Sep 17 2014
This might be hard to believe, but your mama isn’t perfect. I know, you’re surprised because I seem like I’ve got it all together, what with my sweatpants and Chinese food ordering, but no. And some days, I’m even less perfect than usual.
Yesterday was one of those days.
You started school two weeks ago. So of course, on day like 4, you got sick. Then Jack got sick. Then I got sick. I’m still sick. Because there are just no germs quite like kids-back-to-school-germs.
Yesterday it was pouring rain and Jack had his 18 month doctor visit even though he’s 19 months old (because, again, not perfect.) We had already canceled it once (hence his advanced age) so despite me being sick and exhausted, I drove him to the city to your doctor, held him while he got three shots and wailed, then drove back to Brooklyn. Your aba and I are trying to eat healthier (see previous post) so I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up food to cook for dinner, then went to pick you up from school. Jack was so excited to see you, he had been walking around the house calling for you all morning, that when he finally saw you in your classroom he ran right up to you and socked you in the face with the toy he was holding. Your nose started bleeding and you started screaming. It was dismissal time so it was already pretty chaotic but now you’re bleeding and crying, Jack is running around destroying the classroom, and it was a madhouse. We left after the blood stopped and you calmed down.
But not to go home, oh no, the day went on! I had signed you and Jack up for trial classes at a nearby kids place. Jack needs some classes in his life but I haven’t found the right one, like the ones I had liked so much when you were a baby. And you, I don’t know. You’re in school all day, I want to let you come home and veg out but I can’t help but feel that you would do well in an extra-curricular activity, that you sort of need it so after school doesn’t turn into 3 hours of TV watching. I’d prefer something like swimming for you, your baba wants you in ballet, your father thinks soccer, you want…violin. I don’t know yet but have to decide soon. The class you tried out was “Musical Theater” and you weren’t that into it (you tried karate the day before and like that a lot better. Your baba heartily opposes.) I dropped you at your class and took Jack to his, spent 45 minutes in a small, hot room with 17 children, 17 adults and 3 instructors singing “If you’re happy and you know it” and hoping Jack didn’t over-exuberantly kill any of the smaller kids.
When we finally got home, I just wanted to collapse and die. Did I mention I work during all of the above? Fuck (sorry) cooking dinner, fuck (sorry again) eating healthy, fuck (whatever) everything, I want a burger, with fries, delivered to my home. I started to order the food. You were handing me a book to read to you, then asking for water, singing some repetitive song, Jack was taking something apart as usual, and I kept snapping at both of you. GET AWAY FROM ME, I finally screamed at you when 10 minutes later I still hadn’t placed an order. You skipped away from me, unfazed.
A few minutes later you came back and said you had a surprise for me. I had finished the dinner order, I had calmed down, I felt bad for screaming at you. You held my hand and walked me over to the living room. You had cleaned up all the toys off the floor–the toys you hadn’t even played with yet, the toys Jack had been playing with all day. I just…who are you and how did I get so lucky? “I saw that you were mad, mama, and I wondered what a big girl would do to help you.” These are words my child said to me, at 4 years old, in real life, not in a movie. I don’t get how you exist. I hugged you so tight, you laughed and we collapsed on the couch together and you let me hold you that way for like 4 full minutes which might be a world record for you. Jack kept trying to get into our hug and the horrible, stressful, wet, annoying day melted away. I don’t know what I did to deserve you. I really, truly, really don’t.
You’re in Pre-k now (8:20-2:40! That crazy!) and it’s fairly traumatic for me. The house is so different without you all day. Poor Jack walks around like a lost puppy. I can’t believe your babyhood is over. I want to let you go, find, explore but I also want you right next to me at all times so it’s a tough balance. To soak in all of you, the day before you started school we went on a mama-Sadie day like we used to.
I end a lot of these letters to you and your brother with “I can’t wait to see how you turn out.” Truth is, I can totally wait. Let’s wait. I’m sure you’re going to be an amazing adult but I’m in no rush at all to get you there. I don’t need you to be the big girl cleaning up the living room to make mama happy. You can stay my little girl for awhile, I’m just fine with that.