At the dinner table the other night, Bee was happily chatting away with me, telling me about her day (so, so SO fun!); about what she would name a dog if we got her one (Scaddle the Boy); about who will be at her sister’s first birthday party on the weekend (Will Buby be there? Will Gramma be there? Is Gramma Daddy’s mudder? You’re MY mudder!); about negotiating to watch a tv show after dinner (Mummy, I’m being so patient!) (Nice try, honey), about all sorts of important things, when her father, sitting on the other side of the table, had the gall to interrupt the chatter to alert me to something particularly cute that Dove was doing with her avocado.
Bee furrowed her brow at the interruption and, with a ‘what gives’ little wave of her hands, and admonished her father:
‘Daddy! I am having a conversation with my mudder. Urrr!’
Indeed, my honey, indeed.
Chris was coming home with both of the kids one evening, and put Bee on the front porch while he went to get Dove out of the car. My next door neighbour, a very lovely older Greek lady, came over to Bee, and as she (rightly) does, starting gushing over her. After a minute, she picked her up to give her a hug and remark over what a big girl she was becoming. She held her for a bit, and after Chris brought her inside, he took off her jacket and explained to his oft-shy little girl that, if she didn’t want to be picked up, it was ok to say so. He was concerned that she felt powerless and uncomfortable, and he wanted to reassure her that it was ok to say no thank you. Bee looked at him, raised her hands, palms up, curled her top lip and said, out of the side of her mouth,
‘But Daddy, I like being picked up.’
He was surprised when she didn’t add, ‘Dumbass.’
On one of my last playdates before going back to work, a friend and I had our girls at a busy, local coffee shop that all the moms flock to, because there is a play area for the kids at the back. Truly, it’s a godsend, but that’s not the point. The point is, on this particular, crowded day, my friend, to her exasperation I’m sure, ended up having to haul her kid out of the playhouse mid-meltdown, stuff her and her sister in their stroller, and take their leave.
Sister, we’ve all been there, and while I hope no one was judging my friend, I’m sure there were the obvious sighs of relief that our own kids were playing nicely and making us look pretty good. I know, looking at my own two, entertaining themselves while I sipped my java, I felt downright civilized.
And then, a bit of a commotion from inside the playhouse. Bee was not happy that a little boy had stepped inside and was trying to commandeer the ‘cell phone.’
‘Bee,’ I called, ‘These toys don’t belong to us; we all have to share and play together.’
And then, another sound from inside the playhouse – the most dramatic sigh a three-year-old has ever sighed. I smiled despite myself. ‘Ok, love?’ I followed up. And then, loudly, from inside the playhouse, from my three-year-old,
Oh. My. God. I snapped my gaping mouth shut and honestly, tried not to laugh as I quickly scanned the room and registered the looks of horror/smug delight on all the other moms.
‘She’ll make a lovely teenager.’ I offered.
Raised eyebrows slowly succumbed to gravity, and eventually some other kid did something even more obnoxious, and I allowed that the heat was finally off my mad parenting skills.
But to my friend, you’re welcome. Because little did you know how good I made you look that day.