Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mother, May I?

Julia, who is not quite three, loves to play the "I'm the Mommy, You're the Sweetie" game. This never fails to be educational for me.

Who knew that I even regularly called her sweetie? Not me, until this game began. In fact, I never knew I did or said a lot of things. When we first began to play, I thought she was taking creative license with her role. I would never do that, I often thought, but I'll humor her.

As the game dragged on through the months, I came to recognize that she often saw me more clearly than I saw myself. Always busy, sometimes exasperated and impatient, I viewed myself sketched out morning after morning from the perspective of my nearly constant companion. Along with the "opportunities" of my personality, I have also happily noted the patient way she stops to explain things to me (I choose to ignore the patronizing tone and focus instead on the gentle and rythmic pat her hand gives me as she explains).

Thanks to an automobile accident, I currently have a broken arm. I honestly believe, after 6 weeks in a cast and seriously limited abilities during this time, that many of my children are completely unaware of this fact. So, imagine my surprise when our game progressed as follows:

"Sweetie, I need some help getting dressed."
"No you don't. You're the mommy and mommies get dressed all by themselves."
"No, I need help."
"I have a broken arm." (She might as well have added "duh!" at the end.)

Hmmm. Why do I doubt the observational powers of any child of mine?

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