Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The World Needs More Middle Children

I was warned to never have three children, how horrible I was to even consider doing such a thing...creating a middle child!  Well, I thankfully ignored the cautions and had my three-kid-family.  I've decided what the world needs more of is middle children.  My experience has led me to believe in middle children.  They are the negotiators, they have high intra and interpersonal skills, they communicate between all members of the family, they are sensitive and intuitive.  Of course, this is not based on any hard science, just observations of my own middle son.  (Of course my best friend growing up was a middle child and I happen to think she is rather fantastic.)

I would like to share some of the conversations I've had lately with Mr. C.

1.  "Mom, we just spent our whole time outside making Jesus crafts!"

"What do you mean, C?"

C holds up an acorn filled with dirt and grass, "See, all our crafts had to do with earth and life!"

2.  Listening to a new song on the radio, "Mom turn that down.  Do you hear how sad that is?  He loved her, but now she's with someone else.  I don't think that is very nice of her, but he is calling her baby, so that's not very nice either."

3.  "Mom, I really hope to marry a good girl.  I just hope she doesn't do drugs."

4.  "I want to marry a girl like you who is smart and beautiful.  I think I want to marry a girl who goes to college."  (Yes, please!)

5.  "I'd vote for a woman President."

6.  "C, how was school today?"

"Great!  Except N sad that girls were stupid, and I don't think that's very nice because Mrs. Hawkins is a girl and I think it might make her feel bad."

"C, how was school today?"

"Great.  I always love school."

7.  "Mom, why did God make me such a good snuggler?"

This list goes on.  I love my little verbal processor, and in a house full of boys I treasure it!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Growing Up

I've felt out of the cave of the early years of parenting for a while now, and I must say it is quite glorious!  I don't need a daily nap.  I feel like I get good time to myself, since my boys play pretty well together, and I haven't purchased diapers for over a year. Everyone is able to communicate in English what they need and want, and we are out of the temper tantrum stage.  (No one does the stop-drop-and-roll in grocerry stores.)  I'm counting this as a parenting victory, but it is also a sign of growing up.

The other day I realized that it had been months, maybe a year, since we had a little boy climb into our bed, snuggle down, and fall asleep for some good, early-morning-snuggle.  Those early mornings were anticipated and dreaded.  I never slept very good after one, two, or three little boys tumble in, but there was also something special about it.  Sadly, I forgot to be attentive to its end.  And truthfully although it caused me to be a bit nastalgic, I'm OK with it being over.

My oldest turns eight tomorrow.  Last night after his bath I placed a towell around his shoulder,s like we've been doing since his birth, and he made a request he hadn't made for some time now, "Can you carry me like a baby?"  Perhaps he senses that this request will soon be impossible.  He's much heavier and longer now, but I scooped him up in my arms, kissed his cheeks, and said, "I'm carrying you like a baby!"  We laughed.  It was our moment.

I think that I can officially state that the "short years" are over.  I wonder if my writing friend, Jen Rouse, feels the same.  She has a blog called The Short Years.  Does she feel like she needs to start another blog for the next stage?  The Middle Years?  The Crazy Years?  The Kid Years?  The Years When Our Kids Still Like Us?  That seems to be the years we are in.  We all like each other.  C announced with pure joy, "I really like A. He's fun to play with."  This pleases Dad and Mom much.  The older boys didn't always view A as an equal play partner, but now that he's a boy, he's in!  B even stated, "Yeah A even comes up with good ideas when we are playing."  Love it.

The Schneiter Boys seem to be right in the perfect middle of development.  They still play imaginary games, still play with trucks outside, but they also ride bikes, create forts, go on frog hunts, watch soccer with daddy, are learning to play the piano, are on sport teams, know how to swim, can make their own snacks, plan their own birthday parties, research toy purchases and save up....and find no interest in the opposite sex!  Love this part.  I'm hoping they are late bloomers and wake up to the beauty of girls later than earlier.  I have a feeling when this hits, Mom and Dad won't be so cool anymore, and we will be entering a new phase: The Give-Me-Space-Stage.  I'm not ready for that one yet.