attitude

My grand-niece, Adelaide Sawdon is a cute little three year old girl who is…sassy!! I don’t mean to say that she is obnoxious, because that would be totally wrong. She just has a sassy personality. She is confident in her self, and in her place in her family. Maybe she is a little overconfident in her place in the family. You see, Adelaide thinks she is the boss of her family. She gets that attitude from her mom, Jessi Sawdon, who was sassy in her own right as a little girl. Jessi was the oldest child, and like her daughter, Adelaide, she was sure that she was not only the boss, but the mom!! She knew that she was the boss of her mom, even when she got in trouble for it. Adelaide is her mom’s mini-me on that. That’s our Addie!!

Adelaide is a very smart little girl. She knows her numbers, and she knows how many three is. She also knows that she was two until today, and that while she may have been one…once, one has nothing to do with her age now, not even in counting up to three. One is over, so figure it out!! Adelaide said that she wants to be five, so she can go to school, but I think her parents, Jessi and her husband, Jason, would rather wait just a little bit before she heads to school. For now, they want her to stay their baby girl for just a while longer.

Adelaide is very excited for her birthday party today, because her parents are taking her to the Planetarium. She is learning all about that word, and what it means. She knows that she is going to see the planets at the “Pantarium.” Listening to the cute little ways she says words is so fun. Her Aunt Kellie, whom Adelaide called “Kayee” for the longest time has been one of the ones whose name came out funny, but now, Adelaide has learned to say Kellie. Her aunt was so excited, and so she clapped her hands and cheered. Addie liked that, so now she says Kellie a lot, followed by the face of anticipation…waiting for the cheers and clapping. Awww, the joys of life as a three year old. Today is Adelaide’s 3rd birthday. Happy birthday Adelaide!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Me when I was youngerIt seems that for every day, there is a designation…some more significant than others, but each with it’s designation nevertheless. Today is National Attitude Day, and while I think some of the designated days are silly and some downright ridiculous, some of them are designed to make you think a little. National Attitude Day is one of the latter. People so often allow negativity to dominate their lives, but think about the people in your life who are always happy and who always have a good attitude. Those are the people you want to have in your life, because they make you smile just to think about them. Those people have just as many problems as the people you know who are always negative. They just don’t let their problems determine their attitude.

My mother was one of those people who refused to let her problems determine her attitude. She would just start singing…usually something like “Keep on the Sunny Side” or “Let a Smile be your Umbrella.” Of course, as kids, we didn’t always appreciate her attitude…especially when we felt like it meant that she didn’t understand that we had a problem and we weren’t happy about it. She did understand though, and that was why she started singing. She knew that if she could get us singing too, we would feel better. That’s the thing about a good attitude…it makes you feel better, even if you have problems. That is something I find myself missing very much about my mom…her attitude. She used to do the funniest things in an effort to get all of us Goofy Momlaughing, especially if we were fighting, and believe me when I say that five girls can fight…everything from an argument to a hair pulling fight. Mom sometimes got so frustrated with a fight that she would clear an area of a room out and tell us to fight. Of course, that usually made us all laugh, so the fight would be over. A very wise woman, my mom!!

People don’t like to see a person with a bad attitude. They take one look at your face, and if you have a sour look on it, they start doing everything they can to make you smile. As a teenager, I used to just hate that. I tended to be a concentrator, and so often had a frown on my fact…probably not the best way to go through my young life, but it is what it is. I can’t tell you how often people tried to tell me to smile…while I did, I was also annoyed. I look back now and realize they were trying to do the same thing my mom was…get me back on the sunny side of life.

I'm just madLittle kids don’t care if their attitude needs adjusting. All they know is that you made them mad, someone made them mad, or something made them mad. No matter the cause, they will simply tell you, “I’m just mad!” and you get to deal with it. It is usually a very expressive face that is given to this little attitude of their too, but some kids seem to do that look better than others. Even years later, you can look at the picture and know that the person who took that picture is really on that kids bad list right then.

What really fascinates me about these pictures, is not that this little kid is mad, or that they need an attitude adjustment, it is the expressiveness of their anger. Their face and body language so totally tell the story behind their feelings, and often the reason for taking the picture at all. I don’t know who the little boy in the first picture is, except that he is in an old album belonging to my husband’s family, but what I do know is that he looks just like a little When Amy got madgunfighter, who is mad enough at the photographer, to call them out for a gunfight at the OK Corral.

It also strikes me as funny that sometimes the way a kid shows anger can mimic someone from their ancestor pool, whether it is far back or not. My daughter Amy always had a very funny way of showing her anger. It involved not only her face, which was very expressive, but her arms which she crossed in front of her and then pulled to one side. I always thought that was pretty unique to her, until my cousin sent me a picture of our family when my sister, Alena was about 3 or 4, and there was a very similar way of expressing anger just staring at me from the past.

Alena had always had a very expressive way of showing her anger, and my other sisters and I knew not to mess with her much until she was fully awake, which usually involved several cups of coffee, in her early teens. Still, I never remembered seeing that same little I'm maddisplay of anger that I thought was so unique to my daughter, Amy. It just goes to show that we all have traits that can be passed down, and it doesn’t always go from parent to child. It often comes from aunts, uncles, cousins, or grandparents.

No matter where it comes from, displays of anger in little kids can be very funny. Their serious little faces, telling you that you are such a meanie and that you should get a spanking, or better yet be called out to a gunfight, serve only to reduce their parents to giggles. What is even more amazing is that the parents can manage to hold themselves together long enough to snap the picture…which probably makes the kid even more mad.

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