I’m sitting in the car while the BBDD and Bambina are in the Children’s Museum. As lame as it sounds to sit in the car for an hour and a half, at this point I have decided that it beats hanging out at home, especially since I actually take the time to write letters and cards or call friends rather than finding random June Cleaver stuff to do and calling it a weekend well-spent. Not to mention that it does Bambina some good to have me along, even for the ride. As much as I am over this year already, she is really over it. I have such agita about not jinxing my recovery not because I need it to happen for me, but because I need it to happen for her. Kids express their feelings in various ways, as you know. For Bambina lately she’s just telling us in her own way that she needs some normalcy again. Because as normal as we’ve worked to make this year for her, and as simpler as it was to create when she was almost 3 rather than now almost 4, the truth is that there is a limit to how much you can “spin” a year of No Mama after about 340 days of it. She’s done carrying this burden and she needs us to know it, by virtue of needing lots of hugs and kisses and extra reassurances. So we’re giving it, no matter how much someone else might think we’re contributing to a minor regression in her development. I think that growing up and figuring things out at 4 is a pretty big job even when your mom hasn’t been off the grid and out of a large part of your life for a year, and sometimes needing a little babying is what makes it all manageable. And, honestly, when I look back at these days, what will I say? Did I have something better to do than hug my kid a little more? Did I need sleep so badly that I couldn’t sit with my kid for 30 seconds at 3am till she fell back to sleep holding my hand? Please. If this is not what being a parent is all about, I’m not sure what is. It’s not like we’re okay with regression in the sense of letting her break the rules of rudeness or bad behavior. Instead, we’re saying that if your kid is together enough to say, “I didn’t get enough hugs today!’ you ought to at least put down your latte and get your damn hug on.
It’s also easy to forget that kids get tired too. Just this week Bambina laid down on my lap, put her feet on the couch and said, “Mama. I am out of energy. I feel like I had a long day today!” Of course, an hour later she was raring to go just as I was feeling like collapsing. We were playing Snow White (wherein we act out the “story” of Snow White who saves the prince with the help of her friends the dwarves) and she said two really cool things. First she said something, laughed to herself, and then said, “Mama. Sometimes I make only myself laugh!” I cheered to myself, "That's my kid!!" and I told her that’s the only kind of laugh that matters.
Then she looked at a picture of the Disney princesses and said, “Mama, why the princesses wear such small shirts? Don’t they get cold?” On the one hand I was hoping she wouldn’t notice, on the other hand, yay! I replied that if I was their mommy I wouldn’t let them wear those shirts and that, yes, they really should cover their tummies and shoulders a bit more because that is more of a grown-up outfit rather than a princess outfit. And then I pointed to her Ariel and Snow White real-life costumes that are fully clothed and offered that they probably wear the full shirts most of the time but maybe they just wore those tiny ones for that photo. Honestly, it’s the only reason I’m psyched she doesn’t glom onto Jasmine from Aladdin, because—talk about agita—the BBDD gets crazy every time he sees the bare midriff and the bikini on something geared to his daughter’s age. Thank God for Snow White and Mulan who manage to be princessy without being half naked (although I wouldn't object to them overdubbing that 1930's Betty Boop voice Snow White's got in the movie which I think was considered cute then?) But the clothing issue does make me want to punch somebody at Disney right in the face. Like, did Ariel have to have a shell bikini top? Really? Does Jasmine really have to have a belly button showing? And it's not just the princesses that are all wrong in all the wrong ways. Here's a pic of Ariel's dad:
Note the icky man-nipple action and just too much torso and navel before the fish tail starts. It's grody. Yeah, and my kid's birthday party is going to be full of it. Because when your 4 year old wants a mermaid party, your 4 year old gets a mermaid party no matter how much Mama is disturbed by King Triton's goody trail.
Anyhoo. Moving swiftly along. To the fact that I need a drink very badly. Haven't had one in more than a year (must be nice to my liver which is already doing the work of three what with all my medications, not to mention that alcohol is toxic to bone marrow especially the new baby just-getting-started or the old-in-need-of-help kind), but don't actually really honestly long for one. The desperate need only hits me whenever I read Peggy Noonan and find myself saying out loud, "Good god, woman. You might be right!" Her article this week on why she's not so lathered up about the Reverend Wright is just the latest in a series that have had me just a little too close for comfort to her side of the aisle for my tastes. Now, maybe it's because she uses "hatred" of the English as an example, but damn if sister Peggy weren't speaking my language today: http://online.wsj.com/article/declarations.html
And if you're wondering, I like Springbank 10 Year or A. Rafanelli Cabernet. ;) I'm gonna need a case of each unless Peggy either gets some writer's block or gets a visitation from the ghost of Ronnie Reagan telling her to stop helping Obama already.
And that, barkeep, is about all I've got for you today. Like I promised, a whole lotta talk about nothin'.