Friday, November 18, 2011

The Spirited Child

There once was a girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her head
When she was good she was very very good
And when she was bad, she was horrid.

My mother in law reminds me often that this nursery rhyme wouldn't have been written if other children weren't like my baby.

My first two children were fairly easy to have. But I didn't quite feel like I was done. I really wanted one more. It took three miscarriages and four years before I finally got pregnant with him. Then I ended up having a placenta previa. I spent the whole pregnancy hoping to make it to the next stage- viable, 32 weeks, 34 weeks, until finally, I had a scheduled cesarean at 38 weeks and 1 day. I never had to go on bedrest.

I had a girl and a boy and I wanted another girl, but really I just wanted a healthy baby. And I kind of wished for a red head. I got the sweetest little boy with dark hair that eventually turned to a golden brown. We named him Keegan because I had a little boy in my class when I taught preschool named Keegan and I thought it was a great name. I maybe should have looked up the meaning. It means small and ardent or small and fiery. He is my biggest but still not a particularly big child and fiery/ardent he is.

He was easy until he hit about 8 months and from that point on he had a mind of his own. He wakes up with an agenda and God forbid someone tries to get in his way. With that determination comes quite a bit of obstinance. And everything he feels he feels intensely.

I frequently remind myself that these are good characteristics even though they are hard to keep in check. This is the child who has been sent to the Principal's office-unlike my other two.

This is also the child who when my dad died said very loudly in the quiet hospital room "all of us have to take care of grandma Annette because she doesn't have a wife anymore!" So he still hasn't gotten the concept of husband/wife but it was meant well. And then he made her a present. A picture of a broken heart. He went to great pains to wrap it and decorate the box. He also found a trinket from his room and gave that to her right before the funeral.

This is the kid who decided tonight that since it was snowing we would make a fire and gingerbread cookies. Except for rolling the dough (ok, refrigerated) opening the oven and lighting the fire, he did everything else. And then we sat by our fire eating gingerbread cookies and reading a Junie B Jones book. I do believe that Junie B is his kindred spirit and the books could have been written about him.

He is the kid who drove me crazy in school because I "was the bestest kid in the class" and the boys who couldn't sit still drove me crazy. Like the poor boy Tom who I told on every day in third grade because he was always talking or wiggling. And now I am the mother of "that boy."

So although I had a perfect little family planned out in my head and a wild zany child not what I expected, I wouldn't want him any other way.

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