Tuesday, February 7, 2017

2-Year-Old Delight

Sweet Pea is in the throes of toddlerhood. She's 2 1/2, and full of feisty, spicy, zesty spunk. She gets into mischief every single day.

Yesterday she didn't get seated right on the potty and made a mess. She spilled a bottle of lavender essential oil trying to cover up the smell. And she dunked a washcloth in the toilet to get it wet so she could clean up the mess. And she sat on our bed when she was done...but she had forgotten to wipe.

Oh mercy!

This afternoon I noticed that she was too quiet. I went in to check on her and found her sound asleep in her bed. Naked as a jaybird. When she came out after her nap, I sent her to bring me her clothes. She came back in wearing a nothing but a tiara and Princess Sofia high heels, and carrying a glittery gold purse and a baby doll.

Too much cuteness!

Right now she's tearing around the house wearing Sofia the First undies and a big sister's training bra. Someone brushed out her curls this evening and she looks like a dandelion gone to seed. Her whole body is decorated with green marker artwork, and she has black sharpie "lipstick" on her lips. Every minute or so, she'll stop in her tracks, wildly wiggle her hips, throw up her arms and yell, "Waggle Waggle Dab! I dancin' like a rock star!" And then she's off again, giggling like crazy.

She tears me up! I can hardly stand it!

At night she climbs into bed with me for our bedtime cuddle ritual.
"'Nuggle me, Momma? Pretty please you 'nuggle me?"
I could send her to her bed because I take evening meds that make me super sleepy and I just want to sleep. But I don't send her away. I pull her close, stroke her face, and feel her melting into me. She strokes my arm with her little fingers and sings me little love songs that she makes up on the spot. They are her own, free, imaginative tunes. They usually speak of what we did that day, how much she loves me, and how 'nuggles are her favorite things. She bats her eyes at me and asks very politely for a "sleepy snack." This is our routine and I am prepared. I produce the string cheese that I had waiting on my nightstand. She eats her cheese, sharing nibbles with me. I hold her for a few minutes more. Then she rolls over, squeezes me tight, kisses each cheek, my forehead, and my lips. I kiss her back. We whisper "I love you forever" and she climbs into her own bed in the corner of my room.

So much love. So much joy. So much delight!

Is she a stinker? Heck yes! But oh, my heart! How I love my little Sweet Pea!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Unearthing Treasure

Sometimes I feel like raising a child is like unearthing buried treasure. It's such a long process to watch your child grow and develop, and there's not much in parenting that's more fun than when you child discovers his/her talents, gifts, and passions.

Snapper tried a lot of different things over the years. She did Scottish Country Folk Dance, ballet, swim team, karate, musical theater, volleyball, choir, and piano. She stunk at dance, was fair at volleyball, and has been outstanding at everything else. Now she's a freshman in high school, and is honing in on what she loves.

Snapper loves performing.

In 4th and 5th grade she sang in her school chorus. She lit up the stage with her animated face and whole-hearted singing.

In 6th grade she totally wowed us by winning her school's public speaking competition, and then going on to take 2nd place out of all the 6th graders in the entire county!

In 7th grade she recited Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" and got top honors. She also landed--and totally owned--the part of Sally Brown in "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown."

In 8th grade she sang in chorus again and sang a solo in a Christmas special. She also was in "Annie Get Your Gun" at school. In April she sang in the state vocal festival and earned a Superior for her solo.

This year she started piano lessons. She is singing in concert choir at the high school and was a soloist in the fall concert. She recited a poem in the mandatory school-wide poetry recitation competition, won for her class, and earned a spot in the final. She went up against the other 19 finalists (five from each grade) and took third place in the high school! That achievement earned her an invitation to join the JV Debate team in the fall, and an invitation to audition for the spring play. She auditioned and landed one of the female leads. With the encouragement of her choir director, Snapper entered in a vocal competition.

The competition was today. Snapper is only 14 years old, and she has some pretty amazing pipes. She did a great job on her song, "Songs My Mother Taught Me" by Dvorak. The judge started to give her critique, and then she changed her mind. She said, "You have so much potential. I'm going to give you a voice lesson here and now. I want to see what you can do." So she did. She spent seven minutes with Snapper, giving pointers and having her do a few vocal exercises. Then she had her sing part of her song again.

Y'all, it completely took my breath away. I'll let you watch the video so you can see what I mean. I think today would make it onto my list of Top Proud Mommy Moments.

The video is a brief clip of Snapper's initial performance, followed by a couple of vocal exercises, followed by a clip of her second try at the song after the little voice lesson. The judge was so pleased! She was beaming and delighted with the change. She never did critique Snapper or tell her what rating she got. She'll get her score sheets back at school on Monday.

Oh...by the way...she doesn't get her vocal talent from me! LOL!