Friday, September 3, 2010

Sugar, Spice, And Everything Nice?

This blog is dedicated to my brother’s wife, who is pregnant with their first child and recently found out they are expecting a girl. Well, L, here’s what you’re really expecting: DRAMA! And based on how poorly my brother handled my own female theatrics growing up, I’d say you’ll be managing a lot of these productions on your own while he seeks refuge in an ESPN bubble.

You know how, as women, we all have those days where we don’t like anything in our closet? Well, this morning, my daughter was frantic that her new Hello Kitty shirt was in the clothes hamper, still, a full twelve hours after she had deposited it there. I pointed out that she had two drawers of cute alternatives. “I don’t like those clothes!” None of them? Almost everything she had was clean except for the beloved Hello Kitty shirt. And, for the record, she picked out half of those items herself during shopping expeditions. But, I get it. I picked out all of my clothes, and there are days when I’d like a complete do over with my wardrobe. I finally talked her into a skirt that she loved as recently as last week, but even as she walked out of the room I heard her grumbling that “This skirt doesn’t even twirl.” How is she going to handle something like not getting the lead in the school play if she can’t even handle a skirt that doesn’t twirl?

Next, as I assisted the other girl in her Friday clothing selection, she said, “I’m not going to like J so much anymore.” Two things of note here; first, J, a boy, is one of her closest friends, and second, these were actually her first words of the morning. My response was, “Why?” She started digging through their accessory drawer, putting on several bracelets and headbands and necklaces without choosing a single one that matched her outfit, and then turned to me and explained, “I just don’t want to like him too much, because he likes my sister more than me.” I was speechless. He actually does like her sister more than her. But, mostly, I was impressed at her ability to reason herself out of a crush. Here’s hoping she can keep that up for the next twenty years.

Earlier this summer the girls told me they were going to marry J. Both of them. They were blissfully unaware that this wouldn’t work out and there was no point in correcting them. But, I remember wondering why they were thinking about marriage. They’ve never even been to a wedding, so it was really out of nowhere. My son has yet to give matrimony a single thought, and based on studies of the male species, probably won’t until he’s in his mid to late twenties. Nor does my son act like every injustice served to him (be that in the form of green beans or whatever) is the end of the world. The girls seem to suffer irreparable emotional distress three or four times an hour. “You took the doll I wanted to play with!” one of them will scream through a torrent of tears. “I got it first!” the other one will point out needlessly. “Well, I’m not your friend anymore! And, I’m never talking to you again!” Um, overreact much?

And even at this young age, they talk about their feelings. I’m not sure how my brother will handle this with his daughter, since, as far as I know, the only feelings he’s ever experienced are of disappointment when the Jets lose. But, it comes up all the time. They’ll tell me how they felt nervous the first time they went to the dentist, how they felt sorry for the kid that got in trouble at the pool, or how sad they were when another little girl at church wouldn’t play with them. Once, and I’m not making this up, the twin that was born second looked at my mother and said, “I was so lonely and scared when I was in Mommy’s tummy by myself.” If she’s going to take her mommy issues back that far and be upset over those two minutes, then I give up!

Good luck, L; maybe your little girl won’t struggle with fashion or overactive emotions. Maybe she won’t walk around trying to win an Academy Award for best dramatic performance on a Tuesday afternoon. Maybe her hair won’t get tangled, and her size won’t ever matter. Maybe she’ll never cry about being left out, or have her heart broken by a boy. But, if any of these things happen, and she’s standing there clenching her fists and weeping loudly, and my brother says, “I don’t know why she’s crying.” Please tell him she’s crying because he called me a cry baby. Tell him this is restitution for him always telling me I was too dramatic.

1 comment:

  1. I'll take my frogs and snails and puppy dog tails, thank you very much!