Girl Gone Wild – Kveller
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Girl Gone Wild

Holy sh!t.

I’ve thought this, or its equivalent, approximately 980 times a day in the past few weeks. Why? Because my baby is on the move.

I’m not talking about the one comfortably ensconced in my uterus. Thankfully, she seems to be doing well in there. Occasionally, I feel her burp or hiccup or whatever the heck she does all the time. Since this is my fourth kid, we’re well past those idyllic days I remember with the first fetus–you know, where you lovingly put your hand over your belly and feel the movements, where you have your husband bend over and talk to and sing to the little tadpole. Yeah, that ship has sailed.

When you have three kids, there is no time for such peaceful introspection. Right now, we are dealing with a perpetual state of Code Red potential chaos. Baby 4, or “Rodeo” as she has been named in utero by her older brothers (long story), at least can be contained–unlike her 11-month-old big sister-to-be, baby G, who has suddenly figured out both how to cruise and how to crawl at 40 miles an hour.

Parenting, as you know, is an ever-changing organism. Just when you think you’ve got it under control, some new stuff happens and suddenly your job description is completely different. Well, I am now involved in the Avoiding Disaster Olympics.

Basically, if this kid is not asleep or strapped down, she is trying to give me a heart attack by actively seeking out danger. She either has an uncanny radar for potential catastrophe or a sick and twisted sense of humor (the latter stands to reason). That one outlet I neglected to cover? Off she goes toward it, with a fork (how the hell did she get that?). My two older boys love Lego, but don’t love cleaning it up–do you see where this is going? (“Mommy, did she poop out my minifigure yet?” = one of my top ten parenting quotes of all time.)  Oh…and did I mention that we apparently ordered the baby gates for the stairs from Guam and they haven’t arrived yet?

The kid is a cruising, crawling tort waiting to happen. She has longer arms than I’d ever have guessed (based on the number of things she manages to knock off of coffee tables). She has a need for speed–if you turn your back one minute, she’s gone. She empties laundry hampers, bookshelves, and backpacks at the speed of light. She is giving my second son, formerly the Tasmanian Devil of the house, a run for his money.

She is also getting teeth. This means that in addition to everything else, she likes to eat things. Said things include older brothers, limbs of parents/caregivers, edges of tables and swimming pools, books, keys, you name it. Also–do not leave your mail (me) or Ninjago trading cards (brother) unattended (both lessons learned the hard way).

Even she knows she’s trouble. The other day, she left the kitchen heading toward the family room, and I actually heard her say, as though to herself, “Uh oh.” Based on my reactions to her lately, I’m just lucky she didn’t say, “Jesus.”

Whenever I am in a parenting rut, I think of King David. No joke. The guy accomplished a lot, but he wore a ring on his finger that said, “This too shall pass.” He would make an effort, the story goes, to look at it when times were tough, to remind himself that the difficulties were ephemeral and that he’d get through it. He’d also look at it, though, when things were great, to remind himself to appreciate the joys and wonders of life as they present themselves, because they are too fleeting.

This too shall pass. And so, I’m sure, shall the Lego minifigures (ouch!).

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