Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and…Roosebelt

You guys, I’m off being an adult by myself in an airport. I spent a lot of time in airports in my 20s – enough that I still have that layover mentality. Where is a window? Where can I stretch my legs? When to seize the outlet opportunity? Fast forward and I’m usually with my charming child who has had explosive diarrhea, licked windows and tile floors, and danced on moving sidewalks perilously close to the end in more than one airport. I’ve been that parent that makes other travelers cringe. It’s okay, I paid my dues back in 1999 on a 14-hour flight to South Africa when a toddler dumped a bottle of lavender oil down my chest.

I do miss my family though, even though I’ve barely left. They are fun, yes, but I admit that I rely too much on my wife to be an anxiety cushion. I let my independence go too much, perhaps, so this is an excellent lesson that I’m actually LESS anxious without them and so I can certainly try harder to be less anxious WITH them. I’m capable, is what I’m saying. At least in the contained environment of an airport where the default is that the unexpected is, well, expected.

So I miss them but I don’t miss the routine of the morning. RR is in a Surprise Me stage (did your children do this?). She’d like every snack to be a surprise. She’d like you to pick out her outfits to surprise her. She’d like you to do something silly, charm her, make-up a new song, do some disco moves while buttering toast. She doesn’t need entertainment. She’s looking for a good time. She IS a good time.

When we aren’t living a life of constant delight and variety, she’s off working by herself. I’ve noticed that she breaks out into vigorous humming every time she hits her groove. You can always tell that she’s immensely satisfied to be focused on a task, whether it’s drawing a new picture or putting away her laundry. She hums when you ask her to help unload the dishwasher. She hums while putting on tights. She hums when she’s dusting. To be fair, she particularly loves to dust. She asked me if she could just dust a little more last week.

Last night, she and my wife investigated pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. How much is each worth, what do they look like, whose face is on each coin. Once establishing everything there is to know about each coin, they laid one of each on the table and Debra grabbed a little doll from the donate pile (see: Toys My Daughter Has Never Played With Except Now When We’re Giving Them Away) and charged her six cents for it. RR started humming faster than you can say “Roose-belt” (gracing the dime). She produced the other 4 members of the family and paid Debra over and over – 26 cents, ten cents, 15 cents, 30 cents, 11 cents, and so forth.

I assume she has learned this at school (math, Roosebelt, the fact that the dime is “small like Pluto which used to be a planet but they decided it isn’t because it’s so itty bitty”) and I love it when the Iron Curtain drops long enough for me to get a glimpse into her mind. The Iron Curtain is an entirely different post.

8 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing this peek into her world. It’s adorable.

  2. Love this. Clem goes through Surprise Me periods but would prefer to retain the Right to Veto.

    Safe travels, lady, and may they be free of lavender oil.

    • I’m always amazed that we don’t get vetoed. Sometimes I get a side eye if I surprise her with pants instead of tights but it’s almost as if she accepts some sort of contractual risk. I’m concerned about what this means for our future.

  3. No, mine has never gone through a ‘surprise me’ mode. Just the suggestion of that would make her head spin in a manner that would make the Exorcist seem tame.
    Despite that, she would absolutely enjoy the good time that is RR though, because she tends to appreciate that in others. Just not her mother and certainly not as a desirable quality in herself.

    • I can’t imagine a world with a child who had an appreciation of the planned. Sometimes I’m pretty sure it makes Debra’s head spin, too!

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