Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Raising a little Bittle

Nature has some new ammunition in its battle against nurture. Clara and Kate are showing clear signs of coming from that (ig)noble and (in)famous stock, the Bittles. Let me start by saying this is not something I am completely comfortable with. You see, we Bittles are a kooky lot, as anyone who has spent an extended period of time with us has discovered. Because I want Megan to continue to spend extended periods of time with me, I reign my kookiness in. That leaves my dad as their primary source of Bittle-ness, and unless he's holding Bittle lessons while I'm out of the room, I just don't see him influencing him in that way either. Which means that their Bittle behavior is inate! That is perhaps the most disconcerting sentence I've written on this blog.

Evidence #1: This may seem like something small, but it strikes me every time. Kate pronounces "sandwich," "sammich." I know, I know, most toddlers pronounce it "sammich" but you have to understand that my entire life I have heard it pronounced that way by only one person: my dad. Go with him to Subway. The 64 year old man will order a sammich. Sit him next to Kate and ask them what they want for lunch and my dad and his mini-mini-me will both say "sammich."

Evidence #2: The girls both got doll houses for Christmas, which are set up in the office/toy room. Kate was also given a big yellow dump truck. For the first two weeks after Christmas when they played with their doll houses, they took all the furniture from each house and threw it in the back of the dump truck, then proceeded to drive the dump truck around the house. They didn't want to play house - they wanted to play move houses. Every time they did this I shook my head and thought of my family.

Bittles are a nomadic, wandering people, prone to pick up and head out on long trips at a moments notice. Most of us can tell stories of long, adventure-filled trips that no sane person would take so much pride in. Often this wanderlust causes us Bittles to change houses, and the "B"section of many a friend's address book has suffered accordingly. Dmitri had to buy a new address book mainly because of us. I probably had a dozen different addresses in the 90s. Kate's not yet two years old and already she's thinking about moving.

I'm bracing for what Bittle trait next manifests itself in my girls, but as I write this I'm thinking of the kindness and the loyalty and the love that is so strong in the Bittle family. I'm thinking of my parents, of my brother and sister and their kids, of my Aunts Mary and Billie and Carol, of my Uncle Lyndon and Aunt Jane, of my cousins Dale and David and their kids, of my cousins Shauna and Nick and Danille and Steven, and of so many Bittles gone much, much too soon and I realize how lucky Clara and Kate both are to be counted among such people.


Michelle said...

I hope you are thinking of Grandpa Southern too... because I hope that your girls get some of his charm. I loved that old guy from the moment he seemed to be hitting on me at your Wedding reception (in front of your grandma, and with her consent) Full of charm. That is your girls too.

Tracy said...

You made Chris and I both laugh hysterically and then made me cry. Every time you call me your sister, it makes me pause and take notice. For those that don't know me, I have no siblings except for Joel and Megan. :)

Life is good in this Bittle Kookiness.

shauna said...

Next time I visit (hopefully soon), I will work on comic timing in dry homor with the girls. You can look forward to that!

shauna said...

oops, i meant humor.