The Only Things I Label Are My Children

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I’ve noticed that I’ve fallen into the trap that most parents fall into when they have more than one child…I label, the children, that is. Really nothing else in my house is labeled. Come to think of it, labeling things other than my children could result in an improved quality of life.

Huh.

I feel that it’s impossible not to do. Whenever you find yourself and your child surrounded by other parents and children, you just start to label. Living on campus has given me the bird’s eye (or maybe duck’s eye) view of the panoply of personalities out there.

Personalities belonging to little people under the age of five.

It’s fascinating. No really, it is.

Just yesterday, one of my neighbors was talking about the “alpha females” that live amongst us. We were trying to decide if Coco is one such alpha female.

I’m still not quite sure where she fits…But if I had to stake a claim I’d put it somewhere between Queen Elizabeth (the first queen, not the one that’s still alive and well today…nothing against her, just, you know. Not as cool) and Kristin Wiig.

 

Huh? Well, perhaps you’re not as obsessed with Tudor England as I am, but the short story is, Queen Elizabeth was the one that ruled England without a husband. She did a pretty darn good job of it too…And you definitely would be right in calling her an alpha female.

Alright, so Coco’s got her beat in the beauty department. Duh. Think like 500 years ago, k?

I suppose I could have picked a more current female leader, but in my book the pickings are slim and unappetizing.

Elizabeth it is.

And, Kristin Wiig? Well, she’s a big goof. She’s quick on her feet, hilarious, and brilliant. I know most people won’t go about labeling their children from SNL actors, but I see Coco doing something creative and humorous some day.

And Chauce? How many times have you heard me refer to him as a cross between Winnie the Pooh and the Incredible Hulk?

Really, I cannot come up with anything better. He’s stuffed with fluff, famously cuddly, and sweet to the core. But at the same time, he’s a beast. He’s strong as an ox, and underneath his multitudinous  rolls is a force that sometimes knocks Coco off her feet.

I see him playing professional football someday, preferably for the Steelers, and helping the Salvation Army out at Christmas by being Santa at the mall.

Don’t you just see it??

I’m sure these labels will develop as my kids grow older. I know I had a few labels–some of them are still there. I’m not gonna tell which ones.

First born girl. Middle child. Wild child. Class clown. Troublemaker. Loud mouth. Tom boy. Homeschooler. Nate and Joe’s little sister. Bossy. Drama queen. Knowitall. Dork. Hottie. The cool kid.

There might be a few elaborations in there. I leave it to you to decide. *Ahem!

Is it wrong to label our children? I mean, I don’t wanna offer either of them the short side of the stick by putting them in a box. And by either of them, I mean Chaucer. Cause frankly, being a queen would probably fit Coco’s bill just right.

Chaucer may surprise us all. In the back of my mind is an image of him painting in Paris one day…But that gets bulldozed over by the larger picture of him tackling…I don’t know, say, someone from the Browns?

Ok…so fess up. Do you label? If so, what are the labels? Tell, tell!

 
This post was inspired by one of Mama Kat’s Weekly Writing Prompts. Head over there for some great writing! And don’t forget to label your kid!

6 thoughts on “The Only Things I Label Are My Children

  1. hilljean

    I have a MS in Psychology… I can’t help but label, just a bit. ???? But in my opinion, “labeling” can be brilliant. The way I see it, it means that you are watching your kids closely enough to understand their strengths, their weaknesses, their potential. I would never hold on to a “label” so tightly that I suppressed who one of my wee ones started to become. But, in my house, for example, Jackson developed sooner intellectually than physically. For example, between 9 and 10 months he started talking, using small sentences by 18 mos, but waited til around 14 months to walk confidently. Isaac, on the other hand, started walking just before turning 10 mos and didn’t show a lot of interest in really talking until after turning about 14 mos. I love the differences in my sons. This doesn’t mean that Jax is the wimpy genius and Isaac is a dumb brute (though we may at times affectionately and privately refer to them that way :)) . We had to work to encourage Jax to take interest in outdoorsy and physical things (which he now embraces at 4) but I have to work equally hard to challenge his little sponge of a brain and to help him refine his blossoming skills in argument and analysis (which though advanced for his age are still prone to his child-mind errors!). Isaac we have to slow down a bit outdoors so that he doesn’t hurt himself by doing things he isn’t quite ready for, teaching him patience, teaching him to think before acting. And I’ve had to listen and observe more scrupulously to see his intelligence growing, as he is less likely to think and demonstrate what he knows out-loud. Yes, yes…. one child is an extravert, the other an introvert. ???? Paying attention to your kids helps you to nurture them more effectively… AND, it can give you a good laugh as you marvel at how God took the same DNA pool and distributed it so differently. So label away my fellow mommy, I think it’s great, so long as you know (which you do) that labels are never fully comprehensive and that just when you think you have them figured out, they’ll surprise you with a new thing that expands, adds-on to, or tweaks the neat picture or them you’ve generated in your mind. I think the future dreams of our little ones can start with parents who aptly asses their strengths and encourage them properly. I also find it equally important to know where they are lacking, not so that you can avoid them facing those things, but so you can intentionally help them grow in areas they need it most. Intuition goes a long way in parenting – but it sure makes things a bit more intense and complicate!

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  2. hilljean

    my daughter is a total drama queen, my son is a science nerd. (i say that with fondness, of course) i put labels to my kids because it helps me pick out Christmas presents. (what? no, the Science Nerd would never want a football, let’s get him a chemistry set instead!) my children have absolutely earned every label i give them…. but they’re free to attach any other labels on there throughout the course of their lives that they want to. ???? the labels are just a beginning, to help me categorize them so that nobody ends up with a football for Christmas. ????

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  3. hilljean

    What Emily said. ???? I’m pretty intensely focused on my kiddo, so I feel like the labels are just descriptors of what I see. But he’s free to be whatever he wants to be, so if the labels don’t fit anymore, we just toss them.

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  4. hilljean

    So one year later do these labels still hold true for you? I do think I label my kids. But I don’t think it defines them and everything changes ;).

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