My children are very different from each other. We think of Mae as the Manager of the crew. Jane is in Research and Development and Leo currently serves as the Beta Tester.  Mae will decide what they should do, Jane will figgure out how to accomplish it, and Leo is the guinea pig.  So far, at 5 weeks, Paul has shown little interest in interacting with his siblings.

The oldest, Mae, lives up to what you expect an older child to be, a leader. Once we went to the library for story time, but the volunteer did not show up, so there were two moms and four kids. Mae organized the children into a semi circle around her then she “read” a couple of books to her audience. When she was done with the books, she took the kids over to another area for a “craft” project then she had them sit in front of the TV (which was off) so they could “watch” a video. The children were happy to mind her and follow instructions. Mae was 3 at the time, Jane was 2, and the other children were 3 and 1 years of age. My husband says Mae will be the first woman president of our country. I hope this is not so, not necessarily because of the current candidate, but in the next 30 years, surely some woman will be elected president!

Jane is as independent as they come.  She wants to do it herself, by inventing a new way, and in her own sweet time.  She does not like to conform, and plays dress up every single day of the year. Two stories illustrate her personality. We went to an ice cream shop to order sundaes when Jane was 3. She listened carefully to everyone else then confidently ordered an “I cweam Tuesday.” She is mechanically inclined, at 3 Jane figured out how to buckle herself into her carseat. I am not convinced that at age 5 Mae could operate the latch, I know my mother can’t.

Even the names my girls give their dolls illustrates their differences. Mae, the girly girl, has dolls named Emily, Billie, Denise and Abdul. No nonsense Jane is more interested in animals, and has Zebra, and Sad Baby the polar bear. Sad Baby gets his name from the little bear mouth sewn into his face. Her dolls really don’t have names except for Pink Doll, who is, yes you guessed it, pink.

Leo, at 17 months, is too young to have solidified his specific aspirations. He spends a lot of time defending himself and his rights with his sisters (non-verbal tattling). It will be fun to see where he fits into our “company”. Advertising?  Marketing?  Finance?

If you go to a Chinese restaurant and read the paper placemats, you will find that Mae and I are dogs, Husband and Leo are horses, Paul is a pig, and Jane, well she is a monkey.

I made gingersnaps today and we invited our neighbors over for cocoa (which they gave us for Christmas) and cookies.  It was nice to visit with them.  She was a teacher, and she asked if I had made a school decision.  Mae will be in Kindergarten next year.  Boy is that hard to believe!  We are in one school district, school #1, but we are on the far edge of it.  We are just as far from two other schools.  School #2 is in the community to which we belong, where we have friends and neighbors.  School #3 is a parochial school with 25 kids, where we also know people.  School #2 has a bus stop down the road a ways, saving me driving 7 miles to drop off a kid at school #1.  Actually it would be 9, since I would probably take the highway.  Husband and I both attended public schools the same size as school #3, and Mae went to pre-school there last year.  I wonder if they have a sibling discount, tuition would kill us!  I am not opposed to public school, nor do I feel strongly about parochial school, heck it isn’t even our religion.  It is actually the size which appeals to me, and their lunch always smelled so good!  I need to do some investigation, and I need to ask questions, but which ones?  Two babysitters from school #2 told me that it is really clique-y, and they were happy to transfer to school #4 for high school.  Neighbor taught in school #1 and worked as the computer guru in school #2.  Of course, their granddaughter attended school #3. 

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