Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Plastic Contingency

More than any other reason, I started this blog as a way to document the little things about the lil' dude that wouldn't necessarily make it to my memory 20 years later. I know, I know. Right now, she's on the cusp of four and I haven't forgotten a single thing, but that's not guaranteed.

Like, I want to remember what her favorite toys were when she was little.
And here they are.



When we went to Disney World in February, I cheated.
I locally stocked up on memorabilia before we even boarded the plane.
Yes, she still picked out a hot plenty of souvenirs, but I was able to supplement her joy with the items I had stowed away for her.
Like a tiny little Cinderella doll with a rubber evening gown.
That miniature, sparkly, $4 piece of plastic sparked a whole new revolution in my daughter's world.
She went on to find Sleeping Beauty and Snow White while on vacation, and when we came home, we set about finding the rest.



Belle showed up in her Easter basket.
Rapunzel was a secret gift when I spent 10 days traveling in March.
Ariel was waiting at Grandma G's one weekend.
Mama snuck Tiana into her luggage when she went to Camp Grandma in July.
And, together we found Jasmine at a Wal-Mart 150 miles from home.

Everywhere we go, the princess brigade goes, too. She has a little cloth bag her great-Grandma S. made her to contain her make-believe life. There is Sleeping Beauty's horse, Flynn Rider, about 17 rubber dresses, and 100 teeny, tiny accessories which she has catalogued within her brain.

She calls them her little girls.
Bless her heart.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Major

When I was a sophomore in college, I changed my major.

I completely changed schools within the university I attended, leaving the school of business and my marketing major behind for the college of liberal arts, and a mass communication degree instead. I was 20; and telling my Dad about my decision was the single most difficult thing I had encountered in my life. I was worried my parents wouldn't see the value in a liberal arts degree. I should have known better.

Over a lunch of greasy burgers, french fries, and canned soda in August before my junior year, I told my Dad when I resumed classes in a week, I would be doing so in mass comm. Yes, I procrastinated ... since I had been registered since May.

My Dad was quiet. Until he said, "Kid (he's called me that for 31 years now), you can do what you want. You know that. Mom and I will support you no matter what. There is a quote, a famous one, that goes, Whatever you are, be a good one. (Abraham Lincoln)

I was crying at this point. Part from relief, part from reassurance, part from the realization that I was now a grown-up and clearly, entitled and expected to make all my own decisions from here on out.

Then my Dad said, "I still expect you to graduate in four years, however."
Oh, right, I said, calculating. Of course.
I've never been one to disappoint anyone, especially my parents, so I agreed.

And I threw myself into the major. Courses and classes with Dr. Pepper (for real, Dr. Jerry Pepper), Dr. Sunnafrank, Dr. Katz. I loved what I was studying, and I worked my ass off for the next two years, taking more credits, more night classes, and more summer courses while working two jobs to graduate on time, despite my game change midway through.

And I graduated in the the spring of 2002, just four years after I graduated from high school.
My Dad? Was proud. He said he never had the notion I wouldn't do it.

So, where am I going with this story?
Straight to my three-year-old.
Who, yesterday I told that if she slammed her door one more time, I was going to take it off its hinges.
Who, yesterday I told that when you're angry, it's not okay to tell someone you no longer love them.
Who, yesterday I just stared at as she faced me off, hands on hips, tears on cheeks, life on fire.

I am 31, a Mass Communication major who cannot communicate with her 3-year-old daughter.



Last week, we sat down to dinner- chicken Alfredo, a dish I know my kid loves. Cheese, chicken, and carbs?
She sat down at her spot.
Poked around on her plate, begrudgingly took a bite ... chewed. Coughed a little, an incident aside from eating.
Then all Hell broke loose.
She spit her food all over the table and floor.
Crying, screaming, this food makes me sick!
Said, Mama never make this again! People get sick!
The Dad and I just stared at each other.
Until, finally, he told her to get down and go to her room, so we could continue to eat in peace.
She stormed off, hysterical, slamming her door.



All was quiet for 40 minutes. We finished dinner, cleaned the kitchen.
I heard her door creak open ... out she came, still sobbing.
You, she said to me, I don't love you to the top anymore. Just a little.
And, where's my Dad?
I told her he was outside, picking raspberries.
And she continued, I am not riding in the truck with Daddy anymore! He made me cry so bad.
And I just stared at her.
She was so deliberate, so intentional with her hurt and anger.
So I did what I knew how to. I gave her a bath, hoping to scrub off as much fury as I could.
I dried, lotioned, combed, pajamed her.
Tucked her in.
Read her a story.
Kissed her and told her how much I love her.
At 7:02pm.



I cautiously woke her up 12 hours later.
She came into the bathroom on her own, a rare feat.
Good morning Mama, she said to me, hugging my thigh.
As I curled my hair she commented, you look like, so pretty.
Just like Sleeping Beauty.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Best Sunday Ever

Sleeping in.
Putting on pretty dresses.
Wearing fancy hair.
And sunglasses.
Eating nothing but chocolately goodness for breakfast.
At the local coffee shop.
Just girls.
Playing board games.
Stealing whip cream from Mama.



Wearing SPF.
Another fancy dress.
From Hawaii.
And sunglasses.
Parking at the fence.
Of the closed greenhouse.
And having all the fish to ourselves.
Pursing our lips to mimic the creatures.



One whole loaf of bread.
One whole flock.
And one tiny baby.
Who was doted on.
No fear at the edge of the Mississippi.
Just singing.
And tending to the ducks.
As simple as it gets.
For as long as it takes.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Remind Me

As is always the case, I heard a song recently that made me think ...
Remind Me, by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.
While the lyrics relate to a relationship's ebb and flow, the title alone sparked this post.



This picture, from last weekend.
As I edited it, I kept staring at it. Something about it reminded me ... of something.
Her eyes, her nose. Her scrunched little girlie face.
Remind Me.

Oh. Oh, yes.
I remember.
She's this:



Remind Me.
December 7, 2007. Nearly 1pm ... this face is burned, burned into my soul.

I hope she always reminds me of her initialness her whole life.

When she is eight, missing teeth.
When she is 13, always mad at her Daddy.
When she is 17, in love and making her Mama worry.
When she is 26, in my kitchen asking for recipes.
When she is 40, helping me deal with grief.

Remind Me, baby girl.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Retro

Your Grandma S. is notorious for saving things.
Seriously, love her for it.
Especially when there is another, cute, blond generation who benefits from all the retro.



You and Daddy sure had a blast putting together his old Disney puzzle.
He swears between he and Uncle D., the puzzle was put together roughly 800 times.



Your favorite were the princesses, naturally.
Even if all the news girls like Tiana, Ariel, Rapunzel, and Belle were missing.
Princess Aurora was not.
Good, good thing.



Were all the pieces intact?
You bet.
You were able to put the last one in.
A miracle over 30 years old!

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Happy Place


The lakes are something which you are unprepared for;
they lie up so high, exposed to the light, and the forest is
diminished to a fine fringe on their edges,
with here and there a blue mountain,
like amethyst jewels set around some
jewel of the first water, - so anterior,
so superior, to all the changes that are to
take place on their shores, even now civil
and refined, and fair as they can ever be.

-Henry David Thoreau