I've been having a tough time with the kids lately (ds1 is chore avoidant, dd1 is very volatile and gets quite hysterical, ds2 has some extremely frustrating ongoing behaviour issues, and dd2 is...19 months old), so I'm going to rave about them here, and remind myself what awesome kids they really are. This is basically the oppositve of a vent. Feel free to jump in about your own, because kids are amazing! Also, feel free to ignore this post entirely, as I'm doing some fairly nauseating "my kid is so awesome" stuff.
DS1 is a fantastic young man. I'm prettty sure his existence is the cosmic reason for me throwing 15 years of my life away on his dad. He's enthusiastic about life, outgoing, and always willing to try new things. He's active in the school Interact (service) Club, and has been involved with peer counseling (in elementary school), helping out at the Boys and Girls Club, and has been a counselor at our local Outdoor School. When one of his teachers said that all he wanted for Christmas was a Bic 4-colour pen, and then came back after break and said he didn't get one, ds1 organized all his classmates into each giving him the cost of a pen, and then we went out and bought one from each student for his teacher. (Said teacher has framed one, and says quite sincerely that he'll never forget his students presenting them to him.) He's a wonderful big brother and adores his younger siblings. He's always been willing to help me out when I need hand, whether that was helping me carry groceries home when he was six, or changing dd2's diaper while I'm cooking dinner now. He's athletic and artistic (draws, plays guitar, sings and acts) and an amazingly gifted performer. He juggles and does origami. He's a natural athlete, and competes in gymnastics (team captain this year!) and Ultimate...and is into free running and Parkour (I think he's still secretly hoping he can grow up to be Spider-Man!) He wants to learn what he calls "old time" skills...spinning, weaving, blacksmithing, glassblowing, leatherworking, woodworking, etc. etc. He's gone to school wearing a pink feather boa that he bought on a choir trip. He's intelligent and fun to be around (if a little exhausting for an introvert like me) and just a completely unique person.
DD1 is very intelligent and insightful. She's a serious naturalist, and loves bugs, worms, snails and slugs. Her enthusiasm for spiders is matched only by her love of all things "pretty". She takes ballet, and goes to almost every class in a state of nerves, because of the new girls and her perceived difficulty in learning the moves. But, she perserveres and works really, really hard on her dancing. She helps out around the house, and actually scrubbed down the shower tiles yesterday (I started and she came up to see what I was doing, and then I had to make dinner, so she said she'd finish). She's eager to learn to cook, and wants to do gymnastics (partly because her big brother does) and Tae Kwon Do (partly because her little brother does). She loves her baby sister, and jumjps right in to help if dd2 falls over or starts to cry. She's fiercely independent and when they get up before me, she gets breakfast for herself, ds2 and sometimes even dd2. She's generally fascinated by the whole world around her, constantly curious, and very engaged in learning. If I'm not feeling well, she'll bring me water and try to help.
DS2 is one of the most enthusiastic people I've ever met. He wanted to learn rock climbing, and had a lot of trouble with it. He was the least adept of his class (only four kids), by a wide margin, but I think he had more fun than the rest of them combined. The same thing is happening with Tae Kwon Do. He's the slowest in his class, but I don't think he's even noticed it, because he's too busy giving it everything he's got (when an instructor held a target up high to hit, ds2 jumped and got it with his head). He's picking up reading and math with great ease, and mostly by osmosis. Despite his behavioural problems, he's a very sweet, loving little boy....the first one to run up and give me a hug and/or kiss if he thinks I need it. He thinks dd2 is the sweetest baby who ever lived, and almost smothers her with kisses. He's one of those natural computer kids (and once managed to spend $40 of real money, buying game points on Facebook, when I accidentally left myself logged in and went to the bathroom - he was so proud of himself for getting me some new animals). His willingness to try things that he doesn't think he'll be good at is inspiring (he doesn't get it from me). He's just an all-around neat kid and he just oozes affection. He's also a bit quirky, which I really like. He's so open and honest and engaging with people that it almost hurts...mostly because I've seen him shot down too many times.
DD2...well, there's not much to say, as she's still mostly pre-verbal (only says "mamamama", "yeah" and "no"...and lots and lots and lots of babble, which is obviously conversation, but completely incoherent). She is the cutest kid ever. I'm not even sure what it is about her, but she's just amazingly freaking cute. She gives us these "what the heck?" looks that just make me melt. When she was born, she was exactly what this family needed, after losing Aaron...a ray of absolute sunshine. She just seems so...trusting. She makes me laugh every day (which is important - it's why I fell in love with her dad!) and is very prone to just throwing her arms around my neck and snuggling in. She has the most infectious little laugh, and she's just. so. cool. I adore this little one, and I can't believe how fast she's growing up, even after having been through it three previous times.
Okay - this helped. This is a great bunch of kids I've got here. I just need to keep that in mind, when the middle two are squabbling, the oldest one hasn't done his chores and the little one is yelling in my ear and dumping cereal on the floor.