It is the curse of the second child.
You know all about it if you were a second child. Or a third or fourth kid.
And you swear you won't be like that when you're a parent.
But it's inevitable.
Everyone oooohs and aaaaahs over the first born.
You could probably fill an entire closet with shoe boxes filled with photos of your first child.
Every appointment is an event.
The next child is lucky if you remember to snap photos of her on her birthday and holidays. Now shoe boxes. And forget about a baby book-- who has time? (Though, to my credit, Marcie's book is actually more complete than Casey's.)
When Casey was in the three-year-old class, Jason and I both carefully scheduled the parent-teacher conference into our calendars. Even last year, when Marcie was 2, it was a big production getting there on time. This morning, though, it was just me. I flew through the door at the stroke of 10:00am and met with Mrs. Castillo (who we actually graduated from high school with!).
I asked basic questions-- does she clean up after herself? Is she polite? Does she follow directions?
Then I turned to my concerns-- Marcie doesn't know her letters. "Did you know that?" I inquired. And then she laughed.
"Marcie is working you," she confided.
So it turns out Marcie does know her letters. She can point to them on the wall, out of order. If she wants to. She won't do it if she doesn't feel like it. And she won't do it for substitute teachers.
And that's not all. She manipulates other situations, too. For instance, she and another student in the class race to pull the names off the "class helper wall" and organize them for the teacher. But it turns out that she was just helping so she could make sure her name was near the top of the stack so she could be selected first to pick what helper job she wants. She likes helping with the calendar or telling about the weather.
She's too smart for her own good.
And she's grown up so much. In October when I went to the class party, she screamed and cried and carried on when I left. Today, I popped in for 5 minutes and she gave me a hug and a kiss good-bye before she climbed up on her teacher's lap for story time.
Of course, some of it is just that she loves her school and her friends and her teachers.
In fact, they even have a nickname for her at school-- Marcie Moo.
I thought this was really cute at first. At home, we call her Mimi. So why not Marcie Moo?
But then I started to think about it more-- maybe over-think it.
Why not Marcie Mouse? Why Marcie Moo?
I like the alliteration and all, but "moo?" Really? Does it have to be a cow noise?
She doesn't seem bothered by it. And it's preschool. So I haven't said anything about it. But it's not just a couple people-- it's pretty much every adult at the school. And some of the kids.
Better to have an endearing nick name, even if it is a large bovine farm animal than to be ignored I suppose.