Graham and Bess choose their own clothes and dress themselves. It makes everyday a wonderful adventure. An adventure that has us in the fashion police’s radar gun crosshairs on a bi-weekly basis…
“Mama, I want some Japanese Beans?”
“No, I want Japanese Beans!”
“NO! I want Japanese Beans!”
“Mama! Listen to me!”
“Mama, the beans from Jesus is alive day!”
“No! No! No! Pink, purple, green, blue Jesus is alive Japanese Beans!”
“Jell-y Beans! I love jell-y beans! Oh no! Graham, the car won’t work!”
“His name is Cocker!”
“Can we call him Clucker? Chickens say cluck, cluck, cluck!”
“No, thanks! Chicken Cocker his name!”
“How about Bok? Chickens say bok, bok, bok!”
“No, thanks! His name Chicken Cocker!”
“What about Mr. Rooster?”
“Yup! He a rooster! That’s why his name Chicken Cocker! Cock-a-doodle-doo! Chicken Cocker!”
The newest addition to Miss Elizabeth Mae’s Home for Unwanted Toys. A stuffed rooster from a local flea market.
She has 15 dolls all named Baby. But you got a name. Welcome, Chicken Cocker.
Two years ago, Graham spent the day with my mom-in-law. The girls and I spent a fun day doing absolutely nothing. To this day, I make to-do lists for the event that I am short a child, but my motivation goes out the window as I wave goodbye. I throw my pj pants back on and throw the list in the trash.
I did prep for a yard sale at my mom’s house…aka “The Weekend When That Woman From My Mom’s Neighborhood Tries To Talk Me Down On Every Single Item”…to help pay off some of Adelaide’s medical bills.
It was a pretty uneventful day. I nursed Bess every 90 minutes, changed cloth diapers, and then Graham came home right before dinner.
“Adelaide, I misseded you so much. I can’t even tell you how much I misseded you, because it was so much.”
“Elizabiff Mae, I love you so much and I want you to wake up and tell me dat you love me, too. You are so beautiful.”
That is too precious.
This is going to be good.
“Don’t eat all my Corn Pops cereal from Grandma Linda.”
Only 4 years old, and he had unearthed a parenting secret centuries old: Moms eat all the good cereal after their children go to bed.
It’s one of the saving graces of being a mom. Cereal and tv with the captions on. No one grabbing your spoon, begging for a taste. Just you, Corn Pops, and Detective Hathaway. Solving crimes at Oxford.
Miss Elizabeth Mae is our little mama. Last weekend, we went to a local children’s consignment shop to buy things for the twins. Bess saw a baby doll in a bassinet.
“Mama, he need me. He so firsty. He so sleepy. He so hungry. He need me, Mama. He my Chwismas present? I didn’t get a Chwismas present. He so cold. Gimme dat baby.”
I was wrapping Christmas gifts at 3 am. On Christmas. When I realized that we had forgotten to buy anything for Bess. She had leggings and books. No toy. So, I did what any normal mom would do: wrapped an opened box of fruit snacks. Don’t judge lest you be judged.
Bess mentioned a few weeks back that she never received a toy for Christmas. “Yes, we’ll get you a Christmas present. Tell mommy when you see something you like.”
The doll became our late-January consolation prize. $10. We adopted Elizabeth’s 6th baby and bought homecoming outfits for the Ballew Twins.
Bess is never without one of her babies.
Or all of her babies.
She also finds babies at every church function and playdate. If babies are at a thrift shop and missing their clothes, they are instantly part of the Ballew Family.
Our little mama. And the only person I’ve ever met who co-sleeps with sextuplets…
Ready, set, go…
In December, Bess said “I love you” for the very first time. To Adelaide. She hugged her big sister, said “I love you, Adelaide!”, and left Dave and I speechless. I can’t quit talking about the beauty between siblings — those with typical development and special needs. Bess shows so much compassion to Adelaide. She shares toys with her. Two-year-olds don’t naturally offer their favorite snacks to another child, but Bess willingly gives her food to Adelaide. She brings things to Adelaide and presents them with glee and pride. She greets Adelaide every morning. “Good Morning, Mama! Good Morning, Adelaide!” When the naysayers frown upon having more children, I’m just going to show them my daughters. Bess could’ve professed her love to anyone. She chose Adelaide. And she chooses her everyday.
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Graham: “Mama, what are yous doing?”
Me: “I’m going to take a picture of the girls in their Big Sister shirts!”
Graham: “Well, you alweady know dis is not gonna work. Just give up now.”
And we’re done.