Call it a coincidence, deja vu, or just pure bad luck, but at 2:36 AM, exactly three years to the minute of her birth, Eilis fell out of bed and smacked her head on the hard wood floors. I had turned in early, leaving Eilis in the care of her father, and she decided she wanted to lay on Brighid’s bed to watch a movie. They set her up with a movie, and at some point she fell asleep. Brighid and her father sat up playing video games and never thought to go check on the very quiet Eilis. But there it was, at 2:36 AM, a loud thud and enormous screaming. Happy Birthday, Little Girl.
What a year she has had! She has been through devastating lows. I have etched in my mind the day Bean died for a variety of reasons, but the one that cuts the deepest is the evening we came home from dinner on the day she died. Eilis had been two for only three weeks, and she ran upstairs to Bean’s room. She didn’t know how to open the door then as she does now, so she stood at the door, banging and calling, “Bean!! Bean!!”, without getting an answer. It was her first lesson in loss, and I’m sorry to say, her first lesson in Jesus and Heaven. A few weeks later, when we realized that our dog, who had always disliked Eilis, was too badly depressed over Bean’s loss for us to take care of her, and we had to give her away, Eilis wandered the house for days asking when Tink was coming back, when Bean was coming back. For those who have not experienced it, explaining loss is probably the most difficult lesson you have to teach your children. I’d rather give the sex talk any day.
She has made remarkable strides. She counts to twenty, give or take an eleventeen. She sings her alphabet with only slight poetic license and artistic enhancement. If she sees her name written, she knows it is her name. Unfortunately, she also knows the signs for Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC. She spends her days singing songs, playing imaginative games, and re-enacting scenes from her favorite movies. She loves more than anything when she can have sleep overs at Dram’s house. She knows when we are within a mile of my mother’s house and she starts telling me to leave her and go home.
She began school this year. It’s been up and down for us – one week, she does really well. Another week, she cries every day that she goes. But she seems to love the teachers and love the activities. We are debating whether to keep her going through the summer while we hope she gets into Brighid’s school for next year.
The most remarkable things are the hugs, the smiles, the absolute sunshine she brings to our home. Oh, we have dark clouds hiding that sun some days, but she seems to have settled down in the past year. We started the terrible twos at 10 months old, so we are glad to see them make an effort to quiet down.
We had one of our toughest days behaviorally speaking yesterday. Everything she did was something she wasn’t allowed to do, and she spent a good part of the day in time out, being reprimanded, or being told to rectify something she had done wrong. One of the last things she did was pull all of the tape out of her brand new Wiggles cassette so it sat in a heap on the floor when we found it. I spent the better part of an hour winding it all back in place with my pinky, and Eilis drifted in and out of the room, watching my progress. When I had completed the work, my amazing little child came over to me and said, “Great job, Mommy! Would you like a hug?” How can you stay angry at that?
Thank you all for the year of wisdom, advice, and input. I am a firm believer in the theory that it takes a village to raise a child, and I have to commend this village of BMOMS. You’re all doing a great job with Eilis.
Happy Birthday, Little Girl.