Monday, August 17, 2009


On Saturday, Genevieve turned three. Three years ago, contractions began around 5 p.m., but since I'd had Braxton-Hicks all summer long and it was three weeks before my due date (and 1-1/2 weeks before my scheduled C-section), I didn't take them seriously until 1 a.m., when it finally dawned on me that perhaps I should go to the hospital and have my C-section already. Of course, now I realize this was just some ominous foreshadowing of all the times Genevieve would interrupt my sleep during her infancy and toddlerhood. Surgery at 3:27 a.m.? Sure, why not!

As I type this, my final baby, the three-year-old now, is in her crib--still in a crib--and crying, crying, crying about not wanting to go to bed, about wanting me to sit near her, about everything. This is her way. She's a tough one. She stretches everyone in the family to their limit; she makes others cry; she creates chaos. At the same time, she's a baby-like three: she looks like a toddler, not a preschooler; her cheeks are chubby and she sucks on her fingers and she can't say a lot of consonants so her speech is adorably babyish. She says "whoa" for "squirrel" and "wincess" for "princess." When I try to get her to stack her teeth and hiss the "S" sound, trying to teach it to her one morning, she says to me, "I don't have very many "s's" in my body."

We still talk about her baby words, the ones she had for so long: "bah dubya" for "bread and butter"; "doga" for "yogurt." There are many more, which I have forgotten, though it is Julia who spontaneously recalls them out of the blue, waxing nostalgic like a melancholy mama: "Remember when she said 'wet-woo' for pretzel?! Oh Mama, I miss 'wet-woo.'" Yes, me too.

Genevieve is smart as a whip. Many people miss this about her, because in public she generally stays quiet. But she's known all her letters and numbers forever. She does puzzles for big kids, on her own. She can count objects with precision, and she notices everything. It's just that you can't always understand her when she tries to tell you. It frustrates her greatly.

Genevieve is a strange mixture of feisty and clingy, sweet and stubborn, adventurous and shy. Around others she barely speaks; at home she's a total ham, singing nonsense songs and making crazy faces just to crack Julia up. She has an alter ego she calls "Big Boy". He's five, or, rather, "5T" (the clothing size). She has recently named her feet (Annie and Mary), who sing to her (and us). When she plays with her toy phone, she likes to call up two imaginary friends named "Mommy" and "Gommy." She loves trains, puzzles, blocks, and play-cooking. She loves trucks and construction vehicles. Mostly she loves her big sister, who is her best friend and with whom she wants to do everything.

Genevieve's a tantrummer extraordinaire, a limit-tester, a screamer. She challenges my very notion of what it means to successfully get through the day (and the night). She's going to rule the world one day. Or at least her world. Which is all I really want for her, in the end.


Mom and Kiddo said...

Happy Birthday, Genevieve!

donna said...

Happy Birthday, Genna!

(and THREE! I know. I know.)