The things you think a five year-old kidling would be blissfully unaware of…
The Family went to an arts festival last weekend. The Auntie (mother to The Kidd-o and The Twins) founded a fabulous little craft company with a brilliant business model and we wanted to show our support. We had plans to spend the day strolling around, looking at beautiful things, and enjoying the weather. Unfortunately, The Kidling was grouchier than a furry green monster. This means that we spent the day herding a crabby Kidling and her cheerful cousin, ignoring the beautiful things, and trying to find something that might de-grouch Oscar—Er, I mean—Alice. De-grouch Alice. My daughter. Who I love and adore. Even when she acts like the devil.
Remember how much you love her, remember how much you love her, remember how much you love her. Go write a story about how much you love her. Remember how much you love her, remember how much you—
Whew. All better now. As I was saying…
Grouchy McKidling cheered up a bit after she sprinted up a very steep hill. Let me tell you that is not my reaction after climbing Mt. Anything. The Kidling must have picked up this mood lifter elsewhere. Regardless, the good cheer was short-lived, and she morphed back into Cantankerous Kidling by the time I made it to the top with The Kidd-o.
The Dada and I were at a loss with how to deal with our petulant one when I spied a crafts table. Yes! Crafts! This will work, I thought to myself. We headed over to the table for a little play therapy. It worked. Well, sort of. She pouted, but didn’t complain. That counts as success, right? Right?!?
As The Dada and I enjoyed our temporary reprieve from all of the kvetching, a newspaper photographer approached us. She pointed to Alice and asked whether she was our kid. When we responded, “(sigh) Yes,” she asked permission to photograph her. I snickered. “Sure, but good luck,” I told her. “She’s pretty grumpy today.” She chuckled and proceeded to take pictures until Alice turned her face to prevent said photographer from capturing a decent photo.
Told you so, I thought to myself.
We went about our afternoon until The Kidling finally melted down fully and completely and we were forced to exit the vicinity. Happy Father’s Day, my ass.
We returned to The Grandparents’ house and waited for her mood to stabilize before heading back to Our Town. Nary a thought of the photographer crossed my mind until the following day, when The Auntie’s charming and delightful business partner informed me that The Kidling’s countenance graced the Nanaland Newspaper. Ha, I thought, can’t wait to see that shot.
As is often the case when one finds oneself or one’s offspring in the newspaper, we got copies in the mail. The first to arrive was the one I requested from Alice’s grandparents. Nana included a lovely note in her impeccable penmanship that described her surprise and delight at finding her granddaughter staring out from her Monday morning paper.
“Was I in the paper?” Alice asked incredulously. “Let’s find out,” The Dada replied. They opened the enclosed clipping to find a photo of The Kidling studiously working on her art project. She didn’t even look grumpy. I have no idea how the photographer managed that, but whatever. At least my kid wasn’t captured in print as a spoil sport for posterity.
As Alice shook with delight, The Dada explained the concept of a caption. He pointed to the words beneath her picture and asked whether any of them look familiar. “Alice!” she gasped.
The Dada read the rest of the caption aloud as The Kidling beamed. When he finished, Alice was still radiating excitement. “Now everybody knows my name!” she exclaimed. “I always wanted to be a star!”
You already are, dear. You already are.