I started writing this blog about five and a half years ago.
Number 4 was five years old at the time.
And if you were here back in the beginning, you’ll probably recall that she was a bit of a handful.
Straight out of the uterus, she gave me a run for my money. In fact, she almost killed me during childbirth, but that’s a story for another time.
Getting her to sleep as an infant was a nightmare.
There were the times when she was a toddler when I was sure she was sent to Earth to pay me back for every immoral thing I’d ever done before having children.
With three older brothers, Number 4 didn’t actually realize she was a girl until she was about three years old.
She was not happy the day she realized she wasn’t going to “grow a penis” like Numbers 1, 2, and 3.
She was tough and ballsy and often completely out of control.
When she was about three years old, she simultaneously squashed two bees between her thumbs and forefingers. Her thumbs blew up and she casually walked over to me and said, “Mommy, those bugs hurt me.”
No crying. No tears.
Another time when she was about the same age, she was running full boat toward me and a friend of mine, and she wiped out. Big time. Like hard core. And then she just got back up, brushed herself off, and started running again.
And my friend turned to me and said, “Does she even feel pain?”
She pulled out four of her own teeth at the first instance of the slightest wiggle because she was gonna cash those f*ckers in for some money as soon as humanly possible.
There was the time she announce to her entire preschool class that she had a hoo-ha full of sand after playing in the sandbox wearing a skirt.
There was the time I realized she’d been going commando to school for the first two weeks of first grade. Even on “skirt” days.
There was the time she stole a hundred and fifty dollars out of her father’s wallet to bring to school for show and tell.
There was the time I lost her at the town beach frantically searching for her only to find her fifteen minutes later where she had somehow managed to insert herself into a group swim lesson that she wasn’t even registered for.
There was the time my aunt and uncle came to visit, and she asked them, “WHY ARE YOU EATING ALL OF OUR FOOD???”
There was the time she gave her older brother the sex talk.
There was the time she broke her elbow when she fell riding her bike down a hill about five minutes after my dad said to her, “DON’T RIDE YOUR BIKE DOWN THAT HILL!”
There were many, many of those times.
And I was kind of convinced that Number 4 was either going to send me to the nuthouse, or die trying.
She was hilarious and a ball full of constant energy.
But she also never stopped, and she was frustrating, exasperating, and exhausting.
Now she’s eleven years old.
And all that shit she used to do that made me question my sanity?
Now it’s all serving her SO WELL.
All the extra energy, all the stuff that used to drive me crazy?
She’s channeled it.
Now she’s driven and focused and proactive and still fearless.
But in a good way.
Her ballsiness and take charge philosophy led to her first official babysitting job last weekend.
As soon as she found out she had a job, she did something even more impressive.
A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about how she wanted to start babysitting. It’s been a goal of hers for a long time now.
Her first grade teacher, who read that post and knew about her plan, gave her a card along with $5 toward her business ventures.
And you know what she did with that money?
She invested it.
She went to 5 Below, and she bought some nail polish and a couple coloring books.
She started her “babysitters kit.”
So she’ll have a bag of fun stuff for the kids to do when she goes to take care of them.
You know, like Mary Poppins.
The day of her babysitting job arrived, and she was so excited.
“MOM! I feel so grown up!” she said to me.
And you know what?
She has become a pretty cool and admirable kid.
She did a great job babysitting. The kids loved her, and so did the parents.
So this post goes out to all of you with kids who are borderline out of control. Who have no filter. Who embarrass the shit out of you.
I know it sucks now. I know your parenting abilities may be challenged every day. Multiple times a day.
But I would wager a decent amount of money that all the behaviors that are pushing you over the edge today are going to be the very things that help your daughter (or son) to kick some serious ass later in life.
So hang in there.
And until then, if you need a babysitter, let me know.
I’ve got a kid who knows just how to handle that kind of thing.