Saturday, May 06, 2006

And She's a Good One!

I propose that Band-Aids be no longer made ouchless or with cute cartoon characters on them. I have given my niece at least a dozen band-aids for non-existent ouches and injuries. I hated band-aids as a child because they hurt when you removed them -- A LOT. Today's band-aids fall off by themselves -- it's ridiculous. So when she just asked me (as an excuse for being out of bed after bedtime) for a band-aid, I was half-tempted to give her a grown-up band-aid, designed to stick until removal, and then they take a chunk of your arm hair and a layer of skin with them. But I didn't, because I am kind, and although I was annoyed and at my wits end after a long day, I love her and would never intentionally cause her pain, I dug around for a crappy Star Wars band-aid that will likely fall off before the end of the night.

Yes we have Star Wars band-aids. Shut up.

It has been an incredibly long day. On the way home on the El from the city this afternoon, I asked A why it felt like Sunday -- because, seriously, this day feels like it has been two.

Like any day I've spent with kids, it started out fine. She's a picky eater, but she ate a Kashi granola bar and was fine with the pancakes we made for breakfast. She was initially annoyed that I couldn't play with her and had to clean the house, but after she kept bothering me I turned it into a game and let her help, which worked out really well. She's actually a very good helper.

Lunch went well, and then it was off to the city to the Hershey Store, her destination of choice. It was, in a word, anticlimactic, but we made it fun. She bought presents for grandma and daddy, and we bought her a sweatshirt because she didn't bring the warm clothes I asked her to bring (I should have double-checked, my bad). She got grumpy, though, and didn't even want to go to American Girl Place because we wouldn't be buying her a doll, so we went immediately home. SOOOOO glad we didn't drive and pay for parking, because the initial plan was to stay and go out to dinner on Michigan Ave.

When we're in the house, she does not stop talking, and I've noticed she's very resistant to getting things for herself. Maybe it's because she's here, but she doesn't understand that sometimes people just won't be able to help her do a task that she's perfectly capable of. I think it's because my mom babies her so much. She also interrupts conversations when she's not the center of attention and can't seem to handle that one bit. This drives Uncle A a little crazy, which is understandable. "Look what I can do!" "Wanna see something cool?" It's incessant and while adorable at first, the things she considers impressive, but near the end of the day it gets really hard to inject enthusiasm in your "wows" and "that's cools". She also tells a LOT of little white lies, and gets mad when I don't humor her like my mom does. She has to learn that even little white lies aren't funny or cute -- lying isn't right.

Overall, though, she is a really good kid, and I love her to pieces. We didn't have her special toothpaste here, but instead of crying, refusing to brush her teeth, or doing a half-ass job, she fought through the minty-ness and did a nice thorough brushing of her teeth. I told her I was proud of her because I was -- most kids wouldn't have been so brave, and she DID hate that toothpaste. She was great on the train, she didn't fight when we said to hold hands, and while she got defiant a couple of times about dressing warm enough and having to wear her jacket over her pretty new hoodie, she's not a tantrum sort of girl. We're lucky for that, even if she is super picky about her food, doesn't like having to get her own Kleenex or come back into the room to pick up her own clothes. And she's adorable -- really a gorgeous kid, and again, so well-behaved. I was proud to walk around with her with everyone around assuming she was my daughter.

But after a day with an easy kid, I'm still so thankful for a little grown-up time at the end of the day with the guarantees of no interruptions. From after dinner to the first bit after putting her to bed, A and I were frustrated, exhausted, and very testy, with her and eachother. She went off with a hug and an "I love you", but A and I needed some solo time (hence the entry), which makes me kind of sad. I don't like this depressurization period, but I know we need it. With work, the drive home, or the cooking dinner is depressurization. She's like having a job that doesn't end until she goes to bed. And now I want to watch television with too much sex and poor morals, I want to stop talking in my over-enthusiastic kid voice and maybe swear a little (A says "fuckin-A!"). I want to snuggle my husband and not be concerned that we're ignoring her. Just the two of us. In silence. Sweet silence.

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