I don't know if we have a unique case around here, but I feel like Dave and I are so different with what we expect from our younger children as opposed to our older ones.
We were watching family movies the other day. Elle's seven-year-old-deep-scratchy-voiced self was whacking away at the tennis ball on a tennis court in China. It made me stop in my tracks and think about how many times Claire has asked to take tennis lessons. My response is always, "maybe when you get a little older." I had mistakenly thought that Max and Elle started much later. Same with piano lessons. Claire is relatively mature, and quite athletic...It leaves me to question why she is so much younger in my mind than my older kids were at that age.
Then there's poor Max, Elle and Grace who we expect everything from. They can make dinner and care for the yard without us giving a single direction. They babysit and clean the kitchen and put little sisters in bed with the blink of an eye. We just expect it because we know they can do it.
Then there's Lucy. I don't know if it's just human nature to baby your youngest, or if it's just that it's Lucy (with all her issues and strong will), or whether Dave and I are just getting lax with our older-age parenting. It could be all of the above. But that girl is giving us a run for our money these days. I'm trying to tighten up the expectations around here but that sweet expressive face of hers and those blue eyes have me at the first long eyelash flutter.
This is how she likes to spend her time during Family Home Evening when everyone else is expected to sit still and listen close:
(Can you tell how Dave feels about that? :)
Youngest kids can just be so endearing!
Her latest thing is that she has decided that when she grows older she will have five kids and a black cat with blue eyes. The black cat is put like twenty times higher on the priority list before the kids though. So when she was at the grocery store with my Mom and I the other day and she happened to walk past "kitty food" she HAD to have it. Of course my sweet mother gave in.
This is her new favorite thing. She talks about that future kitty she will have some day incessantly.
Anyway, man, the babies of the family sure are cute and endearing.
But I'm thinking we need to bump up the expectations a little bit around here. Claire's starting tennis lessons next week and we're putting Lucy to work with more jobs.
And maybe we'll take it a little more easy on those responsible older kids while we're at it:)