Yes, you. I'm talking to you, you little shit. You are three. And you are just so, so…so much more three than any of your siblings were.
When I started writing in this here blog 18 months ago, I described you thusly:
– aka the Youngest – in the throes of les Deux Terribles – singing, twirling, bossy, flipping, bouncing, bubbly,
cheeky, ball of toddler fire. It is said that the youngest are often
the loudest because they must shout to be heard over everyone else. I
believe this to be true, because when Kaelyn yells, EVERYONE stops to
listen, even if only to laugh at this pint-sized package project with
an attitude ten times her size. She is bright and sassy and has already
has the spunk that is at the heart of strong women. Fiercely
independent, she asks for help only if she gets so frustrated that she
is nearing nuclear meltdown. Until then, if you even think to offer
your assistance she will react by switching to DEFCON 4, warning that
if you offer it again (You assclown, do I look like I need your help?) she
WILL have a nuclear meltdown and will make your eardrums implode. She
is talkative, loves anything with music and dancing, and loves to grab
blankets or bathtowels, climb in your lap, and cuddle. She is a huggy
exclamation point incarnate.
That part about you being loud? Yeah. I'm realizing now that it's like when I complain about how fat I am, and then six months later when I've gained twenty pounds it's only then that I see how skinny I really was so why (???) was I bitching in the first place. It's exactly like that. I must have been crazy to think that you were loud back then. If only I could twist your ear or your nose and adjust your volume level like one would a dial on a radio, I'd set your voicebox back to January 2008. Maybe then my eardrums wouldn't take steely daggers and poke the sides of my brain with them.
And please tell me why you must call my name a gazillion times. I heard you. Do you know why I heard you? Because I'm standing. Right. Here. In fact, you are hanging off of my leg, alternately gripping the bejeezus out of my knee and yanking on my yoga pants (nevermind that I don't do yoga; those things are cozy). It is not necessary to precede the endless, diarrhea-like flow of questions with my name. Trust me; you have my attention even if you do not say my name because it is impossible to tune out the yelling.
You: Why are daddy's ears pointy?
Me: Because that's how he was made.
You: Are we eating hot dogs tonight? And MAMA! Can I pick out my chips? Because MAMA! I want Doritos. The kind in the red bag and not the kind in the blue bag and not the spicy ones, either.
Me: Yes, we're having hot dogs tonight and yes, you can pick out your chips.
Me: What, Kaelyn?
You: You said I could pick out my chips, right? MOMMYYYY! Does Spunky have boogers? MOOOOM! Does dogs have boogers?
Me: DO dogs have boogers. Yes, I think they do, and I already told you that you could pick out your chips.
You: Mommy. Mom. Mother. Mommy. Mama. Mooom. mah-MEEE! Mom. Mom. MOOOOM! MAAAHMUUUUUH!
You: Doooo some Doritos taste like boogers?
Furthermore, Your Threeness, I think that all of your yelling has made even you half deaf. Either that, or you've mastered the art of selective hearing. My vote is on selective hearing. Why, why must your father and I repeat ourselves so? It is usually not until we threaten you with a time out before you do whatever it is we've asked you to do. You sit there idly ignoring me, pretending as if you didn't just hear me ask you to go sit down and finish eating your green beans.
I tell you again politely, and you start spinning circles in the playroom. I tell you once more, now forcefully and in that you're pushing your luck tone of voice. Tone of voice be damned, you continue to spin around, only faster now, as if challenging me. "LITTLE GIRL," I growl through gritted teeth, "do you need to go to your room until you can learn how to listen?"
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" you scream (again with the yelling!), leaving a blazing trail of fire in your wake as you book it top speed back to your chair at the bar. Should it come to such extremes? No, but if it wasn't for your deafness selective hearing you never would have needed to be threatened. I'd use sign language to tell you what to do, but then you'd probably just throw a sign back at me to talk to the hand.
You antagonize your siblings, thereby causing them to call my name over and over and over and over again:
Teej: AUNTIE KYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYM!!! Kaelyn just kicked me in the kneeeeeeeeeeeee!
Kyra: MOOOOOOOOOOOM, Kaelyn is messing with my nail poliiiiish!
Jaiden: Ma–MEEE! Kaelyn won't give me back my Bakugooooon!
Jordan: MAMA! Kaelyn is TORTURING meeee!
Then I give you The Look, and you clasp your hands like an innocent little angel, your golden halo shining bright. The better to hide the pointy horns, my dear.
But you know what? Though my eardrums and my patience are taking a beating, I actually quite like the fire that is in you. I stand by what I said when I described you a year and a half ago. I see you twenty years down the road as a strong, independent, can-do type of girl. You will make men clamor to have you grace them with one of your signature 1000-Watt smiles, but they will quake at the knees just the same. They will know you as the type of woman that they should be considered lucky to be loved by. So help a man who ever even thinks about hurting you; he'd better watch his balls and sleep with one eye open.
You will settle for nothing less than a man like your father, a man who will treat you as the queen as you are, one whose manhood will not be challenged by your strength. You will be a woman who has an opinion and will not hesitate to shout if she needs to be heard. I know that you will never bow in quiet submission.
You already know how to yell.