Thursday
Sep222016

Thanks, Ma'am

I'm sorry about that light-headed moment you had between 8:35 and 8:45 tonight. That little window immediately after dance class ends is always a special one. It's the moment when the non-stop talking begins and then it goes on and on and on and all of the air is sucked out of the universe.

It's a good thing Alexis has to stop talking eventually.

I think? She will stop talking eventually, right? For just a minute?

Somewhere along the fiftieth eleventieth bajillionth word, Alexis was telling me a story about something that happened at school. For what it's worth, I know exactly what she was saying and could even now recite it back verbatim. I know that's true because Alexis' mouth was moving faster than her mind and she forgot what she was saying. In the middle of the story, she fell silent, laughed, and then asked me to remind her what she was saying.

AHEM. GRANDMA, MUCH?

I recited the story back to her, she picked it up, and the words went on and on and on and on and on.

It was right around then that we pulled into Target's parking lot. We had a quick errand to run, but my ears were hurting so I was having trouble focusing. Instead of allowing the words to crush me, I built my own wall with words. I began talking and talking and saying all of the words and I talked over the Big Kid with all of my words and did you know I might be better at saying too much than she is I mean sometimes people actually pay me to talk and I can talk and talk and I know lots of words and on and on.

My non-stop talking on top of her non-stop talking did nothing to deter Alexis. Which, whatever. I was entertaining myself, not looking to suddenly find some silence. We walked through a few aisles, stopping to pick things up, all the while talking and talking and talking.

Just when I was trying to decide if I should buy the little sign that said "I need more boos," an older woman looked at Alexis and me. I fell silent, mostly because I don't believe in torturing the elderly.

In response, the woman smiled. Then she said, "People will tell you that some days you will miss all of the talking, but something tells me you already know that. Good job."

Annnnnnnnnnnd basically I think that woman is the greatest ever and I think maybe tomorrow I need to use some of my excessive words to tell another mom that she's doing a good job because yeah. Those are some of the most powerful words there are, and I've heard a lot of words today.

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Wednesday
Sep212016

All Stories Should End As Happily As This One

Hoarders being what they are, there are still a ton of Alexis' toys in the house. While the naked Barbies and piles of princesses should have vanished 30 seconds after Alexis was done worshipping them, they're still here. Years later.

In theory, that could have turned out to be a bit of a blessing. Hoarding could have led to savings because Mila could have decided that all of the girly and glittery stuff was fun. There would have been no need to buy a new round of toys as every day had the potential to be an amazing day for a new (old) toy pulled from storage.

Alas.

The Tiny Human. She is not so much a fan of the princess and sparkle.

Mila's current favorite toys are a little school bus, a bag full of tiny dinosaurs, and a Magna Doodle. That will change in about four minutes, as it always does, but it'll move to a list like markers, little airplanes, and a dollhouse. There is a bit of "traditional girl" in Mila's world, but it takes a twist. She'll ram a truck into the bathroom of the dollhouse or something.

Basically, Mila is a lovely blend of everything.

Alexis is still a lovely blend of sparkle and shine.

There are a million things to love about Alexis' dedication to the things she thinks are "girly." She is happy, which is the thing that matters, of course. That said, lately she seems to be just as happy living in her pink world as she is navigating the strange waters of Mila's gray world. In fact, Alexis purposely sets out to play with Mila every single day.

The Big Kid was delighted the day she uncovered the tiny princess Polly Pocket toys. They were in a box hidden in the family room, but she drug them out with a grin on her face and a skip in her step. Now that she's older, it's easier for her to change their clothes and shove their shoes on and all of that stuff. While once they frustrated her, now she's all "Come play, Mila!"

The first time Mila set eyes on the tiny little dolls, she made a face. It was full of confusion with a heavy dose of judgement. She wanted nothing to do with any of it.

So Alexis tried again.

To the same result.

And Alexis tried again. She super wanted her little sister to take an interest in the toys she wanted to play with at that very moment. Mila didn't just not care -- she SUPER didn't care. She didn't even make eye contact as she stormed past the tiny dolls and found something else to do.

Alexis doesn't give up easily.

At last Mila took notice of what was happening. Alexis demonstrated how to dress and undress them as Mila looked on. "Do you want to play with Cinderella?" Alexis asked.

Mila finally toddled over, grabbed Cinderella, and promptly ripped her head off before throwing the toy to the floor.

So that went well.

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Tuesday
Sep202016

Follow the Giggles

I've overheard a lot of things today.

There was the guy in the restaurant saying all of the sexist things.

There was the other guy in the coffee place spouting a giant pile of racist crap.

And then there was Mila and Alexis locked in Alexis' bedroom giggling their fool heads off.

One of those moments of overhearing things had the potential to open into a better world, so I cracked open the door and memorized the sight. It was two girls laying on the floor, pretending to pedal bicycles. It was all of the funny and all of the perfect as tears ran down their cheeks as they laughed together. So much laughing.

It was a really good reminder that I need to focus some energy on throwing water on the flames that were those earlier words. The fires of racism and sexism and general hatred of otherness are burning, and it's up to each one of us to stand up and refuse to allow the fires to spread.

 

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