I know everyone thinks that their children are the smartest, cutest and most wonderful children ever. I am no different from any one else. My girls gave me such joy when they were little as they do as adults. We have so much fun and they have the best sense of humor thanks, of course, to me. The hubster has his moments but was not the most excellent of fathers.
When Addi was just talking she was helping me fold the laundry one day. She asked me, “Isthis frog side out?” I looked at her in astonishment and said, “Frog side out?”
She replied, “You know – frog side out, frog side in.”
I began chuckling and realized she was asking if it was wrong side out or wrong side in. I must have laughed all day at that one.
Addi also got into the habit of jabbering to herself. I asked her one day what she was talking about and she told me she was speaking French. I have no idea where she got the idea or where she had even heard about the French. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t speaking French but thought it quite innovative of such a little kid.
When the girls were about two and four they watched a show on television called The Uncle Al Show. It featured Captain Windy who wore a super hero costume and flew. They began the show with a song, “American, I love you, the home of the free, America, I love you, the home of liberty.” One day I was sitting in the family room while they danced and sang along with the show. I realized that Jess didn’t really know the words and was singing this: “Erica, I lol loo, the home of the free, Erica, I lol loo, the home of liver tea.”
I couldn’t’ help myself and I blurted out, “liver tea!” I knew Erica was a playmate and she thought they were singing about her but liver tea? So we sat down together and I went over the song and what it was about. We still sang liver tea because it was just too funny. And to this day when I leave my girls, I always tell them lol loo!
Addi was going on five when we discovered that she loved to feel satiny material. I got out one of my old half-slips and gave it to her. She decided to wear it with a Kool Aid tee shirt that was entirely too big for her. She wanted to wear this outfit out in public. I didn’t mind that she wore it around the house, but to the babysitter, and to the grocery?
We went to the local Goodwill store and looked through the little girl dresses. We came across a pink full length dress that looked as if some little girl had been in a wedding in it. We purchased it for Addi and she shed the Kool Aid tee shirt and slip. I am sure she wore that princess dress for a year.
My sister and I decided we want to take the girls to Niagara Falls. We drove in my sister’s new vehicle. The girls slept a lot while we drove. We spent the night somewhere near Akron/Cleveland where my sister was from. We were up early the next morning to continue our journey. When we got to the Pennsylvania border Jess woke up and asked where we were. I answered that we were in Pennsylvania. She looked out the window and asked, “Where are all the pencils?” We howled at that one.
In Niagara Falls, my sister bought the girls the cutest little mouse finger puppets. They entertained us a lot with those puppets that day. When we went to our motel room that night we were all so bushed. We got the girls pajamaed up and climbed into bed. Jess started playing with her mouse puppet and Addi began to cry outrageously.
“Mousy,” she cried. “I’ve lost my Mousy.”
My sister went down to her car and looked all over but there was no Mousy to be had. Addi finally cried herself to sleep as my sister promised to get her another mouse the next day.
“Oh but I loved Mousy so much!” she exclaimed.
The next morning we packed up the car and as we started to get in Jess cried out that she found Mousy. He was on the ground beside the car. Addi was all over herself getting to the other side of the car.
“Oh Mousy, I love you so.” She was so enraptured with the goofyass mouse puppet. We had a lovely journey and it was during this visit that we saw the Cirque de Soleil. They were just a little troupe of folks who did the most marvelous of things. I don’t think I have ever seen two children so quiet, mouth agape and in awe of what happened on the stage. There were folks on ten foot tall stilts, clowns of all varieties, and people in all kinds of distorted pretzel bodies. We were so privileged to see them in their beginning phase.
Jess went through a period in pre-school when she was trying to hone her identity. She decided that she wanted to change her name. She chose Leigh which was her middle name. We even made up a little ditty song so she could remember how to spell her name. "Jessa has a middle name it’s L E I G H," we would sing. And so she was Leigh for the first year of preschool. She decided the second year that she needed a new name and asked what I had almost named her. I told her Monica and that was the new name. Her teacher, Miss Lynn, told me this had to be corrected because the other children didn’t know what to call her.
We had a little heart to heart talk and she went back to Jessica. I believe most people still call her Jess to this day. She refused Jessie and said she would rather be called Ica than Jessie.
Addi was a very smart little girl but she was the worst speller in the world. She had learned to read and write using the IBM Writing to Read program. She typed on the computer and wrote in phonetics. Once she saw a word and learned it she could remember it but she had this one problem with the name John. She persisted in writing Jhon. She even wrote a book once and the main character was named Jhon.
One of Addi’s first boyfriends was named Jon and I could not help but kid her about Jhon. I even called him Jhon at times and she would get so aggravated.
These are only a few of the many wonderful memories my girls gave me. Their childish insights were always amazing to me. They continue to amaze me as young women.