April Jeppson: Watch out world, there’s nothing to stop her

Published 8:45 pm Friday, December 17, 2021

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

It’s my daughter’s birthday today. Genevieve is 8 years old, and she’s the youngest of my three children. She arrived two weeks late and has been doing whatever she wants since. She’s bossy, loud, funny, silly, strong as heck and incredibly smart.

April Jeppson

I really enjoy watching her grow. As she’s the youngest, I’m very aware that she is doing the last of the things. As she plays with her Barbies, or insists that her sister play school with her, I know that any one of these days, it might be the last time I get to hear her play like this, so I soak it in.

When we gather for family movie night, more times than not she’ll have me grinning from year to year. I’ll look over at her and she’ll be laying on her stomach with her chubby little hands holding up her cute little face. Or she’ll have positioned herself upside down on the beanbag chair with her legs in the air. Little kids do funny things and I appreciate them so much more now than I did when my oldest was going through this stage.

Genevieve has discovered she has a love for steak. We went out to Medora this summer and saw the musical. Beforehand we enjoyed dinner at the Pitchfork Fondue. The adults all got steak while the children were given hot dogs. Genevieve doesn’t particularly enjoy hot dogs so she ate her bun and started to eyeball our food. My husband gave her a bite and she was hooked. Thankfully these steaks were enormous, and I gladly shared a good portion of mine with her.

There was this one time when she was about 2. She was quietly playing by herself and as we all know too well silence isn’t always golden. I went to check on her and discovered that she was covered in cocoa powder. It wasn’t just her, it was my couch, carpet and floor as well. If this had happened with my older two, I probably would have freaked out. However, I had so much more patience at that moment. I could feel the stress building, but then it almost instantly went away. Instead of yelling, I took the time to find my camera and take a picture. It was cute how excited she was to have discovered this new medium. She’s a little kid and that couch was old anyway.

On her first birthday she wouldn’t eat her birthday cake. She had discovered cheese puffs, and that’s the only thing she’d eat. There was no amount of convincing that was going to get her to eat it, she knew what she wanted and I’m pretty sure that’s all she ate that day. She’s been that way ever since. When she knows what she wants, there is nothing that’s going to stop her.

She still has little kid fingers and sweaty little kid feet. I try not to let her get away with murder, but I know she gets away with more than my older two ever did. My son reminds me of this often. Genevieve might always be my baby, but she is a force to be reckoned with. Watch out world, she’s coming for you.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.