Thursday, November 29, 2007

Four Going on Fourteen

Oh, the drama. How can someone so small be so dramatic?

I'm talking about my four-year-old. Four and a half, if anyone is asking. She seems to grow taller, thinner, and smarter every day. And this week, it seems as though her behavior has become more dramatic and frankly, smart-assed, and it's driving me crazy.

First of all, on the way to school yesterday morning, as we turned onto the main road, she still wasn't buckled so I firmly asked her to buckle again. And she said "Uh, do not talk to me like that."

And that isn't where it ended. She also said, sarcastically, "Thanks for making Reese cry," when I got firm with Reese when she refused her own car seat. I didn't even know Avery knew what sarcasm was. But she does.

And the drama. Oh, the drama. Tonight, she did not want to eat her dinner. It was a chicken and rice casserole that my Nana used to make and it's a time consuming and delicious meal. And it made Avery gag. Which made her get in trouble. So she finished her dinner in silence. Not happy, but she ate it. She didn't say another word about it until last night, when I was putting her to bed. She said, in the sweetest, teariest voice, "Momma, my throat is killing me. It really hurts. I think it's because I had to eat all that food tonight and some of it is still stuck there. So can you get me some medicine?"

I get the medicine, not because I believe that she has food in her throat (is there even medicine for that?), but because she has had a cough and runny nose for days and I have just been looking for an excuse to dope her up on some Tylenol Cold so I can get some peace.

After the medicine, we talk for a bit. We talked about Christmas presents and what we will do tomorrow (she doesn't want to go to the gym because "she's just so tired of it"). I made the mistake of telling her that I already had one gift for her, hidden somewhere. Will I ever learn? Sheesh. She could have won an Oscar for this performance. "Mom, why won't you just ever tell me anything? I never get to know anything. All I want is a real horse and I want you to tell me if you got it for me because I need to feed it. Mother, please. Just tell me. I have to know."

Somehow, I dug myself out of that hole by discussing what I had gotten her father. And then it was time for me to go to my own bed.

"Mom, can't you just sleep in here?" No. "Just for tonight? Just once?" No. "Mom, you used to sleep with me when I was three, so you should still sleep with me (I did not)." No. "Mom, I just can't be alone tonight. I just need to sleep in Rhett's bed with him, that's all I need. Just please, Mom." Honey, no. I'm going to bed. Good night. "(Sobbing desperately, clinging to my shoulders)Mom, I just really need you. (Sobbing stops abruptly) Can I sleep in the office tonight?" No, you're already in bed. "(Sobbing resumes)Oh Mom, I just can't be in here alone. I need to sleep with you. I just need you."

The thought that sent me to my bed sobbing desperately is this: She is only four. I'm only just beginning. And there's another one coming up behind her. I've said it before...I'm in big trouble.

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