(While holding his Who Was Julius Caesar? book ...)
Baylor: Mom, I love this book!
Baylor: Yeah! I especially love it when he conquers Gaul! (adopts a ninja-like stance) I am going to use some of his battle tactics! (makes a chopping motion)
Me: Oh ...
(Preface: the kids are supposed to get up at 7:00 on a school day - not earlier, not later)
Baylor: Mooooommmmmyyyyyy, come heeeeeerrrrrrre!
Me: (after sprinting silently up the stairs) Yes, dear?
Baylor: What did Mollie want?
Baylor: (after turning the indiglo on his alarm clock and seeing the time) Oh ... I thought I heard Mollie call and I wondered what she wanted.
Me: She didn't call. You need to get some more sleep.
(Tucks son back in, gives kiss)
Me: I love you, love you, love you.
Amalia: Moooooooommmmmyyyyyy, come heeeeeerrrrre!
Me: (after sprinting silently up the stairs so as not to alert Baylor) Yes, dearie?
Amalia: (crying) I don't want to be the youngest anymore!!!
Amalia: (crying harder) I don't want to be the youngest in our family anymore!!!!!
Me: Oh, okay. Well, that's just kind of how it's going to be. But two of your cousins are younger than you.
Amalia: (crying a little less) But we don't see them so often ...
Me: We do in the summer.
Amalia: (irritated and crying) But we don't right now! And I meant out of you, Daddy, and Baylor. All the first grade games are too easy for you!
Me; Oh, okay. I guess I am not sure what first grade games you are talking about.
Amalia: The math and spelling ones. They are too easy for you and I have no one to play with!
(To be fair, she has never asked me to play any of these games, and I absolutely would.)
Me: I understand. You can have a playdate sometime, have a friend over.
Amalia: (whimpering) Maybe.
Me: And, Mollie, it won't always be this way. Yes, you will always be the youngest. But eventually you will catch up to everyone on what you know. Aunt Christine is my younger sister and she and I know the same stuff. Actually, that isn't true. We both know a lot of things, but it won't always be the same stuff. Aunt Christine knows more than me about some things, and I know more than her about other things. And, believe it or not, someday you'll be happy to be the younger one.
Amalia: (whimpers a little)
Me: Regardless, dear, it is time for you to get some more sleep. And Mommy has some peanut butter toast waiting for me downstairs. I will see you soon.
(Tucks daughter back in, gives kiss)
Me: I love you, love you, love you.
Amalia: (in a slow, methodical, but ever-increasing in volume tone) Moooooooommmmmyyyy, come heeeeeerrrrre! Moooooooommmmmmyyyyy, come heeeeeeerrrree! MOOOOOOOOMMMMYYYYY, COME HEEEEEEEEERRRRREEEEE! MOOOOOMMMMYYYYY! COME HEEEEEEERRRRRREEEEE!
Baylor: Moooooommmmmyyyyy, come heeeeeeerrrrreeee! Mooooooommmmmyyy, come heeeeeeerrrrree!
(after a minute of this ... I was trying to finish making their sandwiches for their lunches)
Me: (after sprinting silently up the stairs) (opens Amalia's door) You can get up. (opens Baylor's door) You can get up. And, to both of you, you know when you can get up, right? (walks toward Baylor's room after seeing that Mollie was getting up out of bed) I was making your lunches and didn't want them to get all crusty ...
(sees a dark creature crawling creepily near my legs)
Dark Creature: (creepy baby voice) Mommy!
Me: Oh, MY! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Dark Creature (a.k.a., Amalia): Hi, Mommy!
Me: (heart racing as fast as it can) Geez ... ugh! Mol, don't do that! Aghhh!
Baylor: (giggling) Can I go to the bathroom?
Me: Yeah, go.
(kids start chattering and asking questions to me about this and that like nothing just happened)
Me: (agitated) Hold on! Geez, kids! I am still trying to calm down. Mollie scared the crap out of me!
Baylor: Mom, is crap a bad word?
Me: (firmly) Yes, but I'm REALLY worked up right now.
(And so our day began.)
(On our ride home from school)
Amalia: Mom, we had a substitute this afternoon, and she got really mad at the class.
Me: Why did she get mad?
Amalia: Because some kids weren't doing what they were supposed to.
Me: Ah, that can be really frustrating.
Amalia: (irritated) Mommy, I just don't get it.
Me: You don't get why she was frustrated?
Amalia: No, I don't.
Me: Well, being a substitute teacher is really hard work.
Baylor: (without looking up from the book he was reading) Kids act up.
Me: That's right, Baylor, kids tend to act up with substitutes, and that can get really frustrating for them. Kids think they can get away with stuff because it isn't their regular teacher, so the substitute has to be stern and might get angry. Substitutes have to let kids know that they should be treated just like the teacher is.
Amalia: (excitedly) That makes me think even more that I want to be a substitute teacher when I grow up!
Me: (smiling) Yeah? You like having to reprimand kids?
Amalia: Yup. That is the kind of girl I am!