Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Well, It's Cute on a Four Year Old~~~

Life with the 4 year old continues in its chaotic, joyful, histrionic fashion. This weekend the girl and I had a full calendar, mainly with errands and appointments, plus a little social relief. Saturday morning was her first appointment with an allergist, as directed by her primary doctor -- I was mildly concerned with how resistant she would be to allowing the scratch tests -- but she came through that part just fine -- laid on her belly, then propped herself up to marker in a little notebook. "They will open the door and think I am a boy because I have no shirt on! I will surprise them." I jinx things by sending Rick a text with her coloring, "All going well at the allergist!" At which point, I colored something differently than she wanted, so she naturally lobbed a marker at me, and demanded "YOU FIX IT RIGHT NOW!" which also failed to yield the desired results. I confiscated the markers and notebook and now she tried to hit me and wailed. So crying sounds came from our room after all, though not from a scratch test. Upside: no allergies! So far, mostly good.

Prior waiting at a different locale, favorite El Harissa
A long day ahead, so we tried out the nearby Golden Egg diner. Classic, bustling, chrome and old vinyl. I allowed her a small chocolate milk, and that certainly focused her for a bit. Then she crumpled a teensy piece of paper straw wrapper into a "worm," and we played baby/mommy caterpillar for awhile. We were both tiring of the new game, and she tried halfheartedly to peel open several jelly servings (thwarted); the older woman across the aisle who periodically tried to engage the preschooler said:"You have been waiting A LONG TIME for your FOOD!"

PS*: ....yeah, SO. LONG!

Me (internal): Not really helpful to point it out, thanks~

Woman: WHAT are YOU going to eat!!

Brain melting
PS: [ticks off food items, before turning to me] WHY do we have to wait SO LONG, it has been FOREVER [drapes herself dramatically across the tabletop].

Me: Yes, we have been waiting a while, but it's really busy, you can see them working in the kitchen and they're also making food for people who are just coming in to pick up food~~

I make eye contact with the waitress, raise my eyebrows, and she returns my gaze. She's clearly an experienced waitress, so I feel confident she knows the questioning look likely translates into "where's our food?"  Either it's just simply taking a bit, or she'll follow up. I settle in. My daughter, however, has other plans.

"Excuse me!" she pipes up in her far-reaching little girl voice. "Excuse me!" The waitress turns around and bends down to her, with a humoring a face.

"We have been waiting so long for our food that I have begun to worry you are not focusing on us." I bang my forehead on the table in an effort to hide my guffaw and the waitress also adjusts her face not to smirk. Her delivery is smooth, without pause. Well, she says, she will go check on our food. As luck would have it, the order has just come out, and our server delivers the food with a flourish:

"Here we are. Are you still worried~~?"

"No..." She dimples and eyes her meal.

"So, how old ARE you?"

"I am four," says the demanding one. Or she holds up her fingers.

"You know, you are VERY well spoken for four years old"

"I know," she says, digging into her bacon.

Following this exchange, the waitress was initially quite friendly, but then she cooled. I suspect she decided my daughter was simply parroting something I said. Had I not had *this child*, I imagine I would have come to the same conclusion. I felt embarrassed, but what can you do? This is merely the first decade of emotional hot potato -- lobbing embarrassment back and forth, all in the family.

*PS= preschooler

Friday, August 2, 2019

Just Add Water

Laaaa-di-da, I've been spending my mornings poolside. A slight breeze ripples the water, the sun urges me to just layyyyy back and clooooose my eyes. True, it's only half an hour, but pool time is like beach time -- slower, divorced from life*-- a respite, however long. Also true, the air is filled with squealing, shouting. Some wailing, or, at the very least, performative hitched breathing. But the wailing is not yours, it does not belong to you: breathe in, let it float away, as it will. From a distance, one can murmur, "Ahh poor thing, he's having a *hard* morning" and nestle against the vinyl lounge chair. I'm happy to say my preschooler's also enjoying her swim lessons. She bobs up, proudly floating with her foam barbells and gives me a cartoony thumbs up. She is convinced she can already swim now ("I'M A GREAT SWIMMER!) -- she *can't* -- which is a handy reminder for continued vigilance around the water.

The weather has been beautiful this week, though often a touch chilly in the mornings, which has helped with transitioning her from the pool and back into the car (damn transitions, so tricky). A young "tadpoles" class has coincided with our daughter's individual lessons, so I get to watch the parents dipping their mostly happy toddlers up-and-down up-and-down into the very shallow section, with much clapping and wide eyed encouragement. A little curlyheaded girl -- the same size, but probably two years younger -- than my daughter is intent on running away in an endearing-if-you're-not-involved fashion; the grandmother in pursuit says, "You want an extra one? You can have her for the day, no charge!" We laugh and she scoops her up in a dripping, giggling,wrestling bundle.

A few minutes later, as my daughter drags her towel slowly along the wet ground, and I trip over my feet, trying to herd her toward the locker rooms, I hear the same woman noting to her older charge: "No, I do NOT need to be yelled at again~~" I make some kind of sympathetic noise with raised eyebrows, because, I, as well, do NOT need to be yelled at again. And the shorter set do not seem hampered by us explaining this. And yet, we must start somewhere. We try not to return the yelling. We round the corner into the pre-timed showers. A different woman lathers and says grimly: "If you yell at me one more time, I'm not taking you to the library." The wet girls look indifferent, or bemused. They will most certainly yell again. The showers are short, the day is long. And for the mothers, it will most likely be longer without the library trip, but it's hard to balance it all. These interactions were oddly comforting. It is a loud time. It is a Summer of Yelling.  

Several minutes later, in a move one only expects in a sitcom, the first woman pulls next to me on the road and rolls her window down.  With the windows down, one hears a loop of hoarse endurance bellowing. The older brother, who has been chill through everything, stares straight ahead. Bright and cheery: "Offer still stands!" Oh, how I like her.

"She was at the pool," my daughter informs me. 

"Sure, just lob her through the windows!" We laugh and roll up our windows, my daughter wrinkles her brow, and off we drive.  

*especially if you dropped your phone in the car, in your mad dash over