I was talking to my friend Laurie the other night (and by that I mean we both were drinking wine and getting sappier and sappier over the course of our 2.5-hour phone call — which we do every few months because this is how a lifelong friendship is when you live a thousand miles apart). She was saying she feels like I talk so much more about Jack than Viv.
That might be true. But it’s partly because, at 3.5, Jack is SO much more verbal, so much goofier and the stories about him just keep coming. Viv, of course, is hitting all her milestones, and that is super exciting. But man, how can you pass up something like Jack crawling into bed and saying, “Mom, I’m funny.”
It’s tough for a girl to compete.
And it’s also true that poor Viv doesn’t get the same attention Jack did at her age, 17 months, just because she isn’t the only child. She gets held more and read to less, it feels like.
But she deserves more blogging. She’s about as cute as it gets.
And she’s just sweet. And wild. Oh, so wild.
But it’s funny — daycare describes her as being really tentative. They guessed that’s why it took her so long to learn to walk — she just started a few weeks ago, even though she has been pulling up and cruising along furniture since about 10 months. We thought for months that “any day now” she would walk. But she didn’t. And her teachers guessed she was just shy.
I couldn’t really believe that — I mean, I see her at home. I see her crawl over to the dog and attack him, while yelling “Harley! Harley!” I see her whack Jack in the head with bath toys and then kick him, and laugh, pretty much every night. I watch her throw things — with pretty good aim, better than her brother’s — all over the house.
She doesn’t seem tentative to me at all.
But then we went to a playdate recently, and there were six kids total. Viv was the youngest, by about a year. Daycare has said that when other kids get by her, she sometimes cries. I couldn’t believe this, either, since I’ve never seen her do that with Jack or some other friends we often get together with.
But at our playdate, every time a kid came by her, she sobbed. She stood in the door of the little playhouse, and just cried and cried, each time a kid tried to come in. My friends were worried their little ones were torturing her.
“Be gentle to Viv!” they kept saying.
“They aren’t even touching her!” I replied, not understanding why she was so upset. But if I picked her up, she arched and cried until I put her down in the playhouse again.
Eventually, her constant crying annoyed the other kids enough that they quit playing in the playhouse, and ran down the hill in the yard instead.
And then I realized it. Oh, Viv, my little Vivver, you are just like your mama. She marched into the playhouse, climbed on the seat in it, stood on it, looked out the little window, and laughed her baby ass off. Yes, she basically cried until she got her way, and had the house to herself.
She annoyed people into doing what she wanted them to do.
Which feels familiar. I cried for hours as a kid until my sister Pam gave me her “Cheap Trick” album. I threw my poor friend Laurie’s Barbie kitchen across the garage in a fit of kindergarten turdery.
Yes, Viv is tentative. And also determined. And sneaky. And smart. Way too smart for her own good. And charming. And a cuddler. My god, the cuddles. She loves to put her head down on your shoulder with her blankie. To toddle over and put her head in your lap. She’s sweet.
And she can rock some rainbow pants:
So I don’t think I’ll worry too much that she can be a bit tentative. When she wants something, she figures out a way to get it. And it was a little sweet on Easter weekend, when she was brave enough to wander into a group of kids to play, and then, when she realized what she had done, when she looked around, frantically, crying looking for me.
I was right there, of course.
“Did you get lost, Viv,” my friend asked.
Don’t worry, my sweet girl. I’ll find you, every time.