Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Queen Mary

These are rare photos of Mary Lu Lu sitting confined in something.

She is always.always.always on the move.  She began crawling months ago.

The thing is, Mary wants so badly to keep up with her siblings.  If they're outside, in the backyard, she makes a beeline for the door.  Sadly she hasn't mastered stairs yet and is therefore unable to navigate her way down onto the deck.  So she'll pause, and sit there and cry, and watch everyone else tearing around on their bikes and digging in the dirt and climbing the peach tree. 

I am actually pretty sure that's what she's doing here.  Watching her siblings play.

It's been interesting seeing Mary becoming more and more involved in the bigger kids' lives.  Ever since she was born, THEY have included HER in their goings-on (playing pretend became way more fun when there was a live baby to use!), but now SHE is finally able to participate a little bit.  Just the other day she sat at Anna's Barbie house and, well, played Barbies.  So cute!

I'm continually amazed by the "plight" of what I shall call "subsequent babies".  You know what I mean, right?  Your first baby kinda becomes your life and your focus.  You think about what they're eating and wearing and doing.  But by child number five, well, they sort of just assimilate into the rest of the family.  When you're not looking.  Because you're distracted by someone throwing a temper tantrum because you said they couldn't have chocolate chips for breakfast.  Some people think this is sad.  If they could spend a day following Mary Lu around, though, they might find out that it's actually pretty awesome.

Four kids begging, "Can we get Mary up?  Can we get Mary up?"
Lots of playing and cuddling on the floor. 
 (After Mommy has properly nursed and changed Mary.  A hungry baby is not so fun.)

If, at any point during the day, I make an attempt to feed/change/cuddle Mary, I will surely have no less than two other children swarming around, making silly faces and noises at her.  This may or may not annoy Mommy.  This may or may not make Mary incredibly happy. 

If the children get wind that I am putting Mary down for the night, there will be much hanging on me and "night night!"s and kissy noises and various small people begging to put her down in her crib.

So, yes, they have somehow begun to initiate their baby sister into their world.  More and more she is becoming "one of them."  Slightly terrifying, because now there will be FIVE of them as opposed to "four of them and a baby."  These kids have a strong bond.  There may be five and a half years between my oldest and my youngest, but oh how I wish you could see Mary's face when Anna changes her diaper.  So.much.love. 

I know without a doubt that this is why Mary began crawling when she did.  Neither of my other babies crawled (or reached ANY sort of physical milestone) early.  But she's ready.  To be part of the group.  To shout at the squirrels and play in the backyard playhouse.  To dig for worms.  Mary loves her mommy and daddy, but she lives for sibling interaction.

And I can't say I blame her, because aside from the worm excavations, my kids do some pretty fun stuff.  I do wonder about how her personality will be shaped by all this unconditional sibling love.  Kaitlyn was utterly doted on by her three older siblings...and now pretty much runs our household.  Now there are FOUR kids treating Mary like a queen.  We better watch out!  :)

Truly a joy to sit back and enjoy the relationships between your children and see the dynamics working themselves out.  That's why the above picture makes me smile.  Five kids.  All together.  Including the baby.  Who is, undeniably, the queen.


jenny said...

It's fun to hear you talk about having five children, probably because I LOVED being one of five. I always thought it was a blast and never thought it was too many. After having Bella, I've seen what a difficult and trying job my parents had, but still... it was wonderful for us and they still are all my best friends.

Angel said...

Love this post!! I have found this too. My children give each other something even I could never give them. They really are best friends. It is such a blessing to see them together. I LOVE IT!


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