Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Birthday Letter to Parker, Part 1

Dear Parker:

In honor of your sixth birthday tomorrow, I wanted to share some “blasts from Parker’s past.” (No, I did not remember these off of the top of my head – I have kept notes on my computer, just as I did with your brother.)

At age two, you were an exceptionally grateful child – something that hasn’t changed all that much, actually. You loved the word “THANKS!” (said with just that much enthusiasm). For example:

“Mommy, where you goin’?”
“Nowhere – I’m staying here to color with you.”
You also liked the phrase, “Excuse me,” and were quick to pay people compliments. After Mom painted the kitchen, you told her (very enthusiastically), “Mom, this kitchen is beautiful. The color on the walls is BEAUTIFUL.” (This hasn’t changed that much, either. Not too long ago, we made cookies together, and as I was tinting the royal icing, you were cheering me on: “Mom, the way you turn the icing lime green is INGENIOUS. You are an icing GENIUS!” Same concept, bigger vocabulary.)

But, in that unique way that you have, you mixed up your extreme politeness with outright bossiness. (“Connor, take off your shirt.” “Mom, sit down at the table.” “Draw a yellow square. Now draw an orange triangle.”). A lot of your orders to Mom and Dad focused on Thomas the Tank Engine characters: “Draw James, and write his name down. Now draw Percy, and put his number on him.”

You liked to count but tended to jump around (“1, 2, 3, 6, 12”). You did always make sure that 7, 8 and 9 went together – probably because you and Mom liked to listen to the Barenaked Ladies’ “Seven Ate Nine” in the car. Whenever you came across loose change, you would give it to one of your parents and ask them to “count my monies.” (Paper money wasn’t “money” to you – it was “tickets.”)

When you accompanied Dad to the grocery store, you gave your mom a blow-by-blow when you returned: “We bring-a the milk. We bring-a the cereal. We bring-a the gummi bears.” The “bring-a” thing made your mom chuckle, because you sounded for all the world like a stereotypical Mafioso from an old-school gangster flick.

Other words you pronounced with a French accent. Your grandmother McGlinchey was, for a short time, “MaMA,” and your granddad Durham was “PaPA.” (To this day, you still refer to your parents as Mama and Papa when you are being melodramatic. Our typical response: “Yes, Yentl?” or “Yes, Cosette from ‘Le Miz’?”)

You liked to direct the shopping cart: “No, Daddy. DEES way.” You also insisted, “I push,” and then pulled on the handle to make the basket move towards you. You loved Super Target. No matter the actual destination, you would always say, “Let’s go to Target.” Clearly a child after my own heart.

You discovered watermelon, and described it thusly: “It’s cold, and it’s good. You eat the red. You don’ eat the green or the seeds.”

You insisted that your middle name was “Baby” and asked everyone to call you “Parker Baby.”

At age two-and-a-half, you briefly decided that you were a T-rex and went around roaring at everyone.

Just prior to your third birthday, we acquired Max, our second Maine Coon cat and Barkley’s “mini me.” Technically, he is Connor’s cat, which, according to you, made Barkey your cat: “The dog is Dad’s because she’s a dog, Gabby is yours because she’s a girl, and Max is Connor’s, so Barkley has to be my cat.” (This was news to Barkley, seeing as how he joined the family eight years before you arrived on this planet.) You liked (still like) to torment Max, and Max liked (still likes) to torment you back. Apparently, nine month-old cats and almost three year-old humans are on the same level, emotional maturity-wise. The first time that you threw yourself on top of Max and he nipped at you, Mom expected tears, but instead you got a gleam in your eyes and tackled him a second time.

When you did get too much of the cat (or of Connor or Mom or Dad), you would say very forcefully, “NO, you WALK AWAY from me. WALK AWAY!” We probably heard “Walk AWAY from me, CONNOR!” fifteen times a day.

Also a short time before your third birthday, you saw the Pixar movie “Cars” for the first time, and you were instantly hooked. Your favorite character was Mater, although you also liked “Rookie” – you didn’t call Lightning McQueen by his given name but rather by the descriptor that the other characters used for him. When Mom asked you what a “rookie” was, you replied, “That means that he’s the new car,” She was duly impressed.

More to come tomorrow . . . .
Love, Mom

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