You need to go to bed Ella. I have a friend coming over to play and it’s my time.
Today, like most days lately, has been painfully long. Not bad…just long.
My good friend Mark always tells me that a selfish parent is a good parent. His kids are a few years older than mine and are fantastic little girls. He, clearly, has done a good job with them. He is a selfish parent. Takes time for himself and his hobbies and his friends. He also allots quite a bit of time for his family. He has good balance. I? Could use some work in that matter.
“Grownups don’t play.”
Okay, well then I am having a friend over and we are going to talk and watch our show on TV. (Biggest Loser finale. Did you guess Helen? Because I didn’t. Five bucks says she gains half of it back by the end of the year.)
“And have a drink.”
My almost five year old. What? Does she hear the ice melting in the UV raspberry vodka? Does she count the bottle caps? Yes my love, we will also have a drink. I love you. Goodnight.
I also realized what a sponge she is when she told some other kid at the YMCA childcare (you know, so I could have some time to do a grownup thing like a little metabolism repair…broken from years of Monte Cristos, pitchers of Miller Lite and endless boxes of Crunch Berries) that he needed to “Get away from my sister’s shit” after he knocked down something that Mimi was working on.
(We need to move further from the ghetto.)
And then…she had been playing with a little girl her age. There was a squabble. Said little girl knocked Ella in the belly and called my precious daughter a cee-U-next-Tuesday. And my innocent little flower knew when she had been offended although that particular word had never passed my lips in her lifetime. Around her. Ever. Not once. And I know they don’t say it on Noggin.
Ella knew she had been insulted. She stops her little foot and says “No! You are a cee-U-next-Tuesday!”
This is all pieced together by the “teacher” (I use that term loosely. Think middle aged, fired from a real daycare type.) and by Ella when I quizzed her about it. By the time I got to her, she was sitting on a folding chair against the wall, knees up to her chest. She looked at me like she was in deep…well, you know. Or she knows.
I am trying not to make a big deal out of it. I don’t want her to garner extra attention and think that this is acceptable. We just talked about how there are some words that could hurt someone’s feelings but that it’s hard, when you’re four and a half, to know which ones so I would try to help her.
Truth? I am really proud of her. She stood up for her sister and she stood up for herself. Even if she didn’t know what she was saying. And she used it appropriately.
Love. Her. To itty-bitty little pieces.