As strange as it may sound, some days it seems like we have 8 kids. It feels like each of our children have two completely different personalities. I know I have said this about Laine for a couple of years now, but as they each grow and develop strengths and weaknesses the other three seem to be joining him with split-personalities.
In two days they will be officially three and a half years old. While we are so thankful for them, this stage in their lives has easily been the most challenging. Here, on the brink of them turning “halfway to seven,” I will give a current profile on each of the kids.
Pius James is a sweet little boy. He is so good-hearted and is a lot of fun to be with. It is almost impossible to be mad at him because of his infectious smile and attitude. Pius was probably the first of the boys to be fully potty-trained, however he has started a new trick. We put the boys in pull-ups for naptime and bedtime, and Pius has decided to start pooping during these times. He poops on the toilet, but you can tell that he forces some out while he is lying down. We’re not sure why he does it, but if it is staying consistent with his past exploits, it is purely for attention.
Pius is also the whiniest. He seems to be the least tough of the four of them and if he gets dinged a little bit he is pretty whiny about it. I can tell if he is honestly hurt, or if he is just being a little soft. I’ve told him over and over that if he wants to play sports he is going to have to toughen up. Usually when I say, “Buster Posey doesn’t cry when he gets hurt,” he will pop right up and say, “I’m going to play catcher for the Giants.” He loves his sports.
Forrest is a smart little boy. I know I’ve said over and over that he is our parakeet, but he really is. He loves to be outside and work in the garden with Monica. He listens and remembers every thing she tells him. I’m pretty sure he knows more plants by name than me. Last night he asked me what kind of tree some tree was. I told him I didn’t know for sure, and he says, “Daddy. That’s an evergreen tree.” We honestly kind of talk to him like an adult and sometimes I worry that might make him a little bit nerdy. Last week, I took the kids to a WSU baseball game and we were out on the hill behind the outfield wall. There were a couple of other kids there and Forrest walks up to them and says, “How are you doing today? It’s a beautiful day outside.” The two boys looked at him and didn’t know how to respond. I was just laughing and thinking, “Good Lord. I need to get my kids around other kids more often.”
As far as Forrest’s biggest current weakness, I think this may be a recurring battle that we will have for his whole life. He is hard-headed and things have to be his way. It gets extremely frustrating because his way is not always the best way. In fact, his way is sometimes completely unacceptable. Well, as far as he is concerned, his way is the only way. Forrest and I have had more than a few “who can be more stubborn” standoffs and that gets pretty tough sometimes when I don’t feel like fighting the battle.
Little Miss Danna Lynn is easily our biggest challenge right now. Her brothers and I have created a spoiled little monster. She is content and happy most of the time. She loves animals (especially doggies), balloons, books and flowers. Every morning I ask them what they dreamed about. Danna always dreams about doggies. Every night when we say what we each are going to pray for, Danna always says doggies. Perhaps we have a future veterinarian on our hands?
I’ve already touched on her biggest weakness, but without a doubt, her selfish attitude is hers. Danna is selfish about everything. As I said, her brothers and I created it. For the first three years of her life, “Dannawant” meant Danna gets. Since we always gave her what she wanted, the past couple of months have been a real struggle. And her scream is piercing. I will say she has improved (a little) but that much “unteaching” is taking pretty long and has been hard.
Laine-Train is usually a pretty fun challenge. He seems to think the most like an adult. The other day he was messing with something I’d asked him not to and I told him, “I’m going to smoke you, fool.” He doesn’t even look up, he keeps messing with whatever it was and says, “You better pack a lunch if you’re going to smoke Laine.” He asks why a lot. He is extremely inquisitive and wants to know how and why things work the way they do. He is always the first to figure out how to do things because he studies them. Also, his sense of humor seems to be the best of the four. When they are watching movies or TV, he laughs at things that are supposed to be funny, and he will try to tell jokes that he’s heard.
Notice at the beginning of writing about Laine I said “usually”? Laine talks back all of the time. I know that he thinks of himself as an adult and as his brothers and sister’s daddy. He constantly “counts to three” for his siblings if they aren’t doing something he wants them to, and he is turning into quite the tattle-tale. He has foiled quite a few of Pius, Forrest, and Danna’s plots and I know that as they grow up, this is going to be an issue between the four of them.
I promise that when I find the camera, I will post some updated pictures of our brood.