Friday, December 21, 2007

E Day

I woke up this morning with E pressed close against my side, as she is pretty much every morning. After M, the snuggliest baby in history, we assumed that E would want to sleep with us, and we set up the bassinet pretty much as a pro forma exercise. But, no, E made her own path from the beginning. She liked us well enough, but she wanted to sleep on her own and her bassinet was perfect, thank you very much. She also was, for quite some time, one of those miraculous babies whom you put down and they go to sleep. That all changed in her second year, the year of the ear infections. She slept with us when she was sick, she needed to be snuggled to sleep, and by the end of the year she was as bad as M at falling asleep and sleeping on her own. M fell asleep on her own by 7 or 8, and has been sleeping through the night in her own bed for going on two years now (I really did think it would never happen, but now I can say, with all confidence, eventually they do it). E mastered falling asleep on her own last year, but most nights she still comes in, some time between 1 and 3, though occasionally 5 or 6. She bypasses her dad on the outside of the bed and comes right up the bottom of the bed to me, pressing in against me, whether she encounters my back, side, or front. When she and S are both pushing against me, and I feel like the cheese in a panini, I get claustrophobic and escape to her bed, but mostly I like it. She is warm and snuggly (after her standoffish beginning, she has become the world's most snuggly child) and I know she won't be there for much longer.

Sometimes E still plays that she is a baby. She also plays that she is a bear cub, and I am her bear mommy. She is obsessed with the soundtrack from Hairspray--she plays the songs over and over, staring at the iTunes songlist like it is the Mona Lisa. She makes up complicated dances that nobody but she can follow, and she loves to play dancing school with her sister. At swimming, she no longer looks like she will drown before she reaches the end of the lane, but she is still absurdly slow. When I ask why she doesn't move her arms faster, she says if she goes faster she will mess up her stroke. E likes to do things right. She also likes to write: her stories at school are six pages long and filled with detail, both remembered and imagined. She is fascinated with words: how they sound, what they mean. We've been talking about homonyms this week, and there is much discussion of the oddities of spelling. She reads Beacon Street Girls, but she still likes me to read picture books aloud to her. She desperately wants a best friend, but she is settling into some nice friendships with the girls in her class (finally) and for now that suffices. She loves the computer and her new Gameboy, and she adores her sister, when she isn't the meanest girl in the world. While she has made significant sleep progress, she has not, alas, diversified her eating habits, and she still gets psychotic when she is hungry, tired, or sick (it's good that I'm writing this post this week, because it would have been hard to say anything nice about her last week). When she wants to, though, she can be a perfect angel.

I basically think my kids are the most remarkable beings on this earth, but I try not to say it too often. Today, however, it is justified, because as of today, and for the next 365 days, E is the most remarkable seven year old on this earth.