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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Kids, Poop, Love

I love my children.  I love watching them unfold into their unique and interesting selves.

My first-born, Kinsey, has completely amazed me with her self-motivation.  I never have to remind her to study, she just does.  She has decided she wants to be a 4.0 student so she can get a scholarship and choose her collage.  I have loved witnessing this drive in her.  Hanging her towel up?  We're still working on that.

My boys haven't tapped into their scholastic genius just yet, but they have their own spectacular qualities.
Noah is happy.  He loves everyone and expects that they should love him too.  Noah makes friends with total unabashed ballsiness.  It takes him a millisecond to make a new friend in any public forum.  Meet them, invite himself into their home, borrow their toys...

Bailey is loaded with cleverness and wit.  He's fast on his intellectual feet.  His humor is often beyond his years, as is his reflection.  He's my chess-player when it comes to life.  He understands how one move will effect the next ten.  EXCEPT when he has an impulse.  Then it's all out the window (including himself, unfortunately).  

They are beautiful, miracles, undeserved gifts.  They are good... except when they're not.

When a baby (Elliott in this example) is born, he is an unmarred, innocent little creature.  Totally helpless, dependent on my mercies and foresight.  I knew that, along with his undeniable baby cuteness, he would also cry, drool, wake at unpleasant hours, and poop.  That's what babies do.  They poop.  We prepare ourselves for it.  We set up elaborate changing tables, buy diaper genies, wipe warmers, and monkey butt ointments... It grosses us out, but, something about them being 'ours', makes their poop tolerable.  And, we know that, eventually, they will potty-train, and these poopy days will just be one of our parental badges of honor.

What we may not have prepared ourselves for is the kid-poops (both literal and figurative).  There's the unflushed toilets, missed all-together toilets, t.p. mishaps, clogged toilets, and, of course, the frantic, "mom! my lego man fell in the toilet!!".  And that's all the pre-puberty crap.  (eh he.. see what I did there?)

But, I think it may be the figurative poops which catch us the most off-guard.  Wet towels on the floor, crayons in the laundry, the half-eaten yogurt stashed behind the lava lamp, poorly planned bug collections, open-mouthed chewing, complete disregard of privacy needs, ungratefulness, selective hearing impairment, door slamming, the crumbs scattered in my bed, the lack of "my" anything...  Please feel free to add to this list (it would be good to hear that it's not just my kids).

And, for some reason, other baby's poops seem to stink even more.  Here-in lies a primary obstacle for blended families... particularly of the Cherklee genre.  Klee described it well once.  He said it's like waking up with amnesia and being told, "here, this is your family, now love it."  Poop and all...
But I guess that's a core characteristic of love; knowing we all poop, it all stinks; loving anyway.  Being loved anyway...

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