Sunday, March 10, 2013

Coffee Shop Solitude

Remember the other day ... Mere hours ago, really, when I was going on and on about my child being too big, too old, too unchildlike? In turn making me fret, making me proud?

I am sitting here, in our fave coffee shop alone ... Blogging about getting shot down by said five-year-old this morning when I told her where we were headed.

"No thanks, Mama. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is on and I have been thinking about those turtles for dayyyyyyyyys."

I know. She said that.

I'm actually happy. She's nestled in the recliner surrounded by her pink NaNa from infancy, a Sleeping Beauty pillow, Scooby Doo fleece blanket, in her faded purple nightgown bearing horses. Clutching her purple stuffed unicorn and asking for milk with her atrocious morning breath.

My baby. Right where she is supposed to be.

"Hey can you please bring me a star cookie and pink lemmelade when you come back?"

Sure babe. Anything for you.

Mama loves.

Stay little, damnit.

Back to my own Turtle (mocha), Kim Kardashian, and Mumford & Sons station on Pandora.
Life is rad.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I Can Carry My Own Bag

I mentioned a few posts back about the glue that is my five-year-old. She still can't get enough of her Mama. When she and I came home from yoga last night, The Dad surprised her with the season's first batch of Cadbury Eggs. She hurriedly ripped off the foil, took a big bite, and winced.

Ugh. I don't even like these any more! The sugar gives me a headache!

The Dad was indeed crestfallen. That was their thing, their sugary bond. Since I have never ever, in the history of ever, liked those confections, he said to me, "stop stealing her away from me."

Dude. I haven't changed- but she has. 5.1 years as a Daddy's Girl, gone just like that in February.

We spend mornings snuggled in bed, The Today Show on, drinking coffee and applesauce pouches and YouTubing hair curling tutorials. We sing our faces off to that ridiculous Macklemore song- and she tries to figure out the lyric the radio station bleeps out before "awesome" ... I'll give you a hint. It starts with an Eff. We talk about our Grandma's and plan our outfits and veto boots and talk about the Wade vs. George saga on Hart of Dixie.

So basically, we're Besties or sisters or roommates or all of the above.

I often forget she's a mere five. I've said that before.
We had some hours the other evening and I asked her what she wanted to do.
She wanted to do manis and pedis and have wine and OJ in stems.
So we did.
Then I urged her to color with Daddy. Make a damn mess. Color on my carpet. Lose the caps.
Go be a kid, basically.
I often forget she's a mere five.

She's an only child.
She always will be.
She spends her days as the Mother Hen at daycare and with her friends at Pre-K.
But she comes home to her Mama and Daddy.
We're filling her hours and brain and vocabulary.
She has more common sense than most adults I know. She uses the correct tenses of verbs.
She. Makes. Me. Lunch.
Old souls, table for two please.

Simply, I don't want to ruin her.
I don't want her to be perpetually bored.
Or high maintenance.
I hate Play-Doh vehementienetly but want her to love it.
When she has Target money to spend, I want My Little Ponies in the cart and not a faux Barbie Blackberry.
I want her to sob hysterically, and cling to my thigh, just once when I drop her off somewhere.
The first day of kindergarten would be ideal.
Instead of sauntering into that place in her wee aviators with her lipgloss poppin', bidding me Peace Out, MamaLiscious.

She was the anti-baby. Sleep, sleep, sleep.
Peace. Peace. Peace.
Dominate, dominate, dominate.
She ruined the Dad and I.
Made life way too simple ...
... and is stretching that into her youth.
"What do you want for dinner?" I ask her.
I dunno. Something healthy, like some fruit?
"OK great. Here is a sundae made with blue cotton candy, an ICEE and gummy bear sauce. Enjoy!"
Mama. You KNOW sugar gives me a headache ... banana!

When my own Mama asked me yesterday how the lil' dude was, I told her she hopes the Easter Bunny brings her her very own curling iron. My own Mama laughed ... 'Sounds like someone else I know!' I told her when she plays House and mothers her four babies, she asked me to make a spreadsheet of their vaccinations to put in their baby books- like I did with her updated shots last week. She even makes life simple for her imaginary babies' imaginary daycare ladies and imaginary schools.

I'd beg time to stop, but time has never been the culprit.
The culprit is her tiny spirit, her determined personality, her ridiculous heart.
Her appetite for life.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lunch Breaking

After she spent her first morning of spring break in her underpants watching Pioneer Woman Cooks, and episode after episode of Bobby Flay, my girl announced it was time for lunch, and she was preparing it.

I was working in the office downstairs. She told me to stay put as her cast and crew of ingredients were assembled on the counter ... I saw Ranch, Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, and a Lunchable before she shooed me out of her way.

I was bangin' away on my crap for the day when she arrived at my elbow, plate in hands, Beagle on heels some minutes later. Her smile was 14 miles wide. She literally, was beaming.

On my Toy Story plate was a bowl of homemade "sauce"- the aforementioned Ranch, BBQ sauce, ketchup, and diced-up Grandma S. homemade horseradish dills. Served as accompaniments were Ritz crackers and 'Lemonades' Girl Scout cookies.


And, of course those nasty joy-killing thoughts crept into my brain as I accepted my lunch from my daughter. You know, the logic that usually puts a damper on unadulterated awesomeness? Like, I had already eaten. Like, I avoid gluten and processed sugar as much as possible. Like, Ranch with what?! And lastly ... oh, those pickles. Those beloved pickles from my Grandma! My precious stock of limited supply pickles of love!

You know what? My Grandma would be thrilled to pieces to learn her great-granddaughter was cookin' in a snowstorm in her underpants for her Mama's love and satiety.

I pulled my nude chef into my lap and hugged and thanked her for my meal. I told her how impressed I was with presentation and that the sauce was ridiculous. I ladled those chunks of cut-by-the-hand-of-a-five-year-old pickles onto those buttery, gluteny Ritz and savored each bite. I twisted the cookies apart in Oreo fashion and licked the icing clean from the shortbread. I made that meal count.

I also chased it with plenty of water!

I offered the lil' dude several opportunities to try her creation. She balked at each offer.

Smart girl.

She simply said she made me lunch because she knew I was busy and she wanted to help me. That's true intention, too. There wasn't any ulterior motives at play, either. Make Mama food; make Mama happy.

There's been countless times I've been delighted by motherhood. Like, those times when her star really started to shine and her personality was revealed- when people compared her to me and commented on similarities us. There have been times when she has picked up on sadness around her and hugged the crap out of who (or, let's be honest, what) needed hugging. Times where I said out loud, "I have done my job here," in any regard to being a boastful parent.

But when she handed me plate of love yesterday, I really, really knew she's already got life on lock. Doing things for the people she loves simply to revel in the happiness and appreciation of tiny acts of selfless love.

And when she says, by making you/him/her/it happy, I am happy, I know she means it because that, America, is unteachable. There is no chapter on raising selfless, charitable, and generous kids. You can hope ... that's about as far as you can take it, though.

When I went to put my dishes away, I saw she had even cleaned the kitchen. Put the ingredients away, and put the cutting board and knife (a butter knife) in the sink. This time, my eyes threatened to spill over. She was so intentional down to the last detail. I had expected (that logic again rearing its ugly head) the kitchen to look exactly like a five-year-old had made lunch in it for the first time ever ... bottles on their side, contents leaking onto my cabinets, floors, and refrigerator doors left open and dishes strewn about. There wasn't even a drop of pickle juice to be found, no stray crumbs.

Just one overwhelmed, grateful Mama.
And, one sad, unfed Beagle.