FIVE

While baby naps…

I asked you if you wanted apples or cheese for a snack.
You said graham crackers.

I asked you to be quiet while you went upstairs.
You tip-toed so melodramatically that you fell into the wall.

I told you I’d be down after I dried my hair.
WHAT!? you yelled at the top of your lungs, DRIND your hair!? DIRED it!?

I told you I’d play cats with you. And I did.
But then you quit because I wouldn’t talk for all the cats and the doll.

I tried to explain the art of negotiation to you.
And you picked your nose the whole time and stared off vacantly.

I asked you to be quiet while I put a little butter on the grahams.
Instead you yelled for the cat, as loud as you could.

You requested more crackers than I, because there was an odd amount.
You took five and gave me two, the broken ones.

I asked you to eat your snack at the table.
You started there but then wandered over to the couch.

I told you to eat them at the table again.
You started there but then wandered over to the loveseat.

I told you to eat them at the table again.
You started there but then wandered over to pet the cat.

I snarled at you to eat them at the table again, damnit.
You started there but ended up under the table.

“Hand them over,” I said, and I took every last crumb of your crackers and shoved them into the fridge as dramatically as if the fridge were my suitcase, and your crackers were all my belongings in this world. Then I put my wide open hand close to your eyes and said, “FIVE. I told you FIVE times to eat at the table.”

Yes, I know it was four, but I wanted to use my whole hand for emphasis. Because I’m seething. Because I’m so tired of age FIVE. Because FIVE doesn’t hear, and FIVE talks too much, and FIVE figures out how to lie, and FIVE can shoot you dirty looks, and FIVE just doesn’t love you back like FOUR does. Because FIVE is killing me softly. And I’m just so bad at FIVE.

So, could someone please phone THIRTEEN, and tell her I’m not ready, that I might not ever be ready for her? Can she skip me over for some other mom, one who knows how to roll with the punches?

Once baby wakes…

You called for help from the bathroom.
I found you on the pot, looking like the pistil of a flower with your fancy skirt pulled up around you.

I said it seemed like we were having a lot of bad days latey.
You said you didn’t like it.

I told you that things would be better once you started listening better.
You said it’s just that you wanted to eat the crackers under the table.

I started to say oh, never mind, what’s the point of talking.
But instead I remembered eating snacks under my bed when I was small.

I hugged you, zipped you, and said you could finish your snack now.
You said you’d rather draw a picture for me.

I said that would be nice.
You said you can’t wait for summer and going on picnics together.

Me, too, I said.
Me, too, said you.

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This entry was posted in daughters, discipline, humor, motherhood, preschoolers. Bookmark the permalink.

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