Like most people, I used the “2015 Best Nine app” to generate my most liked Instagram pics of last year. Unfortunately, my top nine consisted mainly of Harlow (and one of Santa) which was not very reflective of my year at all.
MAZZY WAS THERE TOO!!!
(And… I’m Jewish.)
This prompted a lot of people to say that I don’t post as many pics of Mazzy as Harlow, but I don’t think that’s true. I think kids just age out of the adorable baby phase and little kids (even crazy beautiful kids like Mazzy) don’t get as many likes as swaddled newborns. It’s like turning 40 in Hollywood!
Here are just a few of the pics I posted of Mazzy in 2015:
Blogging gets a little weird as your kids get older, something I am recognizing with each passing year. For instance, last week, I wrote a post with New Year’s resolutions for Harlow, addressing a lot of the issues we are currently having with her. But let me be clear, by “issues,” I mean experiences that most parents with three-year-olds consider pretty universal and I’m not really that concerned.
I promised to write another resolutions post about Mazzy, but since she is now six, I’m finding, she is a lot more complicated. Her skills/difficulties/etc. seem more individual and personal than Harlow’s. Also, if I say Mazzy’s 2016 resolution is to stop yelling “I CAN’T DO IT!!!” before even attempting to put on her own shoes, that probably points to more of a parenting problem than anything else.
Yes, Mazzy still makes me help her with many of the things we need to do to get out the door in the morning, and I guess if I had patience and nowhere to go, I would sit there and refuse to move until she did it herself.
Then she’d learn.
But, as it stands, I do have somewhere to go and I have no patience, so most of the time, I just grumble things like “six-year-olds should really know how to put on their own socks…” while pulling them on for her so we can head out the door.
I have seen her countless times put on her own socks and shoes, so it’s not like she actually has a problem we should see a doctor about, but she also knows I will help her do it if she waits until we are late for the bus.
What was I talking about again?
Oh yeah. My beautiful amazing first child.
The truth is, much like her three-ear-old sister, Mazzy will still ask me to get her a tissue when there is a box right next to her. She still fights bedtime and asks for band aids when I can barely see a scratch. She has trouble sitting still at a table and thinks the quickest way to get what she wants is to start crying.
BIG FAKE NOT REALLY THERE TEARS.
But I don’t want to talk about those things, mainly because they all point to things Mike and I should be doing differently, which we already know. Instead, I’d like to talk about the best of Mazzy in 2015.
The things that made me proud and the things that parents with younger children have to look forward to in their future.
The stuff I love about having a six-year-old daughter, specifically the stuff I love about my own unique fabulous rapidly growing girl.
1) Mazzy has learned to love salmon.
I know this seems small but Mazzy has always been a very picky eater and this was probably the single best thing to happen to our family in 2015. Mazzy decided she liked salmon because it is pink (obviously) and thankfully, the act of actually putting the salmon into her mouth did not deter this surprise decision. It is now Mazzy’s go-to meal at home and in restaurants. She gets excited when it is on a menu (which it almost always is) and I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that hot dogs and chicken fingers are no longer the only two proteins keeping her alive.
2) Mazzy is beginning to read.
This is an exciting one! In kindergarten, Mazzy was one of the few kids in her class who still wasn’t reading by the end of the year, but she was also the youngest in her class so we weren’t concerned. She has friends that seemed to go from reading nothing to reading Harry Potter by themselves overnight but Mazzy is taking things one three-letter-word at a time. She has mastered Bob’s Books (which I highly recommend for early reading) and is now working on blending sounds and breaking up words to figure them out. She gets frustrated easily (at least when she is reading with me), so I often will have her read one page of a Level 1 book and then read the rest to her myself as a reward. Her teachers say she is developing right on schedule and we should expect to see big progress by the end of the year.
3) Mazzy still loves pink but loves other colors too.
4) Mazzy has started standing still for photos again.
Mazzy went through a long phase where she was not that interested in me taking photos of her. Maybe that’s another reason why Harlow had more of a presence on my Instagram account last year. But now she is back, trying out different poses (often in the mirror, which is slightly disturbing) and even suggesting set-ups and backgrounds that she thinks I might like. She loves video, especially watching our stories on Snapchat, and often requests specific filters, like fast forward and rewind. It’s fun to get her involved in taking pictures and I’m hoping she eventually gets interested in being behind the camera as well.
5) Mazzy travels like a boss.
She drags her own suitcase, entertains herself on the iPad, is excited about plane snacks and even entertains her sister when necessary. If it wasn’t for the seductive pull of airport gift shops, I could travel with Mazzy any day of the week. I once thought only short trips were doable with my kids, but now I can envision longer legs and international possibilities. Mike and I loved to travel in our previous lives, so I am really excited to welcome the concept of big family trips back into the fold.
People always ask me how I got my girls to be so close. After giving some thought as to how I possibly could have gotten something right, I realized it has absolutely nothing to do with me. It’s all Mazzy’s doing. Mazzy has always been an incredibly social and affectionate kid. She wants to have a playmate at all times and plays up or down depending on who she is with. She is always trying to involve Harlow in her games and even uses techniques I’ve seen better parents use when Harlow gets upset— like redirection or positive reinforcement. Harlow is much slower to warm up to people but loves Mazzy’s cuddles, kisses and hugs. I think if Harlow didn’t have Mazzy to mimic or if Mazzy wasn’t so interested in playing with her little sister, Harlow would be a very different kid. So I have Mazzy to thank for brightening Harlow’s world.
7) Mazzy is an amazing audience.
If you are a comedian, there is no one who you would want watching your stand-up routine more than Mazzy. She laughs loud and easily. If you are not a comedian, Mazzy is an excellent audience also. Just ask my husband. Mazzy continually tells Mike that he is hilarious and the funniest person she knows (“way funnier than Mommy”) even though that is CLEARLY not the case.
8) Mazzy is THIS CLOSE to doing a cartwheel.
I have video which is not particularly graceful, but it is way better than this time last year. Three more seasons of gymnastics classes (how much are they again?) and she should have it mastered FOR SURE.
9) Mazzy has the key to my heart.
Everyone loves Mazzy. She is the kid that is friends with everyone at school (both boys and girls) and insisted on inviting the whole class to her birthday party. I wanted to say “no” but it was impossible to tell Mazzy that they were not all her friends equally when I honestly know she loves them all. She is inclusive and big hearted and nice to all. Except sometimes to me. Which I accept is just what it means to be a parent. Everyone else gets the good stuff and sometimes you have to deal with the crap.
Then yesterday, Mazzy told me (as she often does) that she loves me. And I said (as I often do), “I love you too.” But then she paused and I could tell she was thinking really hard to articulate what she wanted to say next.
“I love you more than you love me,” she said.
I told her that was impossible and gave her a great big kiss.
Here’s to more Mazzy in 2016!