Dear Three-Year Old,
Today is Mexican Mother’s Day. My day. So I’ve decided to come clean: You aren’t always fun.
This occurred to me today as you jumped back and forth on the bed, routinely pinching my cheeks as if I were a cute little kid who caught your fancy. When I scolded you gently for hurting me, you laughed, dancing away out of my reach. Once you found the eyebrow brush, you were back: sweeping my hair into my eyes with that vicious little comb giggling as I fought back the urge to scream.
When did we get to this place, you little
shit sugar plum? Aren’t you supposed to wait another 10 years before you get on my nerves?
While I am at it, what is so fun about drawing on the walls?? I mean, I get you coloring books. I get you giant white paper. We bought you an easel. We bought chalk and fun crayons. So why did you sneak out of the room with the black sharpie hidden in your skirt-tails, then quickly uncap it and write on the walls before I could get to you? What’s the deal? (And on walls made of concrete and flat paint, no less. There will be no magic eraser magic enough to remove your masterpiece.)
You know what else? It’s “Mudder’s Day” today. What I really wanted was to go to Starbucks and eat a piadini with spinach and egg whites. Those sandwiches are what my food dreams are made of these days. But where did we end up for “Mudder’s Day” supper? Happy Chicken. YOUR favorite place. And then, you little booger, you didn’t eat three bites. Full disclosure: next “Mudder’s Day” you are going to eat a muffin for supper so that I can have what I want.
Little girl, you better count your lucky stars that these “no fun” moments are out-weighed by the super-fun moments.
You made us giggle behind our hands today as you scolded that poor little boy at Pollo Feliz. “No gritas a tu papa y tu mama!” you told him, with a tone of firmness hidden in your sweetness. Really, my love? No yelling? That’s the message you are going to send to another kid when our days, of late, are filled with your shrillness? And what’s the deal with the Spanish? Don’t you know I have been worried sick that you will be another Mexican kid who speaks no Spanish? Now you decide it is the moment to unleash the skills of your linguistic-ness?
It’s a good thing that “No” means the same thing in English and Spanish, because that is the most common word you are probably hearing right now. No, you can’t take your sister down the slide. She’s only three months. No, you can’t put the balls from the ball pit in your mouth. No, you have supper on the table, you can’t have ice cream instead. No, that’s your third cup of juice, drink some water. No, you can’t wear your tutu to meeting. No, you can’t pour the shampoo in the bath to make bubbles for Barbie. No, Sissy can’t be pulled on like that–she doesn’t like it. No, you can’t stay up with Daddy, we have to sleep.
Sigh. Mama’s tired, Ale.
We didn’t even bother to hide our amusement as you became the server at the coffee shop. I have no idea how you dreamed up a “peanut butter surprise,” but it could be from the three times in three days I’ve caught you eating peanut butter from the jar with a spoon. You might have your Papi fooled, but I see through you, Punkin’. Today Daddy kept saying, “Ale is really beautiful, Jania.” Ummm hmmm… Back and forth you marched, Sassy Britches, in and out of the room asking questions about how we wanted our peanut butter surprise. Those eyes were twinkling with all the mischief in the world. (BTW, watch out, World…)
Daddy’s right, Love, you are beautiful. Even in those moments when I wish you would just go away and let me wipe my tush in peace. Or take a bath without you. Or make bread without giving you jobs to keep busy. See, even in those moments, I want you there. It’s like you are the best and the worst part of my days all wrapped up in a ball of constant chatter and energy. And if you weren’t there, it wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t be “Mudder’s Day.”
No, you aren’t always fun. But, just when I think I can’t take it anymore you do something adorable.
Thanks for making my day, Dear Child.