Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Poor Natalie. As the seventh child, she is most definitely not as well-documented as her older siblings.

As I delighted in her antics this morning, I decided to dedicate a post just to her, so we could take note of some of the things I am not writing in her baby book. (Since I haven't made one for her. YET, of course. I plan to get right on that.)

Because she is preceded by a sister with such a strong personality (I speak, of course, of Bella), I tend to think of Natalie as having a mild-mannered temperament. However, she is quite her own person with plenty of spunk of her own. She definitely has her opinions and makes them known.

Natalie, more than any of my other children, is influenced by her siblings. Now that Joey and Lindsey are old enough to help care for her, she spends a decent amount of time being carted around, bathed, changed or fed by her older siblings. Even Sam and Julia help her out a lot, and she knows to go to any of the older four children for the things she needs. If she wants milk, she asks whoever she finds first. It is really the first time one of my children looks to their older siblings as often or more often than to me. This is not a bad or a good thing, it just is what it is. I appreciate the help and she loves the attention.

As you might imagine, spending so much time with older brothers and sisters brings its own dimension to her personality. For instance, as we were sitting in church a few Sundays ago, waiting for mass to begin, Natalie stood up, wiggled her little rear and enthusiastically shouted, "Conga, conga, conGA!". I didn't have to ask where she learned that, as her older siblings nearly fell under the pew trying to control their laughter.

Similarly, last month she delighted me with her statement, "I Santa. Ho Ho Ho!" It was followed shortly by the clicking sound the reindeer make on the roof as she chanted, "Reindeer, reindeer, reindeer." I was convinced she was the smartest two year old on the planet until I realized that she had been carefully coached. Although I am still convinced of her obvious intelligence, I now understand that Julia invested a decent amount of time imparting this critical knowledge to her.

Less delightful is her penchant for coloring. On the walls, on the couch, on herself. I took her to the doctor yesterday for a vaccination and was completely embarrassed when I removed her clothes and found not one but two marker colors broadly decorating her torso and legs.

Jay and I joke that as far as candy is concerned, Natalie is like one of those pigs who can sniff out truffles in the forest. If she is silent for more than two minutes (and I am sure there are no markers in the vicinity) I can be sure that she has moved stools, stacked things or otherwise connived to locate any hidden stash of candy anywhere in the house and is helping herself liberally. You can't imagine how many times I've heard an outraged cry of an older sibling who has found their Halloween candy, or birthday treat bag, rooted through and completely looted.

Natalie LOVES Dora. I felt a little guilty about how much of it I let her watch when I heard her count to seven in Spanish yesterday (remember she is just 25 months old). I quickly buried my guilt, however, with the consolation that she will be a leg up when she begins her Spanish classes in high school.

Natalie is going to be quite the ballerina some day (the linebacker body and tree trunk legs notwithstanding). She asks me to sing the "Ballerina" Song (made famous by Miss Kitty) and twirls and twirls until I stop. Her grand finale is usually a seat drop wherever she is, be it on carpet or on tile, which never fails to crack up the rest of the family.

She is definitely her mother's daughter in that she savors her food. Every time she takes a bite of anything she says, "MmmmmMMMM!" and beams at me. She never fails to say, "Thank you!" for anything I give her. She has also learned that a well placed, "Pleeeeeeeease?" goes a long way with us all. She greets me enthusiastically whenever I return to the house (even if I just took something to the trash) and runs to me, hugging my leg. I will miss that someday. She says, "I love you!" all day long, and I never get tired of hearing it.

There are a million more things to say about her amazing little personality and her entertaining activities, but I think this serves its purpose. So, Natalie, please know that although I can not chronicle your life as if you were an only child, you delight me as much as if you were one. I love you!


Auntie Jen :) said...

And don't forget she's a borderline "waffle junkie"! I don't think I have ever made so many waffles in such a short time and I'm the Mother of a almost 13 yr. old bottomless pit! When I think of Natalie all I can do is smile, she truly is a special little girl.

Dot Zall said...

This is beautiful. With only 3 I feel the same way about Greg sometimes. Good for you for putting this into words for her.
Sending love to all of you, Charlynn