Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Somebody Else with a Birthday

The "I hate you" bit has passed. For now. All that was needed, for now, was a time out and a "We don't say that to people, especially people we love" speech so that today I feel gushy and sappy and giddily in love with my four-year-old.

For one, even if she continues to have whiney, screamy, sassy moments, she has entered that stage of life at which it is a pleasure (for both of us) for her to be helpful. This translates to, "Sweetie, Would you please get Cole a sip of water?" Or "Would you mind bringing me a napkin?" Or "Do you think that you could help me clean the toilet? Scrub the floor? Cook? (counting the days until I can safely set her free with kitchen appliances)" Each request met with, "Sure Mommy." Or "O.k. Mommy." Or "I can do it, Mommy." And it might seem obvious to say and as if I am relying on child labor perhaps a little more often than I should be, but I LOVE the help--my child, too, of course.

Two, Aidan loves books. I don't know if it will last and how to make it last, but there is almost nothing that she and I enjoy doing more than reading together, our most recently read book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. As most geeky former English teachers probably would, I decided to show her the movie AFTER reading the book so that we could discuss whether the director's decisions "obscure or reflect the author's intent" (to borrow a phrase from KT). About ten minutes into the movie Aidan said, "I'm not watching this." "Why," I asked, not having considered that she might find displeasure with television. "Dorothy is too old. She wasn't that old in the book. And I don't like her voice. And the lion that has a man's face scares me." She refused to watch it. "Maybe when I'm older," she added. And that was the end of it.

Three, the other night she hid plastic bugs, one under my pillow and one under Tad's pillow, to surprise us and just for the fun of it.

Four, when I finally agreed to delve into a plastic tub in basement filled with toys stashed one night in a fit of motherly anger because Aidan wouldn't help pick up toys, she told me that I was "the best mommy ever" even after I told her that she must 'swap out' some of the toys that don't get played with for these 'new' toys. She did so willingly, agreeably, and then acted like it was Christmas for the next few hours.

And because I've gushed enough already and written enough already and said enough already, I'll end with Aidan's words, a dream she had a couple of nights ago that she insisted that I write down with obvious references to The Wizard of Oz and Tina and Tony, a couple of characters invented long ago at bedtime by her grandfather for his own children and now beloved by Aidan and Cole.

"The horse carries Tina and Tony through a little door in the castle. And then they get to Tina and Tony's house. Their house is yellow and green. And then they get to the Scarecrow's island where the winged monkeys carry them. They go to the monkey's castle. It's green and blue and the king monkey sits in his chamber and the horses jump off of the wall with Tina and Tony on their backs but they land safely on their feet. Tina and Tony then meet a fox with the horses. The fox carries the horses and Tina and Tony--still on the backs of the horses--to the woods and they see a big, brown bear outside without his cave. They go to find a birthday somebody with the fox. They find somebody, at last. Wolf eats Fox's nose. Then Fox eats Wolf's nose. Wolf eats Fox. Fox eats Wolf. The trees in the forest slowly blow, blow, blow. And the horses decide to go back home galloping, galloping, galloping with Tina and Tony to have breakfast. After breakfast they go outside to find somebody else with a birthday."


James said...

Aidan's story made me cry. Real tears. Of joy, I think. Or rather: joy for the genius of children & sadness for the incompatibility of that genius (& that joy) w/ the workaday world.

"Somebody Else with a Birthday"!!! Brilliant. Give her a big kiss & hug for me please.

Of course, the effect of the A's story has much to do w/ the context provided by your loving & lovely kisses & hugs to you too!

with love,

Jane said...

Nice to hear from you, James. So, so sweet. Happy sadness on this end, too, after reading your comment. And thank you, thank you for not being spam.