I was inspired by multiple people today. First, thanks to Natalie for posting one of my favorite photos of Emma. Next, thanks to Merilee for always having such great post ideas and sharing so much about her kids. Finally, thanks to Emma for being such an incredible person.
Emma has always been an unusual person. From before she was born, I have sensed her stubborn streak. She would wedge some body part up above my ribs where babies aren't really designed to fit. Then of course, came her birth. She was pretty good sized and based on Lauren's birth weight (9lb. 6oz.), the doctor suggested we induce labor 2 weeks early. Sonograms showed that she was over 7lbs already and an amnio showed that her lungs and such were completely developed. So, December 29th we headed to the hospital to welcome
Emma to the world. She, on the other hand was not quite ready to
arrive. The doctors did all of their work and we started to wait. Nothing happened. They finally decided on the 30th that we should do another sonogram and see what was up. The little booger had flipped over. So, now that we know that she is breach, I go into labor, more meds now to stop the labor and then, the most excruciating pain of manually turning the child by PUSHING ON MY STOMACH. They did turn her over and immediately strapped a girdle around my stomach to hold her still. Then, more medicine to restart the labor, and voila 5:30 am December 31st, there is little Emma.
Ok, after this, I was prepared for a VERY DIFFICULT baby. Lauren had been such a binky baby and so I just assumed Emma would be too. We were at church one Sunday and I was trying to get the little stinker to keep that binky in her mouth when I suddenly realized that she was only fussing when the binky was in her mouth. We put it away and never used it again. This was an insight into this adorable little baby. She would do things in her own way, and that way might be better than mine.
Emma was a really good baby. From an early age, however, I could still see that stubborn streak. She was always pleasant with her immediate family, but in public she would not socialize with women. She would go into hyper shy mode and hide her face in Mommy's shoulder. I thought at first that she was just really shy. But, then (you know how sometimes at the store you can end up standing really close to a stranger, but because you're facing opposite ways, you don't notice) she started reaching out and touching men - crazy girl! Of course, they would then turn around and start to laugh and ooh and aah about what an
adorable child. I need to scan a baby picture, of course most of you know what she looked like as a baby, but what a face! People would stop us every where we went to tell me how beautiful she was. Lauren (who of course is gorgeous herself) started to get jealous of all of the attention that Emma was getting. Meanwhile, Emma was snubbing all of the women and flirting with all of the men.
Little Emma did not grow out of this insane shyness (or coyness) as we thought she would. She did survive starting kindergarten, loved her class and teacher and made some fabulous friends. In about the third quarter of school (I was in school at the time myself) we had "student-led" conferences. Mrs. Rullifson had helped the kids create adorable little folders focusing on their work and what they had been learning in class. Emma started telling me about hers while Mrs. Rullifson talked with some other parents. While she was reading, Mrs. R. walked up behind us and listened in. When Emma finished, she was shocked and said, "I didn't know Emma could read! She won't talk in class." I had to lecture Emma on the importance of talking at school and participating in class.
To this day, (8 years old, in third grade) Emma is very shy. She makes friends quickly at school, but she still doesn't really like to volunteer in class. There are people that she opens up to quickly, not always men anymore. My entire 6th grade class adores her and they are always trying to get her to talk to them. She hides. However, there is one girl in my class who has a little brother in Emma's class that she loves. She asks me about her all of the time.
Strangely, this quiet little girl can be LOUD, especially about 7 o'clock on a Saturday morning when she climbs up in my bed and starts asking questions. "What are we doing today? What's your favorite color? When is Daddy going to wake up?" She will share this loud side of herself with her extended family (just ask Elise) but rarely any further.
I have to talk about this girl's sense of right and wrong. Boy, is it strong, just ask Lauren.
The other day she told me about her school class. She said that she sits by the 2 worst boys in the class. They want to talk and play all day long. Then she said, "But when they get really bad, I just have to give them the look, and they know they better stop." Already with the mom look. She does not break rules. She does break other things sometimes. There is a sign on the teacher's workroom that says No Children Allowed. She will not go in. You have to drag her to cross on a "Don't Walk". She does have some faults, but if knows what the rules are, it's rare for her to break them. Maybe I need to write down, Do Your Homework. Really, she usually does, but sometimes she forgets. I blame this on her adorably sweet 1st grade teacher who would tell her that it was ok if she didn't always finish her homework, because she already knew how to do it anyway. That was not ok with me.
Speaking of intelligence, Emma has a bunch. She is part of the gifted program at school, but the real demo of Emma is a conversation with her. Several years ago, her Aunt Karen commented after a conversation, "So your just going to skip her right from kindergarten to 7th grade, right?" Her vocabulary is impressive. I think her favorite word is "basically". She would be glad to tell you, basically what her favorite animals are, and everything else that she basically knows about them.
Finally, this sweet little snuggle bunkins is full of love for her family and Heavenly Father and Jesus. One of the rare times she will get mad at David or me is if we shop on Sunday. She does not approve! She often reminds us when it is time for family prayer so that she can go to bed. Occasionally, she asks me if I say my personal prayers too, "Just like you taught me." She loves church and really misses her old class that she grew up with.
The other day, she told me, "Mommy, the only thing that I don't like about you teaching, is that we don't have enough snuggle time."
Well, this is one long post and I have to get on with my day. Lauren's next.