December 27, 2008 by Marj Hatzell
Today began like any other. You rolled around for about twenty minutes, made me kiss your hands and scratch your head and then you suddenly lept out of bed like a bat out of Hades. That’s when you made a beeline for the fridge, stealing the Parmesan cheese and hiding behind the couch so you could eat it. I reluctantly crawled out of bed to face the mess of stinky cheese that I was sure I was going to find, only to find that TADA! Chocolate wins today!
To you, today will be like any other. You will plot ways to climb onto the entertainment center, steal chocolate and play in the dry sink and pot cabinet. You will no doubt beg for a fire in the fireplace (So what if it’s sixty degrees outside? WIMPS.) and then try to climb inside to play with the ashes. You will be thinking of wooden puzzles and water and bath time and ways to escape the house so you can run into the neighbor’s house because they have a big-screen TV and you are in love with it. And later on today, when we have that obnoxiously large family gathering (a mere twenty-five people) you will attempt to con every one of them into giving you chocolate, running a bath or take you to the toilet so you can earn more cheese sticks.
See, today is special. Today is your sixth birthday. I know you don’t know it. You will be thrilled to see those brownies with the candles on them and clap your hands when we sing happy birthday because you love that song. You will no doubt attempt to grab the flame (which, incidentally, is the reason we never lit the advent candles). You will be overwhelmed with the noise and either hide in your room or beg your uncles to throw you up in the air. Be careful of that, they are all getting older and you ain’t light anymore. You weigh over forty pounds, still in the 5% for your age but HEY! You started out in the 90th at birth…just like your mom. World’s fattest baby becomes the kid with the hollow leg.
This year was full of huge gains and big disappointments. We struggled with toileting (although we KNEW you KNEW how to do it, like everything else it was going to be when you darn well felt like it). We struggled with communicating. You finally learned to sign spontaneously and now you won’t stop asking for milkshakes and cookies. You also learned to drink out of a cup! You still spill some, but I’m so thrilled. We finally figured out why you wouldn’t sleep, it was because you physically COULDN’T and now that we have your medications adjusted you are back to the “old Bugaboo” again, happy and smiling throughout the day. That rough patch with the biting and hurting Mommy? NEVER DO THAT AGAIN. And we still can’t figure out where you are going to go to school this year, Mommy is still looking for the right place for you. A place where you will be as loved and nurtured as you are in your current classroom. I know it is going to be a snot fest when you finish there, they love you so much. And I love them for looking forward to seeing you every day, even though you do headstands on top of the book cases and steal everyone’s food and lick them on the cheek instead of kiss them. About that…
Anyways, I am looking forward to what the next year brings. I am happy and sad and scared and ready to forge on, all at the same time. I want so much to hear your voice. And by that, I mean, YOUR REAL VOICE. Not like when you whisper, “UH OH! UHHHHH OHHHHH!” at three in the morning. Oh, and that three-in-the-morning-business? Stop that. My hell would no doubt entail being strapped to a recliner (ACK!) while watching Thomas videos over and over while someone cooks bacon IN MY HOUSE.
I love your smile, Bugaboo. I love your few-and-far-between hugs and kisses. I love you. Next year is your year. You’ll see.