This is a post for Cornflower because she says I have neglected her baby book. (She's right. I have neglected her baby book. I have also neglected to finish her needlepoint wall hanging that was supposed to be hung in her nursery when she was a baby. Cornflower is 7 1/2 years old. A little mommy guilt there.) She asked me today how come she doesn't have very many things written in her book. I told her that when she came along I had three children, and I had to make a choice between cuddling and playing with her and writing about her, and I chose the cuddling and playing. She still wants me to write more about her. So here it is.
Cornflower has always been a most self-sufficient and organized girl. She was content to play by herself when she was a baby, unless I left the room. Then she would get a little nervous that she couldn't see her mama and would cry. So I developed the habit of bringing her when I switched out the laundry, often carrying her back to the family room in the basket of clean clothes. This made her sisters scream with delight.
She liked her exersaucer. I set it outside in the backyard when the weather was nice and she jumped and jumped while watching her sisters play. She did not like the sandbox. Too messy. It gets on your hands, you know.
It was not unusual by the time she was two to have her come up missing and discover that her sisters had brought her along when they built a fort in their bedroom closet. They had large cutout people hanging on the walls in there, blankets, pillows, and lots of books. They wanted Cornflower in their world with them.
She early learned to desire her own math book, her own copybook, her own CM-style exam. I made the mistake of not creating an exam for her the first year we did them, when she was four. Her face fell and I realized my error. I sat down and quickly made up "Cornflower's Special Exam" with questions such as, "Sing your favorite song," "Count to ten," and "Tell me a story."
Her first "schoolbook" was a large volume of Beatrix Potter stories. She immediately took sole possession of it. It took a lot of convincing to persuade her that the sisters were indeed allowed the privilege of touching it, and even looking inside it.
For years she has sat on the sidelines and waited for her turn to do things. She pestered and pestered until finally, when she was five, I consented to teach her piano. I got her a fun little book and CD and played "piano lesson" with her once a week. The clever girl learned! At this point she can play the first nine songs in the Suzuki I book. This is more due to her insistence and perseverence than my teaching.
So now we have another post about Cornflower. I suspect the youngest child in a family always tends to feel gypped in the photo-and-journal department. But what she doesn't realize is this: I have a lot more experience now than I did when her sisters were her age. She may have a mom with less time and less energy, but she also has an older, wiser mom that isn't going to waste as much time fretting about nonessentials. Cornflower is not the overly-photographed and written-about oldest child, but she isn't the guinea pig either. Each position within the family has its good points.