The Year That Rocked

Today Chloe turns 3.

Another year, another birthday.  Friday the 13th.  A lucky day indeed.

I remember when we were in triage in the maternity ward a few hours before Chloe was born.  There was another mom-to-be a few curtains away.  I am pretty sure it was her first kid.  We were professionals at this point.  She had a guy with her who presumably was the father.

In triage, of course, there are just curtains so everyone can hear everything and this guy was a Craftsman…if by craftsman you mean tool.  It started with him flirting with the triage nurse.  That sort of ended when he asked her for suggestions for names starting with the letter ‘J’ and she gave a name that he balked at and essentially made fun of.  At this point I believe she moved on.  A bit later, they were told that today was not their day…off you go.  See you soon…to which he responded, “Yeah, well, who wants to be born on the 13th anyway.  I mean, then your birthday falls on Friday The 13th sometimes.”

Well we were pretty happy with our daughter with the letter ‘J’ and with the other daughter who was born on the 13th.

Chloe has had another great year filled with lots of interesting new adventures, quirks, and funny conversations.  Its not always easy for her.  She still has some stomach issues that bother her from time to time and still uses an inhaler as a preventative measure but she never complains.  She just goes on with her day happy as can be.

Last year she developed a strong interest in geology.  This year that continued but we don’t MINED (that joke rocked).  Each day we find new rocks in her jacket pockets.  I’m not entirely sure what she finds so fascinating about them.  She seems to just like having them around.  Recently, Julianna complained after a car ride that her rear was hurting her.  When she got out of her seat, we found a rock in it.  Hmm…wonder how that got there?

Chloe has grown so much in so many ways, including, but not limited to, her hair which went from being relatively short last year to down to her waste.  It is wispy and light, sort of like her personality.  It falls all over her face and is a food leftover haven, which suits her fine.  She’d be happy to sit at a table and eat literally all day long, and no thank you on the cake, she’d rather have fruit.  We have a moment that happens every single day after dinner, when the girls are either playing or watching an episode of something (WordWorld is the current fave) when she’ll drop the daily, “[Daddy|Mommy], I’m still hungry.”

I’ve started responding with, “Yes, you are always hungry.”

Then she says, “Yes, I’m still hungry,” followed by her walking over the pantry or refrigerator and staring until ultimately, one of us relents (mostly me).

There’s just something about her that you have to know to understand her I think.  For instance, she doesn’t show a great interest in potty training and we’re in no rush.  Her diapers have Sesame Street characters on them.  She is very meticulous about picking a diaper to wear, each time, but the seemingly greatest joy in her life is the day when the new box of diapers comes home.  Oh boy…watch out…you’d think Ed Macmahon just showed up with the Publishers Clearing House with all the jumping and giggling and clapping.  She can not wait to get into those diapers and find all the “Baby Elmos”.  She puts them all aside in their own pile and goes through those first.  I suppose its the simple things for her.

She still loves to chat with the stuffed animals in her crib (also still very content in her crib – not a climber) to the point where we still don’t know how long we could leave her in there in the morning.  She almost never complains about being in bed.  She’s very imaginative but I think the real gift is when she invites you into her little world.

As affectionate and generally outgoing as Julianna is, Chloe is sort of the opposite.  She doesn’t like to be touched really, or hugged, or hold hands all that much.  She’s friendly (and doesn’t bite) but just requires that you work for it a little more.  I’m ok with that.  She’s “careful” about who comes into her world.

Once you’re in though, be ready.  Pretend doctor checkups, tasting pretend food, putting ponytails in dolls hair, tea parties, and all the normal kid stuff are fair game.  She loves it all.  She will sit on a swing in a playground for an hour and let you push her.  No need to talk…just enjoying the breeze and being on the swing.

I think she enjoys the presence of people more than the interaction with people.  I can relate.  She gets sad when Julianna isn’t around.  They play together really nicely most of the time but sleepovers are becoming more common for Julianna.  Chloe shows no interest.  She just likes having her sister around.

I’ve been trying for a while to wrap my head around what I think makes her so unique and cool and recently I think I figured it out:  Her eye contact.

When she feels comfortable with you, she’ll look you right in the eye and tell you exactly what she wants.  A lot of kids do this, including Julianna but there is something very direct that you can see in Chloe’s eyes when she’s communicating with you.  You combine that with bobbing her head with each word and it becomes very compelling to just talk to her.

Imagine the following sentence with a head nod/bob for each word and wide eyes and a very serious tone:

“Daddy.  If you wait until Hanukkah time and your hair grows, you can become a girl.  I have boobies.  Do you have boobies?  Can I see your boobies daddy?”

She said that to me yesterday.  I don’t even know what to make of it.  So silly, but thoughtful in her mind and very matter of fact.

I suppose that’s the way to describe the person Chloe has become thus far:

Silly.  Thoughtful.  Matter of fact.

As a matter of fact, she’s pretty awesome because while I’m sure she couldn’t articulate it yet, she’s not afraid to be just a little different and that’s pretty cool in my book.

She rocks.

Happy Birthday Chloe.