This little peanut is now an adult:
How does that happen?!
If I had one wish, I wouldn’t waste it on riches or more wishes. My wish would be for Parental Time Travel. This differs from regular time travel because instead of having the ability to alter the future or history, it would solely be used to jump back and forth to raise your children in non-chronological order. When you’re exhausted after a sleepless night with a restless baby, jump ahead to when the child is fifteen and sleeping til noon. Feeling sad that your 14-year-old son doesn’t want to cuddle? Jump back to when he’s two and loves nothing more than to snuggle up with you and a book and his gecki. If your daughter is 18 and you’re nostalgic for the days when she was home more, skip back to a day when she’s begging you to help her with a craft. Need a break from diapers? Leap ahead to a time when your child would rather die than let you see their bare bum.
I’ve given that way too much thought. If someone is smart enough to make that happen, please do so. Maybe they already have and it’s called a video camera. But it’s not quite the same.
Back to my little Chloe turning 18.
She’s been an easy one. Smart and independent, easy-going and fun. Her naughtiest phase was probably around the time Spencer arrived on the scene. She stopped napping right before he was born, just when I really needed my own nap. Luckily Chloe loved Cinderella, so I’d set up the VCR for her and head to my bed. Sometimes she fell asleep during the movie, but usually not. Kids are weird. How can they watch the same movie literally a hundred times? Those little mice sure are cute though.
When Spencer was born, Chloe thought he was her new toy. She was very possessive and a little bit controlling. Once when he was sleeping in his bucket seat, I saw marks on his face. When I looked more closely, I saw that he had crayon lines drawn all over his face. I asked Chloe what happened and she said, “I face painted him!”
And one day when he was sleeping in his crib, suddenly he woke up much earlier than normal. I headed upstairs and saw Chloe zipping out of his room. Again, I asked what was going on. “I just pushed him so he would wake up more better.”
As Spencer grew, Chloe believed she was his parent. (To this day, I think she often feels like she would make better parenting decisions than we do. Most of the time, she would be right.) She liked to have full control over him, telling him what and when to do things. And he listened. Except sometimes when he bit her out of sheer frustration. Now they get along well, at least as well as Spencer gets along with anyone. He prefers books and records to people right now.
When Neve was born, Chloe KNEW that baby was her toy. Dale and I were older and tired-er so we basically let her raise Neve as she saw fit. I agreed to watch Neve while Chloe was in school. It seems to have worked out; those girls love each other. Chloe still begs us to have another baby, but it will be her turn next – although hopefully not for a looooong time.
Not counting her chronically messy bedroom, Chloe has also been an organizer and a planner. She writes lists for everything. She writes meticulous notes with multiple colours of pens. She plans out her day, her month, her life, and so far things have mostly gone according to plan. She works hard and does everything in her control to make them happen. We know that things won’t always work out as planned, but she’s relaxed enough that she’ll roll with it and make the best out of the situation.
I could go on and on about how awesome she is, but I’m scared stuff like that will come back to bite me. Next thing you know she’s dating a drug dealer and living in an abandoned train car. I don’t know why that’s the worst thing that came to mind; I loved the boxcar children. I guess I just don’t want to write worse stuff in case I jinx it and everyone will look back at this post and say, “It’s like Ellen somehow knew what would happen!”