Friday, March 1, 2013

This girl

Last night Lucy was rather an emphasized version of her five-year-old self. 

I could tell she would be more Lucy than usual by the way she was in her brother's face after school, trying to tell him something about her day.  Her story became a bold fonted shout an inch from his face until he focused only on her.

At home, she and Coen settled at the table with the library books I'd brought for them.  Coen offered to read hers to her.  Happy at the harmony, I went into the kitchen to start dinner.  Not too long after, there was a blood curdling scream from my youngest child.  I joined them at the table and asked what was happening.
"He won't read to me any more!" Lucy sobbed.
"Mommy. I was reading to her but it's a long book and I got tired. And then she hurt my feelings."
It was a long book.  
"What did you say to Coen, honey?" I asked.
"That he stinks!"
"And that hurt my feelings!" Coen added.
"Oh." I said. "Sweetheart. I'm sure you heard that at school, but that's not a nice thing to say."
Her tears started again. "It just means I don't like something that's happening!"
"I'm sure you heard that from kids at school but it's not nice to say to someone honey."
She screamed, "NO! my TEACHERS say that!"
Coen and I exchanged a glance. "Your teachers say 'You stink'?"
"NO!!!!!" she wailed.  "They say THAT stinks!!!"
"OH!" I said. "Well, yes, that stinks means that you don't like something.  You just shouldn't say 'you stink'." 
God, how confusing.

So we sorted that out. And after dinner. And after Lucy dramatically gagging her way through her broccoli and the children claiming that they were "still hunger" after dinner, I offered grapes.  Lucy threw herself to the floor. "I HATE grapes!"
"Lucy. You haven't tasted grapes."
Coen offered to make her a tasting chart, which he did, and wrote broccoli on it.  Then he proffered her a grape.  She licked it.  And then she gagged.  "I don't like it!"
"But Lucy!" Coen said. "You have to taste the inside. The juice part!"
He bit one in half and handed it to her.  She licked it.  Nodded.
"You like it?"
Another nod.  "But I don't like the mushiness.  I just like the juice."
"Lucy!" Coen said excitedly. "Want me to squeeze you some juice into a cup?"
They ran together into the kitchen to get materials. I heard another blood curdling scream.  Coen talking. Another scream.  Coen came running into the living room, Lucy hot on his trail.  "Help!" Coen said.
I wasn't sure what Lucy was going to do when she got him but she was gaining on him. I caught her and we all sat on the couch.  "What happened?" I asked.
Turns out Coen accidentally shut Lucy's thumb in the drawer and she just wanted him to hear that.  He had already apologized and didn't want to hear about it anymore. 
"Coen." I said. "She just wants to talk about what happened."
Lucy cried behind the couch, unwilling to accept any offers of hugs or kisses. She didn't even want to be looked at.  I told her that she's like her daddy. 
"And I'm like you." Coen said. 
That is true.

After that, we had some time to calm down.  And we headed up to bed.

And I thought about my daugher who is just like her daddy. Headstrong and brave and serious and silly.  She doesn't want any sympathy when she's hurt or sad and she does not share herself with you until she's good and ready and then, when she is, LOOK OUT.  I love her. And I feel honored when she cuddles up to me. And I know she's not going to have any problems taking care of her self when she gets older.  And when she's a teenager, I shall send her to Tad for counsel.  I have a feeling we'll be butting heads.

Before I went to bed, I pulled the covers up over both my children and kissed them and whispered "Sweet Dreams" as I do every night.  When I pulled Lucy's cover up over her shoulder, she wriggled away from me in her sleep, indignantly shouting "HEY!" Pulling the covers over her shoulder HERSELF. in. her. sleep.

My little wild child.  Awake or asleep she is in control.  And even though I don't always understand her...and sometimes look at her and marvel at how seperate she is from me, how different. I am so proud to be her mother.

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