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Oct 6, 2011

Personality quirks

This week I have been thinking about my lovely family -- our similarities and our differences -- and how we mix together.  Life is never boring around here!
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Garry made two amazing feasts on Sunday: crepes for breakfast and pot roast for dinner. He spent most of the day in the kitchen (while listening to General Conference).  It was a Herculean effort, and he loved every minute of it.  That night I commented that I would "one thousand times rather" clean up the kitchen after a big meal than actually make the big meal.  Garry and I are a good pair that way.  He loves to cook and I mostly hate it.  I like to clean, and he's not a fan.  We are opposites in nearly every way!
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Gavin is, by far, my most picky child when it comes to clothing.  He's the kid whose toes are irritated by seams in his socks, whose tummy is bothered by waistbands, and whose neck can't stand collars.  The fabric must drape "just so" around his waist and legs and arms.  Everything has to feel just right.  Even though I understand what is happening and can appreciate that he really is THAT sensitive, I have two major struggles with this issue. The first is that it takes him f.o.r.e.v.e.r to get dressed, with multiple clothing changes each morning, and often throughout the day.  Laying out his clothes beforehand doesn't help.  His tastes change by the minute, so something that seemed perfectly acceptable before bedtime is just not okay before school.  The second thing that is hard for me is that Gavin is the third boy in our family, and with the change in season, none of his hand-me-down clothing works.  Gavin will only wear t-shirts and sport shorts (or occasionally track pants), whereas Zach and Tyler were happy to wear the more structured clothing that I chose for them when they were four.  I'm wondering if I'll have to buy Gavin an entirely new wardrobe.

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Zachary is terrified of wet food in the kitchen sink.  We have finally agreed upon a dish strategy that is acceptable for all parties: rubber gloves.  Zach can now navigate wet bread, slimy noodles, and soggy cereal while rinsing dishes, and we don't have to argue about it. Clearly, Zach has some of the same sensory issues as Gavin.  We are finally learning to appreciate and negotiate...now that he is almost ten.

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Gavin's latest exclamation is: "I'm a superhero and I can save the day!"  I hope he can save himself from vehicular trauma, should I need to brake quickly while driving.  He routinely gets out of his car seat while I'm driving down major streets, climbing over the middle bench just to say hello to Kate.  I wonder if a policeman can pull me over and give HIM a ticket.

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Lexi has re-discovered the fridge and pantry and helps herself to whatever she wants all day long.  She won't eat a meal at the table to save her life, no matter how strict I am about snacks throughout the day.  She also likes to change her clothes quite often, and will not hear of my opinion or accept my help to dress.  She even tries to change her own diapers. So if you see her on the street looking like a color blind street urchin, just know I don't have much say in her appearance.  Lexi is independence personified.

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So what are my joys today?  Well, for starters, I'm pretty glad that yesterday is over and that today was better.  Today I allowed myself some serious down time, even though our extended family will begin arriving in the morning and I'm woefully unprepared.  I practiced a lovely piano duet with a friend.  I read about a third of a fun and insightful book, "The Happiness Project," which I am loving.  Tyler was invited to play with a friend, and seeing him so happy about the invitation brought me great joy.  And through this post, as I pondered the interesting mix of personalities in my house, I felt joy in the adage: "Variety is the spice of life."

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