Loud and Proud

When I was growing up, my mother would always say, after I had done something that had particularly gotten on her nerves, that one day I would have a child just like me. I always got so offended by it because I didn’t see what was so hard about me. Perhaps she meant it as an insult, but I now realize, now that I have my own kids that it may have been tongue and cheek. No, I know it was.

By no means was I a perfect child. I had attitude, I questioned authority, and anyone who dreamed of telling me what I should be. I hated being different, but I loved it. I was moody, I was rebellious in a lot of different ways. Generally speaking, I think I was a pretty normal kid that had a bit more bite than my Mormon parents would have wished for. I was not content to just accept that there was only one way of doing things. When I was mad, and I made sure you knew about it. When I was upset, you knew about it too. For my parents who were devout, even evangelical about their religious views, and how their children should partake in those beliefs, it was a constant battle, especially as I aged and became more vocal about my concerns.

When Potato was born, I got see him play out some of my quieter traits. He likes to observe before jumping in, he has a quirky sense of humor, and he’s very particular about his schedule. He’s through and through a very serious, laid back child, which is an interesting mix of both The Hubby and myself. His level of curiosity matches my own, and I was excited to have a child who was a lot more laid back than I am, but still had that inner urge to question the how and why’s of the world.

Then Girlie arrived. When she was first born, she was louder than any baby I had ever heard. Unlike her brother who barely made a peep at birth, she was ready to let the world know she was significantly unimpressed that they had interrupted her cozy home in my womb. When we took her home, I knew right away that she would be a million times different than her brother. I’m not sure that I expected her to be the same, but it had stunned me that one child could be so astronomically different than her brother, who had been created in the same identical way.

When I sat down to write about her arrival, I pondered on her nickname. No joke, but she was almost named Miss Diva on this blog. I decided that I was judging her too quickly and she was still so brand new that her personality was sure to develop and evolve as she grew. I was right about it developing and evolving, but it definitely didn’t change much from the brand new baby who screamed for hours on end and refused to be happy until you did exactly what she wanted.

It was probably around the six month mark when I realized what my mother had meant about her comment. Yes, indeed, the universe had snickered and handed me a direct mirror image of my own high strung, high maintenance personality. I refused to believe that I had been as a difficult as Girlie was proving to be. That’s not to say I didn’t love her to pieces, oh how I do. It’s just that her demanding temperament was a definite match for her mother who was used to a mellow, sensitive child who preferred the quiet.

By no means is she a difficult child; she’s incredibly smart and picks up on things with such ease  She’ll tell you exactly what she wants, unlike Potato who is afraid to say what he wants or needs due to his anxiety.The fact that she is so vocal and sure of herself makes it so easy to be able to give her what she needs. I’ve often found her playing by herself, cracking up over a joke she’s made up. She hates to snuggle and will only do it on her own terms. When she first started saying the word “no”, she also did it with a finger wag, and said it with more attitude than some older children have. Girlie is hilarious and I have yet to see her meet someone who isn’t completely charmed by her personality. I’m completely taken by her wit and charm, she’s incredibly animated and fun.

On the flipside, of course, when things aren’t good in her tiny world, she is not afraid to let you know . Yesterday, she asked if she could watch Dora “all the days long”, and I said no. Her response? “AWWWW, BUT, BUT BUT?!” When I repeated my answer again, she stomped her foot, put her bottom lip out as far as she could push it, folded her teeny arms and pouted the cutest little pout you’ll ever see. However, my giggle only made her angrier, “No, Mama, NOT FUNNY! Ewe’s has made me DOE MAD! UGH!”  And away she stomped out of the room.

As I was unpacking boxes today, I pulled out some old pictures. The kids and I ended up looking at their tiny baby pictures, as well as some of my own. While the kids gabbed to each other about their cute little baby cheeks, I found this gem:

That’s me at about three. Doing the pouty lip, the folded arms, and I’m quite certain there was a foot stomp. I smirked for a moment, and then promptly placed it in a picture frame, to go on my desk. Because, I need to remind myself that those girls, those strong willed, stomping their feet, and pouting their lip girls, they grow up to be fighters. They grow up to be survivors and activists. They react big, but they feel big, and they want the world to change in amazing ways.

Yeah, she’s definitely her mother’s daughter.

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