We’ve been lucky.  I mean yes, of course, we’re lucky in so many areas of our life, we have our health and a roof above our heads and all of those big things that are so easy to take for granted.  But we’ve been lucky when it comes to Addison.  As precocious as she is, there are some things she hasn’t picked up on that other kids her age may be doing with some regularity.  Bed time, for instance.  Addison never resists going to bed or taking a nap.  She simply grabs her army of baby dolls and heads upstairs.  There’s never an argument.  There are no negotiations.  Addie actually likes her bed and dives out of my arms to get into it every night.   I’m knocking furiously on the weather beaten wood planks of my back deck as I write that statement.

Another skill that Addison hasn’t yet mastered is opening doors.  We’re not sure why Addie can’t turn a door knob and push all at the same time, but we’re not rushing to teach her.  We keep our outside doors locked at the deadbolt  because we know it’s only a matter of time until she masters the doorknob.  Addie frequently does pull-ups on door knobs, hanging off of them with her knees pulled up to her chest like she’s at the gym, but she never actually gets the door to open.  As far as I’m concerned, that’s one multi-tasking skill that can wait until college.

One of the biggest mistakes I make in our day to day lives is telling Addison we’re going to do something when I’m not actually ready to do it at that precise moment.  If I tell her we’re going  somewhere in the car but I am not, at that moment, ready to leave, she stands at the garage door yelling until I get my act together.  If I put her shoes on in the house and we don’t have plans to go out, it’s a safe bet we’ll be taking a walk around the block.  To Addison, wearing shoes is a sign that she’s going somewhere fun.  I’ve learned to have myself completely ready, shoes on, keys in hand, diaper bag by the door before I even mention that we have somewhere to go.  Sometimes she’s so eager to get out of the house that I don’t even get socks on her until she’s strapped into her carseat.

This morning, I changed Addie’s diaper, dressed her in play clothes and told her we’d go out in the back yard.  But I  still had to get my own shoes.  And a drink.  And oops, I needed to grab something from the garage.  This was too much for Addison.  Instead of standing by the back door and whining, like she would normally do, she decided to handle it herself.  She pushed her little red chair into the kitchen, stood on it, unlocked the deadbolt and opened the door.  I walked into the kitchen just in time to see her climbing off the chair and stepping out onto the patio.

My life is over.