Raising Abnormally Short Teenagers

I’m not going to lie. Sometimes Kyle and I are scared of our four year old. Judge us all you want, but dealing with Haylee can be flat out scary. Parenting children is one thing. Parenting miniature adults is another thing entirely.

Our little gal has been speaking in complete sentences since she was eighteen months old. And truthfully, she hasn’t quit talking since. I thought it was cute when she was two.

One of her church leaders informed us that while the other kids were walking around saying things like, “Goo goo,” she was having a discussion with them about all of the fish coming back to the trap at the hatchery. They were amused. We were amused. All was fun and laughable.

A little while later our conversations went south. I had the girls at the doctor’s office for their check-ups last year. So, there we are, getting Avery checked out when Haylee decides to stand on her chair and jump, landing on her butt, as she yells out, "I am SO going to break my tailbone!"

THEN she blurts out, "So, Mom, if you and Dad both die are they going to make me live with someone I don't know?"

"WHAT!? Uh, no, you'd live with someone in the family."

"Oh good, because you have four kids. Grandma, Grandpa, Katie, Kim, and Spencer could probably do it."

I just stared at her. And for the first time ever our doctor, who is incredibly amused by my children, was stunned into silence. Yep. Welcome to the Huwe house.

The problem that developed should be obvious. She knew way too many words, and even worse, her comprehension was excellent. She understood far too much for a toddler.

Let another year or two pass and instead of an almost five year old, we will have an abnormally short teenager in our house.

The monster vocabulary was a force to be reckoned with for sure, but her physical abilities are also advanced. She can climb a 12-foot rope that hangs from a tree in our yard in about 15 seconds flat. She can dribble a soccer ball with more prowess than my boys and she’s not even old enough to play yet.

She also dances. Try not to cry out in disbelief if you personally know me. Her skills defy genetics. She didn’t get her ability to look like she walked off the set of an MTV music video from us. And no, she has also never watched that channel and only will over my dead body.

But there she is, shaking her little booty in any public place that plays music. Oh, every store plays background music, you say? Right, so I’m sure you can imagine our horror then.

I’ve never seen such a look of fear in her dad’s eyes. Part of that fear stems from the fact that she’s quite good. She has rhythm that no redneck possesses. It’s otherworldly.

I should probably mention that her love of dancing developed from her obsession with White Christmas. She watched that darn movie almost every day for two months straight last year. Sometimes more than once. And she would constantly skip back to the dancing scenes, so now I can practically perform right alongside Vera Ellen. Except my legs aren’t nearly as skinny and I’m not a blonde. Oh, and I can’t lift my leg higher than my knee. But besides that stuff, I could be a star.

I finally took it away from her at the end of January. I was concerned that the DVD wouldn’t even work this holiday season, but she busted it out two weeks ago and it’s working fine. And her little hiatus did nothing to dampen her skills. I overheard her behind the couch last week belting out the lyrics to “Gee, I wish I was back in the Army.” Glad she doesn’t forget anything. Ever.

Anyway, regardless of her love for dancing, do you know what her favorite part of the movie actually is? She likes the kissing part. This revelation was followed by giggles. I’ve never been so sorry for asking a question in all my life.

She’s supposed to be four. She’s supposed to pick her nose and wipe it on stuff. She’s supposed to throw monster temper tantrums because she can’t yet vocally express her feelings, not because she’s smart enough to try and manipulate you into getting whatever she wants. She’s supposed to trip over her own feet and be oblivious to what kissing even is.

We know we’re in trouble. You don’t have to tell us. Our fear of raising her is almost palpable.

But I guess this sort of thing comes with parenthood. Every kid is so different that you can’t even begin to anticipate what you’re in for. You can’t prepare yourself for what’s going to be required.

Our second daughter, Avery, will be 18 months old this week. My boys are polar opposites and I felt assured that our experience with her would be so very different. That was until she yelled out, “I want a bite!” a couple of weeks ago when her brother was eating a popsicle. It was a complete sentence.

Oh, have mercy.

Seriously, tell me what you think.