I don’t talk a lot about the reasons why Emily is the best kid ever. (And before you convince yourself that I am already screwing up the new kid in-utero, know that we have addressed this. Em will be the “best kid ever” and Baby D, as Mike as dubbed him/her will be “the best baby ever.”) But damn that kid slays me daily.
I have found myself, at sixteen weeks pregnant, smack dab in the midst of “no longer first semester crippling tired” but still exhausted. Definitely pregnant looking, not just fat as hell, but not yet comfortable with the emerging pregnant body that I had somehow managed to totally forget was going to appear. And so hormonally driven to the point that when I got home from work yesterday evening and MQD was making dinner and turned to switch his ipod over to The Gravy Boys, playing Happy, a song we danced to at our wedding I pulled my hands back from him (hands he’d taken in his, lovingly, presumably to dance with me) screeching “I have BANANA on my hands, I can smell it! It’s disgusting.” I’m a peach recently. (And incapable of linear thought, evidently, but stay with me. )
So, that’s me the last few days. I sing the praises of the Husband on the regular, like a proper newlywed, but back to Emily. That kid has kept my cranky at bay quite a bit lately. Last night, amidst my grumpiness, we snuggled up on the couch the three, (four, no five, cats and dogs love sharks, who knew!) to watch some Shark Week. I promptly fell in to a catatonic sleep. I could hear Em & MQD go upstairs to read a book and get her tucked in to bed. I could hear MQD come back downstairs and go in the kitchen. I was willing myself up off the couch to deliver my kiss goodnight and failing miserably when I heard her little feet coming down the stairs.
Anyone with children knows they sound like a herd of elephants when they walk around the house (pitter patter of little feet, my ass) unless they are returning downstairs after being put to bed. Then they are quiet as mice. The magic of being a parent allows me to sleep through being stepped on by the dog, sat on by my 40 pound kid and Shark Week “turned up to 11” and still sit upright when I hear the little lady has popped out of bed and is sneaking down the stairs. Just as I started to say “Em, go back to bed, I am coming right up” I see her face. Something about her eyes stops me and I don’t say a word. She puts her arms around my neck and said “You’re so tired, mama, just go to bed. I came down here to get my hug and kiss. See you in the morning, now you get some sleep.”
Determined to stay grumpy I stumbled towards the bedroom. As soon as I lay down, however, I smiled. That kid. She is kinder than I even aspire to be.
In keeping with the spirit of my Bad Mood That Will Not Cease I developed a crippling hangover style headache about five minutes after I went to bed last night. So, I got up, grabbed an ice pack and hit the couch. MQD had (again, lovingly, dammit this family is making me look like an asshole!) joined me in bed to hold my hand, asking me “Is there anything I can do?” moments before falling promptly to sleep. He can fall asleep in record time. Quite possibly even faster than Fisher. There is nothing more irritating than being tired, incapable of falling asleep and surrounded by slumbering loved ones. And besides, only when everyone is asleep can I watch truly shitty television in secrecy. And eat ice cream from the container.
All of that to say when I woke up this morning I wasn’t thrilled to be awake. After just a handful of hours of fitful sleep I pried my eyes open to say goodbye to MQD before he left for work. “Is Em up?” I asked “Yep. I brushed her hair. She is putting away her laundry.” Music to my ears!!
Not only do I have the kindest child on earth, I also seem to have spawned a kid that loves to organize. When she was overtired after a trip to Disney and a a few long days on vacation, what did she do? Retire to her room to organize her suitcase. When she is cranky from a long day at the pool and no nap where does she run off to? Her room, to organize her markers. While some parents might awake on a Saturday to the sound of silence, bolt out of bed and run to find their kid, dreading the disaster they will most surely find, I wake up late on a Saturday to find her cleaning her room.
I popped my head in to her room before jumping in the shower to see her smiling, organizing her socks. “This top drawer gets so messy. Before I put away my laundry it needs to be more organized.”
She is kind. She is tidy. Reasons one and two Em is the best kid ever. Reason number three is short and sweet. That kid is funny.
I was in the bathroom putting my make up on when she came up the stairs, slapping her knee and shaking her head. When she was three or four I taught her to say “a real knee-slapper” in response to someone’s joke. Probably around the same time I taught her to roll her eyes, when I first began to believe sarcasm was a quality to be cultivated in a child. She still rolls her eyes, much to my chagrin. But she also still slaps her knee, much to my delight. So, knee slapping away, she is coming up the stairs. “What’s so funny?”
“How many times do you think Fisher had breakfast today?” I pause, unsure of when the punchline is coming. “Well… Two! maybe even three!! I fed him while you were in the shower. I just saw he is eating AGAIN, so you must have fed him when you went downstairs to get dressed. Oh man, I bet Dad fed him this morning, too…” and she strolls back into her room to finish tidying up, giggling to herself.
It was not particularly funny, the dog eating twice, possibly three times this morning. It was her delivery. She could give a rat’s ass if I thought it was funny. She was amused. She shared. But mostly it was for her. Cracking herself up. Just for her own entertainment. Takes after her mother.
Em is a delightful reminder. Be kind. Clean up after yourself. And most importantly, entertain yourself. No one else is as funny as you.