Red Delicious

One of these things is not like the others...

I honestly expected that we would have another boy. Over three generations of my family, the men had produced boys at about a 3:1 ratio. But I was excited when we learned we were going to have a girl.

I don't remember much about Katie's pregnancy with Allison. But when she started to go into labor we figured we would have a few hours, as we did with Sam. And one thing they drill into you during birthing classes is that deliveries always take FOREVER. So her contractions were 20 minutes apart when I hopped in the shower early in the morning, and when I got out a few minutes later they were two minutes apart. We were renting a house from a friend who lived in the connected apartment, so he came over to hang out with Sam while my parents drove over, and we rushed to the hospital. Because of insurance stupidity, we had to cross town and miss several closer facilities. Meanwhile, Katie notes that Allison was trying to join our family in the car.

The delivery was particularly stupid because we pulled up at the hospital and I ran to grab a wheelchair. The idiotic people in the hospital acted like they had all the time in the world, and we were typical panicky parents. They made Katie get changed into a gown, not bothering to check and realize that she was fully dilated. It was far too late for an epidural, and in the end Allison was born 15 minutes after we got there. The doctor happened to be there for another delivery, and basically walked into the room to catch her.

Allison was our littlest baby, at just over 6 pounds, and from the beginning she had her distinctive red hair. We had discussed names but never finalized one before delivery. So we were in the hospital trying to figure it out. We liked the name Martha, and Amelia, and my friend Todd had suggested Allison at one point. In the end I think Katie basically told me to pick. So I chose Allison. And I had liked the name Evangeline, but just gave her Eva for her middle name.

Allison was a good baby, pretty quiet, and was a much better sleeper than Sam had been. She was also a lot chubbier than Sam, and it's funny go to back through photos and see the contrast.

One of the most interesting things about Allison is that she can literally wear anything and look good. She even put underwear on her head the other day and somehow managed to make it work. She gets compliments on her hair wherever she goes. I honestly hope she's not too gorgeous as she grows up, or life could be as challenging as if she struggled to fit in appearance-wise.

But more important than her looks is her personality. Allison has a sweetness and shyness about her that is very endearing, and wins her a lot of friends, but she can also go from 0 to crabby whining like a switch was flipped in her brain. It's quite a process to watch. Like Sam she seems to just absorb knowledge and is turning into a very skilled reader. She also has a visual talent that must come from Katie's side of the family. She likes drawing and creating notes and other messages for people, and she has almost a photographic memory. When something is misplaced in the house I often ask Allison, and she can remember where she has seen it.

Clara often beats up on Allison, oddly, and she never fights back. She usually sits there and takes it rather than removing herself from the situation. Which is weird, but better than hitting her little sister, I suppose. This summer she gained a streak of independence, determinedly learning to ride her bike without training wheels and taking off around the neighborhood for hours at a time with her friends. This bothers Katie, but it was how I played as a kid.

She's a great kid, and it's wonderful to have Allison as part of our family. Oh, and Red Delicious is the nickname she likes best. I know it's the worst fruit, but let her have it.


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