Way back when, my mother once said to me “I hope you have a daughter just like you”! I guess I should have paid closer attention at the time but at that point in my life kids were the last thing I was thinking about. Besides who the hell believed that “mothers curse” would actually work?
At almost 20 I gave birth to my first daughter. A bouncing bundle of screaming, crying, colic that didn’t ever want to sleep. For the first 3 months of her life she was only content when being carried belly down on someone arm. We wore a path in the carpet of the hallway as we spent endless hours walking up and down. If she wasn’t screaming, she was covering me or whoever was lucky enough to be the one holding her at the moment in an assortment of foul-smelling goo as nothing she ate stayed down. Forget even trying to breast-feed, she had no interest and I was to tired most of the time to worry about it.
By the time she was 6 months old I had managed to survive it all without loosing my sanity or giving her to the circus. There would be days later on that I questioned that wisdom. She was a curious child and she was well ahead of the curve. Nothing in the dozens of books I had read and kept handy really seemed relevant since she was up on her feet by 8 months and walking before she was one.
She grew up literally on the dining room table. It’s where she learned to roll over, crawl and walk. From one to the other she would make the rounds. At dinner time it was a chance for her to sample what was on each plate, most of which she promptly spit out. She was a picky eater and unless it was green beans or chicken she wasn’t interested in more than just a taste.
When she wasn’t on the table she was riding my hip like a monkey, clinging on with one hand and reaching for something with the other. It felt like for the first year her feet never touched the ground. When she finally did hit the ground, she took off running and she hasn’t stopped yet.
When she was 3 I got married. This was a new concept for her and not one she dealt with very well. She didn’t like having someone else who was capable of controlling her and made that very clear. She was far to smart for her age and that’s when I started to realize that curse had worked, but I still wasn’t really paying attention.
By the time I was 29 I had 4 girls and my husband had a vasectomy! We would have liked to have had a boy, but we realized that it would be very unfair at that point as he would never stand a chance with 4 older sisters, so we did the kindest thing and just called it quits.
It’s funny how different they all were.
The second daughter was a quite baby who required little to be entertained. She was the “observer” and when things got to busy or noisy for her she would hide behind a chair and play for hours by herself. She too was a smart child. She loved stories and thanks to her older sister was able to read at an early age. Both of them were reading, writing, counting and spelling their names by the time the hit kindergarten. This daughter however had a stubborn streak a mile wide. When she decided she didn’t want to do something, nothing I said or did made a difference.
The third daughter was a miracle child who we almost lost at birth, but she has the fighting spirit of a warrior and when they handed her to me, she had her eyes wide open and gave me a look that said…this is my world so watch out! I remember turning to my husband and telling him that I saw the devil in her eyes. Not literally but there was a spirit about her that I just knew was going to be unlike any of her sisters and as it turns out I was right. This child is an “old soul” in a new body. She always had a wisdom about her that made me wonder how she knew the things she did. She was the “fixer“. No matter what the problem was she tried to fix it.
The fourth daughter they insisted was a boy right up till the moment she was born. When she arrived it was on her terms and at her speed. I told the doctor not to go very far because she decided to arrive it was just going to be a matter of moments. He patted my hand, told me I had plenty of time yet and headed out for a cup of coffee. One pain and I told the husband, put the scrubs on and catch! Thank goodness he did or she would have hit the floor. She was the “free spirit” and the rambunctious child right from the start who demanded attention from everyone and got it. She had a short attention span and trying to keep her happy was a real challenge. Sleeping was not her thing unless she was in the car, so out of desperation for the first 5 months of her life, every night I put her and daughter number 3 in the car and drove for 3 hours just so they would sleep.
I became a pro at pushing a baby stroller with two contained within, while pulling an umbrella stroller with the third and holding on to the fourth. We were a sight to see in the mall, and I was asked more than once if they were all mine. I finally had heard that question one to many time and with a straight face told some nosey woman….HELL NO, DO I LOOK CRAZY? I JUST RENTED THEM FOR THE DAY. She backed away quickly and scurried off muttering something under her breath. Maybe it’s because they were all so close in age? At 8, 3, 2, and 1 they were a handful. Where was my reality tv show??? And that mothers curse attached itself to each one of them, yet I still didn’t pay attention.
By the time we hit the school years, I had finally started to pay attention to that “mothers curse” but by then it was too late to do much about it other than to tell each one of my daughters…
I hope you have a daughter just like you some day! And my mother laughed!