Sunday, June 14, 2009


It is a well established fact amongst parents that children don’t so much grow as they reach a new evolutionary stage in development. One day, she was ten, the next, she became an adolescent. The same holds true for younger beings of the human race. My daughter who has ever been the silent, shy and reserved type, watching what everyone else did before plunging into the fray, has made a severe gear shift in cognitive development.

The first sign: My eleven year old daughter plays softball, but she loves to come over and pick up either her baby brother or toddler sister to show off to her teammates. One of the girls bounded over to say “hi.” And my toddler withdrew a bit into her sister’s arms. “She’s very quiet.” My daughter explained by way of an apology. Then, a decidedly unfamiliar voice said, “I’m not quiet.”

The Second Sign: It was a hot sticky day so I handed out retro water guns, the type that only send a thin stream at one, the kind that won’t cause the middle children to sob if they get hit. Even Mom had a pistol. My toddler reached up with her hands, “Annh. Annh.” Amused, I gave her my gun.

She gritted her teeth in a fixed smile, her eyes shined. She held the gun, squirted it at me and said, with perfect clarity, “Die Mom.”

The Third Sign: Now, I’m no rookie mom. The scribbles on the wall at her eye level were a dead give away. This child was now officially embracing her “twoness.” Still, she wanted everyone to be clear on the matter. And so it was that while Mommy was busy feeding the baby, She who was once the sphinx, who once could be given cursory scans to verify safety and good behavior, decided that she would cook today.

She got out a pan. She got out the eggs from the second fridge. It was masked by a collaborative toddler who brought me a diet coke. “Why thank you…how thoughtful.” And they’re thinking….sap. To their credit, there were no shells in the bowl with the eggs, and they did work at the dining room table, and they did wash their hands. Having four eggs cracked, what's a Mom to do? We made a cake.

So when my older toddler knocked on the door this morning and said, “Mom, what’s that red stuff?”

And I muttered from my sleepy stupor, “What red stuff?”
And she said, “You know, red stuff you put on your lips to look pretty.”
I asked why.

“Because it’s in her crib, she’s putting it on.” I was wide awake and scaling the stairs three at a time. It turned out to be a false alarm, as my other toddler then grinned at me from the base of the stairs, holding my purse, but it could not be considered inplausible after the egg incident.

But the definitive sign, was we took her to mass. Now normally, we go in the early morning, trying to get a jump on the day and get them through the process before they’re fully awake enough to give us trouble, but today, we went to the Saturday night vigil.

Never again.

She who never spoke, giggled and enjoyed the unique acoustics of our building, allowing her laughter to echo across the Church walls. She who never was any trouble anywhere, spent the whole mass being a pretzel, a monkey and a popcorn bag in the microwave. She flopped, she lifted her legs in the air, she ran all around the back. She pretended to weigh 5000 pounds, to have no bones and to be a mountain climber on the statue in the back. She pulled open my shirt and asked, “What’s in there?”

We normally give children a grade on mass, something between a 1 and a 4 Star rating. Negative numbers were discussed. But then, she came and gave my face an earnest searching gaze and a gentle kiss on the cheek. What grade could I give such a cherub?

The same grade I give all my 24-35 month children;



MightyMom said...



ABNPOPPA said...

Those are all very funny however,this is more regarding the chocolate thing. For many years I could tell how bad a day my had by the number of Reese Cup wrappers lying on the kitchen counter. More than 2 and I just calmly went in the room give her a peck on the cheek and said we'll talk later. I then quietly left the room until the crisis was over. Even when she became sick on an occasion the Reese Cups would appear. I took a different approach then. But I do miss the Reese Cups on the counter at times!

Regarding your blog, I like the color and set up. I would say you are doing fine.

PS.. Came here vis My Wonderful Life.


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