out that she wasn’t trying to yank our chain by removing her shoes mid-walk. She just found something she needed to explore. Unlike the majority of children… she needed her feet, not her hands, to do the initial exploration. I guess we should have seen that coming when she started using all four of her appendages to hold her baby bottle. Perhaps what is bringing this to mind is a combination of longing for bare-foot summers and the fact that she has only now found a pair of shoes that she will leave on… meaning (thankfully) that I don’t have to hunt down her socks and put them on stone-cold feet every hour or so any longer. For a kid with this strange ‘foot fetish’ she sure loves her tights, though!

Asa has his own quirks. For example, he has to be bound tightly to sleep. I don’t remember that mattering so much to my other two. He also doesn’t like to be moved when he’s sleepy, and unlike my other cuddle baby Orion, didn’t want sung to until yesterday. Apparently singing is acceptable if the song is “I love my rooster, my rooster loves me, I cherish my rooster in the old May tree.” He is also the only child I’ve had that has at 3 months spent almost as much time ill as healthy!  The other two were always DISGUSTINGLY healthy, but poor Asa has been battling stuffy noses for at least a month.  I thought we had it licked, but today he’s making little pig sounds and occasionally sounds hoarse.  Fortunately, he doesn’t know any better and thinks all this is normal.  He even smiles at me while I do that gross little suction solution for his nose.  If only I were as adaptable to adverse circumstances as our Asa-boy. 

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