Thursday, January 5, 2012

Under siege

I remember the day that Lucy was born. Holding her in my arms, marvelling at how quickly and easily she got the hang of nursing.  Thinking, I have a daughter.  What a joy.  And make no mistake, it is.  BUT.

BUT...  It seems as though we love each other more than one can imagine loving another. And we want to strangle each other more than one can imagine...

So last night, Lucy and I picked out today's outfit together. We have started this as a nighttime routine to avoid the morning meltdowns.  I have let go of any possibility of her matching. At. All.  She chose a red shirt and a pink short sleeve dress and red and black polka dot tights and a Badger t-shirt to go on top of it all.  I actually had to counsel Tad last night before bed about how her outfit needed to be put together.  So she'd be warm, first of all. And so that the proper layers were under the proper layers.  If they are not, Lucy comes to me, pained expression on her face, wriggling her body and says "I'm TIGHT!!!" 

She came down this morning all dressed and then when I told her how cute she looked, and her daddy pointed out that we were both wearing dresses, Lucy said, "Mommy, put a t-shirt on over yours!"
"Oh, I am happy the way I am, Lucy, but thank you for the idea."  I said.
"Well then I don't want to WEAR my Go Badgers shirt!" She cried. 
"But honey", I say, "I thought you wanted to wear that shirt today since Grandpa and Nana are picking you up" (Grandpa and Nana are die-hard Badger fans)
"I changed my mind" she said. "I can change my mind!"   I wish I could convey in this blog post how exactly she sounded.  Also, I taught her this notion of mind-changing to empower her.  And back in my face it goes!
Tad gave me a look to say, 'it doesn't matter'.  And it doesn't.
So I help her off with her t-shirt and she's satisfied.  Wearing a rainbow flowered pajama top underneath a pink dress with red and black polka-dot tights.  Whatever.

Then comes breakfast.

I made toast with cinnamon sugar and bowls of cereal for both kids.  Lucy comes marching in the kitchen with her plate.  "Is this the butter that I like or that Coen likes?" she demands, stressing the 'I' and the 'Coen' with extreme dramatics.  Coen has recently declared that he only likes the sweet cream spread made by Trader Joes and he does not like 'I can't believe its not butter' kind.  I am happy to indulge since he eats all his vegetables and generally does not complain about food.  Lucy decided that she only likes the latter brand.  This morning, I spread both with the sweet cream.  Back to Lucy's question.
"Yours has the kind you like and Coen has the kind he likes" I lie.  I swear she really has no preference; she's just mimicking her brother.
Lucy goes back to the table and returns to the kitchen a moment later.
"Mommy!" She says with her arms crossed angrily.  "This is NOT the kind that I like. I tasted it with my finger and it is NOT the kind that I like. It is the kind that COEN likes!"
Wow, maybe she really does have a preference. 
I have the fridge open, getting my own breakfast ready.  I sigh. "Lucy, that is your breakfast. You may eat it or not. But I am not making something new."
Lucy grabs a tub of strawberry cream cheese.  "This is what I want on my toast."
"Well, I will make you some with that tomorrow."
Lucy takes the tub defiantly and marches away. 
When I come to the table she looks at me, trying to entice a stand off, holding her cream cheese.
Daddy comes to the rescue. "Lucy, go get a kid knife and I'll help you spread that on."
Now why didn't I think of that?  Oh, perhaps because my every move this morning has been challenged (loudly) by a four-year-old.
She gets a butter knife and spreads thick layers of the stuff on top of her already buttered toast.  And eats, smiling (smugly). 

But you know what? When I left for work, Lucy was hiding on her daddy so he couldn't ask her to get her coat on.  I say, "Can I have a hug goodbye?" Lucy unearths herself from her pillows.  "Only you can find me Mommy." She says, conspiratorially and drops her voice to a whisper.  "So I can hug and kiss you." I look into her big brown eyes.  And I love her more than I can possibly imagine.

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