Hey, kids. Guess what time it is? That's right. It's time to wish Stinkyjandra Luz Maria another happy birthday on the 22nd. My baby is now fifteen years old. That just seems craaaa-zeee to me.
As much as we love Stinky, I will freely admit that she was a big cry baby when she was little. That top picture is one of my favorite photos of her, because it's how I remember much of her babyhood. Sure, she had her reasons. She had a clogged tear duct and dyshidrotic eczema and a big sister who was constantly stealing her pacifier. (yeah, I made the mistake of weaning Coadster while Stinky still had hers. Duh) When Coadster was little, she couldn't say a lot of words, but she got really good at saying, "Uh oh. Baby cry."
But all that fussiness just made it that much more fun when we did get her to laugh. (notice Coadster with her sister's pacifier in the background).
Stinky has never been much of a structure girl, but she's smart and very social, so she has always loved school. I can't tell you how many conversations I've had to have with her teachers throughout the years, about how she procrastinates and isn't well organized, and is way too chatty in class. I'm sure after talking to me for five minutes, it all made sense to them. As much as we'd like, sometimes you just can't fight genetics.
For much of Stinky's life, she took her cues from her big sister. When she was younger, she let her sister boss her around, as long as Coadster took care of all the details. Coadster would walk her to class every morning and make sure she had everything she needed.
It was a great little arrangement for both of them for a while. Coadster got to be in control and Stinky didn't have to think about anything practical and was free to live in her own little world. Then when Stinky hit eight years old, she got tired of the constant harping, and decided it wasn't worth it. There were a few tough years there where the girls resented their previous roles and drove themselves and me crazy.
Stinky got older and definitely became her own person. She wasn't so caught up with the world inside her head and started running around with some kids who got into trouble the Summer before junior high started. Which meant I had to put the screws to her a little bit and she began losing a lot of the things and freedoms she previously enjoyed. Seventh grade was a huge transition year for her, she changed friends and started getting her shit together better. By the Summer before eighth grade she was a million times better. One day I told her how proud I was of her, and asked what happened to change her behavior. She said, "Well, I figure you give me a lot of freedom anyway, and when I try to push it, then I can't do anything. It just seemed stupid to keep trying to get away with stuff and getting in trouble all the time." Hey, it only took her thirteen years to learn that lesson.
So, now we're at our next stage with Stinky. She just started high school. Today in the car on the way to her birthday dinner, I was talking about sex and alcohol and all the things that terrify me about high school. Coadster told me that I didn't have to worry about Stinky, that she was very overprotective of her and she and her friends were watching out for her all the time. Then Stinky started laughing and said that she was really overprotective of Coadster too. At least it's reciprocal now.
Here's wishing Stinky a happy birthday and a safe landing for every stage she enters.