Lorna suggested that I explain why I’ve given my five-year-old and three-year-old the blog names DramaQueen and Firecracker. So here goes.
DramaQueen is actually taking a drama class, for which she is well suited. Her instructor tells us that she has given herself a new name—Chloe—and a vocation—Rock Star. Being a rock star to her means playing guitar. So far singing, although she likes to sing, is not her thing. She likes to dance, too, and wants to learn hip-hop. We’re waiting for a windfall of money so we can enroll her in all the music and dance classes she wants to take. Besides being Chloe, she sometimes asks me to call her Jessica. DramaQueen loves to be photographed. She’ll pose for you. She’ll pose for herself in the mirror. She loves clothes, and already has definite ideas about what looks good on her. She likes to make people laugh, and she’s happy to be the cut-up, the center of attention. Usually. She can also be shy, and sometimes she can play up being shy. She also loves drawing and all things artsy, as long as I don’t try to force-feed her anything with my own arts education agenda. If she is at a loss for what to DO, it is a TRAGEDY. She drapes herself over the sofa, “Mom, what can I DO now?” She has always been running ahead of herself, ever since she was born. She came out of my womb with muscular little legs, as if she had been doing squats for nine months. And indeed within hours she was trying to push off with her legs. By nine months she was walking. She’s eager to be 7, and 17, and she likes attaching herself to older girls (poor things, they seem to be very kind to her) but is not so eager to be an adult, since we all seem rather dreary (need to work on that, I guess). She wanted to know if she could go right to first grade when she turns 6 this January. She is very protective of Firecracker, despite the fact that Firecracker frequently annoys the living daylights out of her.
Firecracker is an enchanting child, the kind that caretakers connect with immediately. She is very affectionate, offering smiles, hugs and cuddles with abandon. When she laughs, her whole body shakes, and her laughter sounds like bubbles floating into the air. But don’t cross her. Don’t rush her. And yes, she WILL do it herself, and if you do it she’ll undo it and do it again HERSELF. Her temper is daunting. She requires special handling, because she does not make transitions very easily. Her expressive language skills lag behind her comprehension, and she is often frustrated trying to make herself understood. I’m convinced that her temper helped her survive. She was born severely premature at 28 weeks. She weighed a mere 1 lb 14 oz, not much bigger than the Beanie Babies the NICU nurses used to prop up her tubes. Even though premies this early and even earlier have increasingly high survival rates, doctors are very skittish, and the two months Firecracker was in the NICU, several babies died. Firecracker was known for her feistiness. She had to have surgery to close the PDA valve in her heart, and the surgeon warned us that the anesthesia would probably render her motionless for a day or two, and not to worry. Well, just two hours after surgery she was kicking the Beanie Babies out of her incubator, probably pissed off about the uncomfortable incision under her shoulder. Firecracker likes toy cars and trains and baby dolls and being tickled.
Those are our girls, our wonderful, funny, rambunctious, infuriating, lovable girls.