Sunday, May 22, 2011

working my way out of a job

Hazel is amazing us lately.  She is little Ms. Independent.  She suddenly wants to do everything on her own, and I have to admit, her timing is perfect, I would sink without her. 

Here’s what she did the other morning as I laid in bed nursing Peter.  She got up, turned off her alarm, woke up Charlie, got dressed, got Emmeline out of her crib, got her dressed (in a matching outfit to her), got them both breakfast, packed up her lunch, brushed her hair, put on her backpack and coat and then called me down for a family prayer before she marched out the door to walk to school on her own (we only live three doors down from school).  Since we had a few extra minutes (bless her little on time soul!) I snapped a few pictures to document this momentous moment.IMG_1935IMG_1941

I am seriously working my way out of a job with this girl.  And, for the moment, it’s making us both pretty darn happy.  I know the day will come when this kind of helpful independence will loose it’s charm and she’ll seek a different (and probably not quite as charming) kind of independence.  So, I’m lapping it up while I can.

She got a great kids cook book from the Easter bunny and has been cooking all kinds of things for the family.  Twice baked potatoes, quiche, fruit salad, deviled eggs, spaghetti with meat balls.  Sure, I have to help her with a lot of those things, but she really does do a lot of it on her own.  There have been a few times in the past few months that I’ve woken up to a delicious smell and walked into the kitchen all bleary eyed to find her making us all waffles.   IMG_1355

And she’s always willing to help with Peter, grabbing diapers and burp cloths in seconds flat.  Mostly she wants to stand up and hold him.  What’s so exciting about standing and holding a baby is beyond me, but she loves it.   IMG_1595  IMG_1598IMG_1615IMG_1617

I’ve often lamented the fact that with more and more kids packed into our lives we don’t have the same kind of time to teach and train and entertain that we did when it was just Hazel.  But then I realize that she totally picks up our slack with the younger kids.  I think she gives them more quality time and entertainment than I was ever able to do.  She’s patient with them and kind.  She makes learning into a game. She makes them laugh as she teaches them all kind of new things.   I’m so thankful she came first.

Just click on this video for one second (unless you want to hear the whole story of “Boney Leg’s”) to see what I’m talking about.  (Sorry about the sideways video….how do I flip it, anyone know?)

Other parts of my job Hazel has taken over:

  • She reads to the kids.
  • She puts Emmeline to bed.
  • She fills in her little daily chart without any reminding (getting up, making bed, doing her chores, practicing, doing homework)
  • She decorates our house for holidays (here’s her Easter decoration)


  • She does an Art class for Emmeline every Tuesday.
  • She gives Charlie a piano lesson every Monday (seriously, he is totally learning to play).
  • She puts Emmeline to bed.  Emmeline would rather have Hazel do it than me or Jeff.  Hazel makes it fun….they’re in there giggling until Emmeline is happily snuggled into her crib.
  • She’s potty training Emmeline.  Yes, you read that right.  She does a much better job than I do.
  • She’s constantly bringing me bouquets of flowers and making me cards and writing me stories.



Hazel definitely hasn’t achieved any kind of perfection.  She still wails at the drop of a hat and yells and grits her teeth in anger. Her “bad moments” are loud and hard to ignore so I have to constantly remind myself that 85% of the time Hazel is an absolute angel. 

Often at night, once things calm down and I’m nursing Peter right before bed a little video of the day plays in my mind and suddenly I can see so clearly all the amazing things Hazel is.  I sit and wonder why I was so hard on her all day.  I go into her room and squeeze her hand and whisper my love into her ear.  Why didn’t I do that more during the day?  What is it with oldest daughters?  In my quest to love her and make sure she becomes the amazing person I know she is inside I get too pushy, I get out of line.

I want so badly to interact with her in a way that helps her to see the beauty of her own soul.   I’m so much better at pointing out the tiny little ugly spots, which makes them big in her mind.  That’s the last thing I want to do. 

She’s amazing.  She needs to know that because pretty soon she’ll be walking out my door and going much further than down the street to Kindergarten.  IMG_1938

And then I’ll be out of a job and what I taught her about who she is (the good and the bad) will be written in her heart.


  1. Great Post Saydi! I'm so filled with happiness for you... it's such a delight when the kids take over your "job". Good job Hazel. What a girl!


  2. What a joy to read this post! I'm not surprised that Hazel has totally taken over though it is truly incredible! Tell Hazel to get ready to cook for us at Grammie Camp and that I loved the story she read...can't believe what a reader she is for a kindergartener. I'm sure you're wondering what she's going to do to keep occupied in first grade! LOVE the photography. Saydi you are amazing!

  3. Saydi - this is post really tugs at my heart. I feel the same emotions at bed-time. Why did I gripe about all those little things and point them out to Eliza? These kids really are so amazing. I'm floored by Hazel's independence. Waffles? I just love it. And I love you for giving her the freedom and responsibility. It makes me think of other way Eliza could help. They can do so much if we let them. And I really do hope some day Eliza and Hazel room together at school or something. I have a feeling they are kindred spirits.

  4. Beautiful post. Just beautiful. You are a writer and a photographer. And a beautiful Mother and an Eyre. And this is why I read your blog. (Just started recently BTW!) I love it!

  5. Family Home Evening lesson tonight is How to Work -- Like Hazel! Good job to you both!

  6. Love this Sayds. Love that Hazel. I can't wait for she and Claire to do some "mothering" together at Bear Lake. Lucy would pick Claire to put her in bed over any of us. I love that. My fav. pic is the first one of Hazel and Peter where you can just see Hazels freckles and beautiful little face (along with all of Peter). SO cute. Love you!

  7. Saydi...I want to copy and paste all your entries since Peter was born... it seems that we've had very similar experiences with these babies...and you've captured my feelings and thoughts and experiences so well! I feel for you. Although LucyMae is only 3 (tomorrow), she is "my little Hazel"....she's already picking up my slack. And I've been saying lately that I think Ben is just getting used to life finally (but I like how you said his BIG spirit is getting used to being in such a tiny body - and Ben's body is GROWING!!!!). Anyway, love you are an amazing example to me. It's nice to have your blog to buoy me up:)

  8. Wow, you have managed to put into words the feelings I have for my oldest son. Maybe it is an oldest child thing? I have been known to hold him in a chair after he has gone to sleep because I felt I was too hard on him. It sounds like Hazel is quite the little lady and it sounds like you have done a tremendous job teaching her and it is paying off.

  9. I love this post, Saydi. That Hazel is so awesome, and that picture of her marching off to school with her back to the camera practically made me cry for the day that little Lillie eagerly heads to school. Super miss you!



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