From the next room over, you hear your youngest daughter crying out, "Mommy! Help!" with an unusual sense of urgency. You find her in the pantry clinging for dear life to the third shelf like a possum, just above your head, with a lollipop in her mouth (which she apparently nabbed off of the fourth shelf). You were not at all surprised, only disappointed that you didn't think to grab the camera before you rescued her.
Your two year old has taken up an interest in potty-training. Your four year old enjoys this, and on one occasion, nearly convinced the impressionable toddler to "tee-tee" on the toy potty they have for their baby dolls. You walked into the playroom just in time to stop your diaper-less little girl from sitting down. When she saw you she smiled, nodded, and said, "Baby's potty." Guess she thinks she's the baby.
(For a little perspective...that's the tiny potty...that the Cabbage Patch doll is sitting on.)
While watching Beauty & the Beast (your all time favorite), your two year old loudly proclaims, "UH OH!" every single time the Beast appears on screen. She's nothing if not dramatic.
Your four year old seems to have skipped her childhood and tween years and gone straight to her teenaged attitude when she comes up with stuff like this, "If you were really my mom, you would care about what I'm saying to you." The context of this declaration? She was protesting bedtime. I actually don't care what she has to say about that. Guess I'm not her mom.
As soon as the month of August hit your son started planning your birthday "surprise". This involves three straight weeks of him walking around taking candid videos for some sort of compilation. It's sweet, but you're less than happy about it when he records the less than pristine conditions of your home on a day-to-day basis for all posterity.
During the taping of one of these videos, he set his sister up to do a "dance show" after school. In the middle of the song, she needed to go to the bathroom, but he tried to forbid her from going in the name of a successful shoot. He takes this birthday video thing pretty seriously. (Don't worry, Daddy intervened to allow for a restroom break.)
After enjoying exorbitant amounts of popcorn to the point that it counted as your entree for dinner, you opted for a 2nd course of chocolate fondue. Needless to say, it was a hit. It was kind of healthy. You had apple dippers...
It is no longer a question of "if" your two year old is doing something bad when she's off quietly "playing" by herself. It's where and with whose markers?
You consider it no small blessing that the teachers in the dismissal line at your school know you by face and name and see you coming from across the road with a retching, just-woken-up-from-her-nap toddler only to release your kids before you have to walk all the way up to the door. This might not be "small town Georgia", but it feels like sometimes. And I kind of like it.