March 24, 2011

Turning The Frown Upside-Down

Image © Ivaylo Sarayski |

I usually get the urge to write when things aren’t going well. I suppose it’s a natural impulse to vent frustrations on paper (or a computer screen). It is often easier to complain than to sing praises when things are challenging. After a particularly difficult couple of days with the kids, I can feel a rant or three coming on. But I’m going to try something different and turn this frown upside-down. If you will indulge me, I’m going to talk about what I love about my kids.
I have three very different children with their own unique dispositions. In fact, my identical twin girls are so different in their personalities, I can’t for the life of me figure out how people mix them up.
L is my first-born. I think back to when he was a baby and all those precious moments when it was just me and him. I recall thinking how difficult it was in those early days of diaper changes and all-night feedings. But it was just me and him when my husband was working- and little did I realize how easy things were in comparison to adding twins to the family.
Back then, I was all about attachment parenting. I fed him when he was hungry, cuddled him when he needed it (even if that was all day). I don’t regret it one bit even if it meant rocking him to sleep until he was 2. He is now approaching 8 years old and he is a confident, happy, curious, active child. He plays hockey and soccer with a passion. He asks a million questions and has mastered the art of googling. One minute it’s about space and the planets and how hot it is on Mars, the next he is looking for art that he likes: landscapes and street scenes with bright colours capture his interest. He wants to know about the Arctic and climate change and how an airplane works. He draws comics, lives to read and loves to tell a good joke.
M and K are my babies. They were born when L was almost 2 years old and my days of leisurely attachment parenting were over in favour of a more scheduled approach. They are almost 6 years old now and will be going into grade one in the fall. They are identical twins but of course to their mother, they look and behave (even sound) as different as night and day.
K is precocious, athletic, gregarious and high-energy. She has a fantastic sense of humour and attacks life with a gusto that is contagious. She is already reading well likely because it was a challenge that she wanted to master. She has developed a fondness for cooking and is usually by my side with her apron on, getting her hands right into whatever I am preparing for dinner. She is usually the “director” of whatever she is playing with others which is often some variation of school or office or store, anything that she thinks of as “grown-up.”
M is my introvert. She is a perfectionist and therefore is cautious, taking her time to try something new until she is sure that she can do it “right.” Both girls are taking ballet and it is there that M is transformed into a confident and skilled dancer. She is highly sensitive to others’ emotions and can usually be found playing with one or two close friends instead of a large boisterous group where K usually is.  She loves to be read to and to tell wonderfully imaginative stories. For a relatively quiet child, she has a fantastically bold approach to fashion, creating great ensembles and mixing things up with accessories and footwear. I only wish I had half of her fashion sense.
Well, that did the trick! Thank you for indulging me. The dark cloud over my head has moved on and I feel the hint of a sunnier day ahead. For all the challenges of parenting, it is watching my children grow and develop their individual personalities that provides me such joy and wonder. This is going to be a good day.

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