A blog named BETTY

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ode to Shnookie4

As you know, Shnookie4--my baby--turned 8 recently. I seem to have established a pattern of writing a tribute to each child on his/her b-day; therefore, let's put my youngest under the microscope.

BTW, there will be no mention of alcohol in this post, BECKY. (Okay, not including that time. I was just mentioning alcohol in passing.) (Dangit. Maybe I really am obsessed with alcohol.) (Aaargh! I need a drink.)

Shnookie4 is an amazing kid. As she grows up, we keep discovering new talents she has. If this continues, she's gonna be an adult royal pain with her perfectness! Physically, she has always been slightly on the smaller side. When she was just 7 or 8 months old, she got RSV, and it was a pretty rough year after that. She caught EVERYTHING, and then she'd get dehydrated. We spent a lot of time in the hospital that year. Finally, she got so bad while on a family trip to Colorado, that we had to admit her to the ICU for several days. She literally almost died. We don't know if that year has anything to do with her petite-ness, but every day she got stronger after that, we cheered.

This girl loves order in the world. As a baby, she'd methodically remove her diapers from the basket and lay them end to end to create huge patterns. I have to admit, it was a little unnerving to walk into a room and see a giant crop circle where there was none before. Hubby got a bit worried that she was driven by voices to create satanic symbols in our home. (I told him that just because HE hears voices, doesn't mean everyone else does.) As she grew up, her scope of tools widened, and she experimented with lining up all sorts of things. But mostly her clothes. We had paths of OshGosh droppings everywhere.

So guess who grew up to love patterns?? Give her beads of different colors, and she's engrossed for hours. Modern theories in education have discovered that patterning is the foundation of math. So guess who is good at math?? The truth be told, she's good at all school subjects and gets excellent grades. Parent-teacher conference is so awkward, since the teacher and I just stare at each other for most of it. Once the "she's amazing" and "I wish all my students were her"s are out of the way, there's not much to talk about. Every mom should have such problems, eh?

Hubby always says that Shnookie4 is "just so darn CAPABLE." If you ask her to give her teacher a note three weeks from Wednesday at 2:30, she'll be there, a few minutes early, note in hand. Smiling ear to ear. No reminder necessary. It's like she was born with a Franklin Planner for a brain. And this kid does not let anything stop her. If she needs a cup on the top shelf? She drags into the kitchen a 50-pound chair from the other room, climbs up on it, steps over to the counter, and scales shelves until she can grab it. Then reverses the whole process (remembering to replace the chair to its original space, of course.) I don't think "Help" is in her vocabulary.

Combine her can-do attitude with her loving spirit, and she's a wonder. At Christmas, she casually asked me what that book I wanted for Christmas was. I told her and watched as she meticulously copied down the title on a piece of paper. I went back to cooking. Ten minutes later, I stumble over her and my laptop on the floor of the family room. She's got Amazon.com up and is searching for that book by its title. I was stunned. And half-tempted to just let her keep going and see what she offered them for payment.

Shnookie4 may be a mere eight years old, but she's definitely an old soul--wise beyond her years and a pleasure to be around. I hope she'll never stop wanting to sit by me to watch American Idol, and that she'll greet me each day with that smile for a long time. Someday I'm gonna have to share her greatness with the rest of the world, but for now I'm hanging on to every last sweet morsel of her. Love you, Bibber!


Anonymous said...

Erin you still crack me up! Happy Birthday to #4! I can not believe how fast other peoples children grow up! That is so cool that #1 got to baptize her! I did not even know that 16 year olds could do that. I am glad to hear that you are doing well. Thanks for the update with out mentioning Alcohol. My Dad is crazy with his drug references, must be something that is in the water fountian at church that causes it.

Jen said...

Wow! What a tribute! I'm thinking I should have you do my eulogy at my funeral. Happy Birthday to Shnookie4 and lucky you to blessed with such a cute and wonderfu child.