Sunday, April 17, 2011

I was going to tell a few cute kid anecdotes and let that be it. But then my clever brain started generating nightmarishly sappy titles for such a post. Rejecting the sap, I consulted the thesaurus in hopes of stumbling upon a truly catchy way to headline the cute kid anecdotes. Things have just deteriorated from there. Actually, the very first idea I had was to call this “Shit My Kid Says,” but it seems totally inappropriate to label my child’s brilliance and goofiness as “excrement.” Tidbits? Morsels from Martha? Child Chestnuts? Chestnut was actually listed as a synonym for anecdote. Really? Chestnut? Why a chestnut? Why not a peanut? How about ‘Peanuts from my peanut?’ Do you see the problem I’m having?

Since I am writing without fear, however, I’m just going to plow ahead, sans witty header…

#1 Last night we invited my sister and her family over for dinner. Martha adores her cousins more than words can say so an evening spent hosting them is a momentous occasion. And a momentous occasion, obviously, requires attire to match the moment. It requires fashion. Or, as Martha went around stating all afternoon, we must be “fah-shionable.” As instructed by the fah-shion director, here is what I wore:

High Fah-shion
#2 Today we did yard work. My daughter tends to be fairly useless in the yard work department. One thing she does like, however, is the weed popper. For anyone who is unfamiliar with this high tech gardening device, the weed popper is a “thingy” with these little claw-like tines that you place on top of your weed (most commonly, the dandelion) and then you step on it and the little claw-like tines go into the ground and clamp down around the weed and then you pull it out of the ground. Ideally, you pull up the dandelion, root and all, and you are left with a hole in the ground that your lush green grass will soon cover over. Personally, I love the weed popper. I am positively elated when I pull out a dandelion with a majority of the root intact. Seriously, I am not exaggerating. Martha got out the weed popper today and we were thrilled to discover that she has become quite adept with this tool. Over and over again, she came running across the yard, exclaiming “Mama! You have GOT to see this weed I pulled out!” And in most instances, she really did get most of the root out and I experienced the same sense of overwhelming joy as if I had pulled that weed out myself. All I could think was,”Oh man, this is why I had a kid. For this very moment when I witness her turning into me… How could I ask for anything more?”

#3 Martha is a big fan of the Beatles. In 2009 I bought Beatles Rock Band for Christmas and last winter she and her dad played it just about every night after dinner. She was the only 7-year old who had the entire Beatles catalog memorized. For just about any song she heard, she could tell you if it was John Lennon or Paul McCartney singing (she can identify the occasional George Harrison song, as well). She was also quite interested in who the Beatles were, including names, birthdates, and whether or not they were still alive. And if they were not alive, she had to know when and how they died. When we got around to discussing John Lennon, I really wanted to avoid telling her that he was shot and killed, right out on the street in New York City. Her grandfather lives in New York; we visit him often and I was worried it could be a major source of anxiety for her to envision someone getting shot right on the sidewalk there. Instead, I told her he died of a heart attack. It seemed harmless. But recently she learned about biographies and got hold of some information about John Lennon. She brought it home and reported to me, with regret, that, in fact, John Lennon did not die of a heart attack but that he was shot. She seemed to assume I was just misinformed and she was helping me out by setting me straight. I confessed that yes, I knew that, but that I made up the alternate story to protect her. Last night, out of the blue, she asked her dad and I why we lied (I cringed). When I told her that I was worried it would scare her or make her sad, she replied, “No, not at all. It doesn’t make me sad; it just makes me feel mad that someone would be that cruel.” Maybe it doesn’t sound that profound in the retelling, but when she said it, she sounded incredibly grown-up and wise to the world. “Yeah,” I said, “it makes me mad, too.”

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