Tuesday, July 19, 2011

She's On To Me

My daughter has surprisingly refined tastes, and it's almost impossible to put anything past her. She prefers adult silverware to her toddler-sized replicas. She chooses all natural fruit and juice pops (preferably lime) over Daddy's favorite Bomb Pops. Most days, she requests 'THIS juice' (from the carton) rather than the kid-sized juice boxes in 'her' section of the fridge door. At dinner time, I've resigned myself to the additional dishes created by serving all of us 'family style' from dishes in the center of the table so that she can be assured that she's getting the same food as Mama and Daddy.

She's like this with everything - not just food. Mama's jewelry over plastic beads. Dresses and skirts, not shorts and pants. Legal pads and pens over coloring books and crayons. The computer over the t.v. (Drat! How's a mama supposed to write up in here?!)...

Her tiny fingers flit and flutter over her choices as she carefully evaluates her options; and with eyes thoughtfully narrowed, she announces her decisions with conviction. 'I wan dis one.' 'I doan wannit.' 'Doan yeik dat.' All pronounced with finality and/or dramatic shrieking.

Today, she decided that it's time to learn to drive. No longer content to shout commands from the back seat, she announced 'Uth haff keys. Drive tiny cah.'

We sat in the car for over half an hour as she taught herself the basics and acquainted herself with the functions of each button. 'NO, Mama, I doit! Yih-yee-oof drive!' You should have seen her when Daddy called the car (using ONSTAR). She demanded that I hand over my cell phone and stared at it's dark screen with confusion. 'Where's Daddy?' she demanded as she ducked under the steering wheel and into the passenger seat foot well looking for him. Eventually (after a rousing ABBA sing-a-long and some car dancing), all of her new skills and knowledge overloaded her circuits, and I was able to fold her into her car seat with promises of Thomas the Tank Engine pasta for lunch.

It's amazing to watch - beautiful. And infuriating. And exhausting... and I wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China. This time is so precious and so fleeting! It seems like yesterday that she learned how to... wait - when did she figure out how to open THAT!? Crap. I'm going to have to start sleeping with one eye open...

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