That word right there says so much and can be said in so many tones that it leaves a lot for interpretation.

When my girls were were little they were such little bundles of joy. I watched them sleep, held them while they slept just so that I could be close to them and smell their wonderful baby scent, I pondered how it is that they came from two tiny cells and somehow transformed into this little human...this baby that somehow I loved more then my life itself. I'd have given anything to keep my baby safe. Their first smiles, giggles, and all the ones that came after filled my heart until I thought it would burst. Kids....

When they became toddlers (each of them in their own time) I found myself saying "no" more then I ever thought a person could possibly say it in one day. I also found myself saying things that I never thought a person would say, never mind that it was it was me that was saying it. "Don't lick the window", "Stop sitting on your sister's face", "No banging your head on the wall" are just several of the phrases that passed through my lips. Why is it that my children liked licking smooth surfaces? I can't count the number of times I told them not to lick something. And then all the times I told them "no touching", moved them away from things, and then watched as they looked at me with defiance in their eyes and went back and did it again. I should have seen it as a sign, but they were my precious angels. Kids.....

When they got to 4-K and Kindergarten (As Kalli is right now) I find myself looking at them wondering where the baby went. They are beginning to get a social life and the fact that Kalli knows our number by heart is a bad thing. She has given it out to friends that actually call her. She is getting calls and is talking to her friends like she is a teen. Only not as long (thankfully). This seems to be an age that kids become wonderful helpers...at least my kids. They want to help more and while helping it gives them that chance to ask a million questions. Now, mind you, Kalli hasn't stopped talking since the moment that she started. However now that she reading she wants to know why things say what they say. She gives me a full report of what went on in the classroom that day. Down to who got in trouble and for what. She watches Brady and Kaitlynn even when I'm right there and makes sure the cats stay out of trouble. She is my informer. You want to know anything?? She knows it. She listens to everything people say, but only responds or lets you know she is listening when it is to her benefit. At this age Cassie had her first little crush and for Kalli it is the same. Kalli has informed me who she is going to marry, but that she isn't going to start dating him until they are in High School. Kids!

Then we move onto Cassie's age....9. At nine, at least for Cassie, they really start to work on their teenage angst. Cassie is more sure of herself then last year or the year before, but at the same time she is more unsure. She is still Miss Social Butterfly at school but still stays out of trouble. However, her attitude has needed some adjusting and still needs more. She has started the one word answers to questions. She rolls her eyes at me from time to time...which by the way only makes me want to knock her head off her shoulders while every hair on the back of my neck stands on end. She is becoming a teen before my eyes, and in my opinion, at too young of an age. She has mood swings...going from laughing to crying and back again. Sometimes even laughing at nothing and not being able to stop. I find myself several times stepping back and waiting for her head to spin around Exorcist style. I love the girl, yet I'm not sure we are both going to make it through her teen years.

Cassie is testing her limits. She is trying things she doesn't normally do and seeing what happens. And due to things like this she has found herself grounded for the first time. For a week. From her DSI. Fortunately for me, she knows that she was at wrong and didn't argue or fight it at all.

Cassie is becoming increasingly more frustrated at things. Tonight it took us almost an hour to complete her homework. A one page, single sided, math worksheet. Mind you that math is her hardest subject, but tonight was ridiculous. There was crying and yelling and pulling out of hair...and that was just what I did. Ok...I didn't really cry, but I wanted to. I know that everyone learns differently and I'm really trying to find a way to teach Cassie things that works for her to make it click, but so far I'm failing terribly. The problems were simple multiplication (which she is having trouble memorizing) and the answers were right there in front of her, but she still wasn't getting it. I would coax her through it until she saw it and then we'd move onto the next question. And it was the same thing. It was like she had no short term memory whatsoever. I seriously put my head in my hands and laughed a little too hysterically.

Then at bedtime she started crying because she wanted to cuddle with me. She has become increasingly cuddly and needing of me lately. She just wants to be held and reminded that she is loved, important, and that she is safe. I know she has anxieties (she actually asked if we locked the doors the other night) but my heart almost is breaking because I'm not sure what is going on inside of that head. I hold her and at times she starts crying, not even knowing, herself, why she is crying. ....kids

For me, also, I watch other people's children. I find myself falling more and more in love with these little people that don't really truly belong to me. (though as I do become more attached and watch these little ones grow I like to think that a little piece of them is mine. I teach them, I love them, kiss and hug them as much as possible, and as needed...am a second mom for them.) I find myself willing to jump in front of a bus to save them. Watching them sleep and holding them longer then I should when they are sleeping just to smell their scent. I feel like I'm back at the beginning only I don't get to keep these little ones. The little ones will have me pulling at my hair as they grow as well. (as Kaitlynn already has me at sometimes....toddlers!) Kids.

And then it comes back to the mom...as everything always does. I love my kids with every molecule of my being. Yet they make my emotions go from pulling at my hair and wanting to run down the road screaming, all the way to crying silently because I don't know what to do to make them better. I have to say now that I don't think that I was informed of all this when I signed on to be a mom. It may have been in the fine print, but who really reads that anyway.