quotes from the loo

Fine, not technically from the loo; rather, from within the loo.

The Kidling: (calling into the living room) Excuse me, Mom?
The Mama: What, Dear?
The Kidling: Can you tell me if this is too much toothpaste?
The Mama: I trust you, Dear.
The Kidling: (incredulously) You do?

Fair question. You know, after this.

pragmatism

The Mama is a closet vanity case. I hate that beauty matters so much but it does. Matter, that is.

While these facts remain true, I don’t talk about such things with The Kidling. Do I exercise regularly? Yes. Do I wear nice clothes? Yes. Do I take the five minutes for make-up? Yes. Do I comb my hair? Occasionally. Do I bathe?

Well… usually.

Ultimately, she sees what she chooses to notice, and I answer her questions candidly as they arise. I never really know what all The Kidling picks up on, but I wholeheartedly believe that if I want her to live an authentic life, then I should perform my identity in the way that comes naturally.

I was grabbing a pair of earrings one recent day when The Kidling informed me she had no interest in piercing her ears. “It’s more about how you feel, and safety, and how you’re scared, than beauty,” she said. She went on, mentioning a friend in her kindergarten class whose ears are pierced. The Kidling told me with great gravity that her friend Blanca is more concerned about beauty before bringing the discussion to a close with the assertion, “I’m for safety.” 

Remember that, wee one. Neither needles, nor heels, nor Spanx are more important than you keeping that tiny body happy.

problematic proverbs

“Smart minds think the same thing.”

– The Kidling
November 7, 2013

OkKidling!

Have you ever wondered what a five year-old child’s profile on OkCupid would look like? No? Huh.

Well, I have. Don’t hate: we all have flashes of brilliance.

For what it’s worth, this little verbal image (if that’s a thing) came to me after pondering an interaction between my dear child and a physician on Monday. This gentleman, Dr. Who,* is a specialist at the Our Town Gigantic Hospital (hereinafter OTGH). As the name suggests, OTGH is rather large. Gigantic, in fact. And though this fact can underscore many interactions between patient and physician, it did not this week. Dr. Who took the time to make The Kidling comfortable before assessing her condition.

Dr. Who: Are you in school?
The Kidling: Yeah.
Dr. Who: What grade are you in? Second?
The Kidling: Kindergarten! People think I’m older. I’m five, but I wear six pants.
Dr. Who: What do you like to when you aren’t in school?
The Kidling: I like to imaginate.
Dr. Who: Oh! Do you like to write stories?
The Kidling: Uh huh. (pause) I haven’t finished one yet.

Her extraordinary honesty notwithstanding, this painfully cute exchange got me thinking about how The Kidling and other kidling-types** would describe themselves to a new person.

A three foot, ten inch 5 year-old, I’ve lived in Our Town for my entire life.  I study at Local Elementary, where my favorite subjects are Music, PE, and Centers. Centers really speak to me, as I spend my time there drawing and imaginating animals, contraptions, and stories. I have watched Happy Feet dozens of times, but I am equally fond of more serious television and cinema, including Secretariat, Wild Kratts, and Dinosaur Train.

I think a healthy body is important, and I like to ride my bike (thank goodness I have training wheels, LOL!), race my parents (they always let me win), and climb ropes in gymnastics. I am the fastest rope climber in my class, but the other kids try really hard and I tell them “Nice job. Maybe you’ll win next time” because it is important to be nice. If you are nice, too, then maybe we can be friends.

I would totally ask for a playdate.

_________

* Not his real name. Duh.

** Can I just add that I adore the fact that my iPad has not only learned the word “kidling,” but it autocorrects to uppercase. That’s right, Apple. It’s “The Kidling” to you.

reading material

Sometimes (always?) The Kidling allows me to see things in a different light.

It was snack time and Alice was eating her favorite crackers (these, which, by the way, have an addiction potential on par with crack cocaine). Being the good Mama that I try to be am, I brought her some of her favorite cheese (this, from an amazing creamery not too far from Our Town). Upon realizing the substance of my offering on a plain white plate, Alice cried out, “Thanks! I was just going to ask for that. You read my brain!”

If only the last book I read had been half as interesting as The Kidling’s brain.

The Mama is a cheater

So, the fine folks at WordPress saw Tuesday’s post fit to Freshly Press. Which is awesome. Because some of you lovely readers might be here for the first or second time today, I’m going to cheat.

Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater.

This post, originally posted this spring as sh*t my kid says, gives a pretty good picture of what life is like for The Family. So what are you waiting for? Get to reading!

______________________________________

The Family has a pretty strict honesty policy (detailed in the footnote here. Yes, the book of alice occasionally uses footnotes. Apologies). This can make life difficult, or at the very least, awkward. The Kidling is very curious and asks questions about everything.

Really. Everything.

I’m usually prepared for the type of question she will ask. She wants to know why things work, how things work, why people behave certain ways… Not surprisingly, she also asks about why people look certain ways. This is not a big deal, typically. I’m usually spared the truly embarrassing moments, in part because she just doesn’t know to ask those questions. Alas, because I know The Kidling as well as I do, I wait for the question armed with the perfect, honest-but-kind response. For example, last week a friend’s dog got out and the lovely woman who brought the dog back had a beard and moustache. Not just a little shadow, but genuine facial hair. The woman was fantastic and clearly comfortable in her own skin, so when Alice said (loudly), “Mom! I want to tell you something funny. That girl has a beard,” I was perfectly confident responding simply, “Yes, she does. Everyone looks different, sweetie.” She isn’t too invested in gender roles (says the mother whose kid pointed out—loudly—a stranger’s nonconformance), so I figured that was all she needed. I was right. She went right back to her project with nary a thought on facial hair.

Sometimes, though, she kind of gets me.

Just Thursday we were at Kmart and she inquired—loudly—regarding the woman in front of us, “Mom? Is that a boy?” The woman was not amused. I said—loudly—in reply, “Of course not, sweetie! (nervous laughter) Of course she’s a woman! Remember when you thought I was a boy? Remember when I cut my hair and you thought I was a boy?”

Well, it turned out that if I had just shut the hell up, Alice would have explained her reasoning without all of The Mama’s hemming and hawing and attempts to soothe a bruised ego. She went on, “But she has a very deep voice.” And she did. So does Alice, so we talked about different types of voices and that was that.

And, of course, sometimes she really gets me. Like Sunday, when we were running errands at Target. I had run into a friend and we were chatting when “a person of abnormally small stature” walked by.*  Merriam-Webster wasn’t particularly helpful in producing an adequate synonym for me, so I quote their definition. Can you believe it suggested pee wee, pygmy, runt, AND shrimp!?! Really? Let’s substitute offensive words for other offensive words. Thanks, folks.

Anyway, the very small adult walked by and Alice was frantically—and loudly—trying to get my attention (have you noticed a theme here?):

Alice: Mom! Mom! Who is that?! Mom! Who is that?

The Mama: (I knew exactly who she was talking about, but didn’t want to make the idea of the “other” so concrete by knowing without being told) Who, Alice?

Alice: Who is that? That guy?

The Mama: Which guy?

Alice: (points) Is that a real-life person?

The Mama: Yes, Alice. Of course he is a real person.

Alice: I thought he was a mascot.

The Mama: (Fuck!)

Now, readers, pardon me for indulging in the exact thought I had at that moment, but seriously. I was completely prepared to talk to The Kidling about very small people, very large people, freckles, wrinkles, red hair, facial hair, underarm hair, skin color, eye color, wheel chairs, walkers, and the myriad ways in which people can be physically different. I was not, however, prepared to talk about mascots.

Fuck.

__________

* http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dwarf?show=0&t=1332734784 Sorry, dear readers. A JD makes a gal pretty paranoid about proper attribution.

my special… eyeball?

Kids form attachments to strange things. Even The Kidling.

Especially The Kidling.

The Family decided to be one of “those houses” on Halloween and not give out candy. Before you pass judgment, we gave out toys instead (sheesh, did you think we were jerks? surely you know better than that by now). Vampire teeth, ghost erasers, bouncy eyeballs… things from the dollar section at the front of Target (damn them). I figure junk for their homes is better than junk for their bodies?

Right?

I did not, however, realize how important said junk might be. Which was foolhardy, because, well… duh. Kids love their stuff. Even their worthless penny toys. Especially their creepy, blood-shot eyeballs.

Well, apparently Alice misplaced said creepy, blood-shot eyeball. It would have been a very sad day indeed, but the crisis was averted. Digging through her cauldron, she spotted the missing treasure:

“Hey! There’s my eyeball! I’ve been looking all over for my special eyeball! Whew! I was so scared. (switches to faux sweet voice) I thought I lost my special eyeball but now my special eyeball is found.”

And thank god for that. Whatever would we do without that nasty, creepy little eyeball in our home?

I think next year, we’ll buy candy again.

d*mn you, Target.

A thick, glossy, full-color Target book of want and need and angst for things previously unknown toy ad arrived at our home several weeks ago. I tried without success to keep it from The Kidling, but she spotted it and asked if she could “keep it for a while.” Sounds innocuous, right? Well, “keep it for a while” is kidling for “if you ever even consider recycling this, then I will throw a fit the size of which you and your small mama mind cannot fathom. You think I’m bluffing? Try me. I dare you.”

Or something like that.

I tempted fate and tried to sneak the Target ad out of Alice’s closet this weekend in order to show that evil genius of a marketing material its appropriate end. Apparently, I began fantasizing too soon about blowing my nose on the tissue I hoped that ad would become, because I was busted. Alice caught a glimpse of the ad before it hit the recycling bin and asked, slightly hysterically, whether she could look at it. As if I could say no.

I set about whatever kitchen task I was tending to at the moment while The Kidling flipped pages and told me about everything. It wasn’t long before she started asking for things. Alice isn’t a kid who feels entitled to a lot (except The Dada’s and The Mama’s undivided attention. Every waking moment. Seriously. Every one of them), so it always surprises me a little when she gets going on her “can I have this” episodes. This time of year, I have a ready response.

Alice: Mom, can I have this?

The Mama: We can put it on your list for Santa.

(five seconds pass)

Alice: Can I have this?

The Mama: No. If you’d like, we can put it on your list.

(twenty seconds pass. repeat from beginning)

Alice: Can I have this?

The Mama: Do you even know what it is?

Alice: No.

The Mama: (laughs) What is it?

Alice: I don’t know. I just want it.

The Dada: (whispers to The Mama) She is an American.

Alice: (didn’t hear The Dada. continues) And this whole-page thing. (turns page. waves hand, indicating everything on the two-page spread) And these. (turns page) And these. And— 

You can probably guess what happened next. I don’t fancy myself such a brilliant story-teller that you need me to finish it for you. Besides, I need to go super size something.