Allison making yet another escape from our ground floor apartment in Boulder. Running as fast as possible up the three flights of stairs in the building and then ripping up and down the halls screaming, “you can’t catch me…you can’t catch me.”
I was always terrified by this experience and it happened over and over again once she learned how to open our front door. Reason being that she was small enough to fit between the steps and if she had decided to slip between them up on the third floor, she would have landed on the cement below…splat! Five year old Shelly and I would chase and chase until we caught her, but it was freaky just the same.
Shelly homeschooled Kindergarten and First Grade and the day she left for second grade Allison reacted as if she had been kidnapped. She moped around the house alternately crying for her Shelly and tormenting Baby Jeff. She loved to pretend to tickle him under his chin while digging in real hard and scratching him. Then she would dump him on his head, literally knocking him over, and yell in a sing song voice, “mama, the baby fell over”…
Who knew such devilry was possible in a four year old?
But as with all of our children’s relationships, it seemed to be love/hate from the get go. Michelle was much more loving and patient than Allison, willing to let new babes pull her hair or spit up without getting angry. Allison loved her dolls and protected them fiercely from any younger brothers who might try to hurt or destroy.
Everyone loved Andy when he was a baby, but he and Jeff had several turf wars that usually ended in someone getting bit. All three of my boys have been biters, going through a nasty stage of using newly erupted teeth to settle scores and send a message. Once Ben bit Jeff on the shoulder so bad it bled, that was the one and only time I ever spanked him.
Thankfully the girls never bit anyone, but they had ways of protecting their toys and property from backyard bullies. Allison like to kick in the shins and Michelle just used dissing, sarcasm, and scorn to send a message. Our little neighborhood gang was made up of a mish mash of kids of all ages and sizes, and the various fights and wars were well balanced hours spent playing kickball, riding bikes, and trips to the park.
I feel so blessed to have been home to be a part of it all!
Jeff, Michelle, and Allison now and then!