I took the kids for their well-child visits the other day.
When we were done, the doctor handed me a developmental checklist for each of them.
I took one look at Tessa's and laughed.
Were they sure they'd gotten the right age?
Here is what it said:
All kids develop at their own rate. At this age, you may notice that your child:
*Climbs up and down stairs
*Jumps off the floor with both feet
*Balances briefly on one foot
*Pedals a tricycle
*Eats on his or her own
* Washes and dries his or her hands
* Copies a circle
* Unbuttons clothes
* Says more words
* Describes actions in books
* Speaks in sentences and asks questions
* Knows his or her name, age, and sex
* Counts to three or higher
* Joins other children in play
* Starts to take turns and share
* Starts to know the difference between boys and girls
I just blinked at it, then made an amendment to the checklist.
This one is more accurate.
All kids develop at their own rate. At this age you may WANT TO RUN AND SCREAM AND ROCK IN THE FETAL POSITION BECAUSE TWO IS BAD BUT THREE IS PETRIFYING.
You may now notice that your child:
* Climbs up and down stairs TO MESSAGE THE RUSSIANS SHE WORKS FOR IN THE PRIVACY OF HER OWN ROOM
* Jumps off the floor with both feet FROM AN AIRPLANE TO COMPLETE A MISSION GIVEN BY SAID RUSSIANS
* Balances briefly on one foot BEFORE DOING A ROUND-HOUSE KICK TO A SIBLING'S HEAD UNPROVOKED
* Pedals a tricycle THAT POWERS A GENERATOR SHE HAS BUILT FOR HER VERY OWN SECRET ENERGY SOURCE
* Eats on his or her own PLATE BEFORE EATING OFF OF YOURS, YOUR MOM'S, YOUR FRIEND'S AND POSSIBLY YOUR FRIEND'S FRIEND'S.
* Washes and dries his or her hands. YOU HOPE. BECAUSE GOD ONLY KNOWS WHERE *THOSE* THINGS HAVE BEEN
* Copies a circle ON TRACING PAPER AS PART OF AN ESCAPE ROUTE MAP SHE IS CONFIGURING
* Unbuttons clothes TO REVEAL A GIANT "S" LOGO ON HER CHEST
* Says more words THAN YOU THINK IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. EVEN WHEN YOU TELL HER YOU'LL PAY HER A QUARTER IF SHE CAN WIN THE 'QUIET GAME'
* Describes actions in books TO ADULTS IN WORDS THAT THEY CAN UNDERSTAND, THEN ROLLS HER EYES IF THEY DON'T
* Speaks in sentences and asks questions THAT CAN RENDER EVEN DOUBLE MAJORED ADULTS SPEECHLESS
* Knows his or her name, age, and sex AND CAN ENTER IT ALL IN COMPUTER FIELDS IN ORDER TO LOG ON TO YOUR COMPUTER AND SET UP HER OWN AMAZON ACCOUNT.
* Counts to three or higher WHEN NAMING THE AMOUNT OF SNACKS SHE WANTS YOU TO MAKE HER BEFORE 10 am.
* Joins other children in play THEN HAS MOST OF THEM CRYING SHORTLY FOLLOWING.
* Starts to take turns and share, BUT THEN RE-THINKS IT AND STOPS ABRUPTLY.
* Starts to know the difference between boys and girls AND THEN SAYS TO YOU THAT SHE SURE IS GLAD SHE'S A GIRL BECAUSE "THAT THING IS WEIRD ON BOYS' BUTTS."
I know kids develop differently, but that just had to be a joke.
Tessa wouldn't surprise me if she could recite the Pythagorean Theorum.
Just NOW being able to count to three or higher?
Sometimes I WISH.
At least then I'd have time to catch up.
She's almost too smart for me.
I spend a lot of time feeling confused when I'm trying to reason with her.
Like I've been blindfolded and spun in a circle and then told to run.
This morning I saw her eyeballing the same scissors that she'd used to cut her own hair last week.
I told her not to even think about it.
That cutting hair made it SHORTER and I knew she wanted long long hair.
She didn't reply with a question of why.
She didn't say OK and wander off.
Instead, she started weaving a tale:
"Once there was a girl who had magic scissors, and those scissors made hair GROW instead of be shorter. And the more she cut, the more it grew...."
"Tessa. That girl doesn't exist."
"Yes she does. I saw her at the pool."
Then five minutes later, Justin came downstairs asking who it was that had doodled on Buddie's mail.
"No one. No one did that. Not me and not Chloe."
"Well SOMEONE had to have done it because it was there."
"It was Phoebe. Phoebe did it. "
"Dogs don't doodle, Tess......I know! Whoever tells me the truth gets a surprise."
"ME! ME! It was ME!" She shouted as she raised her hand and bounced up and down.
I'm not sure if she actually even HAD done it or if she was just volunteering in order to get the surprise.
She was disappointed when the "surprise" ended up just being a kiss on the cheek, followed by a lecture on lying and drawing on things that aren't ours.
When we have to punish her, secretly we're having to hide that we're laughing because darned it if that evil genius isn't a FUNNY evil genius.
I feel honored that God saw me as capable enough to manage parenting her.
I've got so much love for this little Tazmanian.
But there is no checklist on earth that can prepare anyone for what to expect from her.